Like a moment out of time, I went to a Cub Scout Den meeting to teach bicycle safety. I did talk about riding safely, lights, reflectors, helmets, and the like, but primarily I talked about the mechanical safety of the bike. Are your wheels attached securely? How about the seat and handlebars? Do the brakes work? How do you check these things yourself?
I brought my bike tool kit. It was the subject of a lot of questions, all of which can be distilled down to, “what does that one do?”
We worked on a new bike from the big box store that one of the Den Mothers brought to the meeting. The handlebars and seat were loose and the chain was too tight. If you have a bike, or your children have a bike, here’s Troop 194’s list of items to consider. If you have a problem you can’t solve, take the bike to a bike shop. Finding out you have no brakes or a loose handlebar while riding in traffic is problematic.