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East County Wednesday, May 5, 2021 7 months ago

Safer rides in Lakewood Ranch

Village Idiots Cycling Club donates helmets to local schools.
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

Ten students at Robert E. Willis Elementary School will be riding their bikes more safely to school with the new helmets they were given from the Village Idiots Cycling Club.

The Village Idiots Cycling Club partnered with the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club to provide 100 bike helmets to students in East County schools. 

“We try to give back to the community and try to focus on cycling-related areas like safety with traffic intersections and interaction with motorists because we’re not always popular with motorists,” said Tom Williams, the Village Idiots Cycling Club outreach director. “This was an opportunity to reach out to the community in a cycling-related way.”

Williams is reaching out to schools in the area to see if there’s a need for bike helmets for students.

Under Florida law, bicycle riders who are under 16 years old are required to wear a bicycle helmet properly fitted and fastened securely on the rider’s head by a strap.

Williams said that ensuring children wear helmets when they’re young will help establish safety patterns when biking as adults.

“A lot of adults right now ride around their neighborhoods and so forth without helmets because they did when they were little,” Williams said. “Sooner or later, one of them is going to have an accident. We just want them to ride safely.”

Dawn Zielinski, the president of Village Idiots Cycling Club, said it’s not only important for children to wear a helmet, but the helmet also must be strapped on securely.

“It does no good to your head to have a helmet on that is not strapped to your chin because as soon as you fall, it’s going to come off,” Zielinski said.

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