August 20, 2003

By Janna Mallay, Bullitt Co., 4-H Jr. Press Corp - Each year at the Kentucky State Fair, 4-Hers have the chance to be in a rodeo - only they don’t ride bulls or horses, they compete on bicycles.

There were 30 participants ages nine and above competing for 4-H ribbons. Youth are tested primarily on their knowledge in a written test and their skills in the way they handle the riding course. 

"It is a great opportunity for the kids,” said Lucy Oliver, former State Teen Council vice president and rodeo assistant. “This is a great way to incorporate 4-H with one of their favorite activities." 

Riding safety and understanding the critical elements of a bike are stressed at all times. Every contestant's bike is inspected. Chains, tires, brakes and seat adjustments are scrutinized by contest judges before a youngster can compete. If the bike doesn't pass muster, it is set aside and the 4-Her is allowed to use another bike that qualifies.

Even with the emphasis on safety and technical knowledge, the 4-Hers still have fun competing.

"I like to ride my bicycle because it's fun and is one of my strengths,” said Rebekah Barnett, 2003 Bicycle Rodeo participant. 

The Junior Grand Champion was Phillip Todd Copas from Allen Co. and Senior Grand Champion was Ecil Miller from Hart Co. 

Parents and youth interested in participating in the 4-H bicycle rodeo should contact their local county Extension office for more information.


Editor: Aimee D. Heald  859-257-4736, ext. 267