Chelsea to host bike rodeo

Published 5:22 pm Thursday, April 23, 2009

Now that spring is here, bicycles are soon to make their appearance. With that in mind, Chelsea officials are hosting a Bike Safety Rodeo May 2 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Chelsea City Hall.

Chelsea Councilmember Juanita Champion said officials are trying to watch out for Chelsea’s children.

“We feel like this is something that has not been done in Chelsea, and May is Bicycle Safety Month all over the nation, so we wanted to participate in that,” she said. “We want to encourage the children to wear helmets because they think that’s kind of uncool, and we want helmet use to be cool again.”

Half of the city hall parking lot will be used to set up four stations, which will address bike safety, proper helmet fitting, bicycle inspections and ways to safely enjoy cycling. The other half of the parking lot will hold two obstacle courses that will allow cyclists to test their skills.

Champion said the idea for the rodeo came after Fire Chief Wayne Shirley said he would like the city or Kiwanis to sponsor an event.

“It was an idea that evolved in conversation,” she said.

Officials will hand out gifts, prizes and certificates to participants. Johnny Ray’s Barbecue will be selling food at the event, and Hero, the Chelsea Fire Department Dalmatian, will be there as well.

Champion said she hopes to see 1,000 schoolchildren come to the rodeo.

“We have focused on grades K-8, and we’ve been in the schools and been advertising this through the schools,” she said.

The rodeo is hosted by the city of Chelsea, Chelsea Fire and Rescue and the Kiwanis Club of Chelsea.