Life Is Just So Daily

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Bike Rodeo

My son is awesome.

I am so proud of him. Beyond proud.

In memory of his cousin, Allen, he organized a bike rally/rodeo/safety event with the help of his School Resource Officer.

Back story to all of this: he started at a new school last year. It was the school's first year to be open, and he had a new principal. We were at a Meet-the-Teacher type of event, and Gage was with us. The Principal made the comment that he welcomed students to meet with him about ideas that they have and then he kept right on speaking about things. When his speech was over Gage informed me that he believed he'd like to "take a meeting" with Mr.P, and discuss his ideas for a bike rodeo at the school because he has seen so many of his peers riding their bikes to school without helmets.

{Seriously? He was 7 at the time that he first decided that he needed to make a difference with his peers.}

So, I emailed Mr.P and kind of told him where Gage's heart was coming from and requested a meeting. Gage asked that I be there for the meeting because he was a little bit nervous. No problem...

So, that was at the start of the 2nd grade year. Well, that year came and went. It really was a busy year for the school and everyone figuring out the path for this new elementary. The bike rodeo was put off for a year, and that's okay.

2014 was the year for the 1st of many annual (we hope!) Bike Rodeo for Gage's school.
This first one was a learning project for us. Next year will have fewer kinks and hopefully be a bit more fluid, but still, the event was AWESOME.

We had our local DPS officers there with their fire engine and various patrol cars. We had a bike registration where you could register your bike with the DPS so that if it's lost or stolen, it can be returned to you. We had a bike safety station where bolts could be tightened and brakes checked....and all of those things that go along with road-readying a bike! We had a helmet fitting station where helmets were checked to ensure proper fit and if you did not have a helmet, a helmet was provided to you by: OUR SON, GAGE! We had stickers provided to be placed on the bike or inside of the helmet. They are specialty CHAD stickers, which stands for "Children Have An iDentity." They will help law enforcement/EMS quickly contact next of kin/family in the event of an accident. Parents don't always think about such things---but when these types of incidents happen away from parental line of sight, children can end up in the ER as Jane/John Doe. Scary thought, and yes, sadly, in my line of work, I've seen it happen quite a bit, actually.

Anyway----it was off the charts amazing to be THIS kid's mother:
At our station, Gage distributed a paper that he had previously typed (with my help) that told the story of how Gage had a cousin named Allen who was hit by a car while riding his bike to school. He expressed how he hopes his peers will take his experience, and use it as a reminder to wear a helmet EVERY TIME they are out riding.

He tells me that it just made him sad when he started at his new school and saw so many kids riding their bikes and scooters to school without helmets. He would tell me that they didn't have helmets or just didn't know how important it was to wear one. (My very wise little guy!)

At our station we fitted helmets and distributed helmets, along with Gage's printout. We also gave everyone reflective stickers for their bikes and helmets. 

Here are some pics from the set up and event:

(above: riding bikes over various surfaces)

The former educator for whom the school is named even attended the event. Gage was THRILLED. She's like a celebrity to him. He loves seeing her out and about. He loves seeing her at church. He's so cute with her.
During the Bike Rodeo, the SRO (School Resource Officer), who was a driving force in this fun-fest,  gathered the kids and taught them the various hand traffic signals. They went on a safety ride with a DPS escort and learned about the importance of walking your bike in the cross walks. This excursion also gave them an opportunity to put the hand signals into practice. It was pretty special...

...and the return:

After that, it was time for the drawings! Every child who attended the event got a ticket for a drawing. The mega-prizes: one boys bike and one girls bike. Other drawing items included gift cards to restaurants, private parties at an indoor trampoline park, store gift cards, and the like. Several items drawn for right then and there and announced. Bike drawings: announced the following Monday morning on the school news report that's live and plays in all of the classrooms. (I wasn't there for that part, but I knew at the end of the event who won the two bikes and it made me happy! Also, the SRO took pics of the winners with their bikes and that made us happy too.)

It was a well attended event, and I couldn't be more proud of my son  for getting himself out there---getting his message out there, and trying to make a difference in this world.

For anyone who has known my son for any great length of time, you know how painfully shy he used to be. Life has brought him so far. He just amazes me sometimes. May I never forget the moment I stood in my kitchen and just cried because I felt so proud of my son, and so grateful to God for allowing me to mother him. My son is not perfect, but he's mine. I love the person that he is, and I am so hopeful about the little gentleman that his becoming.

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At 8:00 PM , Blogger Christy said...

Wow, what an amazing effort and a great message to all kids and families. Your last paragraph had me crying too

At 8:01 PM , Blogger lisa said...

I actually got a little choked up reading this. What a wonderful thing to do! I have never even heard of anything like this. Do you remember when you stood outside the car with the child in it and Gage asked why a parent would leave them in the car? You are sewing good seeds, and have every right to be proud!

At 11:37 PM , Anonymous The secret search for enlightenment said...

I'm so touched on the last paragraph, It really makes me cry. God is indeed so good to us. We should be grateful all the time.

At 4:38 PM , Blogger LauraC said...

I could not love this more!! Great job mama!


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