Category: Good Advice (Page 2 of 9)

Bike to School Day in Lawrence is May 4th!

header-biketoschoolThe Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department encourages students to walk or bike to school May 4 in celebration of National Bike to School Day. Walking and bicycling to school enables children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

The Health Department, in collaboration with the City of Lawrence, Lawrence Public Schools, the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization and LiveWell Lawrence, is working to encourage families to walk or Qbike as part of “Be Active Safe Routes,” a community initiative to make it easier for people of all ages, ability, background and socioeconomic status to be more active.

Regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles and joints, and it decreases the risk of chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. “Physical inactivity is at crisis proportions in America. In the coming decade, preventable chronic conditions are expected to overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death in Kansas,” Health Promotion Specialist Michael Showalter said. “The research is clear that students who walk or bike to school will be healthier and perform better in school.”

Lawrence middle and elementary school students, families and staff plan to participate in Bike to School Day. Schools also will be hosting special events like park-and-rides and bicycle rodeos. Lawrence-Douglas County Health Board members, Lawrence school board members, city commissioners and firefighters have been invited to join in the activities throughout Lawrence. Helmets should be worn at all times when riding a bike. Bicyclists should ride safely by following the rules of the road and obeying traffic laws. Young children should be accompanied by an adult.

Benefits of walking or biking include:

• Students who walk or bike to school are healthier.

• Research has shown exercise before school helps children arrive focused and ready to learn.

• Students who walk and bike frequently when they are young are more likely to continue these activities into adulthood.

• When walking or biking, parents and children get an opportunity to bond and appreciate things they don’t notice while driving — listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, seeing friends and neighbors and feeling connected with their community.

• Fewer cars on the road means less traffic and congestion and cleaner air.

Seven Neat Books About Bicycling for Kids

Below is a repost from Bicycle Times with 7 books for kids about bicycling.

Review: Seven bicycle-themed children’s books
Bicycle Times Magazine by Bicycle Times Magazine / March 15, 2016 8:25am

Words: Jeff Lockwood

This piece originally appeared in Dirt Rag Magazine in 2005. All of the books mentioned are still available.

We don’t watch much television in our house. In fact, by the time you read this, our daughter Kaya will be 2 years old [now 13!], and I can say with confidence that she’s probably watched a total of one hour of television since the day she was born. Instead of filling her head with the latest Disney tripe fed to us, she’s become very fond of books. We read to her before bed and throughout the day. While most children her age take dolls, stuffed animals or toys to bed, Kaya sleeps with books.

So recently, I went to and took the plunge. I spent less than $100 on new and used books aimed at a variety of age groups and reading levels. As you’d expect, books aimed at children under 3 years old are mostly illustrated paperbacks with minimal words. And only a small subset of those is focused around a bicycle. Fortunately, I found books with some bright, exciting illustrations that caught the attention of Kaya. Some of the other books I purchased are aimed at a slightly older age group, and I also picked one book that’s a great resource for us parents. All prices listed are for new books.

Franklin Rides a BikeFranklin Rides a Bike
Author: Paulette Bourgeois
Illustrator: Brenda Clark
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
22 page paperback; $5

Franklin is a sad little turtle because he still relies on training wheels while the rest of his friends zoom through the woods training-wheel-free. With practice, determination and encouragement from his mom, Franklin soon loses the training wheels. Bright illustrations and brief text make this a good book to read to toddlers.

A Bicycle for RosauraA Bicycle for Rosaura
Author: Daniel Barbot
Illustrator: Morella Fuenmayor
Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
24 page paperback; $6

Señora Amelia decides to buy a bicycle for her hen, Rosaura, as a birthday present. Furthering the high-end frame builder stereotype, an eccentric man measures Rosaura for the perfect custom fit. And, amazingly, he actually delivers the bike on time. The story is short and to the point, the illustrations are soft and pleasant, and the book is best read to younger children.

