Boy Riding Bike

Bike Rodeo

This month I am featuring a cycling theme. As I mentioned yesterday, our pack might be doing a bike rodeo this year for one of our monthly meetings. I have visited these before, but we have never put one on ourselves. So I am researching possible “stations” which the kids can rotate through for the activity.

My list of possible activities is below. There will be a brief presentation on bicycle safety at the opening. Everyone will be required to do the helmet check and bike check before proceeding, so we’ll need lots of adults helping with those. After that they can proceed to the other activities.We are not planning on prizes, but we might give them a card where they can get a stamp or sticker from each station. I’m still considering this aspect.

We probably won’t be able to do a lot of stations. Our pack meetings are usually an hour, but this one will have to be a little longer. We might give them the option of doing the helmet check and bike inspection during the gathering time. I am also considering the number of adults we will have to help when deciding how many stations we can do. Many of our parents are not comfortable with being in charge of anything. I’ll definitely be asking the Boy Scout Troop for some help. I expect we’ll at least have our Den Chiefs and any Boy Scouts in need of service hours.

We can do this on the blacktop at our chartered organization, so we’ll mark the courses using sidewalk chalk and cones.

Some of our participants will be shaky on their bikes or will be using training wheels, so I want to make the courses challenging, but not overly difficult. Other than the safety stations, they can choose what they want to do. I am also including a craft station and a snack making station, so our scouts or younger siblings who are not bike riders yet will be able to participate in something.

If you have additional bike rodeo tips, please add them to the comments at the bottom.

Bike Rodeo Stations

Helmet Check

This one is a must. we will be going through a helmet fitting checklist with each participant.

Bicycle Check

This one will also be required. They will go through a bicycle inspection checklist to ensure that the bike is in working order.

Bike Repairs

We will have a station with the necessary tools in case somebody needs to tighten something up on the bike, add some air to their tires, or things like that.

Bicycle Control

For this activity, a straight line course will be laid out, about 2 feet in width. It doesn’t need to be long – maybe about 30 feet. They will start from a stop at the beginning, ride to the end, and come to a complete stop. The idea is to show enough control to stay within the 2 foot width of the course.

Steering Skills

This will be a course where they have to weave through a series of cones. There will be a 20 foot approach and then about a 50 foot section with cones set up about 10 feet apart. They will have to ride on the left side of the first cone, the right side of the second cone, the left side of the third cone, etc.

Coasting Skills

This course will start with a 5 foot wide area about 50 feet in length.  After that, we’ll need a long area. It will be slightly uphill. They can pedal as fast as they like through the first 50 feet of the course. When they reach the 50 foot mark, they must coast. We’ll mark how far each scout coasts on the blacktop.

Turning Skills

This will be a figure 8 course. The figure 8 will be about 40 feet “tall” and about 20 feet wide. It will be ab0ut 3 feet wide. We’ll probably just mark it out with chalk. Their goal is to ride around the figure 8, turning smoothly enough to stay in the 3 foot wide lane.

Braking Skills

This course will be about 5 feet wide. The first part will be 50 feet long. The second part will be 10 feet long, so the entire course is 60 feet long.  They will ride up to the 50 foot mark and begin stopping. The goal is to be at a complete stop before reaching the 60 foot mark.

Craft Station

We will have an area for them to make the license plate craft I posted about yesterday.

Snack Station

Participants who are not bike riders yet will get to make trail mix and homemade sports drink mix. (I’ll post the drink mix recipe in a few days.)  When the snacks are made, we will open the station up to all participants to come over and get a sample. We will also have water available here throughout the activity.

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One Response to Bike Rodeo

  1. Cindy August 15, 2011 at 11:11 AM #

    I have run several bike / safety rodeos. I recommend checking with your local police. They may have a bicycle safety officer who can run the bicycle skills portion. I usually bring in a local bicycle shop to do the bicycle safety/maintenance portion. They should do things like check the size of the bike vs. the size of the kid, height of seat and handle bars, tire pressure, etc. I recommend locating a local representative from the Brain Injury Association of America to talk about helmet safety. You may be able to have someone donate helmets to give away. There’s an organization here in VA, the Lynn A. Chiaverotti Memorial Fund, who will come out, size up and give away FREE helmets. I also bring out our community’s Fire Safety House, along with a fire engine and rescue squad. I’ve also coordinated with our city to have someone from the Treasurer’s office present to register the bicycles which helps with returning them should they “wander off”. For the adults, I’ve had students from a nursing school be there to do blood pressure checks and a local masseuse giving a two-minute sample massage! Last year, I also had someone doing face painting and balloons, a local gym’s “tumble bus” and a local fast food chain’s bovine mascot. ;-) We were also fortunate to have another restaurant donate items with which we were able to feed the participants. The variety of stations made it a fun, family atmosphere and I didn’t limit it to just the scouts…siblings were welcome, too. We held it in the parking lot of a local high school and made it open to the public…a great recruiting tool!

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