Bicycle Safety Day stresses several issues of importance for riders on Kent campus

Kevin Gareau

Senior community health major and member of Eta Sigma Gamma helps sophomore athletic training major Letha Motz adjust her free bike helmet. Eta Sigma Gamma teamed with Eddy’s Bike Shop and the KSU police to hold a bike safety prorgam. ELIZABETH MYERS | DA

Credit: DKS Editors

The most common bicycle safety issue on campus is carelessness on the part of both cyclists and pedestrians, said Kent State Police officer Miguel Witt yesterday at Bicycle Safety Day.

“Nobody pays attention to what the other is doing,” Witt said. “Both the pedestrians and the people on bicycles think they have the right-of-way.”

Eta Sigma Gamma, a health education honor society, sponsored the event, which brought both Witt and a representative from Eddy’s Bike Shop in Stow out to answer students’ questions and give tips on how to be safe while riding their bikes.

Witt, a bicycle officer, said pedestrians and cyclists should always pay close attention to what is going on around them. He added that cyclists should use noise devices to warn pedestrians who are walking in front of them.

Colin Dean, president of Eta Sigma Gamma, said he was pleased with the event, although student attendance declined sharply after the group ran out of free helmets. The first 60 students in attendance received a bike helmet.

After the helmets were gone, Dean turned his attention to safe riding. And part of safe riding is keeping your bike in good working condition, Jeff Wable of Eddy’s Bike Shop said.

“If the bike’s chain isn’t properly lubricated, it could break,” Wable said. “That could cause an accident, which is something that could certainly ruin your day.”

Wable said the most common safety issue related to maintenance is underinflated tires.

CAMPUS BIKING TIPS

• Wear a helmet.

• Ride on the right.

• Communicate with pedestrians.

• Yield to pedestrians.

• Remain alert.

• Be visible and predictable; do not ride erratically.

— Eta Sigma Gamma

Senior architecture major Dan Sekerak agreed.

But helmets could come in handy when maintenance fails to prevent a bicycle mishap.

Dean said the helmet should be parallel with the ground.

Some students at the event said they generally don’t wear helmets, but many said they would probably start.

Senior anthropology major Beth Lomske said she doesn’t like the way they look. She added that she would definitely wear a helmet now that she knows more about safety.

“Bicycle safety is overlooked on campus, especially with people walking obliviously through bike lanes,” Lomske said.

Senior architecture major Dan Sekerak agreed.

“When you’re on campus riding your bike, people don’t look out for you,” Sekerak said. “It’s something that needs to be addressed.”

Dean said many students don’t wear helmets because they don’t like the way they look, but he added that students should be more concerned about safety than appearance.

“A helmet’s a lot cooler-looking than a horrible head injury,” Dean said.

Contact safety reporter Kevin Gareau at [email protected]