BONNERS FERRY — On June 10 at Valley View Elementary School, students just beginning their summer break had the chance to learn about safety at the Bicycle Rodeo.
The first 25 attendees received a free helmet, and a sack lunch was provided to those who came, courtesy of Boundary County School District.
The event was sponsored by Boundary County School District #101, the Boundary Community Hospital, the City of Bonners Ferry, Far North Outfitters, and the Bonners Ferry Police Department.
School Resource Officer Travis Stolley was there to teach the children bicycle safety — including proper attire, helmets, and rules of the road. He stressed to the kids to always wear shoes, a helmet, and pay attention to their surroundings, especially cars.
“As summer gets kicked off, kids are going to be out and about more riding their bikes, especially with the new pool the city has going,” said Stolley. “It’s important to remind these kids the different things they need to look for, bike safety, wear their helmets.”
He went on to mention the various road construction, heavy traffic, and other scenarios that could be a danger if bicycle riders aren’t paying attention.
“I think bike safety is important, especially the helmets. My kids always say they don’t want to wear their helmets,” said local mom Kimber Ortiz, “but they could fall and get a concussion and everything like that. I tell them to make sure to wear the proper shoes, so no toes get caught in the chain, and we make sure the kids are aware to not play with the chain.”
Ortiz went on to tell a story about a young family member who lost a portion of a finger due to getting caught in a bicycle chain because he was uninformed about the dangers associated.
“It’s very important to talk to your kids about bicycle safety,” said Ortiz.
CJ McVeigh attended the event as a representative of Far North Outfitters. He inspected each bicycle, tightened handlebars, checked tire pressure, brakes, and performed a full inspection so that the kids and their parents knew the bikes were in sound condition for the summer.
There were a couple of children who were attending the basketball camp that didn’t have their bikes, but they were able to receive helmets regardless.
The kids zoomed around the outdoor basketball court on their bikes, some with shiny new helmets, with smiles on their faces. As the lesson concluded, the kids went home with a new appreciation for their bikes and how to ride them properly.