Safety first at bike event in Portsmouth

Police share tips on safe cycling with youngsters

By Jim McGaw
Posted 4/25/22

PORTSMOUTH — Pedals, police and popcorn were on the bill last Wednesday, April 20, for the first Bicycle Safety Forum in Common Fence Point.

Children and adults brought their bikes to the …

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Safety first at bike event in Portsmouth

Police share tips on safe cycling with youngsters

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Pedals, police and popcorn were on the bill last Wednesday, April 20, for the first Bicycle Safety Forum in Common Fence Point.

Children and adults brought their bikes to the parking lot of the CFP Arts, Wellness, and Community Center for free inspections by Art Leland, owner of Your Bike Shop in Warren; helmet fittings by Marissa Caito, Bike Newport’s safety educator; and safety tips from Portsmouth Police Officers Maddie Pirri and JeanMarie Stewart.

“Always wear safety gear, especially a helmet,” said Officer Pirri, who pointed out that Rhode Island law declares anyone age 15 and younger must wear a helmet. “We want it to properly fitted, so we have Bike Newport here to help with that.”

She also advised everyone to get the air pressure of their bicycle tires checked before riding to reduce the risk of having a flat tire. ”It’s very important to make sure you don’t get stranded somewhere,” she said.

Bike owners should also get their brakes checked, which a bike shop can help them with. 

“And make sure you have all the proper reflective gear on the bikes. During the evening time, it can be hard to see with the visibility. Especially in the summer, kids like to go ride bikes and sometimes it’s hard if people are in dark clothing and they don’t have reflective gear on,” Officer Pirri said.

Officer Stewart said anyone on a bike should act as if they’re operating a motor vehicle on the road. 

“You need to obey the rules of the road,” she said. “If there’s a ‘stop’ sign, stop at it; if there’s a red light, stop at it. If you’re turning right or left, make sure you signal using your hands so other bicyclists on the road as well as different motor vehicles know which way you’re going. Always ride on the right side of the road, with traffic; make sure you’re going with the cars. Last but not least, stop for pedestrians in the roadway; make sure they see you and you see them.”

Nicole Gotovich was the main organizer for the event, which also featured the Castaway Gourmet food truck, free popcorn, raffles and COVID-19 test kits donated by the town. Looking Upwards donated the popcorn-maker and a PA system, Gotovich said.

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.