Practicing Their Skills :: Fort Drum

Bike Rodeo 2022 1 wb.JPGFort Drum children practice turning left, right, braking and stopping on an obstacle course July 15 outside the Magrath Sports Complex during the annual bike rodeo. Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Branch staff organized the event to reinforce bike safety and help children practice their skills. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

FMWR Bike Rodeo promotes safe riding for children

mike strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, NY (July 25, 2022) – Fort Drum kids practiced their left turns, right turns, braking and stopping on an obstacle course on July 15 outside the Magrath Sports Complex during Rodeo annual bike ride.

Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Branch staff organized the event to reinforce bike safety and help children practice their skills.

“The Bike Rodeo is an annual FMWR event that teaches kids proper bike safety techniques that they can use while riding,” said Michelle Winter, who handed out cold water and treats to the kids.

She said bicycling is a fun summer activity for many missionary family members, so it was a good time to hold a clinic where they can get hands-on experience.

“We want to make sure the kids are safe when they ride their bikes, so we start by checking their helmets and making sure they fit properly,” Winter said. “Then they take the course where there are stations that teach different cycling techniques.”

The event builds children’s confidence that they can navigate the course safely, and each participant received a certificate of completion upon completion.

“Safety is a subject that can be a bit boring for kids, so we wanted it to be a fun, hands-on activity where they don’t even realize they’re learning,” Winter said. “So when they go home and ride with their family, the kids are doing things that they’ve learned here. It’s a great life skill for young members of our community that they’ve had forever.

Members of the Fort Drum Bike Patrol tested the obstacle course and were on hand to talk about bike safety with the kids. While patrolling neighborhoods, Pfc. Shane Sweeney said they ensure cyclists wear helmets and other protective gear.

“We also want to make sure they stop at stop signs, watch traffic at intersections and follow other ground rules,” he said. “The Bike Rodeo is great because it teaches kids how to ride properly, but it’s also a great community event where they might even meet new friends.”

Pvt. David Sanchez said before the Bike Patrol hit the road this summer, they saw kids not wearing protective gear. One of their priorities was to strengthen safety standards.

“We’ve seen that number drop significantly this month and throughout June,” he said. “So we can say that we have helped the communities.”

Sweeney said it’s important when kids are riding that they pay attention to what’s in front of them, whether it’s another cyclist, a pedestrian or an obstacle on the ground.

“That’s why on this obstacle course, there are a lot of turns and cones here, to teach the kids to look up and not focus on the pedals or the tires,” he said. declared.

Representatives from the Fort Drum Family Advocacy Program also attended the Bike Rodeo to help promote safety at the facility, which is also the focus of the 101 Days of Summer campaign.

“The Bike Rodeo is about safety, just like 101 Days of Summer,” said FAP educator Tom Wojcikowski. “We have a lot of special events going on with a focus on safety.”

FAP staff will be hosting a Summer Safety Luau from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 26 at the Enrichment Center, Bldg. 10262 on 4th Armored Division Drive. There will be safety activities for community members of all ages, car seat checks, games, crafts and music. For more information, call (315) 772-5914.

Additionally, the annual National Night is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on August 2 at the Adirondack Creek Community Center. Community members are encouraged to meet with local law enforcement and firefighters and talk about neighborhood safety. There will be free food, music, bouncy houses, face paint and more. For more information, visit