Kids Bike Safety Challenge kicks off Bike, Walk & Wheel Week

Saturday, May 14, 2011 | 4:07 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Logan Burnam just won his first brand new bike.

Excitement shone in the 7-year-old’s eyes as he admired the handsome green bike. He hid his smile and chewed on a Styrofoam cup filled with juice.

The bike was given away by the Downtown Optimist Club as part of the Kids Bike Safety Challenge held at Shelter Insurance on Saturday. The challenge kicked off Bike, Walk & Wheel Week, an annual week of activities that support healthy transportation in Columbia.

Columbia Parks and Recreation, The Health Department and the PedNet Coalition partnered to coordinate the week and are pulling it off with a budget that's been reduced from $108,000 to $5,000.

Despite temperatures near 50 degrees, children brought their bikes to the parking lot west of Shelter Insurance, where obstacle and training courses were set up so they could practice their bike-riding skills.

About 100 children and their parents attended, said Bob Smith of the Columbia Bicycle Club.

Smith said the common safety tips offered at Saturday's event apply to all riders:

  • Adjust seat height for maximum control.
  • Inflate tires for a smooth ride.
  • Check brake function.

Volunteers taught riding and safety skills. Kelsey Price, a student at Jefferson Junior High School, was among them. She will be a cheerleader this fall, and she volunteered with a group of other soon-to-be cheerleaders. Kelsey taught children how to make left-hand turns.

It was a great day, said Logan's mom, Ashley Burnam. Not only did Logan win a new bike, but his 2-year-old sister, Lydia, pedaled her tricycle by herself for the first time.

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