Bikefest to promote safety for youth

Wearing helmet is natural for 6-year-old, father says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn’s youth now have a chance to feel the spirit of the Amgen Tour of California bike race. From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday kids and their parents can join other cycling enthusiasts for the Auburn Bikefest at E.V. Cain Middle School. The city of Auburn and Placer County Transportation Planning Agency are hosting the event. The event is scheduled to include a youth obstacle course, helmet fittings and bicycle safety inspections. “The safety (aspect) is important so the youth understand how to ride the bike, how to have a properly fitting helmet as well as having a safe bike to ride,” said Megan Siren, transit manager for the city of Auburn. “(The event is also) promoting bicycling to school or errands to help the air quality.” According to Solvi Sabol, alternative transportation manager with Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, Safe Kids USA reports that while 50 percent of youth ages 5 to 14 have helmets, only 25 percent say they wear them. “I think this event is an opportunity to teach kids some fundamentals of safety and just stressing wearing a helmet,” Sabol said. Siren said there are no age requirements for the event, but it’s geared more toward 5- to 12-year-olds. Siren said this event offers kids the chance to experience the thrill of Amgen. “This is more kid focused,” Siren said. “All the other Amgen activities, they are more adult focused. And it provides that safety aspect.” E.V. Cain’s D.C. Troopers are also planning to sell refreshments during Bikefest, Siren said. Lisa Kodl, owner of Auburn Bike Works, which is one of the event’s sponsors, said she is involved for a couple of reasons. “Basically I’m involved because I think it’s very important to keep our kids safe and educate them as far as the rules of the road and helmet safety,” Kodl said. “(It’s important to educate them) to always be aware of vehicles because (drivers) probably don’t see them.” Kodl said she hopes the event brings families together through learning about bicycle riding. “Hopefully it will get everyone (out there), including parents,” she said. “We have a lot of kids on bikes and their parents don’t ride … so this will help bring them in as well and be aware of what’s going on.” Auburn Police Chief Valerie Harris said the event celebrates all bicycle safety, not just safety gear. It also promotes the idea of letting family know where you are going to be riding as well as partnering up to avoid riding alone. “It’s an excellent opportunity for families to get out of the house, spend quality time together learning about biking safety,” Harris said. “It’s also an opportunity to get out and experience Auburn firsthand as a family – what is has to offer: bike trails, paths, parks … and in a safe way. It’s going to be fun.” Auburn resident Tim Arndt said he plans to take his 6-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, to Bikefest. “I think it’s important that she sees that she is not the only one that is required to wear a helmet, it’s every child,” Arndt said. “I believe when I was a kid, helmets weren’t even built yet and we didn’t wear seatbelts or anything like that. She now grabs her helmet like putting on a seatbelt.” Reach Bridget Jones at ------------------------------------------------------ Bikefest What: An event for kids and their parents designed to educate youth about riding bicycles safely. When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday Where: E.V. Cain Middle School, 150 Palm Ave., Auburn Cost: free What to bring: Your bicycle and helmet A liability release is needed for youth participating in the event. The release can be found at the city of Auburn’s website at Copies will also be available at the event. Information: Visit or ------------------------------------------------------- Bike Away from Cancer The community can help two families directly affected by cancer Friday. The Foresthill Volunteer Fire Association, Foresthill Chamber of Commerce and Wildfire Boosters Club are hosting the first “Bike Away from Cancer” event at Foresthill Divide Middle School. Start times include: 2 p.m. for kindergarteners-fourth-graders, 2:30 p.m. for fifth, seventh and eighth-graders, 3:30 p.m. for ninth-12th-graders, 4:30 p.m. for adult riders and 5:30 p.m. for sixth-graders. Riders are asking for pledges, and donations go toward the Redding Memorial Fund and Max Herlehy, a young cancer survivor. The event is scheduled to include free helmets fitted by the Foresthill Volunteer Fire Association, hot dogs, hamburgers and tri-tip, professional photographs, music, bicycle vendors, raffle prizes and more. For more information, call Deanna Duque-Quintanilla at (530) 823-4542. ------------------------------------------------------ Safety tips for bicycling from Oliver Bell, manager at Victory Velo Bike Shop · Use your senses – look and listen · Be predictable, be steady · Before riding, check your tire pressure, check all the bolts on your bike and make sure everything is tight and safe, check tires for wear or damage · Always wear a helmet. Gloves and glasses are also good gear to have. · Observe all the rules of the road such as stop signs and traffic signals. “Realize that you are going to get damaged much more than a car is going to get damaged,” Bell said. · Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Bring a phone in case you need to call someone.