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home : dakota county star top stories : dakota county star top stories August 23, 2017

Local children demonstrate bike safety, receive school supplies
By Chad Watkins

The South Sioux City Optimist Club hosted their annual Bike Ride for School Supplies event on Tuesday, July 25.  Children from all over South Sioux City showed up to take part in the event at Cardinal Park in South Sioux City.  

Riders brought their own bikes and the Optimists performed safety checks to ensure that the bikes were safe to ride and working properly. At the end of the obstacle course, the children received school supplies as a reward.

“This is our fifth year for the Optimist Bike Ride for School Supplies. As friends of youth we are concerned for the welfare of the kids in our community. This activity teaches basic bike safety to the riders,” said Ardel Bengtson of the Optimist Club. 

Riders rode through four different stations to hone their riding skills in preparation for the upcoming school year.  The first station focused on maneuvering, letting the riders demonstrate their ability to ride between cones without touching them.  The second station taught the riders proper hand signals to use when riding their bikes, including the signals for left, right, slow, and stop.  The third station gauged the riders’ ability to stop, with participants riding at speed and then coming to a complete stop when directed to by the Optimist at the station.  The last station taught the riders steering, which let the participants demonstrate their ability to ride between two parallel lines over a distance of 25 feet without touching the lines.  

At the completion of each station, participants received marks on their wrist bands which could be exchanged for school supplies at the completion of their ride.  

“The school supplies are our way to provide some of the tools necessary for a successful school year. This year we are honored to have other organizations contribute to the event. We also have sponsors to thank who contributed to the contents of the bags. It has become a community event. As Optimists, we are proud to provide this activity,” Bengtson said.


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