Shaler Bike Rodeo to teach children bicycle safety
Children may wrangle their bikes through an obstacle course at the 12th annual Bike Rodeo at Glenshaw’s Kiwanis Park.
“Our skills course is based off a challenge course from the Cub Scouts,” said Shaler police Officer Dennis Gapsky III. “It contains eight different stations, which are designed to help the rider learn the skills needed to control their bicycle. The stations vary from starting and stopping the bicycle, balance and steering control and speed and braking.”
The free educational event will occur, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 18.
The Etna, Shaler and Millvale police departments are sponsoring the rodeo, along with assistance from Shaler-Hampton EMS, Walk Bike Shaler and Scholl’s Bicycle Center of West View.
“We want the families and young riders who participate in this event to learn about bicycle safety,” Gapsky said. “Bicycle safety is paramount with our young riders. Bicycle safety means wearing your helmet, riding responsibly and riding a bicycle that has been thoroughly inspected by a trained professional.”
Scholl’s Bicycle Center mechanics will inspect riders’ bikes to ensure safety. Organizers will provide helmets. Eric Schmidt, Shaler-Hampton EMS executive director, said that helmets need to fit properly to prove the most effective. His employees will offer free fittings.
New this year, Shaler officers certified through the National Child Passenger Safety Certification program will provide free checks to verify the proper installation of child safety and booster seats.
Schmidt said that he and the rest of the Shaler-Hampton EMS crew are excited to participate in the event because they witness firsthand the difference bicycle education makes.
Donations from community members, elected officials and businesses will fund a raffle of 20 to 25 children’s bicycles, Gapsky said. No purchase is necessary to enter the contest.
More than 125 children saddled up for last year’s rodeo, according to Gapsky.
Online registration is requested at: shaler.org/FormCenter/Police-Department-5/Bike-Rodeo-2019-123.