Albany police hold bike safety month event

Albany County
A child riding a bike thorugh an obstacle course at the Albany Police's Bike Rodeo. (Albany Police Department)

A child riding a bike thorugh an obstacle course at the Albany Police’s Bike Rodeo. (Albany Police Department)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Police Department and the Police Athletic League (PAL) held the 10th-annual Albany Bike Rodeo on Saturday morning.

The event ran from 10 a.m. to noon and took place at the police headquarters on Henry Johnson Boulevard. It was in honor of May being National Bicycle Safety Awareness Month.

“The Albany PAL Bicycle Rodeo is a wonderful event that we look forward to participating in each year,” said Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins in a statement. “The Bike Rodeo provides an even greater opportunity for our officers to work closely with and educate our youth about bicycle safety. Building relationships with our youth is vital to police-community relationships and I’d like to thank PAL for all they continue to do for our kids in the Albany community.”

Organizers offered kids several activities meant to be fun and educational, including hands-on demonstrations like taking a ride on specially designed bicycle courses with police. All participants were entered into a raffle to win a new bike donated by Walmart.

Kids also could be fitted for a new bike helmet, receive a reflective safety vest, get their faces painted, and play with balloon animals. Stewart’s was on hand offering ice cream, and the police also had a hotdog barbecue for participants.

“Simply stated, this event is education by practice,” said retired Sgt. Lenny Ricchiuti, PAL’s Executive Director. “The goal of our Bicycle Rodeo is to provide an opportunity for participants of all ages to learn, practice, and demonstrate their bicycle handling skills in a fun, non-competitive atmosphere. The event will teach young bicyclists the real-world skills they need to ride their bicycles safely.”

The event was meant to address bicycle safety and road/traffic awareness, health, and bicycle maintenance and repair. It was backed by CDTA, Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany, and the Albany Walmart.

PAL is a crime prevention program focused on providing healthy outlets for thousands of local kids outside of school hours.

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