The purpose of a bike rodeo is to teach students skills, bicycle safety, and have some fun. If you are planning on bringing your class on a road biking trip, it is nice to teach them some basics and evaluate their skills beforehand. It may seem a bit juvenile, but depending on what activities you choose, a bike rodeo can be very fun and challenging. Below you will find some sample stations.
1. Safety Check – Rider: helmet and bike fit – no cracks on the helmet, chin strap fit snugly under chin, and helmet comes half way down forehead. The bike fits the rider properly: when standing over the frame with feet flat on the ground, there is an inch or two of clearance to the rider’s body. Bike: ABCs (air in tires, brakes work, chains are on properly)
2. Weaving – Use cones, trees, or hang pool noodles from a string that is strung between two trees. Get creative.
3. Obstacle Course – Ride over things (bumps, folded up tarps, teeter totter, etc.), through things (puddles, mud, etc.), and under things (attach some caution tape between to items). You can also make a “snake” by laying out two hoses in a swerving fashion – make sure that you stay between the two hoses without touching them.
4. Shoulder Check – Have students ride in a circular motion (we used a roundabout), hold up a number of fingers after they pass you and they have to look back and call out how many fingers you are holding up. Switch directions after everyone as done it a few times.
5. Pick-Up or Drop-Off – Give students an item (large or small) that they have to pick up off of the ground or place in a particular area on the ground (ex. in a bike tire, on top of a cone, or in a bucket).
6. Turtle Race – Have students line up and see who can get across the designated area the slowest. If their foot touches the ground they are eliminated.
7. Signalling – Have students practice signalling on or off of their bike: right turn, left turn, stop. You can also make a game out of it such as “Simon Says”
8. Long Roll – Choose a location that is flat or slightly uphill. Have a designated area where students will start pedaling to gather speed and then stop pedaling. See who can coast the furthest.
9. Paper Carrier – Give a student a bag that can be worn over their shoulder with five to ten rolled up newspapers inside. Place the same amount of obstacles (as papers) along a course – laundry baskets, bowling pins, etc. See who can hit the most obstacles.
For an excellent resource on teaching students how to bike safely, and for more drill ideas, check out ICBC Bike Smarts Manual.
And for more information on taking your students on a road ride please visit Bike Riding with a Class.