The Washington Police Department, with the Washington Optimist Club, will co-sponsoring the 42nd annual Bicycle Safety Rodeo this Saturday, May 20.
Registration for the event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Washington fairgrounds swine pavilion. Children from ages 5 to 13 may participate in the event.
There will be five skill stations at the rodeo that aim to teach children bicycling skills such as slow speed riding and balance, circling and changing directions, short radius turning, straight line control and weaving.
Each participant must bring their own bike and wear a bike helmet during the skill stations.
Children will compete in three age groups, 5 to 6, 8 to 10 and 11 to 13. Trophies will be awarded for each age group with the best score and the girl and boy with the best score in the whole competition will win a bike. Revolution Cycles will inspect and repair all participant’s bikes prior to the competition.
Riders of bikes with training wheels are allowed to do the skill challenges but will not be scored for the competition or be eligible for trophies.
An obstacle course for children 5 and under, dubbed Safety Town, was provided by Kohls4Kids and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Children may ride through the town on trikes provided by the hospital.
The Washington Police Department and Mercy Hospital Washington also will distribute child car seats and performing safety checks on them.
Mercy Hospital and the Steve Thiemann family will distribute free helmets to all participants at the rodeo. A volunteer from the hospital will inspect and size the helmets for the children.
Hope Lodge 251 will run a Missouri Child ID program at the rodeo. The program collects digital photographs and fingerprints, information, emergency contacts and dental bite impression that provides a DNA sample. That information is placed on a CD compatible with the Amber alert program.
The volunteers retain no information concerning the child and the program is free.
Bicycle licensing by the police department, attendance awards, free food and a fun area with face painting also will be at the rodeo.