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Trumbull County Bike Fest steers to safety

WARREN — For Cecil Haynes Jr., his son, Cecil Haynes III, and grandson, Elijah Haynes, spending an afternoon riding their bikes together in the city is not something out of the ordinary.

The elder Haynes, 64, raised his children on bicycles as both a way to get them out of the house to enjoy the outdoors and to bond with his children.

The Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, the Trumbull County Combined Health District and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership co-sponsored the Trumbull County Bike Fest held outside the library.

Children received properly fitted bicycle helmets, bright green strips to wrap around their arms or legs while riding and were taught proper bicycle rules.

Bicyclists have the right to ride on city streets, Jenna Amerine told the crowd of slightly over a dozen enthusiasts.

“Bicyclists can ride on most city streets,” Amerine said. “We have to follow the same rules as other driver, so when there is a stop signal bicyclist are supposed fully stop, just like a person in any other vehicle would do.”

Judy Dodge took her son, Liam, 6, to the bicycle safety course, so he would learn how to safely navigate city streets with residents walking on them.

“I love this,” she said. “This is something that should be provided more often to help parents with young children.”

Haynes agreed saying it is important to provide activities that get people out of their houses and from in front of video games.

“Warren is a beautiful city and things like this help to show off its positive aspects,” he said.

Haynes purchased the bike he rode Saturday in 1974, a year after he got his job at Denman Tire.

“I ride my bicycle all of the time,” Haynes said. “There are people who are afraid to ride their bicycles in the city, but I am not going to allow the actions of a few people to stop me from the riding experience.”

Tara Comanesca, who was riding with John Clark, said having bicycling as a community event is important tool to keep resident active.

“While we ride anyway, having an organized event like this allows us to discover different bicycle paths that we had not seen before,” Comanesca said.

Belinda and David Johnson, who began riding bikes around the area when they were dating, brought their children up as bicyclists and now, as empty nesters, still enjoy riding through the area with one another.

“We ride for exercise and enjoyment,” Belinda Johnson said.

“We wish there was a bike club in Warren or in the area, like they have in Cleveland and other cities,” David Johnson said. “It is good to sometimes ride in groups.”

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