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Bike Rodeo Takes Children on a Learning Experience

Young bicyclists brought their competitive spirit to the Grand Traverse Mall for a bike rodeo.

More than a race, it’s also a learning experience.

"You have to go through obstacles and you have to go fast,” says Corbin Bogard. “My strategy is to just go fast.”

That strategy paid off for 8-year-old Corbin.  

He brought his first place medal from the Cherry Festival Bike Rodeo back home to Elk Rapids.

"You have to follow the orange lines, and you have to go in-between cones and up on a bridge, and you have to stop for a stop sign and look both ways.”

While speed is the name of the game here, all the competitors have to follow the rules of the road.

"They learn how to negotiate railroad tracks, how to safely cross when they come up to a yield sign, what’s the proper way to negotiate that intersection, and also stopping at stop signs, learning turns, how to do it without falling over,” says Josh Salyer.

Josh is a North Flight Bike Team paramedic.

He says this is the perfect event to pass along a very simple message.

"Whether it be bicycles, skateboards, scooters, I just don’t see enough helmets being worn,” he says. “Helmet use is very important. A lot of accidents can have catastrophic outcomes that can be completely avoided by simply wearing a helmet you can buy for $10 at the grocery store.”

And for Josh, the other paramedics and sheriff’s deputies, this is a great opportunity to engage with their community.

"Seeing the kids out here having a good time, it’s the cherry festival get away from,” he says.

Today’s rodeo had three age groups, and the top three finishers in each division won a medal.