U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Haber counts down to the start of the bicycle drag race at the Bicycle Rodeo held in the Base Exchange parking lot on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 9, 2012. The rodeo also featured a bike safety briefing, an obstacle course and bicycle bingo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook/Released)
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ross Weatherford (left) and Staff Sgt. Matthew Anderson (right), both from the 355th Fighter Wing Ground Safety Office, demonstrate the benefits of wearing a bicycle helmet to children at the Bicycle Rodeo held in the Base Exchange parking lot on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 9, 2012. The demonstration utilized watermelons to show the protection offered by a helmet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
6/27/2012 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The 355th Fighter Wing Ground Safety office held a Bicycle Rodeo at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 9.
The Bicycle Rodeo was for children of all ages and focused on teaching the basics of bike safety.
"This event teaches kids the basics, such as air pressure in the tires, proper brake usage and bicycle chain maintenance," said Tech. Sgt. Ross Weatherford, 355th FW SEG non-commissioned officer in charge of traffic safety.
The rodeo featured a bike safety briefing, an obstacle course, a drag race and bicycle bingo.
"This is the third Bicycle Rodeo we've put on since I've been at Davis-Monthan," Weatherford said. "We like to make the event fun so the kids can have a good time while they learn an important lesson."
The obstacle course featured simulated intersections and railroad tracks. Volunteers walked with the children as they rode through the course, instructing them on the proper safety precautions.
Senior Airman Jennifer Denton, 755th Operational Support Squadron, and husband U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. Ben Denton, brought their son, Gavin, out for the festivities.
"Everyone needs to learn the fundamentals," Denton said. "We've taught him the bike-riding basics, and now he can pick up some new tips and practice what he's learned out here in a fun environment."
Participants also took part in Bicycle Bingo. Volunteers drew a large "bingo card" onto the pavement using sidewalk chalk. The kids then acted as bingo chips and stood on a number.
"The bikes, gift cards and other prizes were provided by The Exchange and the commissary," said Mary Ann McFadden, Davis-Monthan exchange loss prevention manager. "We set it up so that if a small child won a bigger bike, or a boy won a pink bike helmet, they could take them to the exchange and switch them for more fitting prizes."
At the end of the rodeo, volunteers used watermelons and a bike helmet to demonstrate to the children why bike helmets are necessary for bike safety.
"Our job at the Safety Office is to keep people safe," Weatherford said. "Through training and education, we try to keep mishaps from occurring."