Mark Bottom,(left), instructs Grayson Owens on how to air up his bike tire (Johnson Publications photo).

Sgt. Chad Ostmeyer presents Grayson and Scarlet Thayer with “safety citations.” (Johnson Publications photo)

Under Mark Bottom’s instruction, Scarlet Thayer maneuvers her bicycle through the obstacle course at the safety class Saturday. (Johnson Publications photo)

Mark Bottom gives bicycle safety class as part of ‘Pedal for Pat’ benefit

    Mark Bottom of Imperial is preparing to “Pedal for Pat” on the 1,098-mile ride as one of the Summitt Cyclists. The 12-day trek is scheduled Oct. 17-28, starting in Knoxville, Tenn. and ending in Key West, Fla.
    As one of the kickoffs for his participation in the October trek, Bottom gave a bicycle safety class last Saturday.
    Bottom and his wife Renae set up an obstacle course of hay bales and orange cones at the school Saturday to teach young bicyclists technique, safety and simple maintenance of their bicycles.
    The young participants were taught how to check and air up their tires, maneuver their bicycles around obstacles, use their brakes correctly and the  reason for wearing a bicycle helmet.
    Bottom stressed to the riders the importance of always being watchful for cars and traffic when on or near a street. He also explained the dangers of cars backing out of driveways when the young riders are passing by.
    “Always have your head on a swivel,” Bottom told them.
    Following the different areas of instruction, Bottom took the youngsters on a bicycle ride all around the school property to reinforce and practice the lessons that they had just learned.
    At the end of the safety class, Bottom had a short question and answer session. He told them how important it is to follow the rules of safety, especially during the fair and when school starts. They must watch for motorists just like motorists must watch for them, he said. Bottom then presented each participant with a certificate of completion.
    Bottom then introduced Sgt. Chad Ostmeyer from the Imperial Police Department, and told them  he was there to explain the importance of riding safely.
    Sgt. Ostmeyer gave each safety class participant a “safety citation.” He then let them know that when police officers see them riding around town wearing their helmets and following the rules of safety, they will continue to reward them with “safety citations.”
    Bottom emphasized how important it is for children to be aware of their surroundings whenever they are riding their bikes.
    “Be careful kids and be careful drivers,” Renae Bottom cautioned.

The Imperial Republican

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Imperial, NE 69033