It was headline news - the leading local story, as it always is. The perp was in a white pickup truck, had graying hair and mustache, and was wearing a red shirt. Apparently he told some kids he had candy, if they'd get in the truck.
So... what does this have to do with bicycles?
Even though your kid is more likely to get struck by lightning or eaten by a shark, than to be abducted by a stranger, parents (particularly moms) are justifiably worried about their children getting snatched off the street. So - NO RIDING TO SCHOOL!
When my kids were in elementary school, I always lost the argument to the pervert. Their mother had already made up her mind, particularly with the daughters. There would be NO riding to school, even though school is 3/4 mile away on quiet streets, and people we know living all along the way. End of discussion.
When was the last time a kid fell for the "candy" lure... or "help me find my lost kitty cat"? Has that ever happened? Is there a kid alive who hasn't been warned?
Way back in the 60s, it was already a matter of discussion. Before he was a movie star, Woody Allen was a stand-up comic. He frequently dwelled on his troubled childhood, including how his parents instructed him, "If a stranger ever drives up in a black car, and offers you candy to go with him... GO!!"
NOT FUNNY, WOODY! (-;
Wow, I never would have guessed that there would be a use for the "Aqualung" album cover in a biking blog, but I would've been wrong.
On an unrelated (to perverts) note, I woke up WAY late this morning -- and I panicked, I guess, because I convinced myself that DRIVING would help me recoup some of that lost time. It didn't, and now I'm miserable that I won't be riding home. Sheesh. Stupid Mondays.
Any time you hear a story like this, it seems like it's almost always a white pickup truck. It's weird.
I've been thinking about this very issue a little bit recently, how fewer and fewer kids walk or ride their bike to school. I rode my bike to school sometimes as a kid, and I always loved it when I could do that.
I keep thinking about people who buy a hybrid car, only to drive their kids 6 blocks to school instead of having them walk or bike. It may be more efficient than a normal car, but the point of it seems a bit lost.
Woody Allen is hilarious!
I rode or walked most days going to elementary and junior high in Ontario,OR. We did ride the bus when weather was cold or snowy, until we got kicked off the bus for hookie-bobbing. My parents lets us ride our bikes anywhere in town.
My boys will probably have a rule that they have to stay in the North End and not to cross State Street.
Grrr, this ridiculous and unwarranted (and certainly not justifiable, by the way) fear is out of hand and one of my pet peeves. My latest commentary on the topic here. Yes, I have two small children, a son and a daughter. While everybody else dies of diabetes and other obesity related diseases my kids will be running what's left of the world.
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