During my 30-plus year Extension career, my goal has always been to provide educational programs that help improve a person's quality of life and lead by example.

Last week, I found out that the bicycle safety program my husband and I presented to all of the elementary schools in Great Bend left an impression.

You see, we had ridden our tandem bike to Hoisington and stopped in at the Town and Country Supermarket to use the restroom. As we were checking out, with our hi-vis jackets and bike helmets, the young man at the cash register asked if we rode a two-seated bike. When I said “Yes” he shared that when he was in fifth grade at Park School in Great Bend he remembered we came to his school and talked about bicycle safety. Wow! That was seven years ago! It was rewarding to see that our visits about this important topic made an impression.

More than 15 million links to biking activities when I Googled, “May is bike month” is a pretty good indication that there is a growing number of avid cyclists. There are reminders to make sure riders know and follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists need to ride with traffic, and acknowledge traffic signals. Some dangers to watch for include motorists backing from a parking stall or someone opening their car door in your traffic lane. While I feel wearing an approved bicycle helmet is a must, I see a lot of cyclists going without that protection. Statistics show that the number of head injuries is reduced drastically when a properly fitted helmet is worn. Make sure all riders are fitted with a bike helmet and that you review the rules with young riders.

Our 11-year-old granddaughter, Calyn, was visiting last week and asked if she could ride one of our bikes and come with us when John took me to work on our tandem. We adjusted the bike to fit her and found a helmet that worked. Just a few short years ago, she thought the 3-mile round trip to work was too far. But she actually rode 7 miles the other morning and was pretty proud of her accomplishment.

Make bicycling a family affair at your house for the rest of May and the months to come!

 

Donna Krug is a family and consumer science agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. She may be reached at (620)793-1910 or dkrug@ksu.edu K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.