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

Grab Your Helmets!

2013logoBicycling to work not only benefits our environment, but our personal health as well.  Dependence on the automobile harms our planet and can create unnecessary stress in our lives.  Choosing an alternative form of transportation,  like the bicycle, can help to improve pollution, traffic congestion, and safety concerns. It even saves you money!

Bike to Work Week is an international event that encourages commuters to ride their bike to work at least once during the week.  The event ultimately raises awareness about the ease of using a  bicycle for everyday transportation needs and the environmental and health benefits of doing so.

So grab your helmets and join KMM and bike to work.  Remember, biking to your school, train station or even biking while runnning errands qualifies as biking.  Everyone who registers for this program will even be entered to win tickets to a show at the State Theater in New Brunswick or Playhouse 22!  For all the details and to register, visit the KMM site and get biking today!

Make an Impact this Earth Day

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The idea that even the smallest changes can impact and create big change rings very true this Earth Day.  KMM is taking this idea and giving you the chance to make a change.

How?

It’s easy –   GO Green!

 

 

Go Green while driving. Turn off your car when idling and avoid using drive through for banking, coffee and other errands. icon_car

 

 

GO Green at home! Unplug all appliances that use standby power: coffee machines, alarm clocks, toaster ovens, blenders and lamps. icon_house

 

 

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Even at the office – Go Green and walk or brown bag your lunch. Everyone who takes the pledge will receive a small packet of seeds to plants and a handy info graphic pledge card.

 

Visit http://www.kmm.org/kmm_earthday2013.php to take the pledge today!

Leave Handicapped Parking Spaces for Those with Handicaps

handicap parking van acccessibleIn the last year of her life, my Mom was slowed by age and illness.  Mobility issues forced her to use a walker to get around.  Mom traded in her driver’s licenses for a Handicapped placard which she could transfer to any vehicle in which she was a passenger.  She knew where the handicapped spaces were located at the places she frequented.  It irked her to discover vehicles without special placards or license plates parked in them.    She didn’t like to be “dropped off” while her companion hunted for a space. It was a major production which she found embarrassing. Get out of the car, retrieve the walker from the backseat, open it up, help Mom out of the car, get her situated, and wait to make sure she entered the establishment without incident.   Sometimes, when she saw an able-bodied person saunter to the vehicle he or she parked in a handicapped spot, Mom speak up,

“You shouldn’t be parking there. This is for handicapped people.”

“I was only running in for a minute,” the driver replied.

“Be thankful, you can run,” was her sharp retort.

In NJ, over 50,000 license plates and 460,000 placards have been issued to persons with certain handicaps. A list of the criteria for these permits and an application may be found at www.state.nj.us/mvc/Vehicle/handicapped_qualifications.htm.

Those who park in handicapped spaces without a license plate or placard are subject to fines and repeat offenders may be required to serve 90 days community service.  The NJ Legislature is considering a bill that cracks down on motorists who unlawfully use a temporary or permanent handicapped parking placard.  If Assemblymen Reed Gusciora, John Burzichelli, and Troy Singleton have their way, violators would face fines of up to $500.

It’s too bad we need this law.  Handicapped spaces are the ultimate “preferred” parking, located conveniently near the entrance to the market, library, restaurant, or movies.  But, my Mom would have so “preferred” to walk across a parking lot with a sprightly, confident gait.  She would have preferred not to need a walker.  But since she did, she preferred being able to park in a handicapped space.

 

~RAK