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October 1997

Bicycle-Riding Circumstances and Injuries in School-age Children

Author Affiliations

Gundersen-Lutheran Medical Center 1836 South Ave La Crosse, WI 54601

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(10):1067. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170470101029

I read with interest the article by Senturia et al.1 One of the risk factors identified was slow riding. The authors believed that this relationship was counterintuitive. They mention that slow riding may be associated with more inexperienced riders, which may be true, although one might predict an inverse relationship with the age of the rider. However, the results may be owing to simple physics in which the stability of the bicycle is directly related to the rotational velocity of the wheels. A bicycle can be thought of as a vehicle with 2 gyroscopes that provide stability. It is axiomatic that the faster a gyroscope spins, the more resistant it is to external forces that attempt to disturb its orientation. One need only observe the tremendous amount of control needed to keep a bicycle upright when at a stop sign to appreciate this fact. Therefore, the finding that slow