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    Many of the kids came out of the bike rodeo with medals or prizes. Gold, silver and bronze medals were given to those who did exceptionally well on the test. Draws for helmets and bicycles were also done randomly at the May 6 event. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Brian Rathwell, 8, is all smiles as he completes the road test in the Civic Centre Arena. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    GearHeads Petawawa offered safety inspections, adding on reflectors and bells, and tightening any loose parts. Liam Johnson, 14, learns from Eric Simms. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    After doing a written test, and getting a bicycle and helmet inspection, the kids tried their luck on a road test. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



2017 Petawawa Bike Rodeo puts young cyclists through their paces

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2017

In preparation for the upcoming summer months, nearly 100 participants received a refresher on the rules of the road at the annual Petawawa Bicycle Rodeo.

As well as a written and road test, kids from ages six to 13 were given bicycle and helmet inspections, medals for those who completed the circuit, and their names entered into a random draw for free helmets and bicycles.

The May 6 rodeo is in its 25th year.

“It helps the kids know what to do, what the rules of the road are and we test their stability,” said co-organizer and Petawawa Community Policing Committee (PCPC) Chairman Don Boire.

“We want to see the kids ride their bikes properly on the streets,” he added.

EGM Insurance also did a watermelon drop, demonstrating the importance of a helmet by dropping a watermelon from the top of a stepladder. The results can be very messy but it drills the point home.

“They show the kids how to properly wear the helmet and how to adjust them when they grow,” said organizer and Library Community Outreach Coordinator Liz Pombiere.

“Cycling and following the rules of the road can be fun,” she added.

All the activities occurred in the Petawawa Civic Centre Arena, and was made possible through a collaboration with support from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the Petawawa Public Library, EGM Insurance, the Friends of the Library, the PCPC, the town itself, GearHeads Petawawa, the Rotary Club of Petawawa, the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxilliary and Hyska’s Your Independent Grocer.

New this year was the added French language component, in which a volunteer helped make the event fully bilingual.

“It can be so intimidating when you can’t speak in your first language and you don’t really understand, so I think this is a great service,” said volunteer Isabelle Marcotte. “Because you need to understand, especially for safety.”

Next year, organisers plan to add on an adult component to the rodeo “because adults are kind of the leader of children so it is important that they know their hand signals as well,” said Pombiere.
The medal winners include Mikael Newby, Owen McNeil, Matthew Kemp, Thomas James LeRoulx, Dylan Hatcher, Bryden Knight, Noah Leblanc, Riley Bourne, Cameron Roziel, Kaito Hill, Kazuto Hill, Landen Adams, Jacob Postma, Gabe Schroder, Nathaniel Vakey, Evan Rowen, Madeleine Vokey, Scarlett Smith, Hailey Mills, Hazel Belander, Karla Bourne, Taylor Ward, Scarlett Blakley, Marigold Carrie, Riley Maher, Mackenzie Adams, Grace Postma, Riley Peckford, Brian Rathwell, Ty Rodrige, Natha Steward, Biecham Johnson, Rose McCafferty, Noah Walsh, Emma Socee, Daniel Socess, Jenna Amo, Amber Peckford, Tyler Turcotte, Jacob Crosshaw, Ryler Drisdedoe, Odin Blakely, Ryan Piltzke, Kasey Piltzke and RJ Mills.