Monday, August 4, 2008

News Update: Helmet laws for kids, Towpath travel, and more

The stack of news clips in the corner can only mean one thing: Post this news now so I can start the week with a clean desk!

First up, someone wrote to The Plain Dealer to ask "Whatever happened to a bill that would make children in Ohio wear helmets while riding their bikes?" The answer, from today's edition:

"The law proposed last year by State Rep. Michael Skindell, a Lakewood Democrat, has not gone to vote. But Skindell is trying to build support for it. If passed, it would require children under 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Police would first give warnings but would cite repeat offenders, whose parents would have to pay a $25 fine. The measure was introduced by a Dayton-area state senator, but Skindell introduced it in the House. He considers it an important matter of child safety that could prevent head injuries. An avid cyclist, Skindell pushed the bill after having a bad accident himself a little more than a year ago. Skindell said that while riding on Lake Avenue in Cleveland near West 117th Street, he was cut off by a car and his bicycle hit it. He said he struck his head on the car roof and again on the pavement and would have been killed if he had not been wearing a helmet. He said he is still recovering from a fractured collarbone and has just started riding again, on safe trails. Skindell said the bill has the support of pediatric groups and an association of Ohio children's hospitals, including Rainbow Babies & Children's in Cleveland. The bill had a hearing in the spring. Skindell said he hopes the bill will pass next year."
On a related note, when we sent photos of Bike To School Month (like the one above) to sponsor Giant Bicycle in California, the west coast folks were shocked to see all the Bay High School students without helmets, which have long been required by law for anyone under 18 in California.

In other news....

  • Is it ethical to use sponsor money to cover travel expenses to a charity bike tour in Italy? The Ethicist weighs in. (The New York Times)
  • Turn your Towpath Trail bike ride into a two-day adventure with a stay at an inn along the way. (The Plain Dealer)
  • The Sunday Travel section of The New York Times has been regularly featuring bike travel this summer, from renting bikes in Paris to yesterday news of a deal on a five-night biking trip through the Czech Republic. (Bike Holidays)
  • Speaking of helmets, here's a new version that strives to be a little more fashion-forward. I don't know if I agree with this blogger that they are "absolutely stunning," but maybe that's because I really like my Giro and don't feel the need to cover it with a knit beanie. (Baekdal)
  • "Pedal Power": With gas above $4 a gallon, more and more people are trading in four wheels for two. (CBS Sunday Morning)
  • Mountain...unicycling?! Love the headline: "Down the mountain on a wheel and a prayer" (New York Times)
  • Okay, so maybe Portland is not all that: The surge in cycling spurs a new kind of road rage. (Newsweek)

Thanks to Krista and Christine for the tips!

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