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'Helmets save lives': Warner Robins woman plans weekend bike rodeo for Houston County kids

She says it's important for kids to learn safe biking skills before they go on summer break.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A Warner Robins woman wants to make the streets safer for young cyclists ahead of summer. Annalicia Dawson would never pass up an opportunity to go cycling.

"I love coaching and it's relaxing," said Dawson.

She took on a nasty fall last year while riding at 17 mph. She says things could've been much worse if not for her helmet.

"My head hit the pavement. It cracked my helmet and I got a concussion. From that moment on, I knew helmets save lives," said Dawson.

After her fall, she started to notice more children riding without helmets.

"When I see any child out riding without a helmet, I actually keep helmets in my car, so I pull over and say -- 'Hey, hey! you need a helmet on,'" said Dawson.

She's using her business, Developing Potential, to host a bike rodeo for Houston County kids.

"Safely with helmets, safely with telling them how to cross the road, how to do hand signals and things like that. And so, out of seeing so many kids on their bikes, I decided I am going to help on creating a safe environment for cycling," she said.

"It's something positive and different," said Shenice Betha.

Betha thinks Dawson's bike rodeo is a great way to teach the next generation.

"She has always worked with the youth and has always been a positive influence for the youth from what I've seen, so I just thought it would be great if she could do the same for my daughter," said Betha.

"My top tips are making sure the bike is the size for the child, making sure the child has a helmet on, and making sure an adult is with the child. Those are the top three safety skills I want to teach our children and parents," said Dawson.

She also says it's important for kids to learn safe skills before they go on summer break.

The Houston County Bike Rodeo is happening Saturday, May 14, at the Creekwood Park in Perry from 9-11 a.m. It's free!

Dawson's full-time job is at Robins Air Force Base.

In honor of National Air Force Fitness Month and National Bicycle Month, Dawson says she also organized 'Bike to Work Day' for the base. It starts 6 a.m. at the Old Commissary/Building 905 parking lot on May 20. They will leave for work at 6:30 a.m. 

After work, they will meet in front of the baseball field at 4 p.m. Dawson asks you to wear red. It's a 20-mile ride.

Dawson hopes Warner Robins will create more bike trails and create more resources for bicycling safety.

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