Wheels were spinning and bicycle bells were ringing at North Aiken Elementary School on Saturday afternoon.
The Aiken Community Bike Rodeo was held on Saturday for which dozens of children showed up to have their bicycles inspected and learn how to safely navigate their neighborhoods while riding their bikes. Demonstrations on the proper installation of child safety seats also took place at the event.
The sponsors of the Bike Rodeo included the Aiken Department of Public Safety, Safe Routes to School, Eat Smart Move More and Safe Kids Aiken County.
Aiken Public Safety officers spent the afternoon fixing children's bicycles as well as walking them though a safety course.
The children were also taught the importance of acknowledging stop signs, wearing a helmet and using hand signals. Children zipped around traffic cones, and after they completed the course, they enjoyed a hot dog lunch.
Alonzo Carter, 10, was at the event participating in the safety course and helping Public Safety fix bicycles.
“I think it's cool because the officers took the time to be here,” Carter said.
Wanda Beasley, Aiken County Eat Smart Move More committee member, said this is the kind of event that matches the goals of her organization.
“Our focus is to eat smart and move more, and we need to start with the kids,” Beasley said.
Public Safety Lt. Karl Odenthal said that they were very happy the weather was nice on Saturday and that chance of rain didn't deter children from showing up. He added they hope to bring the Community Bike Rodeo to other city neighborhoods in the future.
Safe Routes to School Midlands Coordinator Doris Ford would also like to see more events like the Bike Rodeo held in the area.
“It brings a community together, and it also teaches the kids about bike safety,” Ford said. “It's especially important now with the spring when more kids are out on their bikes.”
STAFF PHOTO BY AMY BANTON Jonae Finnie brought her bicycle to the Bike Rodeo event held on Saturday to enjoy riding with the other children and learn about bike safety.×