The Carolina Beach Police Department is hosting a bicycle safety event on Saturday. Bike Rodeo, which is being held again for the first time since 2008, will be taking place at the Carolina Beach Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We have a lot of bike riders [on the island],” said Carolina Beach Police Corporal Stewart Henderson, one of the event’s organizers. “I figured we should bring it back to the kids about safety since we have so many bike riders.”
A safety course will be set up outside the recreation center by the League of American Bicyclists, who will also be giving the safety demonstrations. Participants will first register their bicycle with the police department, get some free goodies, sit for a helmet fitting and then go through the safety course. Bikes will be provided to complete the course for those who don’t have their own, and thanks to donations, 400 helmets are available for every child who doesn’t have one.
After successfully completing the course, each rider will be given a ticket to enter the recreation center, where carnival games and other forms of entertainment will be set up. The tickets will allow people to play the games to win prizes as well as enter them into raffles. The list of prizes include iPads and 35 bicycles, all of which were donated by local businesses.
There will also be free food and refreshments. King BMX Stunt Show, which was featured on America’s Got Talent and has performed at halftime shows at events around the country, will be performing three times during the course of the event. Showtimes are 10:45 a.m., noon, and 1:15 p.m. outside the rec center.
The popularity of the event, which was held for eight straight years until 2008, partially led to it being discontinued.
“It was overwhelming for the size of the police department at the time,” said Henderson, who is also the school resource officer for Carolina Beach Elementary School.
It took a lot of help from the community to bring the event back. Planning for the event began in February, and $21,000 has been raised to go toward getting all the things that will be made free to the public.
Diane Hodapp, owner of Shore Break Bikes and a member of the Bike Rodeo committee, is one of the people donating time and resources to make the event as successful as possible.
“In the summer when it’s busy, [bicycling] is the easiest way to get around the island,” Hodapp said. “That’s why bike safety is so important.”
Hodapp and her business donated 200 of the 400 helmets that will be available and is also helping man a station that will be doing safety checklists and minor repairs for bikes. She said she’ll also be giving out coupons to her store for people who need major fixes.
“We’ve been super busy at the store, so that’s a good sign” of the level of interest in cycling on the island, said Hodapp. “It’s going to be such a great event.”