Bicycle Safety Rodeo

Every summer, the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office holds several Bicycle Safety Rodeo's.

Lt. Dwayne Riche coordinates the rodeo with the help of area businesses. The rodeo is free and all ages are welcome.

For more information contact us at 712-890-2200. You may also contact Sgt. Dwayne Riche at

Tips To Teach Your Children Safe Biking

  • Make sure your children have proper fitting helmets (see below).
  • Make sure your children wear their helmets. A helmet can't protect your child if it's on a shelf in the garage.
  • Instruct your child which streets and intersections are more dangerous than others.
  • Instruct your child on safe ways to handle leaving driveways and approaching intersections.
  • Explain to your child that even though they can see the car, the driver of the car might not be able to see them.
  • Explain traffic laws to your child. Recent changes in the law have classified a bicycle as a vehicle. The laws that apply to you as a driver apply to your child on a bicycle.
  • Set a good example for your child. Wear a helmet. Stop at stop signs. No matter what you tell your children to do, they will do what they see you do.
  • Make sure the bicycle is the proper size for your child. If it's too big or small, your child will be unable to control it.
  • Teach your children the turn signals (see graphic to the right). With a little practice, they become second nature.
  • Take the time to ensure your children are safe on their bikes. Ultimately, you are the best teacher your children have.

Bicycle Helmets

If you are unable to purchase a helmet for your child, the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office will provide one, free of charge.

The following information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the selection and use of bicycle helmets:

Fitting A Bicycle Helmet - Position

Put the helmet on your child's head so it sits evenly between the ears and rests low on the forehead - it should only be about 1-2 finger widths above the eyebrows.

Fitting A Bicycle Helmet - Pads

Put foam pads inside the helmet so it feels comfortable but really snug. Usually, the helmet includes more than one size of foam pads that can be velcroed inside the helmet for a better fit.

Fitting A Bicycle Helmet - Straps

Tighten the chin strap as snugly as possible. Adjust the junction of front and back straps just under the ears and secure the back strap without putting pressure on the front strap.

If all of this sounds confusing, follow the simple 5-Step Helmet Fit Test below. The helmet should pass each of the five steps.

Step Problem Solution

With one hand, gently lift the front of the helmet up and back.

Helmet moves back to uncover the forehead.

Tighten front strap to junction. Also, adjust padding thickness and/or position, especially in back. Make sure the chin strap is snug. If this doesn't work, the helmet may be too big.


With one hand, gently lift the back of the helmet up and forward.

Helmet moves forward to cover the eyes.

Tighten back strap. Make sure the chin strap is snug. Also, adjust padding thickness and/or position, especially in the front.


Put a hand on each side of the helmet and rock from side to side. Have your child shake their head "no" as hard as possible.

The helmet slips from side to side.

Check padding on sides and make sure the straps are evenly adjusted.


Have your child open their mouth (lower jaw) as wide as possible, without moving their head. The top of the helmet should pull down.

The helmet does not pull down when opening their mouth.

Tighten the chin strap. Make sure the front and back strap junction is under each ear.


Check to see if the front edge of the helmet covers their forehead. The front edge of the helmet should not be more than 1 to 2 finger-widths from their eyebrows.

The helmet does not cover the child's forehead.

Position helmet no more than 1 to 2 finger-widths above eyebrows. Tighten any loose straps. Make adjustments so the helmet stays over the forehead.

Keep That Bike Safe Too!

Teach your children to always lock up their bike. A U-lock should be used, securing both the front wheel and the frame to a stationary object such as a bike rack. Help your children practice locking up their bike.

Record the serial numbers of your children's bikes and keep them with the sales receipt and a photograph of the bike.

Mark children's bikes with an engraver to deter thieves and to help in identifying and returning a stolen bike. Use a unique number, such as your driver's license.


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