Bike fair hones safe riding skills

June 8, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

The Optimist Club of Issaquah hosts its fifth annual Bike Safety Fair this weekend.

Issaquah Valley Elementary School is hosting one day of the two-day event June 12. Newport Heights Elementary School hosts the event on June 13.

It’s open to students in kindergarten through fifth grades.

Students can bring their bicycles for free tuneups by Sports Authority, get identification cards and get properly fitted for helmets. Because helmets are a priority to the Bellevue and Issaquah police departments, officers will help fit children with helmets and teach them the rules of the road, said Miho Reed, a club member and organizer for the event.“We want this event to be prevention, instead of waiting for something to happen, then responding to it,” Reed said. “Bike helmets save lives. Before we go into summer, we want to enforce wearing helmets and wearing them properly.”

Children also can practice what they’ve learned in the bicycle safety and obstacle course.

Bicycle injuries are the second leading cause of hospital stays for children between ages 5 and 14, according to the state Department of Health.

While most injuries are bumps, cuts and bruises, there are severe injuries each year. Hospitalization rates for bicycle injuries are the highest among children ages 10-17.

Children also need to wear helmets on other types of recreational equipment, like scooters, rollerblades and Segways.

Many children attending the event will receive helmets for free, but there is a limited supply, so arrive early.

Children can get their face painted and receive goodie bags and balloons. Local Girl Scouts from Troop 43193 will have hot dogs for sale.

While the event is free, Optimist members encourage families to bring a nonperishable food or drink item to donate to the Issaquah and Bellevue food banks.

“The food banks have an increasing need in the summer months, partly because of the economy and partly because kids really rely on having that school lunch program,” Reed said. “So, please consider donating healthy items to the food banks.”

This year, there are several sponsors for the event, including the cities of Issaquah and Bellevue, Overlake Medical Center, Seattle Children’s, Encompass and The Issaquah Press.

If you go

Issaquah Valley Elementary School
Noon – 3 p.m. June 12
555 N.W. Holly St.
Newport Heights Elementary School
Noon – 3 p.m. June 13
5225 119th Ave S.E., Bellevue

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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