Menlo Park's Police Department and Bicycle Commission hosted a bike rodeo on Sept. 21 and 22 that taught about 375 sixth-graders at Hillview Middle School about safe biking practices.
The "rodeo" involved a series of stations with bike-handling drills to challenge riders. Obstacle courses were set up to teach balance, stopping turning and control, according to Cindy Welton, chair of the Menlo Park Bicycle Commission.
The event was held during the students' physical education class time. Volunteers and Menlo Park police officers supervised and gave instruction about riding bikes in traffic.
One of the key lessons for students was the "ABC Quick Check," Ms. Welton said. Before going on a ride, check the air, brakes, chain and quick-release levers on their bikes. Tires should be properly inflated and in good condition; brakes should work well; the chain should be able to shift properly; and the quick-release lever should be secure.
Then, test the bike out to ensure everything feels in order. If one of those components is not working, the cyclist should get the bike fixed.
Ms. Welton said she and Menlo Park Police Officer Mary Ferguson prepared for the event by observing a bike rodeo at Walter Hays Elementary School in Palo Alto.