Annual bike rodeo teaches students skills, etiquette, safety
In a county home to the mountain bike capital of America, it makes sense to start teaching children bike skills at an early age, which is where Granby Elementary School’s annual bike rodeo comes in.
On Wednesday morning, students shuffled from station to station learning everything from bike maintenance, first aid and summer safety to emergency stopping, trail etiquette, balance and control.
“I think it’s important to teach the kids how to do these things safely within their environment,” said Maggie Keller, bike rodeo coordinator and P.E. teacher. “I’m a biker and it’s a gateway to getting around. It’s freedom.”
Typically, students in first through third-grade participate, but because the event was rescheduled due to weather, only first and third graders took part this year.
School staff and first responders from the Granby Police Department, Grand County EMS, Grand Lake and Grand Fire departments, Grand County Sheriff’s Office and Grand County Animal Care and Control helped man each station and teach kids the bike laws and safety.
Community members Diane and Lucy Wettersten helped sell helmets ahead of the event and the Fraser Winter Park Police Department donated funds to pay for helmets for children who couldn’t afford them. Some bikes were also provided thanks to community members who donated them to the school district.
Aside from imparting important bike skills and knowledge to students, Keller said she also hopes the bike rodeo helps teach the children that being active can also be fun.
“Some kids have improved their skills, so they’re better riders, they can ride safely in our community, it’s fun and it’s promoting an active and healthy lifestyle, which to me is the end all,” she said.
Ultimately, the students will get the chance to apply the skills they learned at the rodeo when they participate in the town ride as fourth graders and when they begin learning mountain bike skills in fifth grade.
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