bike rodeo

Annual bike rodeo still busy, despite wet conditions

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Even though there was rain and damp conditions last Sunday, the annual bike rodeo still proved to be popular.

The annual event was presented at Families First Funeral Home and saw cyclists dodge the rain drops as well as the objects in the obstacle course. The event was presented with many partners, including the Amherstburg Police Service, the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee, Families First, Bike Windsor-Essex, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, the Optimist Club, the Rotary Club, Little Buddies Daycare, Bright Child Montessori, Meloche’s No Frills and Lakeside Produce.

Brett Severin assists Ryan Sprague through the obstacle course at Sunday’s bike rodeo

Const. Steve Owen, the community services officer with Amherstburg police, said they had 76 pre-register and were hoping to match the 130 children that came out last year. Just shy of 100 were reported to have come out for the 2018 event.

Bike helmets were given to people who didn’t have one, lights and bells were handed out, bicycles were checked then ridden through an obstacle course and BMX rider Eric Favot also was on hand for safety talks and demonstrations of what he can do.

“It’s to promote bike safety,” said Owen. “The last thing we want to do is see kids get hurt on their bikes when they are trying to have fun.”

Not only was the bike rodeo a way to learn, but they tried to ensure children and parents had a good time too, Owen added.

Heather Lenson from the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee (dark shirt) stands with Emma, Morgan and Joshua Hadfield during the June 10 bike rodeo at Families First Funeral Home.

The Amherstburg Fire Department brought their ladder truck to the event and there was face painting and inflatable rides on hand as well. There were also handouts given to people with bicycle safety tips.

“The last few years, it has grown quite a bit,” Owen said of the bike rodeo.

“I think it’s great,” added Heather Digou, who was with her son Ryan Sprague at the event. “It shows them bicycle safety. They are giving kids all kinds of entertainment. I think it’s awesome.”

BMX rider Eric Favot performs a trick during the bicycle rodeo June 10.

“Families First is proud to work with our partners in community to bring the annual bike rodeo to Amherstburg. It is a great way to have fun and a hands-on approach that teaches children the rules of the road to stay safe on their bikes,” says Brian Parent, president of Families First. “Cycling is a great way for kids to get to school, around town and stay active. Cyclists of all ages will have the opportunity to learn how to be safer by being visible to drivers.”

Town receives $7,500 grant to improve bike safety

 

 

Bike safety in Amherstburg has received a shot in the arm thanks to a grant from a provincial program.

The town has will receive $7,500 through the Safe Cycling Education Fund to support cycling safety.

The Amherstburg Police Service and the town’s recreation services department have teamed up to teach young residents the importance of safety while on their bikes.

The grant is expected to enhance police service’s bike rodeo, scheduled for June 10, 2018, with free safety equipment for participants.

The town’s recreation services will use this grant funding to train their bike camp instructors in Cycling Canada’s nationally standardized skills course, CAN-BIKE. With assistance from Bike

Windsor Essex, instructors will be certified to teach the “Ride With Confidence” classes, which will become the heart of the department’s bike camp program.

Paige Amicone navigates through the obstacle course, learning about bike safety at the annual Bike Rodeo. The 2018 event will be aided by a $7,500 grant from the Safe Cycling Education Fund.

“I am very pleased Amherstburg is receiving this funding,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo in a press release sent out by the town last Friday evening. “Using these monies to shape the cycling of our youth through both our annual bike rodeo and bike camp, promotes safety first, something that is paramount in our community.”

Const. Steve Owen, the community services officer with Amherstburg police, indicated there are multiple benefits to the bicycle rodeo.

“The annual bike rodeo allows children to learn bike safety while interacting with our police officers in a fun atmosphere,” Owen stated. “Children learn how to properly use safety equipment, and how to follow the rules of the road.”

Owen noted that children will have a chance to demonstrate their skills by navigating an obstacle course and finishing with a ride with police officers as part of the June 10 event.

The Safe Cycling Education Fund will provide over $400,000 to support 62 communities throughout Ontario to deliver safe cycling education initiatives. These initiatives range from the development of safe cycling public education materials to the delivery of safe cycling or road safety training programs, supporting the implementation of #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy.

For further information on the bike rodeo, contact the Amherstburg Police Service at 519-736-8559. Those seeking further information on the bike camp can contact the Libro Centre at 519-736-5712.

Police, local service clubs promote safety at bike rodeo

 

By Jolene Perron

 

New sponsor and partner, Families First, hosted Amherstburg’s annual Bike Rodeo at their location Sunday where an estimated 300 – 400 people came out to learn about bike safety.

“We put this event on every year with some of our co-sponsors,” said Shawn McCurdy, senior constable and media relations officer for Amherstburg Police Services. “This year we got Families First involved, they’ve really jumped on board with us and made this event turn into something bigger than what it normally is and we’re really happy for that.”

Paige Amicone navigates through the obstacle course, learning about bike safety at the annual Bike Rodeo at Families First Sunday.

Paige Amicone navigates through the obstacle course, learning about bike safety at the annual Bike Rodeo at Families First Sunday.

McCurdy explained the community event is centered around bike safety and learning the rules of the road. Kids are able to interact with police officers, which McCurdy said is very important. The goal is to ensure children feel as though they can approach police officers and feel comfortable talking with them.

Vice President of family services Jennifer Wells said when they partnered with Amherstburg Police Services, they explained the event needed a home, which Families First was excited to provide. They also donated six bikes to be raffled off.

