Bike Safety Rodeo stops in Warren County

BOWLING GREEN Ky.-The gym of Richardsville Elementary School was modeled after a road filled with signs. It’s all part of the Norton Children’s Hospital Bike Safety Rodeo.

4th and 5th graders had the chance to get out of the classroom to jump on bikes and learn how to safely navigate the open road. Bicycle safety educator Doug Beckhart said it’s best to teach these skills young.

“A lot of kids don’t wear helmets because it’s not cool. It’s hard to get middle schoolers to wear the helmets. There’s a lot of kids who can’t ride a bike, so maybe this is their motivation to get out and learn,” Beckhart said.

In addition to wearing helmets, the students also learned what to do at railroad crossings, how to share the road with traffic, and about signaling turns.

“I learned the hand signals. If you’re going to turn left, you’re going to put your hand out straight. If you go right, you’re going to put your hand up. If you’re stopping, you’re going to put your hand down,” said 5th grade student Ada Childress.

While it’s meant to be informative, both the students and staff say it’s a fun way learn the ropes, and biking may even be a lifelong hobby for some students as they cycle through life.

“It’s really the first means of transportation for a kid. Learning how to ride a bike safely is very important. It’s a lifelong activity that you can do basically for the rest of your life,” Beckhart said.

The bike safety rodeo travels to roughly 150 elementary schools each year.