Bicycle BookBicycle Book
Author: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
32 page hardcover; $17
Aimed toward roughly the third grade reading level, this book provides a wealth of bicycle information for young readers. Filled with large, descriptive and fun illustrations, this book quickly and painlessly presents children with the history of bicycles, basic functionality, types of bikes, uses, componentry, safety, simple bicycle care and fun facts.

Hello, Two-Wheeler!Hello, Two-Wheeler!
Author: Jane B. Mason
Illustrator: David Monteith
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
48 page paperback; $4
Short and simple sentences combined with exciting illustrations make this a good book designed for beginner-level readers. We follow a young boy frustrated that he’s still on training wheels. After deceiving his friends with excuses to get out of riding with them, he suddenly discovers that he can ride without the training wheels.

Go Fly A Bike!Go Fly A Bike!
Author: Bill Haduch
Illustrator: Chris Murphy
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books
83 page hardcover; $17
The subtitle of this book is “The Ultimate Book About Bicycle Fun, Freedom and Science,” and that’s a very accurate description. You and your children are going to get all kinds of useful, fun and interesting information here. Small, whimsical black and white illustrations throughout the book work well with informative sidebars and entertaining quotes.

Life is Like a Ten-Speed BicycleLife is Like a Ten-Speed Bicycle
Author/Illustrator: Charles Shulz
Publisher: Collins Publishers
32 page hardcover; $6
Linus has always been the most philosophical personality in the Peanuts gang, so he got his own book. Though only one of these black and white strips mentions a bicycle, it’s still a fun book for kids of all ages. Linus’ quote that “Life is like a ten-speed bicycle—most of us have gears that we never use.” alone is worth the price of admission.

Bicycling With ChildrenBicycling With Children: A Complete How-To Guide
Author: Trudy E. Bell with Roxana K. Bell
Publisher: The Mountaineers
221 page paperback; $15
Every parent, no matter the skill level, should buy and carefully read this book. Bell and her young daughter (the co-author) explore every important topic relating to children and bicycles: proper bicycles, riding with a baby, tandems, safety, purchasing a bike, bicycle maintenance and riding with children with special needs. There is also an exhaustive list of great resources.

Is Your Bike Helmet on Correctly?

(This is a repost from the Blog I Love Bicycling)

How To Fit a Bike Helmet

How To Fit a Bike HelmetGetting the right helmet fit is imperative to your safety. Wearing a poorly fitted helmet is almost just as bad as not wearing one at all. A good fitting helmet worn properly will not only help to protect you in the event of a crash but also looks good. There are a few things to know when buying a helmet as well as when wearing it.

Find Your Size

There are two ways to find the right size helmet for your head. The first is measuring the circumference of your head just above your ears. This number, ranging from about 50 to 60 centimeters for the average adult, correlates with different sized helmets. Try the one on where your circumference falls in the range of the helmet size, typically labelled on a sticker on the inside of the helmet.

The second way to find the right size, provided you have an assortment of sizes to choose from, is to just try them on and see how much space is between your head and the helmet. With both methods you don’t want any more than one to two fingers to be able to fit in-between the helmet and your head.

If there’s too much room your head will actually be knocked against the inside of the helmet in the event of impact which can also cause injury. If there’s not enough room, the helmet simply won’t be comfortable and will likely sit too high on your head not protecting you as well as it should.

How to Wear Your Helmet

Now that you have the right sized helmet you need to make sure that you are wearing it properly. Most of today’s helmets are going to have an adjustable mechanism in the rear of the helmet to cinch down the inner retention system to your head. This is going to keep the helmet from moving around.It shouldn’t be overly tight but also shouldn’t be too loose. You should be able to grab a firm hold on the helmet and not have it slide around your head.

The helmet should also be worn in a level position with the front falling no more than one to two finger lengths above your eyebrows. If it’s too far up and more on the back of your head, it won’t protect the front of your head in the event of a fall. If it’s too far forward, you won’t be able to see for one as it will be in your eyes, but it also won’t protect the back of your head.

