Health & Safety

June 14, 2012

Kids lasso safety lessons at bicycle rodeo

Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook)
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Haber counts down to the start of the bicycle drag race at the Bicycle Rodeo held in the Base Exchange parking lot on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 9, 2012. The rodeo also featured a bike safety briefing, an obstacle course and bicycle bingo.

The 355th Fighter Wing Ground Safety office held a Bicycle Rodeo here June 9.

The Bicycle Rodeo was for children of all ages and focused on teaching the basics of bike safety.

“This event teaches kids the basics, such as air pressure in the tires, proper brake usage and bicycle chain maintenance,” said Tech. Sgt. Ross Weatherford, 355th FW SEG non-commissioned officer in charge of traffic safety.

The rodeo featured a bike safety briefing, an obstacle course, a drag race and bicycle bingo.

“This is the third Bicycle Rodeo we’ve put on since I’ve been at D-M,” Weatherford said. “We like to make the event fun so the kids can have a good time while they learn an important lesson.”

The obstacle course featured simulated intersections and railroad tracks. Volunteers walked with the children as they rode through the course, instructing them on the proper safety precautions.

Senior Airman Jennifer Denton, 755th Operational Support Squadron, and husband U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Ben Denton, brought their son, Gavin, out for the festivities.

“Everyone needs to learn the fundamentals,” Sgt. Denton said. “We’ve taught him the bike-riding basics, and now he can pick up some new tips and practice what he’s learned out here in a fun environment.”

Participants also took part in Bicycle Bingo. Volunteers drew a large “bingo card” onto the pavement using sidewalk chalk. Then the kids themselves acted as bingo chips and stood on a number.

“The bikes, gift cards and other prizes were provided by the Base Exchange and the Commissary,” said Mary Ann McFadden, D-M BX loss prevention manager. “We set it up so that if a small child won a bigger bike, or a boy won a pink bike helmet, they could take them to the BX and exchange them for more fitting prizes.”

At the end of the rodeo, volunteers used watermelons and a bike helmet to demonstrate to the children why bike helmets are necessary for bike safety.

“Our job at the Safety Office is to keep people safe,” Weatherford said. “Through training and education, we try to keep mishaps from occurring.”

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