October 26, 2021

Finding a good fit

Event introduces Lime Bikes, teaches bicycle safety

Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

Jennifer Hillman of the Cortland County Health Department adjusts the straps of 4-year-old Myles VanDee’s helmet while his sister watches. Helmets were given away Saturday by the Health Department during the roll out of Lime Bikes at the Central New York Living History Center in Cortlandville.

Myles VanDee, 4, put his pointer and middle fingers right above his eyebrow, checking to see if the helmet he tried on fit properly.

It did.

Shawn Oliver, Myles’ father, brought both Myles and his sister Madison to the rollout Saturday of Lime Bikes at the Central New York Living History Center in Cortlandville. During the event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids and adults from Cortland, Homer and Cortlandville gathered to celebrate Lime Bike bringing about 50 bikes to the area at no cost. The partnership comes after Seven Valley Health Coalition and officials from the three municipalities met with a representative from Lime last fall.

“It’s great,” Oliver said about Lime. “We’re really excited to have them in town.”

Oliver talked to Lime representatives and learned about bike safety.

Cortland County Health Department employee Jennifer Hillman, with the state’s Injury Prevention Traffic Safety Program, had a table lined with helmets that she bought with a $1,000 grant from American Automobile Association. Each time a person came to Hillman’s table, she helped them select and fit a helmet and discussed how to find the proper fit on their own.

“Brands fit differently,” Hillman said.

Because brands of helmets fit differently, she said, people should try on several kinds of helmets. Hillman said a helmet should fit snugly and shouldn’t wiggle when you shake your head.

“It shouldn’t be so tight it hurts, though,” she said. The straps should create a V that sits just below the earlobe, the helmet should always be level and the chin strap should be snug enough to fit one finger under.

Hillman said for people who wear glasses that can be a problem, sometimes.

“You shouldn’t adjust the helmet to fit your glasses,” she said.

Hillman said she still has about 60 bike helmets to hand out and people can contact her at 607-758-5524 for an appointment to get fitted.

Homer police Officer Matthew Compton also spoke about bike safety.

“Mostly it’s always wear a helmet, doesn’t matter if you’re a little kid or a grown up,” Compton said.

He said many helmets are designed so that if you fall then it’s likely that the helmet will need to be replaced because it’s cracked. If the helmet never cracks then it should be replaced every five years.

“It’s the easiest thing to fix,” Compton said.

Also, stay visible, he added, “so people know where you are.” Wear bright, reflective clothing. Bikes should also have reflective striping on it and state law mandates front and rear lights on bikes for anyone who rides in a road.

He also said people should remember to watch for obstacles.

Lime representative Jeff Goodmark said Lime’s website also has bike safety tutorials for people to view.

To use a Lime bike, the rider would need to have an account with Lime through a smartphone application, and scan the bike’s QR code to turn it on. The customer could then ride it, being charged for the time.

The traditional pedal bikes cost $1 for 30 minutes, Williams said, while the e-bikes average about $10 an hour. The average ride with the bikes is about 12 minutes, she said.

The company also has a program for low-income people, with a 50 percent discount for the e-bikes and the traditional pedal bikes cost only 5 cents for 30 minutes.