Safety and fun for all at the Santee Bike Rodeo

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The San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Santee Traffic Enforcement Patrol, the Santee Fire Department, and the Santee Kiwanis Club teamed up to put on the “Santee Bike Rodeo, on Jan 30.

Deputies and volunteers were on hand for the safety demonstration in the Sonrise Church parking lot, to go over bicycle safety and maintenance with the children of Santee and surrounding communities.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Santee Traffic Enforcement Patrol, the Santee Fire Department, and the Santee Kiwanis Club teamed up to put on the “Santee Bike Rodeo, on Jan 30.

Deputies and volunteers were on hand for the safety demonstration in the Sonrise Church parking lot, to go over bicycle safety and maintenance with the children of Santee and surrounding communities.

Participants were taught the importance of helmets, how to ride in traffic, and were able to test their skills on a bicycle “obstacle course”. Thanks to a new program, all children who attended who did not have a bike were provided one.

Deputy Traffic Sergeant Joe Passalacqua, whose daughter also attended the bicycle safety demonstration, explained “Most of these bicycles were once evidence, or recovered property where the owners could not be located. Inmates help fix them up, make them safe, and now they are available to donate to children who may not have access to a safe bicycle. These bikes are going to good homes. Some of these are really, really nice bikes.”

Passalacqua pointed out the importance of children practicing the maneuvers taught at the safety demonstration.

“Today went really well. We had about two-dozen kids come out… we had a few different cone patterns,” he said. “We had a figure eight, a small, little pattern… an ‘S-curve’… it allows the kids to get familiar with their bikes, as well as, allows us to look and make sure they have things adjusted at the right height; it’s tuned up right, etcetera.”

Daniella Cervantes, of Santee, attended with her mother, Susana. When asked her favorite part of the day, Daniella Cervantes said, “I liked riding around the things [pointing at cones], on each side, back and forth.” She also said she learned how to be careful, and to wear a helmet.

Daniella also walked away with a new bike, for attending the demonstration. She said she’s going to give her older bike to her cousin, Jacky.

Sergeant Passalacqua remarked “It’s important for the younger generations to begin learning about the rules of the road.”

Funding for this safety program is provided through a national traffic safety grant.

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