Overcast skies and a chilly breeze did not dampen the enthusiasm at Sherman Elementary School’s second-grade bicycle rodeo Friday morning. The annual event teaches safety and correct riding techniques and encourages physical fitness.
Adapted physical education teacher Maggie Voedisch initiated the rodeo several years ago, along with third-grade bicycle rides on the B&O trail. “Safety and basic riding skills are the goals of the bike rodeo,” Voedisch said, as she watched children on bikes or waiting their turns on the Sherman parking lot cleared of cars.
Sherman staff and Mansfield Senior High students directed the activities at six stations.
In their classrooms second-graders learned hand signals and traffic space awareness. Safety instruction encompassed proper fit of helmets, traffic signals and checking the ABCs – air, brakes and chains – before riding.
Mansfield Police Sgt. Jon Ahles emphasized safety as riders approached a stop sign at the base of the paved slope which connects the parking lot to the playground area. “This is a very good thing you’re doing here. I like it,” Ahles told Voedisch.
Next week Sherman third-grade classes will participate in scheduled 8-mile rides on the B&O Trail between Deer Park and North Lake Park. Buses will take the students and their bikes to the starting point. The rides will complete classroom instruction that emphasizes greater awareness of responsibility while riding in the community.
In October 2014 Voedisch described Sherman’s bicycle program – “Pedaling for Your Future” – via telephone during the Ohio Department of Health’s weekly statewide conference call to more than 100 local health departments statewide. In December 2015 she was honored by Richland Public Health and the Mansfield YMCA with a Community Partner of Excellence Award for promoting physical health.
Several sponsors have contributed to the success of the Sherman bike program over the years. Meijer gave $1,000 for the purchase of 30 bicycles and The Cap Place gave $500.
Helmets were provided by Richland Public Health, the Richland County Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Mansfield and the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Baumgardner Appraisals donated five sets of training wheels.
Source: Mansfield City Schools