Around 50 young cyclists were in attendance at last Saturday’s bike rodeo, hosted by Prince Rupert RCMP auxiliary officers.
“Our focus today was safety and fun. [The kids were taught] to have fun on their bikes, while keeping it safe,” said Constable Keith Morris, who was one of the auxiliary officers that helped put on the event.
At the bicycle rodeo kids attending first had their bicycles and helmets checked over to ensure that they were safe. Most children brought bike helmets to the event, which pleased Morris. However a lot of these helmets did not fit the children properly.
“When I was growing up, you didn’t wear a helmet because that wasn’t cool,” said Morris.
“But nowadays, I think most parents and children know that they must be worn. [Kids not wearing helmets] isn’t as big of a problem as I thought it would be, so I’m happy to see that.”
Morris commented that a large part of the rodeo was to educate children on how to wear a helmet properly, mentioning that helmets should fit flat on the head, not tipped backwards or forwards. Before the safety strap around the chin is done up, the helmet should fit tight enough that if the rider shakes their head, it won’t fall off.
After children’s bikes and helmets were checked over, they were then directed to a number of stations teaching various safety items such as how to use hand signals, what to do at intersections, how to shoulder check, and other information items.
Then, once all the stations were complete, children were allowed to partake in an obstacle course that taught riders how to balance at slow speeds, but was mostly just for fun.
Auxiliary officers would like to host another bike rodeo next year, but are unsure at this time whether or not it would be possible, as volunteers put on the event.
“It was nice to see so many kids come out. That encourages me to do another bike rodeo in the future,” sai Morris.