Saddle up your bike and get ready to ride with sheriff’s deputies

May 18, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Get ready. Get set. Go — to the King County Sheriff’s Office Bicycle Rodeo.

Deputies will be on hand at Liberty High School May 22 to help you and your child learn the rules of the road and basic bicycle safety.

This is the second year the event has been held, said Deputy Dave Montalvo, the school’s resource officer.

“The county holds three or four of these each year, in Maple Valley, the Muckleshoot, Fairwood, but we had the biggest turnout here at the Liberty community,” Montalvo said, adding that there were about 200 people last year. “We had so much positive feedback that we decided to do it again.”

At the rodeo, families will find bicycle safety lessons that help children learn the rules of the road and a course to practice them on in the high school’s parking lot.

The event “teaches them the seriousness of bike riding and being able to understand and watch for the hazards of the road, like motor vehicles, especially when crossing the street, and the importance of wearing a helmet,” Montalvo said. “Officers will help guide the kids through a course that includes stop lights and other things, so they can put into action what they learn and interact positively with local law enforcement for positive feedback.”

There will also be helmet fittings, conducted by SafeKids with Mary Bridge Hospital, Deputy Tara Wilson said. If your children don’t have helmets, $7 helmets are available for purchase.

Snacks, like popcorn and hot dogs, will also be served for a small fee. Liberty’s jazz band will also perform.

The event is free, thanks to sponsorship from the school’s Parents, Teachers and Students Association and the Associated Student Body Leadership Council.

Bicycle safety rules

  • Stay alert: Watch for cars, other riders and hazards. Momentary inattention is the No. 1 cause of accidents.
  • Never ride with earphones or earbuds and pull off the road to use a cell phone.
  • Move off of the road when stopping: Completely pull off of the road or trail to let cars and riders pass. Do not block driveways or intersections.
  • Act like a car: Obey all traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs, watching for pedestrians and using hand signals to turn.
  • Keep space between yourself and others: Leave enough room to dodge obstacles.
  • Be vocal when you pass and always pass on the left.
Source: King County Sheriff’s Office

If you go

Bike Rodeo

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. May 22

Liberty High School

16655 S.E. St., Renton

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