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Bike Rodeo

Bicycle Rodeo Bicycle Rodeo

In the springtime, as it warms up, we see more children on bicycles on our city streets. In many communities, concerned agencies ban together to hold one day of training for young bicycle riders in the hope of preventing accidents. This is where a Bicycle Rodeo comes into play. 

 

It has been several years since we hosted a Bike Safety Rodeo. In many cases, these events are the only opportunities to educate parents and children about the safety aspects of riding a bicycle on streets and roads. Our goal is to empower young children on bikes with a minimal set of skills for on-road riding. To teach them a small subset of the rules of the road to keep them safe. 

 

A Bike Rodeo is a bicycle safety clinic featuring bike safety inspections (quick tune-ups) and a safety lecture about the rules of the road. 

 

We will be giving away free helmets to those children who bring their bicycles with a free fitting for those helmets. There will be other free giveaways as well. To participate in this event, you must bring your bicycle and wear a helmet. 

 

Riders will be able to participate in an obstacle course set up by our officers. Young cyclists will be allowed to show off what they learned during the short rules of the road lecture they participated in prior. 

 

We will be raffling off a bicycle or two for those present at the event. There will be other activities for the children to participate in. 

 

The main focus of this bike rodeo is Bicycle Safety for our young cyclists, ages kindergarten to 17 or so. This event will be held on Sunday, May 29, 2022, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Henry Acuna Park, where we will set up an obstacle course with simulated lanes, intersections, crosswalks, and stop signs. The participants will be escorted through the course by our police officers, who point out hazards and safety tips and explain how to apply the rules of the road mentioned in the lecture.

 

The term "Bike Rodeo" has a long history, and it is attractive to the age group to which it is targeted. You would be hard-pressed to get many kids to attend a safety lecture if that was all there was to it. Having the chalk obstacle course adds a lot of fun for the kids and condenses a lot of training situations into a tiny place where even the youngest cyclists can be given some safety training. "Rodeo" is a lot more attractive than "clinic" or "lecture" or "seminar" to the age group in question.

Most kids are through the entire process in 45 minutes to an hour. They will be told, then shown, and then allowed to demonstrate the necessary items of practical cycling pertinent to their age group. This is not meant to be an Effective Cycling course. They will learn about blind corners, stopping at stop signs, staying off sidewalks, yielding to pedestrians, and avoiding the door zone, intersections, crosswalks, and driveways.

 

The repetitive nature of the course lecture followed by "doing" and some take-home material has proven to be an excellent teaching method in other fields. The students will not be practicing in rush hour traffic or making left turns from a multi-lane arterial. They will not learn the proper lane positioning (keeping to the edge of the road is almost always the message), lane changes, or instant turn techniques. Nor will they be learning much about traffic flow, how it affects them, and how to interact with motor vehicles. We will not cover these skills because of the artificial nature of bike rodeos on chalk streets and the short period allowed. Only the basics of signs, signals, stops, and some instruction on defensive cycling will be addressed. We believe that this little training is better than nothing and will help young riders be safe when riding their bikes. 

 

We are trying to reach those bike riders who are just beginning to use bikes to ride around the neighborhood in quiet residential areas up through the early teenage years, where the bicycle serves as their primary means of transportation around town.

 

Every child must bring their parent or guardian to participate. Each participant will be signed up at the registration table with their parent or guardian. The registration form will also bear the liability waiver that a parent or guardian must sign and the bike inspection checklist. Registration, permission slips, and waivers must be completed and signed by parents first in order for their child to participate. Printed material for the parents concerning bike safety issues will be available at the registration station. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to each station. 

 

After registration, the kids wheel their bikes to the inspection stations. These will be staffed by knowledgeable cyclists or mechanics from Martin's Bikes. 

 

Inspections occur right after registration. Depending on the staffing available and the number of kids attending, we may choose to do quick tune-up tasks at these stations. Usually, the only adjustment we will have time to do is adjust seat height. However, if we have enough mechanics, we will set up a couple of bike repair stands out of the traffic flow and triage the bikes through the inspection station. By "Triage," I mean that the inspection stations identify cycles that:

  1. Have no significant problems and can proceed
  2. Have severe issues that can't be corrected here – and may not be allowed on the obstacle course.  
  3. Have easily repairable issues that fit within what you are prepared to handle at the Rodeo. 

At the Rules of the Road station, our objective is to get the basic rules covered. The age group usually in attendance is already starting to ride around the neighborhood. The Rules station will explain very simple rules that kids of any age can learn:

  • Stop at Signals and Stop signs
  • Stop, or slow to a crawl before entering any roadway or at blind intersections
  • Slow vehicles keep right
  • Ride with traffic, not against it
  • Signal your turns (have them practice)
  • Ride predictably, with no swerving or curb jumping
  • Stay off the sidewalks – adjusted for local laws, etc.
  • Most importantly – Pay attention!

Wearing a helmet is a safety measure and required to participate. Wearing a helmet will not protect your child from every injury on a bicycle. A helmet will help those children who fall off their bike occasionally (ok, somewhat more than occasionally) and could probably benefit from a helmet even if they have mastered the rules of the road. Helmet fitting is essential, as most kids don't wear them correctly. Kids tend to wear the helmet slid way back on the head rather than on top.

 

Kids love the obstacle course. They will often ask to go through twice as our Bicycle Patrol Officers escort riders through the course. Our officers will sign off the registration tag attached to the bike once they complete the course. We hope that you will bring your children out to this event for some entertainment and education.

We are fortunate enough to have Martin's Bikes from East LA helping us out with this Rodeo. Martin and his staff will be conducting the bike inspections and any minor bike repairs needed.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Sergeant Fernando Valle at 323-887-1341 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

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MONTEBELLO POLICE DEPARTMENT

1600 W. Beverly Blvd.
Montebello, CA 90640
(323) 887-1313