Kids learn bike safety at 2011 Bike Rodeo

KODIAK, Alaska - Coast Guard Base Kodiak volunteers and children of Coast Guard members take a moment for a group photo after participating in the Bike Rodeo held on Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

KODIAK, Alaska - Coast Guard Base Kodiak volunteers and children of Coast Guard members take a moment for a group photo after participating in the Bike Rodeo held at Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

On Aug. 22, 2011, volunteers from Coast Guard Base Kodiak hosted the 2011 Bike Rodeo to help teach children bicycle handling and safety skills.

Sandra West, a Coast Guard civilian employee and Island Trails Network bike path committee chairman, coordinated the event.

KODIAK, Alaska - Petty Officer 3rd Class David Call, a health services technician with the Rockmore King Clinic in Kodiak, demonstrates to kids how to dodge the obstacles during the Bike Rodeo on Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

KODIAK, Alaska - Petty Officer 3rd Class David Call, a health services technician with the Rockmore King Clinic in Kodiak, demonstrates to kids how to dodge the obstacles during the Bike Rodeo at Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

“This started because kids like to ride bikes and every time I get on my bike I feel like a 10-year-old again,” said West.

The event was broken down into two sessions which separated the children by their age groups. The first group consisted of children between the ages of five and nine-years-old. The second group consisted of older children ages 10 and up.

“The true measure of success was that the kids had such fun they didn’t want to leave,” said West. “They kept going through the stations practicing their skills and enjoying learning safe biking.”

West also said that she hopes that this event will mark the beginning of a series of bicycle safety courses held for children throughout the year.

KODIAK, Alaska - Lt. Cmdr. Tom Combs, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot with Air Station Kodiak, watches his son, Caleb, pass through "rock" obstacles during the Bike Rodeo held on Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

KODIAK, Alaska - Lt. Cmdr. Tom Combs, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot with Air Station Kodiak, watches his son, Caleb, pass through "rock" obstacles during the Bike Rodeo held at Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

While the bike rodeo event has taken place in Kodiak in the past, 2011 marks the first time it was sponsored by Coast Guard.

“We are working with the Coast Guard to establish safe routes for kids to get from Coast Guard housing to the many activities, facilities, and events held on the base,” said West.

“We are also working to make commuting from town to base and Bell’s Flats to base reasonable and safe. We would like to have an off road path so kids and adults can travel from base to town safely.”

During the rodeo Deck Watch had the privilege of talking with a couple of the children and parents who attended the event. The children talked about what they learned and the parents spoke of how much of a benefit this event is. To hear the interviews and Deck Watch click here.
KODIAK, Alaska - Nathan Schatz, 10, son of Cmdr. Dave Schatz, with Rockmore King Clinic, demonstrates the proper hand signal for a right hand turn while riding his bike during the Bike Rodeo that was held on Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

KODIAK, Alaska - Nathan Schatz, 10, son of Cmdr. Dave Schatz, with Rockmore King Clinic, demonstrates the proper hand signal for a right hand turn while riding his bike during the Bike Rodeo that was held at Coast Guard Base Kodiak Aug. 22, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally.

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