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Cub Scouts Break in Bicycle Rodeo

Six Cub Scout packs are breaking in the idea of promoting bicycle safety at the one-day Eastern Loudoun Bike Safety Rodeo on Aug. 3.

They are joining Pack 1156, which held the bike safety rodeo for the first time last year.

"The attendance was low, so they gathered the rest of us in," said Paul McCray, cub master for Pack 572 and trail manager of the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail. McCray referred to last year's turnout of about 60-70 children.

Sterling Cub Scout Packs 572, 761, 950, 951, 1152 and 1157 joined in this year to try for a larger turnout of 400-500. The Packs are inviting Loudoun children ages 3 to 12 to learn about bicycle safety and win a few prizes, including the grand prize of a 21-speed bicycle. The children are asked to first stop at a bicycle maintenance station, where they can have their bicycles checked by volunteer bicycle mechanics. The mechanics will make minor repairs and adjustments.

Children also can go to a bicycle decorating station and participate in a bicycle course. The course is set up with cones and makeshift cones to teach children hand signals and controlled riding.

"It's a service project primarily, and it's geared toward the youth of the area, and that's our main focus," McCray said. "We're trying to show everybody it's going to be fun, a lot of neat bike stuff going on."

THE LOUDOUN COUNTY Sheriff's Office bicycle deputies and the W&OD Trail Patrol will talk about bicycle safety for road and trail riding. The bicycle deputies provide neighborhood patrol, while the trail patrol has about 50 volunteers who patrol W&OD for safety and provide directions.

The Loudoun Hospital's Mobile Health Van and the Department of Fire and Rescue Services also will be at the event. Merchants and companies from the area donated food and drinks, bicycling gear and other items.

"In my neighborhood, a lot of kids are out here without helmets on, [engaging] in risky behavior," said Mike Weber, bicycle rodeo coordinator and Webelos Den leader for Pack 1156, adding, "It's not just my neighborhood, it's everywhere. ... It's to get the word out about bike safety and just wanting to do something nice for the community."

The bicycle rodeo is scheduled from 10 a.m.-noon at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Sterling. A visit from Medstar Transport's helicopter is tentatively scheduled at 10:30 a.m., unless the helicopter is needed for emergency purposes.

The event is free and will take place rain or shine.