Winterport Students Learn a Lesson in Bike Safety Before Summer Months Begin 

The school year is almost over, but at the Leroy Smith School in Winterport, students still have one more subject to learn.”We learned about bike safety. We learned about how we can use our helmets and some quick checks for our bikes,” said 5th grader Devon Downs.Their teacher was an expert from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. He went over the basics, like what to wear while riding and the right way to wear a helmet. But he also shared some important rules that young riders might not know.”You know, you get a driver’s license for cars, you have to pass tests, a road test, a written test. Bicycles are considered a vehicle, you’re basically just out there and you’re 10 years old, so we want to give kids some knowledge about the rules of the road, where they’re supposed to be on the road, what their rights are, what the responsibilities are for the drivers,” said John Summo, safety educator at the Bike Coalition of Maine. The Bicycle Coalition hopes the program will encourage kids to be more active if they feel more comfortable riding a bike.”Some of the kids here may not know how to ride or know how to check your bike and stuff, so it would be good for them to know that,” said 5th grader Jenn Parks.Even those who grew up riding, took away some tips.”I’ve never learned about some of them, but I think they’re pretty interesting,” said Downs.And perhaps most of all, it got students excited about going outside and riding their bike this summer. Parks said, “I’m going camping on Friday and my bike is already up there. I’ve been waiting so long to go riding.”After this lesson, the hope is that when they do ride, they’ll do so safely.In addition to the safety program, the Leroy Smith School plans to give out 100 helmetsto kids at the school who need them.