A lot of children find bicycles under the tree at Christmas and a lot of organizations have been collecting and distributing donated bikes to needy families for gifts during the holidays.

But a bike that should be a welcome source of play and recreation can instead be a hazard if it hasn't been properly assembled. And many -- if not most -- bikes these days come "some assembly required," leaving the task to the purchaser or often an inexperienced store employee.

That's why bicycle advocacy group Richmond Spokes (www.richmondspokes.org) is holding its Holiday Bike Safety Extravaganza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 29 at its shop at 339 11th St. in Richmond.

"Every year banks, churches and (numerous) organizations give away Christmas bikes," writes Brian Drayton, founder of the nonprofit organization. "Last year, within hours, we had about 15 kids come by with issues that were safety risks from poorly assembled bikes," including one child who ended up at the Kaiser Richmond emergency room.

That experience prompted the group to plan the safety event that will include safety inspections and adjustments by trained people using the right equipment, tools and stands.

The event is co-sponsored by the Clif Bar Family Foundation (www.clifbarfamilyfoundation.org).


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Drayton writes that the group wants to ensure that young people have "safe reliable bikes for fun on the weekends, transportation to school and to extracurricular activities."

For those who want to help, the group welcomes all attendees and is accepting donations of cash and used but clean and working bicycles for the event.

For details, contact Drayton at 510-545-2243 or brian@richmondspokes.org.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: There is apparently some misinformation going around about senior facilities in Pinole after a story in the Times on Dec. 10 about the upcoming discontinuation of the adult day care program at Pinole Senior Village at the end of the year.

Some people got the idea that PSV, an assisted living and Alzheimer's care facility, was going to close. Meanwhile, calls began coming in at the Pinole Senior Center from people who thought the city-operated facility was going to be closing.

Both the privately run Pinole Senior Village and the publicly run Pinole Senior Center are staying open. What is closing is the adult day care program that had been offered at Pinole Senior Village, nothing more.

  • The annual Candy Cane Classic youth basketball tournament for boys and girls 14 and under started Friday and continues through Sunday at the Richmond RPAL gymnasium, 2200 Macdonald Ave.

    Games go on from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. each day.

  • The Hilltop Family YMCA, 4300 Lakeside Drive in Richmond, is holding its first Holiday Gift Drive through Sunday.

    "Bring in a new, unwrapped toy to the Welcome Center, and an angel ornament will be placed on the YMCA Holiday Tree in honor of your much-appreciated donation," the organization says.

    Gifts will go to homeless and impoverished children in the area.

    Suggested donations include action figures, themed/character dolls, nail polish, scarves, hats, hoodies, new books and board games, sports equipment and gift cards.

    For details, call 510-222-9622.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.