Bike Rodeo: Fun on wheels for kids

  • Racers get into position Sunday’s Bike Rodeo. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • Bikers race around the bus drop-off loop at Bernardston Elementary School during Sunday’s Bike Rodeo, an event put on by the Bernardston Police Department for students at Bernardston and Pearl Rhodes elementary schools. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • The bus drop-off loop at Bernardston Elementary School was closed to cars for the Bike Rodeo. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • After the bike race, contestants got a free treat from Townline Ice Cream. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • Bernardston Police Officer Brian Tennyson clocks bikers with a handheld radar gun. A few bikers got up to 20 mph. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • Police officers set up a slalom course at the Bike Rodeo. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • An obstacle course on the basketball court was especially popular with the smaller bikers. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • The Bike Rodeo had students of all elementary ages and skill levels. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Staff Writer
Published: 6/10/2019 5:36:22 AM

BERNARDSTON — Competition was stiff but friendly at Sunday’s Bike Rodeo, an event put on by the Bernardston Police Department for students at Bernardston and Pearl Rhodes elementary schools.

The “rodeo” was held in Bernardston Elementary School’s parking lot, where police officers and teachers had set up a looping race course, a speed run with no turns and a short slalom-shaped course; plus an obstacle course on the basketball court. Police Sgt. John Richardson estimated about 50 kids were there.

For the police department, the event promoted outdoor activities and safety, said Richardson. Bicycles Unlimited of Greenfield was there doing free safety checks and repairs, and gave free bike helmets to everyone who wanted one.

“It’s to get them away from the videogames,” Richardson said.

“I’m all into it,” said elementary physical education teacher Sue Scott.

The major event of the rodeo was a three-lap, free-for-all race around the bus drop-off loop. The winners got police stickers, but everyone was sent to cool off at Townline Ice Cream’s tent.

After that, police set up a speed lane. One at a time, kids rode as fast as they could out of the parking lot towards School Road. A police officer in the grass on the side of the road clocked their speed with a handheld radar gun. A few got to 20 mph.

As well as promoting outdoor activity, the rodeo was also a chance for Bernardston and Leyden elementary students to meet one another and the police department, Richardson said, as all of them will be going to Bernardston Elementary School starting this fall. Pearl Rhodes Elementary School is closing.

“It’s a great way for kids to know there’s a friendly police officer there,” Scott said.

The event will hopefully be the first of more outdoor activities organized by the police department and the school, Scott and Richardson said. They expect to make the bike rodeo an annual event, and are looking into other activities like rock-climbing and snowshoeing to do in the other seasons.

Reach Max Marcus at mmarcus@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ex 261.




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