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Last month members of the Santos Alaska team  spent the day with Nuiqsut’s youth repairing bikes, sharing the importance of bike safety, and having fun! More than 50 kids attended the third annual Nuiqsut Youth Bike Safety and Tune Up day, hosted by Santos in partnership with the Nuisqut Fire Department.

Nuiqsut is a small and remote Alaskan town of roughly 450 people, and is the community closest to our North Slope operations – approximately 11 miles from the Pikka project site. Established in 1975,  Nuiqsut population consists of more than 60 per cent of people being under the age of 25 years. Here, access to the town is a challenge, particularly during the non-winter months – in fact, there are no roads connecting the arctic town with surrounding communities and many people ride bikes as a mode of transport within the community. Unfortunately, there are no bike repair shops. Even for families who have the desire and skills to fix bikes themselves, major bike repairs and all other supplies are multiple plane rides away. Logistical challenges and associated high costs are a way of life for the people of this rural community.

A key focus of the annual bike event is to encourage local youth to be active and live a safe and healthy lifestyle. Participants were given a safety demonstration focused on the importance of wearing a bike helmet. The Santos team, several of whom are avid cyclists, repaired more than 40 bikes, and the kids had fun testing those well-tuned bikes on an obstacle course created by Santos staff.

The event is typically scheduled around the July 4th Independence Day holiday, when kids are on summer break, weather is often ideal for biking, and the community warmly welcomes the fun and celebratory diversion the Bike Safety and Tune Up Day provides for local youth.

Thanks to this year’s volunteer bike safety education and repair team − Luke Kiskaddon, Brenton Savikko, Sterling Reardon, an Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) intern Ray Daniel, as well as our Community Affairs staffers Sarah Helme and Maryanne Napageak who is a resident of Nuiqsut.