Bike rodeo happening soon to promote safe riding

Suzette Lowe
The Batton family of Ripley enjoy riding safely together.

A rodeo is coming to town. There will not be horses, bronco busting or roping cows, but there will be many other skills on display.

The first ever Bike Rodeo will take place on the parking area of the Early Childhood Learning Center on Second Avenue in Ripley. Sponsored by the City of Ripley and the Bike Ripley Committee, this event will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 1.

“This is going to be so much fun,” said Mayor Carolyn Rader. “More importantly, though, it will teach kids the rules of the road, how to take care of their bikes and how to control them too.”

With children ages 5-10 as the target audience, there will be seven stations available.

“We have a wide variety of activities for those children who come,” said Rader. “First, helmets and bikes will be checked to make sure they are safe and fit well. We want kids from all over the county to come to this.”

Other stations will include starting and stopping, hand signals, control, slow race, stop on a dime and an obstacle course.

Each participant will be given a lanyard with the seven stations listed. As each is completed, the station will be marked.

A helmet is required for anyone who takes part in the rodeo.

“Pilot Club of Jackson County is generously donating 20 helmets,” said Rader. “So, if someone doesn’t have one or theirs doesn’t fit correctly, hopefully we’ll have one to give or replace.”

Cleta Munday, project chairperson for the club, said that Pilot International awarded a grant to pay for 10 helmets, with the club donating the rest.

“We’re very happy to provide the helmets,” she said. “Brain safety is part of our mission. We’re also extremely excited to be there having fun with the kids, but teaching them as well.”

This rodeo is part of an effort to encourage exercise, family togetherness and an enjoyment of the outdoors.

Recently, Second Avenue, Third Avenue and Walters Street in Ripley were designated as bike routes with signage indicating that ‘sharing the road’ and ‘caution’ were vital to the safety of those choosing to ride.

“We hope we see all kinds of families out riding together,” the mayor said. “We also hope that this won’t be our last rodeo.”

To register for the Bike Rodeo, contact Mayor Rader at 304-372-3482 or visit Community News & Events at www.cityofripley.org.