Although the county fair rodeo is still a week away, there was a different kind of rodeo Monday morning in Newton. Instead of bucking broncos, children rounded up their bikes for a "bike rodeo."
Hosted by the Healthy Harvey Coalition, the event was for children in the Latchkey program at Sunset Elementary. The rodeo was designed to encourage bicycle riding and also promote bike safety.
"They're having a blast so far," Lorrie Kessler, coalition coordinator, said at the event.
The children ranged in age from about 5 to 12 years. Volunteers helped run different stations that taught children skills such as making sure your helmet fits properly; using hand signals for stopping and turning; registering bikes with the Newton Police Department so they can be more easily recovered if lost or stolen; reading road signs; and properly airing up tires. Children also could practice riding through an obstacle course. Wichita Safe Kids coalition supplied helmets and bags for the children.
Kessler said this was the coalition's first time to host the event, and it seemed to be a hit.
"We're excited, especially that the kids are getting the helmets and learning the importance of wearing them," she said.
The Healthy Harvey Coalition is designed to serve as an "umbrella group" for various health-related efforts in the community. The group is working on creating a "Master Bike Plan" for Newton and North Newton.