BOISE — Dozens of Boise-area children are more knowledgeable about bicycle safety thanks to local police officers and pro cyclists in town for this weekend's Twilight Criterium.

Thursday morning at the Downtown Boise YMCA, more than 75 kids received new bike helmets, donated by UnitedHealthcare, which sponsors one of the pro cycling teams in the Criterium.

Pro cyclists and Boise Police bike patrol officers presented bike safety lessons and talked to the kids about nutrition and the benefits of exercise.

“Biking is great exercise, but for a kid, it's their first vehicle. It's their first chance to get out of mom and dad's view," said Trevor Hayes with UnitedHealthCare. "For the parents to know that the kids know what to do when they get out there, it's going to let them give a little bit longer of a leash, let the kids learn those life skills of how to behave and be safe when mom and dad aren't watching."

The kids at the bike safety event are in first through fifth grade.

Children three to ten years old are invited to take part in the annual kids' ride on Saturday with three-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong.

Registration opens at noon Saturday outside the Borah Post Office Building at 8th and Bannock streets.