Sunday, May 14, 2017

• Bicycle Safety Event/ALS One 5K 2017

Wildomar Rotary's annual bicycle safety event, and the ALS One 5K were held on the same day this year, in conjunction with the city of Wildomar's Health and Safety Fair. 

Though the setting up of the course began around dawn and the last remnants were down a little after noon. The planning for such a multi pronged event was many months in the making.

The pre-race introductions began a few minutes before 8:00am, and then the first 10K in the city's history began.
The runners assembled around the stage as introductions were made, and the reason why event promoter Erin Hartley is motivated to put on the event. Link to blog with Erin and Ken Hartley discussing the lead up to the inaugural ALS One 5K.

The start of the 10K, with the eventual winner (in green) out to an early lead.
Not long after that the 5K started and over 200 runners began their 3.2 mile journey that started and finished in the park. 
And they're off... 

Less than 20 minutes after the start, the winner crossed the finish line. 
He lead wire to wire.
The course made it's way to Union St. down to Wesley, back up Union St to a city controlled buffer zone between houses near the south side of Collier elementary's campus, down Palomar and then to the finish line near one of the ball fields in the park.

There were quite a few vendors and booths that were part of the health and safety fair.
Janice Lee of Geri Fit shares info with some potential customers (fifty years from now). ☺

Part of the bicycle event was the BMX Pros Stunt Show, a crowd favorite. The highlight of the first performance was jumping over the Lake Elsinore Storm's seven foot tall mascot, Thunder. 
Check out the 18 second video where Thunder ends up getting bonked on the nose.

Three eager volunteers from Wildomar Elementary showed much bravery.

A series of images where volunteers were jumped over.
The feelings of relief, and the looks they cause, are classic.
The safety part of the event started with sign in, then getting a free helmet, and going through an obstacle course designed to teach kids about the rules of the road.
The two green bikes in the lower left were some of the bikes given away.

Rotarian Stewart Moore helps adjust the strap on the helmet of another satisfied customer. 
Long time Rotary member Paul Bakeman shows what to do at a traffic signal.
A lot of kids didn't bring their bikes, but that didn't prevent them from walking the course, and hearing the information about what to do at crosswalks, train tracks and other things a cyclist might encounter along their rides. 
Rotary member Andy Morris works the crossing gate.

The key figures behind the Bicycle Safety Event are Bridgette Moore and April Watkins. I asked for a little history behind the event and was told:

In 2007, April's family and my family were in Cub Scout Pack 332 together. One of our Scouts, Jessie James Possehl, was hit and killed while riding his bicycle. Our Pack 332 put up the reward to find the driver and it worked! April, Cody (the younger brother of Jessie) and I then started working on a Bicycle Safety idea in his honor. We contacted Supervisor Bob Buster who put us in touch with IEHP. The first event was held in the Elks Lodge parking lot. 

Nita McCoubrey speaks about safety, and the importance of wearing helmets while biking. In the background, from left to right, are: April Watkins, Sunny, Daisy, Bridgette Moore, Tim Walker, and one of the stunt show riders.

•          •          •

If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time.
– Edith Wharton, 1862-1937

Wildomar Rap doesn't quite agree with Ms. Wharton's point. I think if people would stop any whiny complaining, we'd have an even better time. 

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