For many Cub Scouts, a bicycle is the next best thing to a magic carpet. Once Scouts learn to ride, they can visit friends or explore their neighborhoods without relying on Mom’s taxi or their own two feet.
But learning to ride is not the same thing as learning to ride safely. With their limited situational awareness and lack of experience, Scouts can all too easily get tangled up with cars, pedestrians, loose dogs and each other. That’s one reason packs and districts across the country run bike rodeos. As the days get longer and warmer, a rodeo can be a fun way to teach bike safety to the Scouts in your pack — and to promote Scouting in your community.
Here is a video from another pack to give you an idea of what a bike rodeo is.
Bike Rodeo Stations
This one is a must. we will be going through a helmet fitting checklist with each participant.
This one will also be required. They will go through a bicycle inspection checklist to ensure that the bike is in working order.
We will have a station with the necessary tools in case somebody needs to tighten something up on the bike, add some air to their tires, or things like that.
For this activity, a straight line course will be laid out, about 2 feet in width. It doesn’t need to be long – maybe about 30 feet. They will start from a stop at the beginning, ride to the end, and come to a complete stop. The idea is to show enough control to stay within the 2 foot width of the course.
This will be a course where they have to weave through a series of cones. There will be a 20 foot approach and then about a 50 foot section with cones set up about 10 feet apart. They will have to ride on the left side of the first cone, the right side of the second cone, the left side of the third cone, etc.
This course will start with a 5 foot wide area about 50 feet in length. After that, we’ll need a long area. It will be slightly uphill. They can pedal as fast as they like through the first 50 feet of the course. When they reach the 50 foot mark, they must coast. We’ll mark how far each scout coasts on the blacktop.
This will be a figure 8 course. The figure 8 will be about 40 feet “tall” and about 20 feet wide. It will be ab0ut 3 feet wide. We’ll probably just mark it out with chalk. Their goal is to ride around the figure 8, turning smoothly enough to stay in the 3 foot wide lane.
This course will be about 5 feet wide. The first part will be 50 feet long. The second part will be 10 feet long, so the entire course is 60 feet long. They will ride up to the 50 foot mark and begin stopping. The goal is to be at a complete stop before reaching the 60 foot mark.
We will have an area for them to make the license plate craft I posted about yesterday.
Participants who are not bike riders yet will get to make trail mix and homemade sports drink mix. When the snacks are made, we will open the station up to all participants to come over and get a sample. We will also have water available here throughout the activity.