The Verona Police Department’s bike derby is about to hit a milestone.
Saturday marks the 20th annual installment of the community event, designed to teach youths about bicycle safety. It is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. along the 700 block of East Railroad Avenue.
It will be the 19th year coordinated by Sgt. Jerry Frankos, who started working for the borough police force in 2000 as a bike patrolman.
“It’s a good event for the kids and the police department,” he said. “It’s a good safety thing. You hear about kids getting hurt on bikes without helmets and getting into accidents with cars. It gets the point across about bike safety, especially the obstacle course and the helmets. We’d love to see the kids all be safe.”
Bike mechanics from Dirty Harry’s in Verona will do free safety inspections on all bikes. There will be free food provided by Verona Giant Eagle and Oakmont Bakery. Daily’s Juice Products will provide drinks.
Lower Valley Ambulance Service personnel and Verona firefighters will be on-hand to offer safety tips and show off their vehicles. Allegheny Health Network’s LifeFlight will have a medical helicopter in the area, weather permitting.
About 80 youths participated in the derby last year. Frankos said he expects more than that this weekend.
“We try and give the kids a lot to do,” he said.
Other activities include bike raffles, prizes for participants, free helmets for children, balloon animals and a deejay.
Call the Verona police station at 412-828-6034 for more information.