Listen up . . . Oamaru Police Sergeant Blair Wilkinson briefs the bikers at last year's event. PHOTO: CAROL EDWARDS

It’s that time of year again.

Waitaki children are being invited to test their bike skills at the annual Cycle Skills Fun Day in Oamaru.

Since 1997, Waitaki Road Safe has hosted the event to teach children about road safety and cycle skills.

This year, the event would also feature a large truck demonstration, explaining drivers’ blind spots and safety risks for cyclists.

Co-ordinator Catherine Wilson said the display, which was designed for other drivers too, would be educational for children and parents alike.

“We would like … children to come along and learn new skills, but we want parents and caregivers to enjoy it and learn too,” Mrs Wilson said.

A free barbecue would be held from 12.30pm.

Children could register from 12.45pm, before bikes would be checked and tested by the Waitaki Road Safe team. Then the obstacle course and other challenges would get under way.

What made the obstacle courses different was how they simulated real-life road obstacles and challenges within the controlled environment of Takaro Park.

Catering to different age groups, the routes would feature battery operated traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

Mrs Wilson said the day was important as traffic volumes rose and fewer children were cycling.

“We want to improve their knowledge and skills, but in a fun environment.”

The Oamaru Ordinary Cycle Club would also bring along some heritage bikes for children to try out.

Mrs Wilson said 70 to 80 children normally attended the fun day, with many of the same families coming back each year.

To keep things fresh for those returning, the group redesigned the courses annually.

To participate, children needed to bring their own bikes.

A limited number of bicycles would be available for those who needed them.

The Cycles Skills Fun Day is being held at Takaro Park tomorrow.