AMHERST – Bicycles and scooters zipped around the Amherst Stadium throughout the day on Thursday, July 17, as the town recreation staff and the Amherst Police Department combined to offer a bicycle rodeo.
© Andrew Wagstaff - cumberlandnewsnow
The Amherst Police Department and the town of Amherst combined to offer a bicycle rodeo at the Amherst Stadium on July 17, with many youngsters coming out to take part.
Much of the arena floor was transformed into an obstacle course for the participating youngsters, while a radar gun was set up in one corner to measure their speeds.
“It’s about bike safety,” said Const. Tom Wood. “We examine helmets as well, and if a helmet is in disrepair, we will give them a helmet if we have one on hand. It’s also an opportunity for us to see what bikes kids are driving, because sometimes kids are driving unsafe scooters and bikes.”
Basil Hicks from The Bicycle Specialist was on hand for the event, offering tune-ups for brakes or other areas of need, while The Co-Operators were also there to provide treats to the participants.
The participants ranged in age from five to 15, and all seemed to be having a good time.
“When you look around and see the kid smiling, wanting to do it again or call their buddies to come down, that’s a telltale sign,” said Const. Michelle Harrison.
While fun was a big part of the event, which was scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the main focus is on safety.
“Safety is one of the biggest concerns, and that’s why we promote bicycle rodeos,” said Harrison. “Kids will be loose on the streets after they leave here, and some of them came here this morning with no clue what hand signals are.”
The participants learned all the basic hand signals for turning and stopping as they wound their way through the obstacle course, which featured pylons, ramps and even a mud trap.
All were treated to a barbecue at lunchtime, and the town also purchased a bike to be drawn for in the afternoon.