WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Bike Wichita Falls hosted their second annual Ride and Splash event Saturday where people of all ages were encouraged to bring out their wheels for a few hours of fun, while also educating children and parents on the safety of bike riding.
Children and adults alike enjoy bike riding in the warm summer months, but co-chair of local cycling group Bike Wichita Falls Becky Raeke wants riders to take some safety tips into consideration before hopping on their wheels.
“It’s just like when you ride a motorcycle,” Raeke said. “You always have to have your head on a swivel and be aware of what’s going on around you because you’re in the most vulnerable position.”
Raeke said planning events like Ride and Splash is a fun and unique opportunity to educate the community.
“We want kids and adults to be able to feel like they have that independence and get out and be able to explore, but we want people to do it safely and have the tools that they need if something were to happen.”
More than a dozen attendees had a chance to learn more about the rules of the road, receive fun accessories for their bikes, get bike adjustments, practice on a closed course and receive a free helmet fitting by Texas Medical Association physician Evan Meyer.
Meyer said attending events like these now could save parents a trip to the emergency room later. “There’s nothing worse for me than to see a kid in the emergency department that’s been injured from something that would’ve been preventable.”
“We’re all about trying to bring awareness to cycling of all different kinds,” Raeke said.
And Meyer had a word of advice for parents when buying their little ones a new bike: “If you’re going to buy the bicycle, go ahead and buy the helmet.”
Raeke said her favorite part of these events is seeing the children have fun while learning safe practices.
“The joy that you see when you put bike lights on a kids bike and show them how to turn it on and off, it’s just really kind of amazing,” she said.
The event definitely taught the little ones a few lessons.
“Safety, fun and to make the world a better place,” Becky Raeke’s son Matthew said.
Raeke says Bike Wichita Falls will continue to inform the community about bike safety in more events to come.
Upcoming events for the group can be found on their Facebook page.