Our Cottonwood Kids’ Bike Day began with Mayor Tim Elinski leading a family friendly bicycle ride through town finishing at Cottonwood Elementary School.
Six special students, Brandon Stinebaker, Jose Soto, Faith Valentine, Johnny Cortez, Aylin Ramirez and Manuel Lievanos were sporting their newly awarded – based on grades, attendance, comportment and citizenship – bikes courtesy of Verde Valley™ Bikes for Kids and the Verde Valley Bicycle Company.
Bike recipient Aylin Ramirez flanked by VVCC President Mary Glinsky and Verde Valley Bicycle Company's Randy Young.
Immediately following the Mayor's Ride, the Yavapai County Community Health Services team (Nancy Gottschalk and Heather Klomparens) hosted a Bike Rodeo promoting bike safety and fun at the school. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, Principal Jessica Vocca carved out time so that students could participate in the rodeo. Verde Valley Bikes for Kids™ Director, Rich Leever, ensured that extra bikes were present so that each willing student could ride.
The first Rodeo station was a class on bike safety by Nancy Gottschalk followed by an inspection and repair of each kid’s bike and helmet fitting by Randy Young and Jeff Johnson from the Verde Valley Bicycle Company.
Nancy Gottschalk leads a Bike Safety Class
Jeff Johnson (VVBC) and Rich Leever (VVCC) check a bike's mechanical soundness
Randy Young (VVBC) ensures a Youngster's helmet fits.
The police and fire department ensured the course was set up and VVCC volunteers Heather Parris, Mary Viereck, Marty Glinsky and Kevin Adams joined them in guiding the students along the course.
Then the kids were off onto the rodeo grounds where they were able to test their skills at the various stations.
Watching the smiles of hundreds of kids while they rode bikes was amazing.
At the end of the day, students from Mrs. Baker’s and Ms. Emmons’ Third Grade class wrote about their rodeo experience.