Bicycle Rodeo: All Fun and Games

On October 20, Dave Janis and Katie Ferguson worked with the Liberty Ridge Elementary School in Bonney Lake to help run a bike rodeo for their Walk-Bike to School Day. Engaged parents volunteered, and additional help came from the Tacoma Wheelmen, the Bonney Lake Bicycle Shop, East Pierce Fire & Rescue. Cascade Bicycle Club generously let us borrow one of their excellent bike rodeo kits.

The kids started with a helmet check and a bike check, to make sure they were safe on the course.

East Pierce Fire & Rescue’s Dina Sutherland checks helmets.
Bonney Lake Bicycle Shop’s Jim Stevenson checks a bike.
Parent Paul helps a participant adjust his seat.

Once checked, the kids went to Station 1, where they practiced starting and stopping. Just out of the picture, a parent helper held a stop sign.

Tacoma Wheelmen president Tom Reardon directs rodeo participants.

Then on to Station 2, where participants practiced riding in a circle and looking over their shoulders — what we grownups call “scanning.”

Volunteer Louie Boitano helps run Station 2.

At Station 3, the bicyclists learned how to dodge objects in the road with the guidance of volunteer Peggy Fjetland.

Peggy and participant at Station 3.

Once they mastered dodging, the students learned how to steer by leaning. They practiced with the bike slalom.

Volunteer Pam Knight directs a participant at the slalom.

Finally, the participants practiced leaving a driveway. Many car-bike collisions can be prevented by teaching kids to stop and look before leaving a driveway.

Dave Janis monitors a student exiting the practice driveway.

In the final tally, over a dozen adult volunteers made it possible for 110 future bicyclists to dip their toes into the world of safe bicycling — and had fun doing it. Reaching young bicyclists with bike education is a cornerstone of improving bike-motorist interactions. Thank you to everybody who made the event possible.

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