On Friday, June 10th, 2016 the Borough of Ramsey in Bergen County hosted their first Bicycle Rodeo. New Jersey Ambassadors in Motion (AIM) were asked by the Ramsey Environmental Commission to assist with the event. A bicycle rodeo focuses on building skills to reduce risk of crashes and other dangers among bicyclists. Rodeos vary in size and intended audience, and the Ramsey Bike Rodeo was intended for children ages 5 to 15. There were six stations distributed around the Municipal Pool Parking Lot where ambassadors demonstrated and instructed participants through the courses. Each station allowed the children to practice a different skill, and they could repeat the stations as much as they wanted to continue practicing. Parents also were also engaged during the event and able to motive their kids through the course.
Participants practiced proper starting and stopping techniques, plus attempted riding in a straight line. They also practiced turning using hand signals and scanning by looking over their shoulder. Lastly, the participants practiced yielding to other riders in a figure 8 and avoiding obstacles. Cones took the place of what could be real hazards on the road like potholes, rocks, and glass.
Additionally, the ambassadors handed out materials on bicycle and pedestrian safety tips reflective bracelets. Also in attendance at the rodeo was two local bike shops: Cyclesport cycle shop and Ultimate Cycle Shop. These volunteers they performed bike fittings and repairs for participants. Officers from Ramsey Police Department also attended the bike rodeo. Ramsey Green Team and Trail Committee were also event sponsors.
About 30 children with their parents attended the rodeo, many came with younger siblings as well. After finishing the rodeo stations kids had the freedom to go around to stations again or free ride around the lot. After practicing specific skills, the participants showed improvement over the course of the event.
Click here to read about other recent bicycle rodeos the Ambassadors assisted with in Middlesex County.
For more information about the Ambassadors in Motion program, funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and how to request an ambassador for future events, click here.
By Nimotalai Azeez