Fitting a bike helmet is one of those things that we all feel we can do well enough. This however, is completely untrue. All day long one can see examples of poorly fitted helmets pedalling past. Most often it is perched too high, or is sitting too far back. At Bikefest Toronto this year, we were lucky enough to have a trained professional from the organization ThinkFirst, fit Zach with a new helmet.
Have you heard of the 2-4-1 rule? Here’s how it goes…
TWO – hold your first and second fingers together and place them just above your eyebrow. This is where your helmet should sit.
helmet fit - two
FOUR – make two V’s with your first and second fingers. Place the V’s starting under your ears, your fingers flat along either side. This is where the straps should sit. They should not run over your ears.
helmet fit - four
ONE – place one finger under the chin strap. Tighten the strap so that no more than that one finger can fit underneath.
helmet fit - one
Easy peasy, right? I think it goes without saying the size of the helmet itself should also fit. They can be purchased in different sizes and are somewhat adjustable with thicker or thinner padding. Some have a dial in the back that when turned adjusts an internal band. The helmet shouldn’t be able to rock back and forth and shouldn’t slide to the front or back. It can only save your noggin if you put it on, so WEAR IT. Go forth, ride on!
An exciting day for the Toronto cycling community is coming up tomorrow. It’s Bikefest, a family cycling festival being held in the Distillery District at Parliament and Mill St. Rain or shine, all festivities including clinics, free-rides and demos will run from 11am-5:30pm.
There are so many things happening tomorrow, I can’t possibly list them all. I would be remiss not to mention that proceeds from the event are being donated to the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation, and that our friends at Bicycle Commons along with Bike Sauce will be offering free basic bike repair and tune-ups. There will be free safety and helmet checks by Thinkfirst! and bike valet parking by Toronto Cyclists Union. Don’t miss the booths by local bicycle retailers and free bike demos.
Although registration for clinics has closed, any available spaces can be filled free of charge on site and there are plenty of free activities. There is so much to do, come on down and enjoy the day!
a few words of advice and a little push
literally the first independent pedal...and freedom
On a personal note, last years Bikefest was a special day for Zach. Lets just say that Zach was a “late-bloomer” when it came to cycling. I’m no master instructor, and I had been unable to shed light on how to conquer the much desired two-wheeler. Our collective efforts had produced nothing but a whole lot of frustration. My wrench had gotten quite a workout removing and reinstalling training wheels over the years. Luke got on a two-wheeler when he was barely three and never looked back. No instruction required. I was baffled. Fast forward to Bikefest 2010. We brought Zach’s bike and there was an instructor from a local bike training school. I promise, no word of a lie, he gave Zachy one piece of sage advice and wouldn’t you know it, Zach took off riding. He marched his bike straight over to one of the bike techs (thanks Shuaib) and had his training wheels removed for the last time. By the end of the day, he was riding the bmx ramps!
Bikefest is a welcoming, friendly place to learn new skills and meet like-minded people. For some though, it is so much more. For some it is a place where a new world of freedom, independence and pride opens its doors.