Granby Elementary holds ‘bike rodeo’ | SkyHiNews.com

Granby Elementary holds ‘bike rodeo’

Children at Granby Elementary navigate the Bike Rodeo obstacle course with the help of volunteers

Grand County held its second annual Bike Rodeo at Granby Elementary School on Thursday, an event where public servants gather to help teach students proper bike safety.

Students in grades second through fourth were given the opportunity to ride around a closed section of a parking lot and road at the elementary school, while they participate in an obstacle course filled with common road hazards for bikers, such as an opening car door or dog running across the street. The children learn hand signals, the rules of the road and even bike maintenance.

"The Bike Rodeo teaches rules of the road, etiquette, safety and bike repair," said Schelly Olson, assistant chief at Grand Fire. "It's also a great opportunity for safety officials to interact with the kids."

Members of Grand County EMS, Grand Fire Department, Grand Lake Fire Department, the Grand County Sheriff's office, Granby Fire Department, Granby Animal Control, Granby Police and parent volunteers all came out to support the cause.

Maggie Keller, physical education teacher at Granby Elementary, reinvigorated the program last year after observing unsafe behavior around the school.

"What inspired it was seeing kids by the skate park without helmets," Keller said. "And we don't really have many bike paths around here. We just wanted to make it safer."

Part of what makes the event successful is donations of bicycles to the school from community members, Keller says. The school accepts donations of bicycles in good working condition to help accommodate children without bikes, so that everyone can participate in the rodeo.

Also vital to the event was VJ Valente, owner of Full Circle Cyclery in Granby, who loaned bikes to the school for two weeks and came into physical education classes to work with kids who aren't yet confident on bikes.

"We started getting donations, and it's been so wonderful," said Keller. "It's just amazing to see such a big community effort to make this happen and people coming out in the sun to help the kids."