Young bicyclists weaved through cones, learned their hand signals and tried their best to balance on two wheels at Bike Safe 2013, an event designed to keep riders safe on the road.
The free Saturday event held at El Dorado Hills Fire Station 85 was masterminded by Boy Scout Kyle Rouen, 15, as his Eagle Scout project. Knowing that public safety is the fire department’s top priority, Kyle said he called officials to find out how he could help with that mission and educate his community.
Participants had their helmets checked at the first station. Event staff make sure they fit and were properly adjusted. If riders didn’t have a helmet or had one too small or too big, they received one free. Next they went to the bike check station where Folsom Bike staff made sure tires were properly inflated and advised bicyclists about maintenance.
Then it was on to the safety booth where instructors taught proper hand signals and shared safety tips — make sure the bike has reflectors, make eye contact with drivers, etc. From there bicyclists went to the obstacle course run by Troop 645 Scouts, Kyle’s friends and family. Riders had to navigate around a trailer parked in the bike lane, use proper hand signals, walk their bike across a crosswalk, weave through cones and some took on the ramp before moving into the end zone where riders were asked to balance on their bike’s two wheels for as long as they could.
El Dorado Hills dad Doug Parker watched his daughter Emily Parker, 9, ride through the course. Emily and her friends frequently ride their bikes through the neighborhood and, overall, Doug said, bike riding in the community seems pretty safe.
“If you use the bike trails it’s very safe,” he explained. “If you’re using Green Valley Road I would say marginally safe because people (drivers) are flying by.”