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Hang on to your helmets: Children learn safety tips at Kids Bike Rodeo

May 5, 2018 GMT

Wheels weaved in and out of miniature traffic cones as a dozen children rode their bicycles through the obstacle course set up at The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park in The Woodlands on Saturday for the Kids Bike Rodeo.

The event, hosted by Bike The Woodlands Coalition and co-sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, was designed to teach children bicycle safety and rules of the road.

Fernanda Suarez, with Bike The Woodlands Coalition, said teaching children about bicycle safety is important because there are hundreds who ride their bikes to and from school each day in The Woodlands.

“We limit (the rodeo) to 25 kids and this year we’re very lucky to have Texas Children’s helping us,” Suarez said.

During the event children learned about safety, rules of the road, how to avoid obstacles and other lessons, Suarez added.

Sanny Rivera, with Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, explained that helmet safety is the first thing children need to learn when taking up bike riding. Rivera conducted proper helmet fittings for each child at the event before allowing them to ride through the obstacle course.

“We’re helping with the bike rodeo specifically on how to fit helmets,” Rivera said. “You want to make sure that the helmets are brand new if possible. That they don’t have any dents in them. That they’re the correct size for the kiddos — that’s really important. I wouldn’t go by the ages listed on any of the packages that sell the helmets. Go by the circumference of the kid’s head. That’s what we did today. We measured them, made sure they were all prepared and safe before they even got on the obstacle course.”

In addition to helmet safety, the children learned how to use proper hand signals when coming to a stop or making a turn. They also participated in a snail race, where the last one to finish was the winner, in an effort to teach balance.

“(Bike The Woodlands Coalition officials) are doing a lot of bike safety tips on how to use their hand signals, make sure that they’re on the right side of the road, and how to slow down and stop when they need to as well as practicing some obstacles in case they’re not prepared and something out of the ordinary happens,” Rivera said.

Mother Christy Gryder brought her sons Drake, 4, and Luke, 3, to the rodeo in an effort to teach them about how to ride safely in their home neighborhood.

Gryder said she began teaching her sons how to ride a bicycle when they turned 1½ and said she has another child approaching that age who will soon learn to ride as well.

“I wanted them to learn about safety as they’re on the roads when we’re walking in the neighborhood — I’m walking and they’re riding their bikes — and proper helmet fitting, so they know the right hand signals, and just to be safe overall so they can have a fun experience,” Gryder said.