Bike ‘Rodeo’ Promotes Safety, Boosts Kids’ Confidence
CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. – Forty-five buckaroos from Stanton Elementary School in Castro Valley are riding a little taller—and more safely—in the saddle thanks to staff from Sutter’s Eden Medical Center who devoted a recent Saturday afternoon to teaching kids bike safety at a special Bike Rodeo.
“The highlight of the day was seeing the children who started out a little nervous and hesitant to ride gain the confidence to zip around like they’ve been riding forever—and knowing they had learned the skills to feel safe to ride,” said trauma injury prevention specialist Pam Stoker, who coordinated the event for Eden.
The Bike Rodeo began with experts from Bike East Bay teaching kids and parents how to check their bikes for functional safety, such as testing brakes and checking tire pressure. Then the children passed through several stations where they learned how to fit and wear their bicycle helmets appropriately, practiced riding drills that taught them how to ride their bikes safely in various ways (single file vs. side by side, turning, riding with one hand on their hip—all based on each child’s individual skill and comfort level) and learned hand signals and traffic rules, including how to handle intersections and crosswalks.
The Alameda County Transportation Commission’s BikeMobile provided no-cost repairs for the families who attended. In total, 36 bikes with problems varying from minor to more substantial received needed repairs. The Bike Rodeo is the start of a new partnership between Eden, Stanton Elementary PTA, BikeMobile and Bike East Bay collaborating to reduce bicycle-related injuries to kids.
Said parent Rebecca Stanek, “It was wonderful to see Stanton Elementary School students and other community members gain newfound skills and confidence on their bikes. And thanks to the BikeMobile, many families’ bicycles are in better shape than they were at this time last week. Many thanks to Eden Medical Center for hosting such a wonderful event for the school community!”