Prince Albert partners teach young cyclists rules of the road

Prince Albert Police Service's Cst. Lisa Simonson teaches kids to get off their bikes and look both ways before crossing the street on July 5, 2019. Kane Ruthven, 7, follows with his matching yellow bike and helmet. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Dozens of children hopped on their bikes for a safety lesson on Friday with properly fitted helmets and pumped up tires.

The Prince Albert Police Service’s bike rodeo took place at the Art Hauser Centre parking lot with partners SGI, Parkland Ambulance, Fresh Air Experience, Gene’s Sports and Propaganda Shop.

Before Cst. Lisa Simonson led them through an obstacle course, the kids had to ensure their bikes were safe to ride and that they had the proper gear.

Seven-year-old Kane Ruthven came off the course enthusiastic to share what he learned.

“When you get to a crosswalk, you always get off your bike and you look both ways before you cross and you walk your bike across the road,” he said.

He also shared that Cst. Simonson taught him that cyclists must use hand signals, just like how vehicles need to—or should—use their blinkers.

“When you want to go right, you put your arm out right. When you want to go left, you put your arm out left and when you want to stop, you do this to show people when you want to stop.” He demonstrated the stop signal by putting his arm in a 90-degree angle, hand facing down.

Kane said he’ll be using these safety precautions next time he goes biking on the road by his house.

His mom, Crystal Ruthven, said she found about the event on Facebook.

“With riding his bike, he hasn’t learnt a whole lot, so I thought this would be really good for him to kind of learn the differences in what’s right and what’s wrong,” she said, adding she’s cautious when she’s driving and comes across kids on their bikes.

“The little ones especially, they don’t know the difference sometimes—jetting out in front of a vehicle and having to slam on your breaks.”

Fresh Air Experience tuned their bikes so their seats were at the right height, their brakes were tight enough and their tires were filled.

“Community is important. We’re a local business, been around for 40 years and if we don’t do things out in the community and have a presence, then what are we doing this for?” asked Fresh Air Experience’s Jon Horn about why they participated.

Fresh Air Experience’s Jon Horn makes sure a bike is ready for riding on July 5, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

Gene’s Sports made sure their helmets fit and were secured. One girl came in with just a hockey helmet, so they supplied her with one for a bike.

Simonson said it was nice to be out in the sun, teaching the kids about safety.

“We want to make sure that they have a safe summer because, of course, school’s out, so they’re riding their bikes everywhere, so they need to understand that vehicles need to see them when they’re out and riding on the road. Always ride with a helmet and just some general good bike safety tips,” she said.

“I absolutely love working in the community and helping teach the kids.”

The bike rodeo was free of charge.

Along with the safety lessons, the kids got frisbees, pens and bracelets.