Yale Police Host A Bike Rodeo for Kids

June 9, 2015

In celebration of Bike Month, the Yale University Police Department (YPD) in partnership with Connecticut Safe Kids and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center held its first Bike Rodeo for Kids. Children ages 6 to 12 from the New Haven and Yale communities were invited to learn about bike safety and test their skills on a bike obstacle course.

After each child registered, Yale Police officers checked each bike for safety, and assisted riders along the course.  Every rider was required to wear a helmet, with free helmets given to those without one.   Each child then rode around an obstacle course set up with bright orange traffic safety cones.  “Officer Mike Brown did a safety check on each bike including a brake check. Safe Kids and Children’s Medical Center staff made sure helmets were properly fitted, or if broken would give them helmets donated by the Connecticut Elks Association,” said Lieutenant Jay Jones.

 Afterward, the kids and their families enjoyed pizza, ice cream and a raffle—every child went home with a full gift bag! Prizes included 3 brand new bicycles, stuffed bulldogs, gift cards, books and educational toys. Special guests included Captain Super Safe from the Children’s Medical Center and Geoffrey the Giraffe from Toys ‘R Us.

With the forecasted rain holding off, over 50 kids had fun doing multiple laps around the serpentine course to music—DJ courtesy of the New Haven Parks and Recreation.  Parents were able to have free photo IDs made for their kids courtesy of New York Life Insurance.  Captain Super Safe, a local comic book hero who educates children on safety and injury prevention, rode alongside the kids carrying a first aid kit in case of any scraps.

“The kids loved Captain Super Safe, and he even stayed long enough to pick the three winners of the donated bikes,” said Jay Jones.  In addition to the brand new bikes, donated by College Street Cycles and Children’s Medical Center, there were tons of gifts donated by 15 departments from across the University including:  the Peabody Museum, Yale Travel Management, Yale Athletics and the Chaplains Office and the Affinity Groups.  “We plan on doing this yearly.  Both the kids and officers had a great time,” said Chief Ronnell Higgins “And no I can’t reveal who Captain Super Safe is,” he continued with a smile.

This first time event was a true success because of the many volunteers including several YPD officers, their families and several student volunteers from local schools.  For more information on New Haven Bike Month, click here http://www.newhavenbikemonth.com/.

By Lisa M. Maloney, Administration