Bike rodeo teaches safety to children

RIVERSIDE? On Sunday, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. a large group of children, accompanied by parents, friends and grandparents attended a bike safety rodeo outside at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort events area.

The City of Riverside provided a grant for 100 helmets of varying sizes, and the Washington County Sheriff?s Department was on hand to fit each attendee with a free new helmet. Riverside Area Community Club (RACC) provided support for light refreshments and event space at the Casino. World of Bikes offered free bike check ups and tuned bikes for safety, including checking for loose chains, pedals, improperly inflated tires, and that brakes were working adequately. Iowa Safe Routes to School established a bike safety course. Children were taught about left-turn and right-turn hand signals, and how to navigate zig zag areas and stop signs safely.

?The children who attended and their parents were very grateful for the helmets and bike check ups, and many of the kids went through the safety course several times,? Maria Meller, Highland Elementary ESO President said. Meller?s daughter, Amelia Meller, age 4, said after completing the safety course on her Disney Princess themed bicycle, ?This is very fun!?

As an added educational experience, the Riverside Fire Department gave tours of an ambulance and a fire truck so attendees could learn about how first responders provide safety up close. Meller organized the event due to a need in the community after a few recent bicycle accidents.

?Many other communities offer bike safety courses, and so I decided to organize one locally after a young man was hit by a truck on his bicycle - and it happened right outside my front door.?

The bike rodeo drew in over 60 attendees and promoted education and safety to children ranging in ages between 2 and 12.