ShareThis Page
Children receive free helmets, safety tips and prizes at annual Verona bike derby | TribLIVE.com
Penn Hills

Children receive free helmets, safety tips and prizes at annual Verona bike derby

Michael DiVittorio
1285919_web1_Verona-bike-derby--3-
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Gloria Lach of Verona helps her sons Landon Jenkins, 3, Max Jenkins, 7, and Mason Jenkins, 7, prepare to ride bikes at Verona’s bike derby.
1285919_web1_Verona-bike-derby--2-
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Lower Valley Ambulance paramedic Juanita Griffin adjusts the helmet of Ian Simmers, 10, of Verona at the borough’s annual bike derby.
1285919_web1_Verona-bike-derby--1-
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Verona youths Taylor Fest, left, Liam Swartzwelder, Dylan Bradley, Kaden Levy, Shane Laughlin and Jacston Duncan received new bikes at Verona’s annual bike derby. They were accompanied by Lower Valley Ambulance health and safety specialist Dan Copeland, EMS supervisor Jamey Lavelle, Verona police Sgt. Jerry Frankos and police Chief Ron McLemore.
1285919_web1_Verona-bike-derby--4-
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Derrick Lubomski, volunteer mechanic at Dirty Harry’s, inspects bicycles at Verona’s annual bike derby.

More than 100 children received new bicycle helmets courtesy of Riverview Athletic Association at the recent Verona Bike Derby. It was one of the largest crowds to participate in the Verona Police Department’s 20th annual event.

The 700 block of East Railroad Avenue was blocked off for several hours June 8 so folks didn’t have to worry about traffic.

Lower Valley Ambulance personnel were on hand to adjust the youths’ helmets so they were safe to ride. Allegheny Health Network’s LifeFlight had a medical helicopter in the area and let children climb inside. Additionally, Verona police, fire department and public works had their vehicles on site for children to explore.

A local State Farm agent provided reflective stickers for the bikes and helmets, and free food was provided by Verona Giant Eagle and Oakmont Bakery. Daily’s Juice Products provided drinks.

“We had more participation from the kids and LifeFlight and Lower Valley,”said police Sgt. Jerry Frankos, who has been at the helm of 19 of the events. “They were always here for us, but they really helped out this year. I’m happy we had good weather. It couldn’t have gone any better this year.”

Resident Gloria Lach brought her sons Landon Jenkins, 3, Max Jenkins, 7, Mason Jenkins, 7, and Thomas Jenkins, 14, to the derby.

“We love it over here,” Lach said. “A lot of families around here. Safety (is important). I love seeing all the kids playing around.”

Bike mechanics from Dirty Harry’s in Verona did free safety inspections at the derby. Technician Mark Rodman suggested parents check the brakes, make sure the bolts are tight and squeeze the tires before letting their children ride.

“Sometimes you’ll feel a tire and it will feel hard; that’s dry rot,” he said. “You start riding it and the tire will eventually crumble.”

Rodman said riders should have full range of motion when pushing the pedals and not have locked knees. He also recommended professional inspections twice a year for avid riders.

Mayor David Ricupero said the bike derby was started by June Stieck, the borough’s first female police officer.

“They had the same crowd, if not more,” he said. “It brings the kids out and families out. The post office has always been involved with us.”

Max said his favorite part of the day was the prizes. Last year, only two bikes were given away. This year, five bicycles were raffled off, along with other prizes.

“I like how they bring everybody in Verona together and make sure the kids are healthy riding their bikes,” Thomas said. “You’ve got to watch out for cars. Make sure you have our helmet on, make sure your brakes work before you start riding. We all ride our bikes.”

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Penn Hills
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.