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Kids participate in bicycle rodeo

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POSTED July 23, 2009 1:53 a.m.

It had been years since the last bicycle rodeo was held at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manteca / Lathrop.

But athletic director Mark McCool knew the time had come for youngsters to once again learn about bike safety, especially during the summer months when many are out and about.

“Hopefully, we’ll have fewer bike-related injuries,” he said Wednesday.

The bicycle rodeo consisted of four parts – a quiz; bike-safety check; free helmets courtesy of Health Plan of San Joaquin; and a bike rodeo course.

Teen staffer Alfonzo Gonzalez helped conduct the safety inspection for each of the club members who brought their bikes to the event.

“I checked out the brakes, tires, chain, seats and wheels on each bike,” he said.

Fortunately, each of the BMX and mountain bikes passed the inspections.

“If failed, they couldn’t use the bike on the course,” Gonzalez added.

 Brittany Lang, 10, used her cousin’s bikes. The Neil Hafley School youngster also scored 100 percent correct in the bike safety written test.

“I learned (when riding) that you need to stay in the bike lane, use signals, and stop and look both ways,” she said.

According to Mahlynn Liotard, an Explorer for the Manteca Police Department – she was helped out by first-year Explorer Juan Perez – the bike rodeo course as situated in the local Boys & Girls Club parking lot consisted of orange toll cones providing twists, turns and a few stops.

One youngster took a tumble while a few others blew past the stop sign. But all told, McCool thought the event was a success.

“We’re looking forward to doing it again for next year,” he said.

The Health Plan of San Joaquin provided free bicycle helmets for participants.

To reach reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail

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