Bike Rodeo Teaches Children Safety

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ATHENS (WOUB) — The 16th annual community Bike Rodeo offered helmets and safety lessons to children and families at the OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital parking lot Saturday morning.

Athens children and families learned about traffic signals and basic safety education, such as hand signals and to look both ways when crossing a street, from volunteers. The American Academy of Pediatrics provided about 150 free helmets and fittings for the event.

Peter Kotses, owner of Athens Bicycle and volunteer for the Bike Rodeo, said usually about 50 children come to the rodeo, but the rest of the helmets are given to the Athens and nearby communities.

Kotses said the event was created by Dr. Jay Shubrook, a local family doctor, in the late ‘90s.

“It’s a great reinforcement that we’re doing something,” Kotses said. “We’re getting helmets on kids and getting them out there with maybe a few more safety skills but even if they do have a mishap we feel like we’re saving lives.”

Free inspections and adjustments for bicycles were also available at activity tables. Kids practiced their new skills as they raced through the safety town track and played bike safety games.

The Bike Rodeo is an opportunity for children to learn valuable lessons to prevent biking accidents. Helmets can reduce the risk of  brain trauma by 80 percent, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.

Teresa Mowen, an O’Bleness nurse, said with summer approaching, it’s important for kids to learn helmet safety.

“Working in the ER , we do see a lot of injuries related to bikes. So it’s important that they learn all about the safety, and how to cross the streets and what to do and wear their helmets,” Mowen said.

Sponsors for the Bike Rodeo included OhioHealth, Team Athens, the Athens Bike Club, Ohio University Pediatrics and volunteers from Little Fish Brewing Co.