To the editor:
The Toronto Bike Rodeo held May 18 and sponsored by the Bike Walk committee of the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization was attended by riders of all ages. There were 59 participants, including the parents, ranging in age from 3 to 76. The participants came from East Liverpool, Mingo Junction, Irondale, Steubenville and, of course, Toronto.
The Toronto rodeo had different stations with chalk courses. The objective of each course was to make sure that each rider knows how to operate his or her bike correctly. The stations included: mounting and dismounting the bicycle, changing direction and turning in circles, steering through tight spaces, weaving, having the ability to stop quickly, turning around, riding the bicycle very slowly while maintaining balance and learning to maneuver tight turns. The stations were set up and supervised by Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Wilson. John Parker, Toronto's safety director, was instrumental in planning and tying down all the loose ends of the rodeo.
The bike rodeo began with a safety check for both the riders and their bicycles. The safety check for the rider includes helmet and bicycle fit. An ABC quick check is performed on the bicycle. The ABC quick check consists of checking for proper air pressure in the tires, checking to see if the brakes work and checking that the chains are on properly. The safety check was conducted by Bob Bratt and Kenny Swearingen.
All participants were eligible to enter a drawing for four bicycles which were provided by Trinity Health System and Steubenville Wal-Mart. Also included in the drawing was a gift basket of bicycle accessories valued at $200 from Trek Bike Store in Robinson. Free hot dogs, cookies and drinks were provided by the coalition.
The rodeo was hosted by Chief Clark Crago of the Toronto Emergency Medical Service. Others who contributed to the event were Toronto Masonic Lodge 583 and Mike Johnson of B&W Repair, who allowed the use of their lots. Subway and McDonald's of Toronto gave gift certificates to all the participants.
After the bike rodeo, Bob Merideth and the Rev. Mike Bongart took many of the bikers for a short street ride on River Avenue, which is part of the 16-mile bikeway established by the communities of Toronto, Empire and Stratton.
The coalition would like to thank all who participated and all who made the bike rodeo possible.