Riding for safety
The St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department Third Annual Bike Safety Rodeo helps young riders learn the rules of the road
By Brett Auten
You are never too old to learn.
The St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging children ages 4-15-years-old to bring their bike and a helmet and learn how to ride safely at the Third Annual Bike Safety Rodeo. The rodeo will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 17, at the Youth Activity Park, located at 7801 Highway N Dardenne Prairie.
“It’s important that children learn the rules of the road and know how to respond to different scenarios on the street,” Nancy Lee Gomer, Marketing Coordinator and Public Information Officer with the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department, said. “Most of the scenarios will challenge and will build confidence.”
Participants will learn bike control, handling skills, hand signals and balance. After mastering the rules of the roads, participants get the chance to test their skills on an obstacle course that simulates challenges that can be encountered while riding on the street.
“There will be slaloms set up where they will have go slow, yet still be in control,” Gomer said. “This simulates the ability to handle corners.”
A simulated street course lets participants experience what to do at a stop sign, two-way intersection, when passing an emergency vehicle, encountering animal crossings and riding near parked cars. When they complete the street course, participants will advance to the next level by riding the course on the natural surface trails in the park.
The Bike Safety Rodeo isn’t just for the experienced riders. If your child is at the point to where it is time to take the training wheels off, then the Rangers are there to lend a hand. Even if the soon-to-be rider is just trying a bicycle out, bring them out to the rodeo, though a parent needs to be involved in either of those situations.
For the advanced riders, a platform-like ramp will be constructed and narrow spaces to maneuver through to help develop balance and control.
Afterwards, mosey over to the Youth Activity Park where the largest outdoor skate park in Missouri awaits. The 25-acre Youth Activity Park takes extreme sports to the next level with its state-of-the-art 33,000-square foot skate course This course is equipped with nighttime lighting and has beginner, intermediate and advanced bowls, street course, and snake run scattered with ramps, gaps, hubbas and more The course is open year around to users of all ages, skateboards, inline skates, scooters, and BMX bikes can ride throughout the concrete facility that offers challenges for every skill level. Helmets are required for all extreme sports enthusiasts using the skate course.
Gomer said that the event is free and pre-registration is requested, but walk-ups are welcome. To register for the Bike Safety Rodeo, call the St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department at 636-949-7535 or visit www.sccmo.org.
“It is a fun time to get out and ride our paved trails,” Gomer said. “It is a nice, safe environment where you won’t have to worry about speeding cars with plenty of adults and Rangers here to help.”
CUTLINE: Photos courtesy St. Charles County Parks and Recreation Department The Third Annual Bike Safety Rodeo will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 17, at the Youth Activity Park, located at 7801 Highway N Dardenne Prairie.