This morning, the NBC NYC Female Anchor stated at the end of her news reel some very important yet disturbing Words (that could prove to be instrumental in this case) and those were:
"No bus route. Somer had to walk to school."
As a person who has ridden a bike since age 6 (when I got my first Trike in Mendota, Illinois, a small farming community 100 miles southwest of Chicago), I cannot put a price on my WHEELS -- but I can honestly say NOW that if Somer Thompson had a Bike on that fate-ful day, she may be alive today.
Granted bus routes cannot criss-cross every home situated across America, but BIKES can, should and have...they have saved me valuable time, as well as probably 'outbiking' a Predator who did not have good intentions as to my health, wealth and safety.
This was the Thought that popped into my Mind when I heard this story unfold. IF ONLY Somer had a bike, this would NOT have happened to her...in all her Innocence and Child-like Beauty.
MY POA: PLAN OF ACTION:
What major Bike Manufacturers should now seriously consider is a Campaign called:
PUT KIDS ON BIKES
PUT KIDS ON WHEELS (C)2009
The Bikes do not need to be expensive. In larger Cities, Bike Theft Rings prevail - and have made Bike Robberies a major Endeavor of making extra money. What I'm talking about is expanding a Child's Horizon(s) by getting him or her their very own BIKE.
HOW EXCITING IS THAT!
They can travel to school quicker and easier as well as visit friends or go to community centers and/or grocery stores (even to the mall) -- all the while keeping the Environment GREEN and fume-free.
By being MOBILE, Young Children are less likely to be abducted by a Predator, Pedaphile and/or child molester who has a vehicle (car/van/jeep) and can sweep that 'Baby' away forever. Let's also not forget other harm that is on the street as pit bulls, that may attack if riled.
Not only is biking a means of getting to one's destination quicker, but I (for one) have taken 4 inches of baby fat from my hips by BIKING on a daily bases. Now, after 12 years of consistently riding every Day no matter what the weather happens to be doing, I say I'm both a Writer & a Rider and the 2 mix in refreshing ways.
Undoubtedly, there are areas and regions where Biking is not do-able in inclement Weather...but gosh, gee-whiz, once THE BIKE BUG has bitten you, you will find a way to bike 24/7 and year-round. It's a fun activity (a convenient compulsion) that keeps a person as free as the wind, while setting an Example for Fitness. And in extreme cases,
BIKING CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
from evil Elements - like the one that ended Somer's Life.
In a nutshell: It only takes common sense to KNOW that it is harder to stop a Child on a bike than to grab one (physically) off a street - which is the M.O. of child predators, when they see a kid on foot. Bikes even serves Adults well who are snatched and grabbed and never come back to their loved ones and family. Let's STOP once and for all any more Somer Thompsons from getting murdered.
A CONCERNED CITIZEN's PLEA: Hey, let's ban together and get this Bike Campaign going, America. It is an excellent Idea. If it saves one kid's life (as it has saved mine on many occasions), then it has worked.
I may be contacted at:
for more info - idea-tossing, etc. regarding:
PUT KIDS ON BIKES.
It's an Concept whose time is far overdue. Peddling your Way through a Safe Day is thematic in all of our Travel Bouts (through Life). I'm sure Somer would have liked it. In retrospect is OUT, Action is now demanded.
POSTED BY: ASK: Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith
Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 9:21 AM
A POSTSCRIPT follows that I penned a few moments ago that pertains to an OnLine Article from Orange Park, Florida, home of Somer Thompson.
This is the saddest, saddest of all stories. I am from Chicago where Brian Dugan (a reputed Child Molester) is on trial for killing several innocent children in the mid-80s. It's taken over 25 years until justice is being served. Coincidentally, both our City Dailies: The Tribune & Sun-Times have run the cover story in picture format of 1 of the gal's who was with 1 of Dugan's murdered victims -- now a woman of 32 who is still haunted by what had happened so many years ago when she was just 8.
Being 25 years older and born in 1952 (which was considered a simpler and safer time), I distinctively remember a lifetime of innocent children being abducted and killed.
FAST FORWARDING TO TODAY. On many occasions since I moved to Chicago in May of 1974, I have been able to 'get away' -- because I ride a bike. I know this sounds terrifically 'simplistic,' but there really must be a campaign for Kids to have access in order to gain the ability and mobility to JUST BIKE AWAY FROM TROUBLE.
As Somer did -- walking to school -- although it's great exercise, if given the opportunity to BIKE, this heinous crime may not have happened. A Bike provides a child (and older person, too, of course) with the agility to GET AWAY from any predator. I thought I'd advance this theory so this does not ever happen again.
Biking is not only effective for kids, but my bike has saved my life on a few occasions when gang-bangers were after me.
Please give it some thought when you plan for your and your child's day ahead.
Sincerely, ASK: Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith
Koopersmith's Global Comms.
"People read what ASK writes about..."
Chicago, IL USA
Posted: 10-22-9 - 2:26 PM CST