Last Friday, May 19th, Dallas Center hosted their own rodeo. And it is all thanks to Bike Rodeo Coordinator Bob King. Bob got instructions and help from the Iowa Bicycle Coalition last year, and hosted a flawless rodeo this year on his own with the aid of our Iowa Bike Rodeo Toolkit. We helped by designing and mapping out the course for Bob so he could focus on recruiting volunteers and finding equipment. 

The entire 3rd grade, 40 students, of Dallas Center Elementary learned how to properly fit and wear a bicycle helmet, how to interact at intersections, how to stop at stop signs, and the different hand signals used riding a bicycle. They also made the rodeo unique in ended with a garden planning event, the participants got to help sow sweet potato, tomato, and pepper plants along with some zucchini seeds.

One of the students didn’t know how to ride a bicycle, but thanks to his gumption and patient volunteers he had mastered cycling by the end of the hour. He did say that was “the riskiest thing I’ve done in my whole life” but we’re all glad he got to experience the joy of riding a bike. Hopefully he finds it less risky with every subsequent ride.

It’s always helpful when a volunteer can provide bicycles to help students that don’t have one or are unable to bring them to school. Dallas Center had that thanks to Greg Sharp. His loaner bikes allowed every student to participate in the event. One girl fell in love with her loaner bike so much that she (her dad) purchased it from Mr. Sharp after the event. Her little sister also picked up a 10-speed used bike. Now the family can ride together all summer and only spent $80 on bicycles! If you are in Dallas County and need a used bicycle to get around, contact Greg Sharp. 

Bike Rodeos are as successful as their volunteers and Coordinator Bob King was able to wrangle up quite a handful. Shelly’s Bike Club provided 5 volunteers, Healthy Hometown 3 volunteers, two parents, and Deputy Taylor from Dallas County Sheriff’s Department all helped set up and teach the students the importance of cycling safety. Spurgeon Manor provided 70 cookies and thank you to the local Rotary chapter for providing 39 helmets for kids that outgrew or needed a helmet. It’s important to reduce barriers so that every student has an opportunity to learn and discover the benefits of cycling. 

Thank you to all the volunteers and big thanks to Bob King for coordinating this event. Want to host a bike rodeo in your community? Check out our the quite helpful Iowa Bike Rodeo Toolkit. But you don’t have to take my word for it, Bob “That is quite a booklet you’ve put together!”

Want to support more cycling educational programs like this? Think about donating to help us achieve our matching grant.