Photo by Sherri Kolade
Lola Bouteiller (center), 7, of Dearborn Heights, rides her bike on an obstacle course during the Dearborn Heights Rotary Club’s annual Bike Safety Rodeo April 5. The bicycle safety course allowed children to practice safety tips such as how to ride their bikes on a sidewalk and correctly cross the streets.
By SHERRI KOLADE
HEIGHTS — Lola Bouteiller jumps off of her multicolored bike and looks both ways before crossing the street.
The 7-year-old Dearborn Heights resident wasn’t on a busy street, she was practicing how to ride her bike safely in an obstacle course during the Dearborn Heights Rotary Club annual Bike Safety Rodeo event April 5.
The Rotary Club passed out helmets to promote bicycle safety and to encourage children to wear protective gear while riding their bicycles at the Dearborn Heights Police Department.
A bicycle-safety course was used to give children safety tips on how to ride their bikes on a sidewalk, and the correct way of crossing the streets.
Dearborn Heights Police Cpl. Leonard Stewart said Rotary is trying to promote bike safety throughout Michigan.
“A lot of kids get hit by cars and they can learn to properly cross the street while here,” Stewart said.
A free lunch was included, as well as a free Michigan Child ID program, put on by the Mason’s Olive Branch 542 lodge.
Parents received a Child ID packet containing a CD with the child’s name, age, height, weight, profile, finger prints and dental impression.
The packet can be given to police if a child is missing.
Dearborn Heights Rotary Club President Mike Cutler said the Bike Safety Rodeo began as an initiative with several local insurance companies.
“This is the time of the year where they start getting out there and riding,” Cutler said. “There are so many dangers and a lot of parents appreciate it … hopefully it sticks.”
Dearborn Heights parent Angela Tomaine brought her son and neighbor to the Bike Safety Rodeo, and said the event was informational and a lot of fun.
“They learned that the bike has to have more safety procedures than just jumping on and riding it,” Tomaine said. “They learned they have to check the helmet, tires and walk the bikes across the street.”
(Sherri Kolade can be reached at [email protected])