PALMDALE – A 16-year-old boy who crashed his bicycle into a vehicle Tuesday afternoon was injured but expected to make a full recovery, authorities said.
The collision happened around 3 p.m. on Avenue R-8 and 45th Street East in Palmdale, according to Deputy J. Heald of the Palmdale Sheriff Station.
The vehicle, a Jeep Wrangler, was headed eastbound on Avenue R-8, while the teen was pedaling westbound on R-8, Heald said. The teen was attempting to turn onto 45th Street East when the collision occurred.
“The bicycle was making a left turn and turned in front of the vehicle,” Heald said, adding that the incident underscores the importance of youths wearing helmets and practicing bicycle safety.
“The safety issue is they’re buying fixie bicycles,” Heald said.
A “fixie” or fixed-gear bicycle has no freewheel mechanism. The pedals are always in motion when the bike is moving, so the rider can never stop pedaling and just coast.
“When you coast the pedals keep turning, so you’ve got to keep moving your feet or take your feet off the pedals,” Heald said.
“Fixie” bicycles are usually modified with no brakes, so stopping is very difficult.
“The only way you can brake is either drag your feet or try and peddle backwards, which is pretty hard,” Heald said. The Palmdale Sheriff Station is hoping to conduct outreach on bicycle safety at local schools, Heald said.
“We’ll have a deputy come out and talk to the kids about not taking their brakes off and wearing their helmets,” Heald said.
For a complete list of bicycle safety tips from the California Highway Patrol, visit http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/bicycleriding.html.