Volunteer on the road: Safe to school thanks to Kuraray employee
Frank Bader in action at Heinrich-Böll-Schule
The fifth graders at the Heinrich Böll School, Hattersheim, like to use their "outdoors day" to familiarize themselves with riding and maintaining their bicycles, for example in the form of a bicycle rally on the school grounds. Parental help is always welcome, and so Frank Bader, OBS, at that time the father of a fifth-grader, did not hesitate for long: "Since I like to work with children and secondly I like to work on bicycles, I suggested that I take over a post with my tools to check the children's bicycles, i.e. drive, brakes, etc.". In four hours I had checked and repaired about 100 bikes, whatever was manageable in that amount of time."
This gave rise to the idea of setting up a kind of "bicycle club" in the afternoons as part of the school's all-day programme. After a delay due to the pandemic, our colleague started again last week and showed the students in the first of three workshops what makes a bicycle roadworthy and what repairs they can do themselves: e.g. change the inner tube, adjust the gears or brakes, maintain the chain.
An alarming picture came to light: "The brakes were not in order on many of the bicycles, and most of the chains were rusty and not lubricated. A flat tyre is the least of it. If you can pull the brake lever all the way to the handlebars without the brake engaging, that's definitely not OK!" concludes Frank Bader. "With our safety program Kurasafe in mind, I can't understand it when some parents seem not to care that their children get to school safely. Safety always comes first, on the way to school as well as during work!"
On a positive note, our colleague observed that at least many pupils use bikes to get to school, and "walk-ins" also came by and asked him about various cycling issues. "My special thanks go to the KEG, who kindly agreed to finance various materials for the workshop!"