On Oct. 13, the Lake Cowichan Fire Department, and the Lake Cowichan RCMP will be partnering up to host a Bicycle Safety Rally at the firehall on North Shore Road.
Sign up for a day of events including a bike safety rodeo for kids, trail races, and a safety and skills competition, will begin at 9 a.m., and activities will get under way at 10 a.m.
This is a two part fundraiser with proceeds going towards the Lake Cowichan Fire Department rescue boat, and Cops for Cancer.
“Most of the proceeds will be going to the Lake Cowichan water rescue boat,” said Wes Kelly, a volunteer fire fighter from the department in charge of coordinating the event.
Kelly has been working with Con. Jim Preston of the Lake Cowichan RCMP to drum up some great prizes for the top three contestants in each age group.
“We were going to do the entry fee by donation, but we figured this is kind of a fundraising event so we put $5 for the younger ages and $10 for the older. That way we can still afford to get some decent prizes for all the kids,” said Kelly.
The events will be tailored to the different age groups, from four up to 18-years-old.
“For the younger kids it will be more of a skills, obstacle course kind of thing to get them used to riding in and around cones, that kind of stuff: staying balanced, keeping within their lines, and then some more teaching them the rights and wrongs of traffic safety. And then for the older kids, the second age group and up, there will be the trail race that goes through Friendship Park and does a complete circle,” explained Kelly.
Kelly says that Preston will be taking on most of the instruction for the younger kids as he would like to help teach them the rules of the road, and how to stay safe.
“Just to get it instilled in them when they are young,” said Kelly. “Helmets are mandatory, if you go to Victoria and ride your bike on the road, you will get pulled over without a helmet, whereas up here they’re a little more lax about it, so he kind of wants to push that: helmets should be worn.”
Kelly says that along with teaching skills, the fire department wants to create a fun day for local kids.
“We’re going to put all our fire equipment out on display.”
All the fire trucks will be out front along with the water rescue equipment the department has managed to acquire at minimal cost.
“So people can see that we’re not just raising money for some cause that hasn’t been going forward,” said Kelly.
A digital slide show of all of the water rescue training department members have taken part in to date, will be also be on display.
The department has done four river rescues this year, which Kelly says is not up from previous years.
“But these rescues were more of rescues than they were of going down to retrieve drunken people that just couldn’t get out of their tubes,” said Kelly. “Kind of giving the town the idea that, you know, that if we’re going to put this river to use and make money off of it we have to have a way of rescuing people. If we’re going to invite them to come, we can’t just sit back and say, yeah, there’s our water, go for it. And that’s sort of what’s led us to go in this direction.”
The department will also have hot dogs and drinks available, by donation.
To learn more about the department go to lakecowichanfiredept.com, and to follow department events, or to stay on top of department news, like their Facebook page by searching Lake Cowichan Fire.