Bodie, Brooklyn and Harper waited for instructions in the safety course of the bike clinic, before they got their chance to use hand signals and make some tricky turns on their bicycles.
“I really like riding my bike,” said 5-year-old Bodie Prock, of Sutherlin.
His sister, 7-year-old Brooklyn Prock, and their friend, 5-year-old Harper Woods, all agreed that doing the safety course with the hand signals was their favorite part of the bike clinic that took place at the basketball courts in Stewart Park on Wednesday.
“It’s also fun because I get to do it with my best friend,” Brooklyn said. “I’ve known her since she was born.”
The course designed to teach children bicycle skills, such as learning how to make sharp turns and sudden stops, while using hand signals was enjoyed by many young cyclists.
Lian Leninger, 6, was excited to try out the course. He said he didn’t ride his bike very much anymore, but that he was very good at riding and making turns.
Lian also got a quick lesson in hand signals from Owen and Evan Kruse before getting to take on the course.
Teaching children how to use hand signals on bicycles was just one aspect of what Safe Routes to School Facilitator Janelle Newton had in mind for the clinic.
“We typically partner with schools directly, and a lot of the things you see right now we usually do in the schools,” she said. “But with COVID, as you can imagine, it’s been really hard to get into school to teach kids how to ride bikes safely. So we’re basically improvising.”
City of Roseburg Parks & Recreation Department allowed the organizations to use city parks and spaces that are open to the public, even amid the pandemic.
Newton, who works for the Douglas Education Service Department, partnered with community organizations, such as Umpqua Valley Bicycle Outreach and Blue Zones Project, to teach children about bicycles.
“The things that we really want to focus on are traffic, traffic signs, fitting your bike properly, fitting your helmet properly, and teaching the kids hand signals,” Newton said.