Rule No. 1 — Wear a helmet.
Rule No. 2 — Always apply rule No. 1.
Rule No. 3 — Learn “bicycle safety” practices and vehicular “rules of the road” as they pertain to bicycles.
Bicycle safety is an ever increasing concern, especially now with the city of Tehachapi’s increase in dedicated street painted bicycle lanes. East Tehachapi Boulevard's traffic-separated bike path and the Valley Boulevard sidewalk-shared bike path are outstanding examples of the city’s efforts to make bike riding safe for all ages and levels of riders.
With these efforts in mind, Tehachapi Police Department personnel and volunteers hosted Saturday’s Bicycle Safety Rodeo for Kids with a maze of simulated riding challenges. Attending also were representatives from the California Highway Patrol, Caltrans District 9 and Bike Bakersfield.
Young riders were taught to always ride their bicycles with the direction of traffic when they're on streets with lined and dedicated bicycle routes. On city sidewalks with a painted bicycle stripe, pedestrians still have the right away. All road signs, such as stop signs or yield signs must be obeyed.
Experienced bicycle riders are allowed to ride in vehicular traffic lanes. But they must follow all vehicular traffic laws and use proper turn pockets when moving onto an adjoining street.
"The younger we can get these kids to wear helmets, learn and practice safety when riding," said Tehachapi Police Chief Kent Kroeger, "the better off they and the public will be.”
The event was also about preparing the drivers and cyclists of the future, according to officials.
At Caltrans, the agency is all about public safety, according to District 9 officials who were at the event, adding the event was about preparing children to be the commuters of the future, as the rodeo teaches them to not only be responsible cyclists, but it'll help them have top of mind when they become drivers, too.