“The event is an awesome event because it’s a community partnership,” said Wells. “We’re new to Amherstburg and we’re so blessed to be a part of this community and to be a part of an event where everybody comes out. There is support from most of the organizations in Amherstburg and we’re so lucky to be a part of that. We have done bike safety in the past for other parts of our community and when we knew that this great event was already happening we thought how can we help out, how can we get involved?”

Wells explained prior to the event, they invited people to pre-register their children so they could determine how many helmets and things they needed. They had more than 100 children pre-register, and more than 50 additional children at the event register.

Ty Crawford shows off his new bike with his sister Rayah and mother Stephanie at the annual Bike Rodeo at Families First Sunday.

Ty Crawford shows off his new bike with his sister Rayah and mother Stephanie at the annual Bike Rodeo at Families First Sunday.

Mother of three and Amherstburg local, Tammy Danelon said when she put her daughter on a bike, she was weaving around obstacles and wasn’t certain of the rules of the road which is why they decided to attend the event. Her son also won one of the bikes.

“This is so important because you want them to be fit, but they need to be safe,” said Danelon. “We taught them how to ride their bikes last year and we wanted them to learn the safe way, because they want to ride around the town so we thought this would be great with the police officers showing them the proper way to be safe.”
Amherstburg Police Services would like to thank all of their sponsors who helped put on another successful event, and they look forward to continuing with the event next year.

“It’s so awesome to be part of an event that celebrates being in Amherstburg, summer, fun and safety because these little kids need to know how to be safe out there,” said Wells. “To be a part of something that promotes a safe environment is awesome.”

Bike rodeo teaches young riders the rules of the road

by Jonathan Martin

Amherstburg police, Rotary Club members and Optimist Club volunteers turned their collars against Saturday’s unseasonably cool mist while teaching children about bike safety.

Amherstburg’s bike rodeo, which was created by the Optimist Club in the mid-’90s, is hosted annually. For the past few years, it has been held at Centennial Park’s running track.

Two-year-old Teddy Jacob rides his tricycle on Centennial Park's track at the 2016 Amherstburg Bike Rodeo May 14. Amherstburg police, Rotarians and members of the Optimist Club spent the day teaching children how to stay safe while they ride. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

Two-year-old Teddy Jacob rides his tricycle on Centennial Park’s track at the 2016 Amherstburg Bike Rodeo May 14. Amherstburg police, Rotarians and members of the Optimist Club spent the day teaching children how to stay safe while they ride.
(Photo by Jonathan Martin)

This year, volunteers handed out safety equipment like helmets and reflectors, taught children the rules of the road and presented blue ribbons to those who completed an obstacle course.

Brandon Renaud has been a involved with the Optimist Club for around 15 years and served as club president for the past five. He said the rodeo was shut down for a few years in the early 2000s because membership was down and gathering enough volunteers to run it was difficult.

Now that the rodeo is back up and running, Renaud said he’s reminded of why it was started in the first place.

“We’ve got to make sure all these kids know what they’re doing,” he said. “That way, if they’re out in traffic they know all the proper signals, what side of the road to be on, make sure their bikes are all lit up so cars can see them and know what to do so there are no incidents.”

The rules of the road were taught to young cyclists by local police. As the children rolled across the track, men and women in uniform showed them how to signal, how to check their surroundings and then congratulated them when they succeeded.

Amherstburg police Const. Steven Owen, liaison to the Amherstburg Community Based Policing Committee, said congratulations are in order for the program’s success.

“We want to be sure children know the rules of the road as they get older, so we start at a young age,” he said.   “Along with the education, we encourage kids to have fun on their bikes, be active and lead a healthy lifestyle. We want them to enjoy it.”

Amherstburg police chief Tim Berthiaume and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo joined Rotarians, Optimists, and other police officers (including Const. Steve Owen, left) at the bike rodeo at Centennial Park May 14.

Amherstburg police chief Tim Berthiaume and Mayor Aldo DiCarlo joined Rotarians, Optimists, and other police officers (including Const. Steve Owen, left) at the bike rodeo at Centennial Park May 14.

Amherstburg’s Rotary Club worked alongside the police and the Optimist Club during the event. Rotarians handed out helmets, reflectors, bike locks and streamers to young cyclists. Rotary president-elect Laura George-Jurilj said she sees the effectiveness of bike safety education.

“In this day and age, kids don’t know any different than to wear a helmet because that’s just how they were raised,” George-Jurilj said. “I think we, as adults, need to be an example of being responsible and give our kids the tools to have fun on their bikes.”

Ted Jacob’s two children, Chloe, 4, and Teddy, 2, have been riding tricycles since they were a year old. Jacobs said the bike rodeo was an excellent way for his children to receive the tools they need, but was also a chance to become familiar with police officers.

“I want them to know that police are friends,” Jacobs said. “I also heard there was a bouncy castle.”

Chloe made her favourite part of the even perfectly clear.

“Bouncy castle!” she cried.

Bike rodeo being held at Centennial Park this Saturday

A bike rodeo is being held this Saturday as another way to help keep local children safe.

The event will be at the Centennial Park track from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and it will feature helmet inspections, bicycle safety equipment, bike decorating, lessons on rules of the road, practical riding exercises, and a guided ride.

Helmets are mandatory for all riders. A limited number of helmets will be available for those who need them.

There will also be a bouncy castle, face painting, a barbecue and emergency vehicle displays.

The event is being presented by Amherstburg police, the Rotary and Optimist Clubs, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, No Frills, Little Buddies pre-school, Lakeside Produce and Bright Child Montessori.