City course teaches youth bike safetyChildren took to an ice rink Friday, but they weren’t so much interested in figure skating as they were in figure eights. The 100 or so bike riders slalomed through an obstacle course of construction cones and caution tape on a cement-topped ice rink, avoiding hazards like rail road tracks, speed bumps and debris in the road.
Children took to an ice rink Friday, but they weren’t so much interested in figure skating as they were in figure eights.
The 100 or so bike riders slalomed through an obstacle course of construction cones and caution tape on a cement-topped ice rink, avoiding hazards like rail road tracks, speed bumps and debris in the road.
The group practiced bike safety Friday as part of the annual Bike Rodeo event at Wilson Arena. Members of the Jamestown Police Department and Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department help organize the day, which gives families an opportunity to purchase bike licenses, inspect the bikes’ tires and handle bars and get fitted for a complimentary bike helmet. Jamestown has held the event for about eight years.
Children then rode their bikes on the rink, so as to get a feel for safety regulations in real life.
“It’s just like somebody driving a car,” said Doug Hogan, director of Jamestown Parks and Recreation. “You need to know the rules of the road.”
Rules of the road include watching for people or moving vehicles as well as following road signs.
The trickiest part of the obstacle course for some children, however, wasn’t the stop signs or the brick maze — it was the tight turns, agreed McKenzie Striefel, Chloe Crabtree, both 11, and Jameson Holgerson, 9.
“’Cause you’ll get speed and then you’ll about biff it on the turn,” Chloe said of the courses’ curves.
And because biffing it isn’t uncommon, Sgt. Tom Nagel of the Jamestown Police Department said wearing a helmet is one of the most important pieces of advice for children riding bikes. The Optimist Club provided free helmets to children participating in the Bike Rodeo program.
“I think people underestimate the injuries that can happen,” said Lt. John Gletne of the Jamestown Police Department.
Helmets prevent brain injury, said Wendy Klett, nurse for Central Valley Health. Klett helped fit helmets to heads at Friday’s event. The helmet should fit snug, but be comfortable, she said. It shouldn’t wobble. Fasten chin straps tightly, but allow for at least one finger’s worth of room.
About 1,000 bike fatalities were reported nationwide last year, Klett said.
The city expects to hold the Bike Rodeo again next summer.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454
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