A slow ride is a safe ride | TahoeDailyTribune.com

A slow ride is a safe ride

Gregory Crofton

No, this rodeo didn’t involve animals.

It was a Bike Rodeo. A chance for law enforcement officers to round up 65 children and coax them into four chalk-lined courses designed to teach bike safety.

“Slow equals control,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Desi Timmerman. “Race against yourself. The slower you go, we know you’re a better bike rider.”

The bike courses were set up Thursday behind the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex. They included a slow race, a stop sign maze, a course with yield signs and coned-course meant to promote control.

“It’s kind of funky but it works,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Mazzoni. “They’re learning to control a bike, read signs and look out for other people on bikes.”

Brett Springbett, owner of the Tahoe Bike Shop, had a portable shop set up to fix anything on a bike that might be unsafe. He volunteers his time and equipment at the bike rodeos, which have been going strong at South Lake Tahoe for three years now.

Employees at El Dorado County of Health Department also on hand Thursday stressed how important it is for children to wear helmet while riding a bike. They said a helmet should be worn no higher than two fingers above a child’s eyebrow.

And most of the children seemed comfortable in a helmet. They also seemed glad to be out of school and on their bike.

“I’ll do it. I’ll do it. Where do you want me to start? Where do you want me to go? ” asked Thomas Martin, 7. “I’ve done it three times now.”

Samantha Daugherty, a 9-year-old, was equally enthusiastic: “I went on that one 11 times. I like to ride in a circle and ride really fast and ride at my own pace. I like when I jump. I just like riding bikes a lot.”

The next Bike Rodeo will be held behind the recreation complex on Aug. 29. For more information, call CHP at (530) 577-1001.

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