About 30 children participated in a Bike Safety Rodeo on Wednesday, May 6 in the Bus Loop. Parents loaded up bikes and kids and brought them to learn ways to stay safe on two wheels. Volunteer youth from the Customs and Border Protection program helped make sure tires were pumped, brakes were working, chains were greased, and seats were adjusted.
Mrs. Berthiaume welcomed everyone and made sure the kids knew why the school was putting on the event: “It’s because we like you and we want you to stay safe!” She introduced her friend, Dick Bashaw, who spoke about his bike accident 25 years ago. A car turned in front of him and he flipped up over the car and landed on the right side of his head, causing his head to partially cave in. After being in a coma for 3 months, he was then in a wheelchair for 3 years and spent many grueling hours in Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy. His life has never been the same. He urges all young people to get in the habit of wearing a helmet as part of the biking “uniform”.
Swanton Physical Education teacher, Dustin King, along with Officer Eugene Rich of the Swanton Police Department, presented other safety tips:
- The correct way to wear a helmet.
- Signals for turning and stopping.
- Travel in the direction of traffic.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Be Seen, Be Safe! Wear bright clothing, use reflectors and lights.
The kids enjoyed practicing riding through an obstacle course with “potholes” and “road kill” to avoid. They received t-shirts, reflective strips for their wheel spokes and bracelets.