PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Learning to ride a bike is a right of passage as a kid, but learning to balance is not the only element you need to learn.
Before they can peddle away it is important to go over some safety tips.
That’s why Panama City Police Officer John Constaintino organized the first ever “bicycle rodeo.”
“This particular course gives them at least a beginning idea of what to look for, to look both ways and how to treat signs that they would see on the streets for their safety,” Constantino said.
This event taught kids the importance of awareness and safety while riding their bikes. Some things include stopping to look both ways, wearing a helmet and keeping an eye out for passing cars.
“So we are teaching the kids how to ride on the right side of the road and how to ride properly,” Constanino said.
PCPD set up a course for each kid to ride through with different tasks they need to perform and later apply when riding on their own.
Zak Harchenko said he learned many things that will help him become a better rider.
“When you see a stop sign you have to stop and whenever you see a yield sign that means slow down and watch for other cars,” Harchenko said.
Volunteers made sure each kid’s bike fit them properly and was safe to ride by checking the breaks, putting air in the tires and adjusting the seat.
PCPD also raffled off bikes, helmets and other riding gear donated by Walmart to the kids who successfully completed the course.
This was the first time the Panama City Police held this event, and they are already planning to do it again next year.