OLBH Host 21st Annual Bicycle Safety Event
Adam Black, Editor
The Ashland Beacon
Children rang their bells, showed off their ribbons and their riding skills at the 21st Our lady of Bellefonte Bicycle Camp.
Children from ages 5 through 12 gathered at the Bellefonte Pavilion to get a crash course on bike safety and have fun.
“This is our 21st year,” Co-organizer Tim O’Toole said. “It has really grown over the years.”
Starting out the safety event, children had the opportunity to have minor repairs done on their bikes by the Ashland Cycling Club. Children waited in line to get their tires inflated, seats raised, patches placed and more.
“Everyone really has a good time,” O’Toole said.
Once bikers got all the repairs they needed, the children also received free helmets from the Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts Club.
“This is to teach them about safety and helmets are a big part of that,” O’Toole said.
With their bikes repaired and a new helmet, children rode their bikes over to the obstacle course where Ashland Police stood ready to teach them about bicycle safety.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to meet some police officers and to see that they are friendly,” O’Toole said. “They walk with them through a course and just have fun with the kids.”
Bikers waited patiently in line to take a turn on the course, learn about safety and show off their bike riding skills as they wove in and out of cones and raced down a straight path.
“It was really fun,” 7-year-old Austin Sizemore said. “They put air in my tires, and I got a new helmet.”
Sizemore along with his mother, Heather said this was the first year they had heard about the event.
“I think it’s really neat,” She said. “It gets the kids out of the house and they are learning how to be safe.”
Once all the children went through the obstacle course, they parked their bikes and headed inside for even more fun and games and special door prizes including eight new bikes.
“I hope I win a new bike,” Austin said. “I would give this one to my brother.”
“We really want kids to have fun and enjoy their time here,” O’Toole said. “It gives them a chance to get some exercise and meet new people.”