The pedals were pumping as several young boys and girls enjoyed a morning of bicycle safety and fun at the Bicycle Rodeo hosted by the Osage Trails Cub Scouts Saturday morning at the First United Methodist Church Celebration Center.
“We wanted to host this event to help teach the children about bicycle safety,” Megan Kreisel, a volunteer at the event, said. “If teaching the kids about safety can help save one of them or prevent an injury down the road then we have done our job today.”
The event was open to all children in kindergarten through fourth grade in Sedalia and surrounding communities.
Organizers were expecting 100 participants, but did not know what the turnout would be since this was the first time they sponsored the event.
“We really wanted to emphasize the importance of following the rules of the road to the participants,” Brianna Radu, event organizer, said. “It seems as I’m out in Sedalia I see a lot of kids riding in the middle of the street and not wearing safety equipment.
“It’s getting to be a big issue and we just wanted to help make others aware to try to prevent someone from getting hurt,” she added.
To help teach the young children the rules of the road, organizers enlisted older Boy Scouts from Troop 54 to provide instruction.
“We asked several of the older boys to come back and help with the event,” Matt Johnson, assistant Cub Master for Troop 54, said. “We have adults who are at every station to supervise, but it’s nice for the older boys to help because it allows them to work on their leadership skills.”
Boy Scout Austin Bohlen, a member of Troop 54, was on hand to talk to the youngsters at one of the first stations about rider safety.
Bohlen covered all aspects of the rules of the road from using directional hand signals to obeying all traffic laws.
He also covered the importance of wearing the proper clothing and safety helmets and always staying visible when riding.
“I did a rodeo like this when I was in the Cub Scouts,” Bohlen said. “It was a lot of fun and so I wanted to help them out with this event.”
Another former Cub Scout was on hand to inspect all the bikes before any of the riders took to the course.
Steve Champion, owner of Champion Bicycles, located at 600 E. Third St. in Sedalia, spent the day checking the bikes for safety concerns.
He and Don Goodall looked to see that the tires were inflated properly and the mechanical components, such as brakes, were in good working order.
“A lot of the bikes today need some care,” Champion said. “I was a Cub Scout years ago and so I wanted to volunteer my time to help and work on the bikes if they need some adjustments.
“One of the best pieces of advice I can give the kids and their parents is to keep the bikes indoors if they can,” he added. “If you keep them in a garage or shed and out of the elements, it really keeps them in better working condition and it also helps prevent against theft.”
Participants were given the opportunity to practice the safety skills they had learned by going through several obstacle courses and skill stations.
They also had the benefit of receiving a helmet from the Pettis County Health Center if their helmet did not fit properly or was not in acceptable condition.
Open Door also provided bike equipment to those in attendance.
Riders could choose from bicycle pumps, lights and locks among other items to make their bikes safer.
“We’re really fortunate to host an event like this at our facility,” Cliff McBride, of First United Methodist Church, said. “We are so blessed to have multiple Cub Masters from each pack who help make this happen.
“There is one vision for today and that is to help prevent one injury or save one life,” he added. “We may never know if we’ve done it but by doing an event like this we know we will have done our part to help make that happen.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484