New Albany News

Annual bicycle rodeo will be limited to 60 participants

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The New Albany Police Department is accepting applicants for its fourth annual bicycle rodeo on June 21.

The event will include free bicycle inspections, safety tips and a ride with police officers.

"This event has grown every year, to the point where we now have to limit the number of participants due to the space we use," said Sgt. Ed Burton, one of the organizers.

Officer Ryan Southers, who serves as the New Albany-Plain Local school-resource officer, said the event is open to children ages 5 to 12.

Southers said the event is free and will be limited this year to the first 60 applicants at newalbanyohio.org.

"The only requirement is that they must be able to ride a two-wheeled bicycle," Southers said.

Southers said children must also bring a bicycle helmet and be able to stay for the entire event.

The bicycle rodeo is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 21, at the Wexner Community Pavilion parking lot off Swickard Woods Boulevard.

Representatives of roll:, a bicycle store with three locations in central Ohio, will inspect bicycles to ensure bolts are tight and chains are secure, Southers said.

Tire pressure will be checked and children will learn how to make sure their bicycle is safe for use.

Police officers also will explain bicycle laws and help children practice low-speed maneuvers in an attempt to improve their balance and prevent them from accidental falls, Southers said.

Southers said children will ride through an obstacle course, learning such safety procedures as how to exit a driveway and the best ways to avoid common traffic accidents.

"The most important things are bike maintenance, safety and traffic laws," Southers said. "They need to know the traffic laws pertaining to bikes and how to look for traffic and avoid those summertime accidents."

After each child has gone through the stations, Southers said, they will be divided into groups by skill level and ride with officers.

The more advanced route goes through Swickard Woods, which has some dirt roads, Southers said.

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