Bike safety event planned May 19

Elementary-aged kids will have the opportunity to learn tips on cycling safety, to get free bike safety helmets and t-shirts and to sneak a peek at the attractions at Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City at a free family event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 19.

The annual Kansas City, Kansas, Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo is back for the 12th year with expanded offerings and the same great location. The event will be held rain or shine in the parking lot and entrance area of Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Kansas City, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.

The KCK Kiwanis West, in partnership with Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City, Big D Cycling, Midwest Trauma Society and numerous other community businesses and organizations, are committed to helping area youth ride their bicycles safely.

“Cycling is a fun and healthy way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors,” said Jan Wiley, KCK Kiwanis West event chair. “It’s also a leading cause of unexpected and sometimes serious injuries. Our goal is to ensure that youth learn the rules of the road and understand the importance of wearing well-fitted safety helmets.”

Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles to the event to have their bikes inspected free and to complete the bicycle safety course. Youth must be accompanied by an adult in order to participate. The first 300 to arrive will receive a free bike safety helmet and T-shirt. Participants will rotate through seven bike riding skill stations and have the opportunity to earn a bicycle safety certificate.

“Every year, more than half a million bicyclists visit hospital emergency rooms because of cycling mishaps,” Wiley said. “Nearly one quarter of those injured in bike-related accidents are youth. A properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent if a fall occurs. As the main sponsor of this bike rodeo, the Kansas City, Kansas, Kiwanis West Club is committed to making sure area youth understand the importance of riding safely.”

Back again this year will be a free, drive-through car seat safety check. Experts will inspect car seats and ensure they are installed securely in families’ vehicles.

Lana Martin, Children’s Mercy Kansas City trauma program manager, Lana Martin said, “Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children from ages 1 to 14. Even though most parents understand the importance of putting their children in car and booster seats, seven out of 10 kids in child safety restraints are not buckled in properly. We want to reduce that number.”

Schlitterbahn season passes will be on sale for $5 off the full gate price. Season pass holders will have an exclusive opportunity to beat the rush and process their season pass ID cards during the event.

“Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City is thrilled to host this popular community event,” says Jeff Hays, cirector of marketing and sales. “In addition to helping kids gear up for a safe bike-riding season, the event promises to offer a morning packed with free family fun.”

Bike rodeo participants will get to tour attractions at Schlitterbahn; get a close up look at emergency vehicles, get into the groove with Zumbatronics workouts; and engage in other activities, games and crafts provided by local businesses and organizations.

Those with questions or who need directions on the day of the event, may call 816-751-4227. To get to Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City from I-435, take Exit 13 – State Avenue East. Turn left at the second traffic light and enter the parking lot.

Event sponsors include Kiwanis Club of KCK West, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City, Big-D Cycling, Healthy Communities Wyandotte, Midwest Trauma Society, Providence Medical Center, Atmos Energy, Board of Public Utilities, Country Club Bank, August Resources, Paces, DeGoler’s Pharmacy, Edward Jones-Eric McTye, Kansas City Kansas Community College, KVC Hospitals, Inc., Leadership 2000 Class #32, Security Bank of Kansas City, Sunflower Family Dentistry, Wyandotte County Historical Museum, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, Kansas City Kansas Fire Department and the Kansas City Kansas Police Department.

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