Kids can build safe biking skills at upcoming rodeo

Group ride with police is a highlight

May 29, 2012

Oak Creek - The Police Department will host its annual Community Bike Rodeo from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the American Legion Post, 9327 S. Shepard Ave.

In order to participate, children must bring a two-wheel bicycle, a helmet and a sign-up sheet filled out by their parent or guardian. The event is free and open to kids in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Kim Bogadi, a crime prevention specialist with the Oak Creek Police Department, will be teaching the children along with four bike patrol officers and other volunteers.

"The purpose of the bike rodeo is to help children improve their bike riding skills to lessen the chances of crashes or accidents," Bogadi said.

The bike rodeo will consist of numerous skills courses that the bike patrol officers will teach to the students. These skills include starting and stopping, riding in a 3-foot lane, controlling the bicycle, doing a figure eight without looking down, entering a roadway properly, making one-handed traffic signals and turning left into a traffic lane.

If a child is able to complete all of the skills courses, their name will be entered into a drawing to win a bicycle. Other giveaways include flashers, reflectors and a limited quantity of helmets from Habush Habush and Rottier. Personnel from South Shore Cyclery will be there to inspect bicycles.

At 2 p.m., the children will have the opportunity to go on a group ride with the bike patrol officers.

"The ride with the bike patrol officers is great, because it leads to good interactions between the children and police," Bogadi said. "They love working with the children."

Parents and guardians are encouraged to stay and watch their children partake in the Community Bike Rodeo.

"The skills we teach are only a precursor to the reinforcements the parents give," Bogadi said. "The only way a child can stay safe is by having mom and dad emphasize the good bicycle skill practices we teach them at the Bike Rodeo."

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