Start your summer biking the right way at Bike Rodeo

Bike event will focus on bike safety and include a helmet give-away for kids.

KINGSTON — Greater Kingston Kiwanis, with help from North Kitsap Fire and Rescue and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, is sponsoring a bike rodeo to encourage bike safety

The event will run from 1 to 4 p.m., on Sunday, May 6 at the Kingston Village Green. Experts will be on hand to provide helmet fittings, check and help maintain bikes, and offer free helmets, as long as supplies last.

There will be an opportunity for participants to check out their bike skills on graduated courses that test riders’ bike safety knowledge and their ability to handle bikes in traffic.

Helen Hoover of Kingston Kiwanis said, “The event is open to children 8 and older. They may also pedal in the West Kingston Bridge ride once their signed release is obtained. There will also be drawings for bike-related prizes and free hot dogs.”

Michele Laboda, North Kitsap Fire and Rescue Community Services specialist, said that wearing a properly fitted helmet is important. Laboda said more children ages 5–14 are seen in emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries than for any other sport.

More than half a million children are severely injured in bike accidents every year and most of the injuries are head trauma that could be avoided if the child were wearing a properly fitted bike helmet, she added.

“Wearing a helmet is as important for bikers as wearing a seat belt in your car,” Laboda said.

Helmets need to be replaced as children get older. If the helmet has taken a hit, it should be replaced immediately. Once damaged, helmets lose their capacity to absorb shocks.

Laboda and firefighters will be on hand to check the condition of helmets as well as their proper fit — which is snug and secure. Helmets will be given to children needing them through donations made by the Greater Kingston Kiwanis.