Waiting for the bike parade to begin.

Over 100 kids and their parents attended Hamilton/SOTA I’s first bike rodeo. Hamilton is an early learning neighborhood school for Pre-K to 2nd grade, and SOTA I (The School of Technology and Arts) is a charter school for grades K – 5th. The idea to have a bike rodeo came from Ginny Loehr of Safe Routes to School. As a bicycle loving parent on the parent steering committee, I immediately supported the idea.

The bicycle part of the event came together thanks to Ginny’s coordinating efforts and the volunteer support of the DRBC. Stations were set up in the school playground. They included a firefighter/police safety station, helmet fitting, helmet give-away thanks to Gundersen Lutheran, bike tune-ups courtesy of Smith’s Cycling, bicycle decorating and a bicycle safety course. The bicycle course went all the way around the track or 1/8 of a mile. Students were given a card to take to each station and received a stamp when they successfully completed the station. Over 85 cards were turned in for a prize but completing the card didn’t mean that learning about bicycle safety stopped. Many students wanted to go through the bicycle safety course over and over. The course included identifying road signs, how to proceed at a stop sign, bicycle control, riding straight while looking behind you and following the rules of the road.

Toward the end of the event, a bicycle parade was held around the track. Everyone waved as the bikers rode past, and I must say that I did not witness a single accident during this mass ride. You did a great job DRBC volunteers of reaching out to this group of kids and teaching them bicycling skills that will stick with them a lifetime.

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