Carlyle Elementary School participated in Saskatchewan’s 10th annual Bicycle Safety Week, May 13 to 19, by holding their Bicycle Rodeo. May 15 saw students bringing their bikes in for a maintenance check and practicing the rules of the road. It was a beautiful, sunny day that saw excited youth escaping their classrooms for some fun outside. After the section of Souris Ave. that runs in front of the school was blocked off, they were ready to begin the rodeo.
Two RCMP officers, Cpl. Kelly Guider and Cst. Steve Wilkinson, were present to go over bike maintenance and proper helmet fittings. “We’re here to check bikes, to make sure they’re safe and to teach you what to look for.” Cpl. Guider explained to a group of grade three children at his station.
They inspected the children’s bikes, filled tires with air, and tightened chin straps on helmets. Teaching the youth how to test their brakes, tires, handle bars, if their chain is tight, and if their seat is secure. Giving out encouragement and high fives the officers were well received by the students.
Five other stations were set up for the youth to practice their bicycle knowledge, in addition to the RCMP station. There was a figure eight track set up for students to ride their bicycles through, making sure to keep inside the guidelines. Another station had pylons set up for the youth to weave their bikes in and out of, while the fourth station focused on balance. The fifth station encouraged youth to ride to a cross walk, get off of their bike, look both ways, and cross the street.
The last station that was set up made the students learn and use bicycle signals. Quickly answering that they must always use their left hand when signalling, the students were eager to practice.
The day went smoothly with the help of the teachers and the parent volunteers who helped run the stations. Lessons learned at each station were all used in subsequent ones, mainly using their signalling skills through each movement.
All of the students enjoyed themselves. Those who didn’t have bicycles with them that day ran through the courses still learning the fundamentals of bicycle safety. Those with bicycles had looks of concentration and determination as they took their bikes through the different stations. Often letting smiles cross their faces as they succeeded in each area.