Adjusting the Buckles

The final but just as important step to making sure your helmet fits properly is to have the straps and buckle positioned correctly. With a new helmet this can often be a challenge as there are four straps that need to be aligned and positioned well to be comfortable as well as safe.

The first step is to release the adjusting plastic pieces on the sides of the helmet. These slide up and down the straps and can be locked in place to hold the strap where it’s supposed to be. Put the helmet on your head and slide the piece up so it falls just below your ear making a Y with one strap going in front of your ear and the other behind. Lock the plastic piece down in place. Then do the same on the other side so it’s even.

Now you need to make sure the buckle is centered under your chain. If the receiving piece of the buckle is too far one way or the other you are going to have to loosen or tighten it by pulling the strap up through the rest of the helmet. This will also move the plastic adjusters on the sides so you may have to readjust them. Once this is centered under your chin, you can then pull the straps tight so they’re snug but not overly tight when the buckle is clipped.

Depending on how much extra strap is left over you can tuck it into the rubber piece that is on most helmets to prevent the strap from dangling. If you do need to shorten the strap, use a pair of scissors and cut accordingly. The real trick comes in taking a lighter and singing the end of the cut piece so it doesn’t fray.

Wearing a helmet is imperative when riding a bike and almost just as imperative is wearing a helmet that fits properly. Getting the right sized helmet for your head along with properly adjusting it will help to ensure that the helmet does its job when the time is less than ideal, i.e. when you have a fall. Your head is much safer and you have the piece of mind that your head is taken care of while wearing a helmet.


Are You Ready for Walk to School Day Oct 7th

WalktoSchoolDayFlierMark your calendars! Wednesday Oct 7th is the official day that Lawrence Schools are encouraging students to walk or bike to school.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department had a great website with information about finding the best routes to your local school and even has maps.

From the website: “Be Active Safe Routes is a local movement to create safe opportunities for children to bike and walk to and from schools. The goal is to get children moving again and to reverse the growing rate of childhood obesity.

In 1969, approximately 50 percent of children in the U.S. walked or biked to school. Today, fewer than 15 percent do. As a result, kids today are less active, less independent and less healthy.

“The research is pretty clear that kids who walk and bike to school are more active. They will be healthier and perform better in school.” – Community Health Director Chris Tilden.”

2015 Fall Community Bike Ride Set for September 19th!

Fall-Bike-RideMark Your Calendars, Tell Your friends and Neighbors, the Lawrence Central Rotary Club is hosting the fall 2015 Lawrence Community Bike Ride on Saturday, September 19th, at the Haskell University stadium parking area and using the Burroughs Creek, and recently refinished bike Trail south of Haskell.

The event is open to anyone and there is no cost to participate.

There will be a three mile ride along the Burroughs Creek Trail.

Other activities from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. include:

  • A Training Wheel Takeoff. Experts will help children who are ready to take off their training wheels in a safe environment.
  • Bike Rodeo. Kids can practice and improve their riding skills
  • Bike Helmet Fitting and Giveaway. Safe Kids with LMH will help outfit kids with helmets, while supplies last, along with providing cycling safety tips for kids of all ages – and for adults too!
  • Inflatable Bounce House and Slides for the kids!

“One of our goals as a club is to get more and more people discover cycling and an active lifestyle as a fun and healthy activity,” said Steve Lane, a member of Central Rotary Club. “This event is a great opportunity for families and individuals to enjoy cycling in a safe and scenic area on Lawrence’s east side.”

If it is raining September 19th, the ride will be rescheduled for on Sunday, September 20, at 1PM.

Registration for the event is required and can be done before the event.

Releases will be available at the event or you can download one HERE to fill out ahead of time.

Thanks to all our sponsors and partners who help to make these events happen in Lawrence.

September CBR Flyer 2015

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