walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

We _walked_ to the _walkable_ restaurant

We went to lunch at Julia's Place today. I was attempting to convince T. to go on his bike. R. got A. in the stroller after asserting we should just take the car. T. wanted me to get on my bike and go around the block with him. But once R. headed down Prospect, T. was willing to go ahead so off we went. There was a skirmish at the turn to go around the block, but I herded him along. There was a skirmish crossing midblock into the parking lot, but that worked out. No skirmish ditching bike and stroller outside the restaurant. Lunch was largely successful, then T. wanted to leave (actually, diaper overflow, which we had to deal with, then leave), so I left R. and A. to collect everything and stroller out while I rode herd on T. who was, unfortunately, going a lot faster than me (wheels).

A guy stopped in the road on the way to the restaurant (well, we were going to -- he was driving the other way) to yell at us to put a helmet on T.

So here's my question. He's on a balance bike. He's moving _no faster_ than a small child's running pace -- there's no hill or anything to coast down so he can't get going more than 5-6 mph. He's _on the sidewalk_, and balance bikes by definition are really low to the ground. Why the *fuck* would a kid in this scenario need a helmet? Do kids need helmets to run down the sidewalk?

I thought not.

It's like there is this magical thinking going on. Wheels, ergo helmet. Let's show a _little_ sense here.

But Mr. I-Know-What-Your-Kid-Should-Be-Doing Buzzkill was not annoying enough to erase the thrill of having _walked_, with two children, to a restaurant, eaten lunch, and returned home on foot (and 2 wheeler, and stroller, but still).

ETA: And because someone out there is going to take Mr. Buzzkill's side, I'll just deposit this turd from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute:

http://www.bhsi.org/campus.htm

"First, ask your Physics prof what can happen to a head dropped from the normal height where you ride, say about 5 feet up, when it hits the concrete walkway. Your prof will tell you about g forces the head can experience from that drop height. Bike helmets are tested in a two meter drop, a little higher, but that five feet is all the impact you need to mess up your brain. You don't need forward speed at all, although it can make it worse--ask the Physics prof about vectors."

This is an argument for wearing a helmet while standing upright as an adult of average size. Is this _really_ where we want to go with this?

ETAYA: And yeah, I know a lot of accidents happen on sidewalks. But we were the only people and cyclists on the sidewalk at the time, T. was supervised throughout, he never got more than a few yards ahead of us and was going at an adult walking pace pretty much the whole time.
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