Middle School Gets ABCs of Safe Biking
Members of the bicycle advocacy group MassBike took any mystery out of bike safety and maintenance in Janet Rushton's wellness class at Swampscott Middle School.
Galen Mook lifted his bike a couple inches from the classroom floor and dropped it.
The 20 eighth graders listened. They heard a loose, jangly sound.
Mook was reviewing bike safety for Swampscott Middle School students last week in Janet Rushton’s wellness class.
The drop test tells of a problem if the bike sounds loose.
Sure enough, Mook's test revealed the quick release to the front tire needed tightening. He tightened it.
You don’t want to pop a wheelie then land on a tire with a loosened quick-release lever, said Mook. He's a representative of MassBike, an advocacy group for bicycling and bicyclists in the Bay State.
Mook pitched his head over the handle bars, pointing his noggin towards the floor. That was where his head was headed if his tire fell from the fork, he said.
Mook’s overall message was this: an eight-second safety check before the kids hop on their bike can keep them safe and their bikes in good working condition.
And riding a bike can help kids get and stay in good physical condition themselves.
The ABCs of an 8-second bike check.
A is for air — make sure the tires are fully inflated; under-inflated tires promote flats.
B is for brake — squeeze the brakes to check stopping power.
C is for chain — check that the chain is on the gears and oiled.
Q is for quick release — check the quick release lever for tightness and to make sure it’s flush against the bike and not sticking out.
Mook also told the kids they have to obey the same rules of the road that motorists must obey.
Does that mean you got to stop for red lights, one student asked?
Janet Rushton, an avid bicyclist, said she knows a bicyclist who recently got a ticket on Martha’s Vineyard for failing to obey the rules of the road.
He had to pay an $8 fine.