Woodward, Okla. —
A local motorcycle group is looking to help kids get an early start with learning how to be safe while riding on 2 wheels.
The ABATE Northwest 69 (NW69) chapter will be holding its Bicycle Education Safety Training (BEST) program this Saturday at Crystal Beach Park.
Steve Stewart, president of ABATE NW69, said the reason his club is concerned about bicycle safety is "because our group believes that hopefully a kid with a bicycle might eventually become a motorcyclist."
"And when the fundamentals of safety are taught at a young age, it crosses over to when they are old enough to ride motorcycles," he said.
The ABATE chapter holds the program in May because this month is recognized as "Motorcycle Awareness Month," he said.
Stewart said the BEST program is geared toward children up to 13-years-old and will cover a variety of safety topics. This includes safety equipment such as helmets and safety glasses; different safety procedures such as basic traffic signals and hand signals for turning; and how to maintain a bicycle to ensure that it has the proper air pressure in the tires and that the brakes are working.
He said a course will be set up inside the park with 4 informational booths and the children will ride to each booth where they will learn about a different aspect of safety.
"The kids will be earning points at the different stations and those with the top scores will get trophies for 1st and 2nd place," Stewart said. "We will also be giving away new bikes for each age group."
In addition, he said each child who brings their bicycle to participate in the program will receive a t-shirt and their bicycle will undergo a safety inspection. ABATE members will also be serving ice cream to the children as an added treat, he said.
"It is a free program and we invite the public to come out so their kids can learn about bicycle safety," Stewart said.
The program will last between noon and 3 p.m. this Saturday, but Stewart encouraged families to show up a little early for registration.
The activities will take place near the Band Shell and pavilion areas on the west side of Crystal Beach Lake.
In addition to ABATE NW69, Stewart said representatives from ABATE of Oklahoma, the Christian Motorcyclists Association, and the Vietnam veterans motorcycle group will also be in attendance, supporting the BEST Program.