36 bikes given away at annual Bicycle Rodeo

Published 2:30 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Safety and bike giveaways were the names of the game at the 11th Annual Bicycle Rodeo Saturday at Lykins Park.

Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation hosted the event and raffled away 36 bikes to just as many lucky children. Each child that registered received three tickets they could place in a bag for one of the bikes they had their eye on. Between then and the drawings, they were free to ride through obstacle courses, get bike safety tips and enjoy the festive atmosphere that included over 170 registered youngsters.

The event put a dual emphasis on safety and fun.

“Each kid that wins will get a bike and a helmet,” said assistant programs director Tiffany Fletcher.

The bicycle rodeo is a joy for parks and recreation to host.

“We love it. This is one of our favorite events because the kids are so happy and so joyful,” Fletcher said.

The giveaway was possible thanks to a grant donation from Winchester Elks Lodge #2816. The Elks and parks and recreation have partnered up for the event for years.

“It’s one of our yearly events that we all look forward to,” said Monte McBride of the Winchester Elks. “We love to see the kids. They really enjoy this, and to see some of them leave with new bikes is heartwarming.

Due to the time of year, lessons on bike safety are topical.

“It’s summertime. Kids are out on their bikes playing and trying to have a good time, and we make sure that they go through a few stations to teach them how to put their helmets on properly and proper bike etiquette. Then they get to practice those skills,” Fletcher said.

Several local volunteers were on hand to man the different safety stations.

Parks and recreation board member Gary Wiseman offered pointers on traffic rules, how to control a bike and how to properly pass on the road.

Besides wearing a helmet, Wiseman said communication is critical regarding safe riding.

“The verbal communications let people know what you are doing whether you are riding in a group or by yourself. You should always be aware of your surroundings and know how to tell people that they are coming up on a bike.”

And for the 36 lucky children that took home a new bike, that is the advice they will hopefully heed as they cruise on a hot summer day.