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Natividad Medical Center employees to youth: “Bike! It’s health-building and fun! And first, clip this on…”

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Good news abounds…

And thanks to Rachel Zentz of the Californian, that news gets around every week in “Winning Ways.” Like this news, about how Natividad Medical Center employees boost local youth.Natividad Medical Center employees July 2015Among Bicycling Monterey’s projects is outreach to share bike law and safety info. Besides via the web, this is done in-person on a regular basis, one-to-one, with people on the bikeways all over Monterey County. Bicycling Monterey outreach also happens at a variety of special activities and events, ranging from the South County Health and Safety Fair to the Monterey County Youth Center bike class to campus information fairs.

Enter some bike-savvy health care professionals!

Natividad Medical Center‘s trauma staff knows about that outreach. They also know that from the time Bicycling Monterey was founded in May 2009 to the present date, Mari does the work of the Bicycling Monterey website and projects entirely as a volunteer. They wanted to help.

So did other Natividad Medical Center employees. And together, they collected 32 new bicycle helmets for Monterey County youth, contributing them for Bicycling Monterey’s outreach.

This is an example of Natividad’s community health outreach and bike crash and injury prevention efforts. Special thanks to Kristen Spencer, RN II of Natividad’s Trauma Prevention and Outreach, for facilitating the helmet collection.

Why biking?

When Dr. Hugh Stallworth retired from the Monterey County Health Department in June 2012, after a 42-year career in the field, he told the Monterey County Weekly’s Sara Rubin that the most challenging public health issue here is one shared by the nation:  childhood obesity.   He warned that changing this is going “to have to be an entire community effort. If we don’t solve that one, the prediction is this is the first generation where parents might outlive their kids.”

Natividad employees know that improved physical fitness is among the many and diverse benefits of biking. They love seeing kids on bikes!

Why helmets?

California law—DMV VC Section 21212—states that minors are required to wear helmets when biking (and also when skateboarding, skating, or on a nonmotorized scooter).

California law does not require that adults wear a helmet. Nonetheless, you’ll usually see Mari and the majority of other local bike community leaders wearing a helmet when they bike. Why? Most believe it reduces risk of injury. Many also wear helmets in solidarity with minors.

Youth receiving helmets from Bicycling Monterey are also provided with instructions, in Spanish or English, on how to properly fit the helmet. (Bicycle Helmet Fit Guides are also included on the Bicycling Monterey website, in English and Spanish. Refer to Bicycle Riding Skills, Bike Safety, and CA Bicycle Laws—for Children, Teens, and Adults, and for Spanish, Información en español sobre las bicicletas: A compilation of bicycling resources in Spanish.)

What might Kyle say?

With sadness, we remember 17-year-old Kyle Beardshear of Salinas. If he could, Kyle would surely say things like: “Don’t worry if your friends say helmets are for nerds. Don’t leave your helmet off because it’s hot out. Don’t leave it off because you’re only riding a short distance. Don’t worry about it messing up your hair before you meet someone you wanna impress. Forget all the excuses.

“Just make your loved ones happy. Put the darned thing on your head!”

Kyle biked regularly, and he usually wore a helmet. He had fastened his helmet to his handlebars when pedaling off from a youth group meeting on the tragic day that he hit a parked car, resulting in his death.

See “Bicycle Culture and Youth” for related info.

The absence of

Kyle Beardshear

continues to be sorely felt on the bikeways and beyond

Kyle Beardshears - News5_t440x600

Photo credits: Top photo, Natividad Medical Center. Bottom photo, the family of Kyle Beardshear.

What did Nic and Thomas say?

Monterey County Weekly’s staff photographer Nic Coury, AKA @photographnic, was in “a really bad road bicycle crash,” after which he was unconscious about 20 minutes, and that night had five screws put into his fractured femur. You can read Nic’s story, “Musings on Recovering from Major Injury,” on The Photo Brigade website. As he explains there, his helmet probably saved his life, or at least saved him from a much worse fate. In his Photo Brigade story, you can see a photo of Nic’s helmet post-crash.

On March 25, 2016, Thomas Toloy of Humble Beginnings posted his video “Update from the Hospital” on Youtube, in which he said, “I always wear a helmet except for today,” and “wear a helmet, kids.” (As for the driver, who he indicates in the video he’d made eye contact with, he had this to say: “Really? You didn’t see me?”) Learn a little about his collision in a Monterey County Weekly story by Ana Ceballos:

Do you find the Bicycling Monterey work of value?

Support the Bicycling Monterey site and projects!

This post was published on 9 July 2015. One or more changes last made to this post on 23 May 2019.

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