Bike rodeo helps kids learn cycling survival skills | NevadaAppeal.com

Bike rodeo helps kids learn cycling survival skills

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Julia Ruedy, 9, of Carson City, rides toward a sponge on a bike handling course during the Kids Bike Safety Rodeo and Bike Rally on Saturday.

Children aged 5-10 got some lessons in bicycling safety Saturday at the Capital City’s first-ever bike rodeo.

The event was sponsored by Muscle Powered, which advocates biking and walking instead of driving everywhere, the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety.

Anne Macquarie of Muscle Powered said the event also served to inaugurate the new bike and pedestrian path being built along the Highway 395 bypass.

Numerous officials including Mayor Marv Teixeira and Supervisor Robin Williamson came to watch the children go through their paces learning to ride properly.

“No, I didn’t bring my bicycle,” joked Teixeira. “But I’m going to ride it in the (Nevada Day) parade.”

Bill Story of NDOT said the rodeo portion of the event exposed the kids to six different safety checks and skills. First, their bikes got a safety check to make sure everything such as brakes work and seats and handle bars are tight. Then they got a proper helmet fitting.

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Then the young riders went through a course testing whether they could ride a straight line and get through an obstacle course of traffic cones. They also learned to look for cars over their shoulder without letting the bike swerve.

Finally, they had to show they knew how to stop the bike quickly if needed.

That done, everyone headed out on the new bike-pedestrian path along the freeway, riding about two miles from the Wal-Mart parking lot south to Northridge Drive and back.

Story said the path now runs from the old Sears store on north Carson to Northridge. He said eventually, the city and state will extend it all the way south to Lompa Field.

Macquarie said organizers hope to hold the event every year and convince more and more parents to bring their young cyclists for some safety and riding coaching.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.