ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - March 2008, has been declared "Florida Bicycle Month" by Governor Charlie Crist. To celebrate, Alachua County 4-H and Alachua County Fire/Rescue are promoting bicycle safety by holding a "Bike Rodeo" at the Alachua County Fairgrounds on March 29, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. The event is for youth ages 5 to13 as of September 1, 2007. Participants are asked to bring their helmets. For those without, helmets will be available while supplies last. Children will learn pre-riding safety tips and will practice riding on a skills course.
"Bicycling has many rewards and benefits," Alachua County Fire/Rescue Public Education Coordinator Lorraine S. Williams said in speaking of the event, "Riding your bike provides low cost transportation, much needed exercise and health benefits, lowers your carbon footprint, promotes ecotourism in historic and natural areas, and is just plain fun."
Williams said she urges parents to bring their children to the "Bike Rodeo" to assist them in understanding bike basics such as:
- Bicycles are consider vehicles and should be ridden with traffic rather than facing it
- Cyclists should yield to oncoming traffic
- Traffic signals and stop signs must be obeyed by cyclists
- Cyclists under 16 must wear a helmet
- A properly fitted helmet reduces head injuries by 85%
For more information, or to pre-register for the "Bike Rodeo" call Alachua County Fire/Rescue Public Education Coordinator Lorraine S. Williams at 352-384-3106 or email lsw@alachuacounty.