Elementary students gear up for summer with Bike Rodeo | SteamboatToday.com

Elementary students gear up for summer with Bike Rodeo

SSWSC Sport Development Director Blair Seymour leads a pack of third grade students to teach road safety rules during the Bike Rodeo at Soda Creek Elementary on Friday, May 26, 2023.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

As the school year comes to a close and students are preparing for summer fun, Soda Creek and Strawberry Park Elementary Schools hosted a Bike Rodeo Day for third grade students. 

The goal of the event was to spark a love and comfortability for riding bikes among Steamboat’s youth while teaching bike safety and etiquette. 

“The end of the year is just a different type of energy,” Soda Creek P.E. teacher Erin Early said. “To have something different and change it up, and also give them a chance to feel equipped for the summer and feel confident — that is one of their biggest modes of transportation throughout the summer, we hope.”

It is a third grade requirement for students to meet certain bike riding standards in school, and the rodeo presented an opportunity to team up with organizations outside of school such as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Routt County Riders. 

Bike shops around town were also willing to offer bikes for students who did not have one. Early said the hope is to get those students into a bike match program where they can receive a bike to use all summer. 

Third grade Soda Creek student Cedar Savage said the rodeo helped grow his confidence on a bike. 

“It was great,” Savage said. “The uphill was a little hard. The jumps were really fun, and there was one skill I could not do. But it was so much fun.”

Riding bikes is one of Savage’s favorite sports and riding with classmates made it even more special for him.

The students also learned important skills. From a physical standpoint, they discovered the importance of balance and strength when riding. On the streets, the students learned turn signals, how to stop and what street signs mean. On the trails, they learned how to coast on dirt and how to deal with rocks and divots in the way. 

“I learned to stop at the stop sign,” Savage said. 

The most profound moment of the day came from the four never-ever riders. They worked hard for the full rodeo with the guidance of SSWSC coaches to get on the bike and take things one pedal at a time. 

Three of those students can no longer say they have never ridden a bike. Early was amazed to see such great progress in a short period of time. 

“The fact we had three of our four never-evers crush it in an hour-and-a-half’s worth of biking gives me goosebumps just talking about it,” Early said. “That is one of the most rewarding things you can be a part of as an adult. To see that moment, see the light and see that excitement is what you want.”

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