Bicycle safety rodeo will teach children rules of the road

May 9, 2019

BULLHEAD CITY — The 24th annual Carrie Edgmon Bicycle Safety Rodeo will be held Saturday in the south parking lot of the Bullhead City Walmart store.

The event, sponsored by the Bullhead City police and fire departments, Walmart and Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Participation is free.

Children are encouraged to bring their own bicycles to receive free bicycle registration, inspection and tune-ups performed by the Community Emergency Response Team. Bicycle parts for the tune-ups are provided by the Morning Kiwanis Club.

Children will put their safety skills and knowledge to the test as they ride through several safety courses. Police officers are on hand to teach them the rules of the road. The first 125 children will receive a free helmet, courtesy of WARMC, and participants can enter a prize drawing to win a new bicycle.

Whether riding a bicycle in town or heading up to higher elevation to take advantage of the cooler weather, the Arizona Department of Transportation has some safety suggestions.

ADOT pointed out that, under Arizona law, those riding a bicycle are operating a vehicle, which means they have to follow all traffic laws such as signaling lane changes and turns, observing the rules of stop signs and obeying school zone laws.

In order for people to have a safe bicycle ride, ADOT suggested that cyclists be visible by wearing light, bright and reflective clothing. It suggested using a rear red reflector or light and a white front headlight.

ADOT noted that helmets are proven to reduce the risk of brain injuries; some cities and counties require them for bicyclists under the age of 18.

Mirrors improve overall awareness, but since there’s a blind spot, ADOT suggested always looking over a shoulder before changing lanes of travel or making a turn.

Another piece of advice is to be aware of the sun: It’s more difficult for motorists to see when driving toward sunrise and sunset. Ride defensibly and be prepared for the possibility that a motorist won’t see you and may turn into your path unexpectedly.

ADOT suggested that cyclists always check to make sure their brakes, gears and chains are working smoothly and that tires are properly inflated.

Not only does ADOT have suggestions for cyclists, but it also has some aimed at motorists.

ADOT suggested motorists know where bicycle riders are at all times and be prepared to slow down or stop suddenly.

More from ADOT: Yield to bikes when turning through gaps in traffic, be watchful at intersections and driveways, watch out for bicyclists when making right turns and give them room. Regarding giving cyclists room, the ADOT said that by law, motorists must give at least three feet of clearance when passing. When possible, make that five feet for bicyclists.