Teaching safety and responsibility in a creative and fun way will be the goal of Friday’s Bicycle Rodeo at the tennis courts in Central Park.
Boyd County Health Department program coordinator Holly West said it’s critical to teach bicycle riders when they’re young about safety.
West said records indicate Ashland has one bicycle accident per month, the third-highest rate in the state per 10,000 population. She is also working with the city to become a Complete Streets town, which paves the way for bike lanes and better sidewalks for pedestrians.
“The roadways are designed with all users in mind,” West said. “We’d like to work on Ashland to have that.”
The Bicycle Rodeo will be from 5 to 7 p.m. and features bicycle and helmet giveaways, West said. The rodeo is for ages 3 through 12 and participants should bring their bicycles. They will be placed in age groups for the education and rodeo course, which takes about an hour to complete.
Members of Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts will teach bike safety and there will be an obstacle course. King’s Daughters Medical Center staffers will assist in the training.
The health department is putting on the rodeo through a $10,000 grant from the Paula Nye Foundation, West said.
“It is all of our responsibility to improve bicycle safety,” she said. “We want the kids to come out and have a good time learning.”
Just last week a bicycle accident in Ashland sent a young girl to the hospital with a broken arm and injuries to her face. She was not wearing a helmet.
The health department had a rodeo in October in the same area. This spring, the rodeo falls on Bike to School Week, which encourages children to ride bicycles to school.
“It’s never too early to start teaching safety and education about riding a bike,” West said.