Due to the ages of my two young sons and their attention spans, we usually don't go to the Town's Labor Day Parade. However, my daughter was marching in the parade with her dance team, and so with the help of the in-laws we got a spot on the side of the road and waited for the parade to start.
One thing I immediately noticed was that the parade seemed to draw many people on bikes. Later, when the parade got started there were more people riding bikes within each of the groups that passed by. One thing became apparent, many people ride crappy bikes and give their kids crappy bikes. I saw one older gent (without a helmet on) riding a Lightspeed hardtail, there was another guy (with a helmet on) riding a Trek 800 hard tail, and there are two Turners in one of group of marchers, but that was basically it. It seemed that parade drew a plethora of crappy bikes.
The one exception and I am not sure this is a quality bike - you be the judge - but there was a Newtown Bicycle Cop on a Smith and Wesson Mountain Bike? Do they make quality bikes or did the town government get a good deal because the company was fulfilling some government order using Homeland Security Funds. I thought Trek was the main supplier of Law Enforcement rigs. I overheard the Bike Cop say proudly that she actually went to factory to pick it out and watch them assemble it.
So here are some pictures of the Bike Cop. I think she really got a kick of riding up and down the street telling people to get back from the street. Frankly, she should have been chasing down the kids that weren't wearing helmets and have them walk their bikes. CT Statutes states the following:
Sec. 14-286d. Bicycle helmets. Children. Renting bicycles. Public awareness campaign. (a) For the purposes of this section and section 14-286e, "bicycle" means any vehicle propelled by the person riding the same by foot or hand power.And I like how there plenty of kids riding around with out helmets. Granted, it's the parents that should get slapped with a fine.
(b) No child fifteen years of age or under shall operate a bicycle on the traveled portion of any highway unless such child is wearing protective headgear which conforms to the minimum specifications established by the American National Standards Institute or the Snell Memorial Foundation's Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. Failure to comply with this section shall not be a violation or an offense. Failure to wear protective headgear as required by this subsection shall not be considered to be contributory negligence on the part of the parent or the child nor shall such failure be admissible in any civil action.
I can't believe the amount of people that I saw riding without helmets. As you can see from some of the pictures below, there were plenty of kids without them that look like they were under 15 years of age. Most of the kids riding around on BMX bikes didn't look old enough to drive, and of course there were many adults riding without helmets. Not to mention a few roadies sporting some major bling on two wheels not wearing helmets.
The casual riders, I won't call cyclist because that term should be reserved for someone on a bike that has some inkling of cycling safety, no I would call them people riding bikes. But there were plenty of people setting the example. So what, if you get massive helmet hairdo, one fall on your head to the pavement and it's all over! On the trail it's a different story. People riding on trails without helmets, they are Darwin Award Candidates.
These two people are not cyclists by the very fact that they are missing a very important
The kid below was not wearing a helmet
Same with these. Some of you may think the way they are riding is illegal but according to the state statutes some braniac repealed that law.
I believe these two kids were not wearing helmets but they are both on Turners, which is a step up from the rest of the bikes were riding.
No brains, I mean helmets here. The bike below in the foreground is a Mongoose Comfort Bike. Not sure if you would classify that as a quality bike. Apparently Mongoose makes really good bikes, and they are famous on the BMX circuit, but what you see most people on these days seems to come from the big box, not sure if it was assembled correctly, stores.
Guess what? More crap! Although the yellow bike in the background, while I can't tell what it was, appears to be steal and that gets points in my book.
Of course the positive points are negated by the fact that the person on that bike didn't have a helmet on.
I know you can't really tell but this is another Mongoose Comfort Bike. I marveled at how many people had the same type of bike in the same red color.There were a lot more bikes as I mentioned earlier. Some people with helmets and many without. Clearly the town is not doing enough awareness training when there is state statute that says that is supposed to happen. I know I might sound overly critical but hopefully, with all the recent interest in saving gas and cycling, people will take more of an interest in what they are doing when it comes to cycling. Like operating a car, cycling can turn dangerous if you are acting irresponsible.