Kitchener bike safety event gives kids know-how to stay safe
A young biker at the R.I.D.E. Safe event in Kitchener. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener) (May 27, 2023)
A bike safety event in Kitchener was looking to help kids get off on the right foot and on two wheels.
The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) and the Westvale Waterloo Optimist Club held their "R.I.D.E. Safe" event Saturday in front of the Laurentian Zehrs.
"[We want to] get them out there, get them experienced, and develop their skills," said Const. Brad Hickey with WRPS. "This time of year we see a lot of changes with the speed of our motorists travelling on the streets, but we also have a lot of cyclists that are out."
Kids were also able to accessorize their bikes with streamers and reflective tape as well as learn some good safety tips.
"We want to highlight the importance of safety," said Ashley Cullen with Student Transpiration Services. "[You want] visibility, especially at night and in darker conditions."
Obstacle courses were set up to test bikers' skills and there were a selection of free helmets to choose from.
"About one third of all children who are hospitalized are from bike accidents," said Lynda Abshoff, executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo Wellington. "We're here with different colours, different sizes so that everyone will get a new helmet today."
The event is a chance for Cambridge's Euan Bingham to gear up for another Terry Fox Ride for Hope in the summer.
"I will be doing 100 kilometres and I'm trying to raise over $4,000 for cancer research," said Euan. "I always wear a helmet when I'm riding, look before I cross the road, and wait for an adult to help me if it's a busy street."
The KW Cycling Academy was also at the event giving out advice and tips for young bike riders.
"Watch for the cars," said Lil Salonen-Berscht of the academy. "The cars are coming out of the driveway. It's not just on the road. Make sure you always stop at a stop sign, put both feet down, and look both ways."