Prince Albert Police Service bike rodeo sets the stage for a safe summer

Herald file photo. Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) Sgt. Derek Simonson leads a young Prince Albert cyclist through the skills course at the 2023 Bike Rodeo. The PAPS Community Policing Unit and their partners will host the 2024 Bike Rodeo on Saturday at the Art Hauser Centre parking lot.

As the weather warms up, Prince Albert police officers and their community partners will be making sure local cyclists have a safe start to the summer.

The Prince Albert Police Service’s (PAPS) Community Policing Unit will hold a Bike Rodeo on Saturday to give safety tips and maintenance advice to cyclists of all ages. PAPS Sgt. Derek Simonson they expect to see a sharp increase in the number of bike riders on Prince Albert streets over the next week, so the bike rodeo is a good opportunity to have some fun, and make sure everyone is prepared for the summer.

“It gives that positive engagement in the community,” Simonson said. “It’s a really fun event for the kids who do make it out with their parents. It helps set the stage for a safe summer and a safe riding season.

“We know it’s short here in Saskatchewan, but for the time that they are out on their bikes, we definitely hope that we give them a few tools to make it safer.”

Helmets are one of the most vital tools. Saturday’s bike rodeo will have a fitting station where riders can learn to wear their helmet properly. Simonson said it’s the most important thing cyclists can do to stay safe.

“We do still do see kids without bike helmets and whatnot, so if we can influence that safety piece just a little bit, that hopefully will go a long way,” he explained.

While spreading awareness about safety is important, the bike rodeo also gives police officers a chance to interact with the community. Simonson said PAPS and the Prince Albert Police Service Association will typically chip in and buy a few items for giveaways, and added that officers view the rodeo as a great chance to connect with the community.

Members of the Prince Albert Fire Department and Parkland Ambulance will also be on hand to help out with the helmet fitting station and bike skills course. Canadian Tire and the Prevention Institute are also helping out with donations.

“We do have quite a few partners and it does make for a great event,” Simonson said.

“It’s free and hopefully the weather’s good. We don’t have control over that all the time, and we hope to see lots of families out this Saturday.”

The 2024 Prince Albert Police Service Bike Rodeo runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre Parking lot on Saturday, May 18.

@kerr_jas •