New Brunswick Ciclovia Did it Again!

Our super nurse volunteers (courtesy Diana Starace, Safe Kids  Middlesex County)

Our super nurse volunteers                                                       (courtesy Diana Starace, Safe Kids Middlesex County)

KMM and Safe Kids Middlesex County (based at the Level 1 Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital) teamed up again to distribute free bicycle helmets and challenge kid’s bike safety skills at New Brunswick Ciclovia.

The third city-wide open streets event of this year took place on Sunday, October 12th. Four volunteers from the nursing program at New Jersey City University helped us fit helmets on heads, explain the importance of helmet use to kids and parents, and guide children through a short skill course.

Riding the course (courtesy Veronica Torres)

Riding the course (courtesy Veronica Torres)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all the families that came out on this beautiful day!

The Shore Attitude – Beyond Summer

Beach%20Pic%201The bright sun streaming through your window wakes you up – it’s going to be another hot day on the Jersey Shore. You and your family put on bathing suits, t-shirts and sandals, and walk a couple blocks to that breakfast place for pancakes. Later, you load up the cart for the three block walk to the beach while your eldest rides off on a cruiser bike to meet her friends on the boardwalk. On the walk, you wave hello to your neighbors for the week and stop to chat, while your youngest tugs at your shirt to keep going – the waves are waiting.

Summer vacation is great time to experience the joys of living “car-lite” by walking and biking where you need to go, but why can’t we bring some of that lifestyle and attitude with us when it’s time to return to work and school? Here are some ideas.
Group your walkable errands.

Got places to go near your home or office? Instead of stopping there in your car on your way to/from someplace else, plan ahead and save those errands for an evening or weekend walk. You’ll get things done, and some exercise, too!

Meet the neighbors

While you’re out, take a moment to say hello. Pet the dogs, sniff the flowers, and take a moment to enjoy your neighborhood.

Encourage your children

Show your children how to get around their neighborhood on foot and by bike, then encourage them to make that choice. Don’t just drive them because you can, or because “it’s hottttt,” “it’s colllld,” “it’s raining,” or “I have a backpack.” Make sure they’ve learned and practiced crossing the street and bicycling safely.

Ride slow.

Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you have to be racing your bike. Where would you ride at a leisurely pace? To the coffee shop? The pool? A friend’s barbecue?

Any clothing is bike clothing.

If you can ride to the beach in a bathing suit and flip-flops, you can ride at home in, well, anything that works for the weather. Wear a helmet, and use lights at night (a front white light and a red rear light).

 

Are you Ready to Ride?

2013logoMay is National Bike Month.

The mornings are bright, the weather is warm, and it’s a perfect time to start biking to work.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Know where to go
Take some time to map out your route before you start. The shortest route tends to be the busiest – going a little bit out of the way can lead you to quiet parallel streets for a more enjoyable ride. Other cyclists prefer the direct route – look for bike lanes and wide shoulders for a comfortable and speedy ride.
Get your bike in shape
Check over your bike to make sure it’s in good working order, especially if you haven’t ridden it in a while. Check the tire pressure, brakes, chain and gears. If in doubt, take it to your local bike shop for a tune up.
Ride safe
Riding predictably is the most important thing you can do when riding on the road. A bike is a vehicle – use your turn signals (your arms!) to let drivers know when you’re turning, and always obey traffic signs and signals. And always wear a helmet – it’s your last line of defense.
Be visible
Coming home late? Use a front white light and a rear red light – it’s common sense and it’s the law. Wear light-colored clothing and consider reflective gear.
Enjoy the ride
It’s spring! Take it easy and enjoy the blooming trees and fresh air.
Now that your ready, grab your helmets and get on your bike! 
Share your photos of your bike adventure with us by emailing us at cfowler@kmm.org!
~PB

Safer Routes to School, All Year Round

Through a partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation and local communities and schools, KMM is making it safer and easier for children to walk and bike to school.  Walking to school is a fun and recreational exercise for students and parents. Children practice and observe safe pedestrian skills with the added bonus of arriving at school alert and ready to learn. In addition, by walking and biking to school children learn an environmentally friendly alternative to driving. In the big picture, reducing driving for school drop off reduces local traffic congestion, auto emissions, agirl_on_bikend traffic accident risk.

The biggest SRTS event of the year is Walk to School Day, held in early October. This year, we registered 19 schools in 14 different towns, representing 5,000 eligible students. Walk to School Day events included group walks to school, tables at the school entrance, and walks around the school neighborhood during the school day. In addition to stickers, worksheets, and bookmarks, KMM provided reflective zipper pulls for each participant and “We Take Safe Routes” banners to each school. Executive Director Bill Neary and staff members Peter Bilton and Vicki Becker helped at events in Milltown, East Brunswick, New Brunswick, and Highland Park.

This year, we’re adding a Spring Walk and Bike to School Day which will be discussed at a workshop in February. Also on the agenda are walking school buses, KMM’s Golden Sneaker contest, bike rodeos, and engaging walk and bike safety classroom or assembly presentations. To learn how you can bring a Safe Routes programto your school or register for our February 25, 2013, contact KMM.

~PB