My son Austen and I had the pleasure of heading down to West Rutland over the weekend to participate in a Safety Day down there. It was typical of most of these safety days, with helmet giveaways, smoothie bikes, fire trucks, etc. The event organizer provided me with some coupons for free sandwiches to hand out as prizes, lots of kids showed up to race, and a good time was had by all.
Here were some other interesting things I observed:
- The laptop screen was a little more visible inside of the back of my Jeep, but I still really need a brighter screen.
- Bike fit was good, but everybody figures out that the black bike is faster. I can't wait to get my hands on a matched set of kid's bikes!
- As the guy who showed up with a floor pump, I must have pumped up a dozen tires for kids who showed up with their bikes. These safety days, when they happen in the springtime, are a great opportunity to help kids get their bikes in shape for the season.
- Most of the kids showed up on entry-level, BMX-style bikes from department stores. These bikes are OK, but the ones I saw came with caliper or V-Brakes and "Gyro" anti-tangle devices. 90% of the kids who showed up with these had completely inoperable brakes. The BMX gyro introduces like five points of failure into the braking system.
- A HUGE addition to these safety days would be to get a local shop to come down with some cables and housing, lube, and other basic maintenance stuff. In addition to flat tires and bad brakes, I saw quite a few broken spokes.
- Any of the brake problems I saw could have been fixed by doing full housing runs around the gyros. None of the kids needed to be able to do bar spins!
All in all, it was a fun morning, beautiful weather, smiling kids and happy police, fire, rescue, and education professionals. I love doing these events, and hope at some point I can subsidize my participation in them by making a little money on the private side. That's secondary, though. Kids got helmets, kids had fun, and that's all that really matters in the end.