On October 20, Dave Janis and Katie Ferguson worked with the Liberty Ridge Elementary School in Bonney Lake to help run a bike rodeo for their Walk-Bike to School Day. Engaged parents volunteered, and additional help came from the Tacoma Wheelmen, the Bonney Lake Bicycle Shop, East Pierce Fire & Rescue. Cascade Bicycle Club generously let us borrow one of their excellent bike rodeo kits.
The kids started with a helmet check and a bike check, to make sure they were safe on the course.
|East Pierce Fire & Rescue’s Dina Sutherland checks helmets.
|Bonney Lake Bicycle Shop’s Jim Stevenson checks a bike.
|Parent Paul helps a participant adjust his seat.
Once checked, the kids went to Station 1, where they practiced starting and stopping. Just out of the picture, a parent helper held a stop sign.
|Tacoma Wheelmen president Tom Reardon directs rodeo participants.
Then on to Station 2, where participants practiced riding in a circle and looking over their shoulders — what we grownups call “scanning.”
|Volunteer Louie Boitano helps run Station 2.
At Station 3, the bicyclists learned how to dodge objects in the road with the guidance of volunteer Peggy Fjetland.
|Peggy and participant at Station 3.
Once they mastered dodging, the students learned how to steer by leaning. They practiced with the bike slalom.
|Volunteer Pam Knight directs a participant at the slalom.
Finally, the participants practiced leaving a driveway. Many car-bike collisions can be prevented by teaching kids to stop and look before leaving a driveway.
|Dave Janis monitors a student exiting the practice driveway.
In the final tally, over a dozen adult volunteers made it possible for 110 future bicyclists to dip their toes into the world of safe bicycling — and had fun doing it. Reaching young bicyclists with bike education is a cornerstone of improving bike-motorist interactions. Thank you to everybody who made the event possible.