Simcoe, ON June 5, 2019 – Working for a personal injury law firm, the folks at BachmannLaw in Simcoe often see clients with devastating brain injuries.
So in 2013, they began to offer free bike helmets to local children and adult riders.
“A lot of times, you see parents out riding bikes with their children and they don’t have helmets on but the kids do,” said Christine Zammit of BachmannLaw.
“The whole idea is to make sure that kids and adults put helmets on when they’re riding bikes so they don’t suffer brain injuries. We also want to educate people – if a helmet is older than five years it should be replaced, and as soon as a helmet starts cracking it should be replaced.”
“Kids love getting a new helmet.”
The firm would often target elementary school bike rodeos to distribute helmets, but last year decided to extend their reach by partnering with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and other community groups for the first ever Squeaky Wheel Bike Fair. Things went so well that the fair will return for its second annual gathering at Lions Park in Simcoe on June 8 from 1-4p.m. The fair not only includes free helmets for local riders but a number of other goodies as well.
The event comes on the heels of Norfolk County receiving a Bicycle Friendly Community Award by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition at the 2019 Ontario Bike Summit in Toronto.
“Partnering with local cycling and community partners to present events like the Squeaky Wheel Community Bike Fair played a big role in receiving the award,” said Callie Anderson, health promoter with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “The work doesn’t stop here and we are happy to take what we learned from last year and be back promoting Norfolk County as a great place to ride your bike!”
The celebration of cycling won’t stop with the Squeaky Wheel, it actually kick-starts Bike Month in Haldimand and Norfolk County. Cycling reduces the risk of health issues such as heart disease and high blood pressure while also being a low-cost, eco-friendly way of travel for all ages.
“The event is just awesome for the local community to get re-introduced to cycling, I find,” said Phil Poss of Red Apple Rides, one of the Squeaky Wheel’s community partners.
“It’s not just for kids, everyone should come out and see what’s going on with cycling in Norfolk County.”
The Health Unit is also working alongside local partners Church Out Serving, the Lynn Valley Trail Association, and Pathways for People. Red Apple Rides will lead guided trail rides throughout the day in addition to the rodeo itself. Attendees will also be given bike safety and local trail information.
“We’re of the belief that people should be getting outside more,” added Poss. “All of the partners have different things that they enjoy about cycling and their own ideas about what cycling means to them and ours is literally about just getting outside.”
Helmets and other giveaways will be given on a first come, first served basis.
Follow the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (facebook.com/hnhealthunit/) and Pathways for People (facebook.com/NorfolkP4P/) on Facebook throughout the month of June for more bicycle-related information.