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Bike Rodeo set for Saturday

June 02, 2010 | 08:23 AM
Bloomfield — Police officer Jim Seeberg has lived in Pell Lake for a couple years now, but he's worked on the Town Police Department for eight.

He said he has seen several children riding bicycles in an unsafe manner. He's seen them riding against traffic, not obeying traffic signs and not wearing helmets.

"We had, a couple of summers ago, a girl who was riding a bike that was way too big for her to handle," Seeberg said. "She rolled out of the Mobil parking lot (on Park Drive). She couldn't stop and she rolled into traffic. She ran into the side of a vehicle."

The girl survived with only a few scrapes, but it could've ended much worse.

That's why Star Center Elementary School and the Bloomfield Town Police Department organizes an annual bike rodeo at Star Center Elementary School. This year's rodeo takes place Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Although an area such as Pell Lake may not have the traffic concerns of a community such as its neighbor to the north, Lake Geneva, Seeberg — who organized the event along with his wife, Kathy, and Sue Cole — said that isn't the case.

"If you look at Pell Lake, it's fairly densely populated," Seeberg said. "That's where the bulk of the population of the town lives, so I think (the bike rodeo) is appropriate."

He said the timing also is right for the event, which is geared toward elementary school-aged children — both from Star Center and other area schools.

"With summer coming up, the kids will be out of school soon," Seeberg said. "It's the perfect time to promote bike safety and give out helmets."

Habush Habush & Rottier is providing 125 free helmets on a first-come, first-serve basis once the rodeo starts.

Seeberg said children will be fitted for helmets and a mechanic will be available to inspect their bicycles.

There are several stops along the main event of the rodeo — a skill course testing and teaching children the rules of the road and bicycle handling tips.

"There's a low-speed race where they have to maintain their balance," Seeberg said. "Actually, the slowest person wins that race.

"There's another station where they have to look over their shoulder, to be able to check behind them and have to keep their bike straight."

Other members of the Bloomfield Town Police Department will run the stations along the skill course.

There also will be a free hot dog lunch for children who participate in the course. Others can purchase lunch.

Free raffle prizes, including a new bicycle as a grand prize, also are expected.

It all adds up to one of the reasons Seeberg said he enjoys most about the event.

"The kids do get excited about it," he said. "They do get into it and that cuts across all age groups. Even with bad weather last year, we still had a good turnout."

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