Bicycle safety round-up at Faith Lutheran

It was all about bike safety at Faith Lutheran Church, Coon Rapids, Saturday morning.

A bike safety round-up was hosted by the Robert and Wilma Burbach 4 Kids Foundation and the FROGS (Faith’s Retired Older Guys) church service group in the church parking  lot.

Geared for children ages five through eight, the roundup featured four stations – mechanical safety check of bikes by Trailhead Cycle and Fitness, Champlin; bike helmet fittings; starts and stops instruction; and scanning in which each cyclist is shown how to look behind for traffic without swerving or falling.

In addition, retired Coon Rapids Police Officer Greg Andrie was on hand to talk about safe riding skills.

Bike helmets were available for purchase and children received a free gift for stopping at all four stations.

The Robert and Wilma Burbach Bikes 4 Kids Foundation is a nonprofit organization that collects and refurbishes used bicycles and gives them to kids and people in need in the Twin Cities area.

The bikes come from recycling centers, businesses and individuals in Anoka County and/or the metro area.

They are refurbished by foundation volunteers at property in Ham Lake owned by Al Sannerud, a member of Faith Lutheran Church.

Not only does the foundation give away free of charge the bikes that it refurbishes, it provides a free helmet along with the bike plus safety and maintenance information and stresses the importance of bike helmet use by children, according to Lowell Kutches and Byron Dokken, event chairmen.

Bikes donated by the foundation have gone to the Emma B. Howe Family YMCA for its homeless teens program so they can get to and from jobs and to Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 for its program to help homeless families in the district, Kutches and Dokken said.

In addition, some 70-plus refurbished bicycles are given to the Anoka Christmas Committee each year for its Christmas program focuses on needy families in the area, they said.

The late Robert and Wilma Burbach were longtime residents of Coon Rapids and members of Faith Lutheran Church.

According to their son, Dan Burbach, his father was an avid bicyclist who rose in 16 to 17 MS 150 bike rallies and wanted to encourage children to ride bicycles safely.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]