Children learn skills needed to stay on two wheels

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Children from ages 4 to 14 paraded their rodeo skills at Copiah-Lincoln Community College Monday morning, but trying to ride a bull for 8 seconds wasn’t the goal.

Instead, the Kids College’s Bicycle Rodeo was a one-day class to teach students bicycle safety.

The day began with Chris Trippe from The Bike Shop checking the mechanics of the 18 children’s bicycles. Then volunteers from the Natchez Bicycle Club and Stan Smith of Stan’s Rock and Roll Shop, a music and bike store, taught them the importance of wearing a helmet and fitted helmets to their heads.

After the children completed their first two steps of bicycle safety, they took to the parking lot and practiced a variety of drills.

They practiced the rules of riding out of their driveways, avoiding obstacles in the road, riding in a straight line, keeping control, braking and riding in a group.

Beth Richard, organizer for the class and American Bicycle League certified instructor, expressed the importance for children to learn bicycle safety.

“The most important part is to get them to wear their helmets and to be comfortable on their bikes,” Richard said.

The children, looking like professionals already, agreed that they learned a lot from Richard and the volunteers.

“The best thing I’ve learned is how to emergency stop and to watch for a car door being opened,” 9-year-old Sai Dulam said. “It’s important to know, so you don’t get hit.”

The children weren’t the only ones having a good time and learning; volunteers wore smiles as well.

“We like bicycling, and we want to share that,” Richard said.