The halls of Hudson Elementary were abuzz with excitement and anticipation as students and community members gathered for an unforgettable Bike Rodeo event. The atmosphere was brimming with joy and a shared commitment to promoting bike safety and a healthy lifestyle. With the participation of 110 enthusiastic students, the Bike Rodeo brought together a vibrant community at Hudson Elementary. This rodeo could not have happened without the tireless efforts of Officer Jamal Currica, the school resource officer for Hudson School. Using our bike rodeo toolkit he organized and set up his first rodeo, and it went off seamlessly letting us educate the entire 4th and 6th grade classes.
Using the toolkit, Officer Currica worked with Safe Routes to School Manager Matt Burkey to design a rodeo course. Stations included bike maintenance checks and helmet checks to make sure the students knew how to wear their helmets correctly. Then the students went through a pretend road learning what to do at stop and yield signs, how to use hand signals, and what to do to safely cross an intersection. Last year of 40% of crashes in Iowa involving cyclists ages 8 to 14 took place at four-way intersections.
After every student completed the course (some had to try a few times at the stop signs), the students went on a short bike ride led by Officer Currica and accompanied by teachers, Hudson Elementary Principal Mark Schlatter, and Matt Burkey. The 4th graders took a lap around the school grounds practicing what they had just learned. The 6th graders got to leave school grounds and pedal a four-mile round trip on the well-designed paved bike trail in Hudson. Officer Currica was having so much fun he said he couldn’t wait to do this rodeo again next year and inspire students to get outside, exercise, and maybe even pedal themselves to school. It was great watching the students correctly signal and look both ways at every intersection along the path.
This rodeo would not have been the success it was without our volunteers from the community. Thank you to:
Hall Bicycle Company of Cedar Falls
And Officer Jamal Currica for being the Bike Rodeo Coordinator.
Want to host a bike rodeo in your community? Check out the Iowa Bike Rodeo Toolkit.
We can’t expand our cycling education efforts in Iowa without your help. Please lookout for more volunteer opportunities in the future or consider donating to help grow our efforts so we can help foster more bicycle riders and encourage the youth to bike to school.