Cherry Chase holds first in-school Bike Rodeo to teach bike safety

bike-rodeoCherry Chase’s Walk and Roll Committee teamed up with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to have its first in-school Bike Rodeo event for all fifth graders on October 6 during International Walk and Bike to School Week.

The one-hour workshop was held out on the blacktop, where League of American Bicyclists certified instructors ran various safety activities with the help of parent volunteers. Lisa Ferino, Co-chair of the Cherry Chase Walk-and-Roll Committee, coordinated with Cherry Chase Principal Anita Lee, fifth-grade teachers,bike-safety and Ann Jasper of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

“I felt this was an important aspect of the event, to have all 5th-graders involved before they head off to middle school when many of them will start riding bikes to school without their parents,” Ferino said.

The Bike Rodeo was held all day during the school day in one-hour segments for each 5th-grade class, with about 20 Cherry Chase parents helping. Five Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officers showed their support by attending the event–some speaking to the students about bike safety. The coordinator of Sunnyvale’s new Safe Routes to School program, Norma O’Connell, also participated in the event.

bike-rodeo-finishThe kids brought their bikes from home or used loaner bikes supplied by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. They were taken through three different stations where they practiced making left and right turns (with proper hand signals), stopping at intersections and checking for traffic, and avoiding roadway obstacles. They were also given a short lecture featuring other aspects of bike safety such as proper helmet use.

“Both Principal Lee and Vice Principal Romander were on hand at various times, and with their presence and the presence of the Sunnyvale police officers, I’m sure the 5th-graders had a good sense of how much Sunnyvale cares about their bicycling safety,” Ferino said. “I think there’s a good chance a Bike Rodeo will happen again in years to come.”

Article by Alia Wilson, District Communications Coordinator.

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