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22 years ago I was hit by a car while I was riding my bike. Of course my parents had put me through the Safety City offered by the Yankton Police Department and I was taught proper safety for riding a bike but when you’re young, wearing a helmet is so “lame.” So I didn’t wear one at the time. I was living elsewhere at the time and was racing to bring my sister her library card. The sun was setting and neither the driver nor myself saw the other. Still to this day I don’t remember much (this is why we wear helmets!). I remember the moment I saw the van and then it’s nothing. I go from that moment to waking up on the opposite curb (I was hit in the middle of the street), crying. The police officer was already there and had been attempting to talk to me. The driver, a teenager, was standing nearby, also crying. We were both telling each other how sorry we were. I learned later that it was just the motion of the van stopping that hit me but it was still forceful enough to make my bike unusable. I had a mild concussion and still, 22 years later, I have a bump on my head. So when the opportunity came up to write about Bike Safety Month I felt there was no one better than someone who has experienced a bicycle-related accident. May is Bike Safety Month which was started by the League of American Bicyclists. It was established in 1956 to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and to encourage safe riding. Not only is it Bike Safety Month, but there is a National Bike to Work Week which takes place this year from May 15 to May 19. And then there is Bike to Work Day on May 19 this year. It’s the perfect time as the kids are getting out of school, the weather is getting nicer; and what is better than a nice bike ride at sunset? But bike riding can also be dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken. According to a report from the SD Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Summary, there were 105 injuries and 1 death involving bicycles in South Dakota in 2003, alone. In the United States each year, there are an average of 900 bicycle-related deaths. Every week 2700 children suffer serious head injuries. However, research shows that a properly-worn bike helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injuries by 88 percent. To combat some of these numbers, groups and businesses around Yankton are trying to promote more accessible bike safety knowledge to the youth, but also to adults. There are a few programs in Yankton that promote Bike Safety. Such as Safety City offered by the Yankton Police Department and the Bike Helmet program that is sponsored by Yankton Rotary, Yankton Medical Clinic, and Ace Bike and Sport. Safety City used to be Safety Town but the name had to be changed due to a conflict of copyrights. The Yankton Police Department offers this program during the summer through the Yankton Parks & Recreation. It is usually June and July. Safety City helps teach children life-saving lessons which includes bike safety. The Yankton Police Department also pair up with the Bike Helmet program and offer a certificate for a free ice cream from McDonald’s if they see kids wearing their helmets this summer. Kerry Hacecky and Natashia Moser talked to me about the Bike Helmet program that is offered because of a partnership between Yankton Rotary, Yankton Medical Clinic, and Ace Bike and Sport. This program helps give every second grader in Yankton a bike helmet at no charge. It is a one-hour event at Yankton High School where the second graders learn about safety and helmet use and then get fitted for a bike helmet. There is some watermelon smashing and a video. Their goal is to have kids leave excited about wearing the new helmet. The Yankton Rotary has been financially supporting this program since its inception in 1999. The program started in 1995. At that time, Yankton pediatrician Dr. Rich Kaplan was an avid cyclist and believed it would be good to encourage cycling and safety. Rotarian Craig Kennedy and Kaplan often biked with their children together and the partnership with the Rotary and the Yankton Medical Clinic was formed. Today, Dr. Withrow represents YMC and provides a brief and entertaining program to the youth before the new helmets are distributed. Each helmet is fit to the child to make sure it’s the proper one for their head. Spreading more awareness towards bike safety is Matt Dvorak from Peloton. Matt urges proper bike safety and writes a bike safety letter before every summer begins. Matt has been a bicyclist since he was 5 and has experienced several incidences of senseless “road rage” while riding his bike and has heard too vSAFETY continued on page 14 et Your G Knit On Get hooked on a brand-new hobby. Not only is knitting fun and relaxing, you’ll be creating handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts and fashions. •Huge Selection of Yarns •Knitting Needles•Crochet Hooks •Patterns & Supplies•Classes Check Our Website For Class Schedule www.eweknitit.com 909 Broadway, Tripp Park Plaza 605-689-3999 www.eweknitit.com Open: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm Saturday 10am-5pm HERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2017v5

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