First Baptist hosts back-to-school bike rodeo
Sean Chase/Daily Observer With students soon biking back to school, it was an opportune time for Pembroke's First Baptist Church to host its inaugural community bike rodeo and barbecue. Here Constable Shawn Peever teaches seven-year-old Raina Ogborne the rules of the road.
With the impending arrival of September, the kids will soon be heading back to school on their bikes.
What a better time to educate students of all ages on the rules of the road and what steps to take to ensure they get to class safely. With that in mind, First Baptist Church hosted their inaugural Back to School Kids Bike Safety Rodeo and Community Barbecue on Aug. 24.
The event was held in co-operation with the Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, the Renfrew County Health Unit and the Canada Safety Council. It was also a reminder to both the kids and motorists to be mindful of the road and their surroundings as classes reopen.
“School's coming back and we want to make sure the kids are prepared and ride safely,” said Constable Shawn Peever, the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP community services officer.
Throughout the day, kids were challenged to negotiate a course set up in the church's parking lot on Moffat Street. The OPP Bicycle Safety Rodeo directed riders through the obstacle course covering the “do’s and don’ts” of riding on the road including braking, crosswalks, pedestrians and hand signals.
There were also given a demonstration on how to properly fit and wear a safety helmet. Once they finished the course, they got a chance to meet Elmer the Safety Elephant. The kids and their parents were also served a barbecue hotdog lunch complete with cold drink and freezie.
First Baptist decided to hold the rodeo instead of a traditional vacation bible school. The church's pastor, Reverend Wayne Sollows, said the congregation wanted to reach out to the community and provide a family day-type venue. He said he was very happy with the turnout and thanked all volunteers and partnership organizations for their support.
“We are in the community to serve the community,” said Sollows. “It's about meeting people and providing something for them. It's also about developing relationships, and maybe that opens a conversation about spirituality and faith.”