Classes are generally structured for persons 6 to 14 years of age. This age range is targeted because they are usually just learning to ride a bicycle without supervision and are the ones most likely to not know, or elect to ignore, safety rules.
At least one parent or adult guardian must accompany the child(ren) attending this course.
Rodeos begin with educating participants about safety, signals, and other related matters. Special emphasis is placed on rider safety and reinforcing laws related to bicycles. Once this portion of the bicycle rodeo is complete, officers inspect the bicycles.
Participants are asked to bring their personal bicycle. The bicycles are inspected for safety, looking at things such as proper height adjustment of seats relative to the rider, properly adjusted and secure handlebars, properly operating and adjusted brakes, and other operation items that may impact safety. Minor adjustments are made as needed.
Once bicycles have been inspected, riders may ride through a simulated course of streets, intersections, driveways, and so forth, complete with stop signs, curves, and assorted other advisory signs. Traffic cones are set up to signify outlines of streets. Plastic traffic signs are placed around the course as appropriate. Riders must exhibit good skills and must wear an approved bicycle safety helmet. Riders with knee or elbow pads may wear those as well.
Participants are monitored by officers during the ride to ensure compliance with traffic laws and rider safety. Upon completion, riders are offered suggestions for improvement and/or rewarded with praise for a job well done.
The course itself is set up in advance on a hard surface trail, well out of the way of active traffic and other dangers.
Participants may also complete a form to register ownership of their bicycle with the Little Elm Police Department. In the event the bicycle is lost or stolen and recovered by police, officers can readily match the bicycle with the owner to return it.
To learn more about bicycle safety rodeos and classes contact the Community Services Division by calling 214-975-0460.