(Le Mars) — An estimated 45 youngsters of different ages and sizes participated in the Bicycle Rodeo held early Thursday evening, just north of the Olson Cultural Events Center. There were some bicycles with training wheels, while other children had learned the art of balance and maneuvering a bicycle without the need of any assistance. Others were riding Big Wheels, while some were riding tricycles. The bicycles were of different styles and colors, and much like the children riding them, the bicycles were of different sizes. Each one perfectly matched to the size of the child riding.
Children that participated during Thursday’s Bicycle Rodeo were taught the rules of bicycle safety, starting with the importance of wearing of a helmet while riding a bicycle. Each child was presented with a free helmet to own and wear, if they had not already had a helmet. The next stop was to have their bicycle inspected, which often times meant having air inflated into the tires to the correct air pressure, or perhaps adjusting the seat for the perfect fit. The children were also given a free set of battery operated lights, head lights for the front of the bike, and a red tail light in the back. Next up, was to officially register your bicycle with the Le Mars Police Department, for if ever the bicycle would be reported missing, or possibly stolen.
Then, the youngsters had the opportunity to test their skills of riding their bicycle through a narrow passage complete with a series of curves.
Each of the attending children were taught the proper hand signals when riding a bicycle. Arm down for slowing down or stopping. Arm straight out for a left-hand turn, and upper arm straight with forearm pointing up for a right-hand turn. The children were instructed on how to stop for a stop sign, and to look left, then right, then left again before crossing the street. The evening was a success and judging by the broad smiles on either the parents, or in some cases, grandparents, observing the actions of the child, you knew they were quite proud of watching their youngsters riding their bicycle. The Bicycle Rodeo was sponsored by the Le Mars RAGBRAI Association, Ride Right Association, Plymouth County Cyclists, and the Le Mars Rotary Club.