Bike rodeo returns May 16

The Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo returns to the Schlitterbahn parking lot Saturday, May 16.

The ninth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon May 16 at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 9400 State Ave.

Tips on cycling safety, free bike safety helmets, T-shirts and a look at Schlitterbahn attractions will be the highlights of the day.

“Cycling is a fun and healthy way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors,” said Jan Wiley, KCK Kiwanis West event chair. “It’s also a leading cause of unexpected and sometimes serious injuries. Our goal is to ensure that youth learn the rules of the road and understand the importance of wearing well-fitted safety helmets.”

Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles to the event to have their bikes inspected free and to complete the bicycle safety course.

Youth must be accompanied by an adult in order to participate.

The first 300 to arrive will get a free bike safety helmet and T-shirt. Participants will rotate through seven bike riding skill stations and have the opportunity to earn a bicycle safety certificate.

The KCK Kiwanis West, in partnership with Atmos Energy, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City, Big D Cycling and numerous community businesses and organizations, are committed to helping area youth ride their bicycles safely.

“Even though helmets can’t keep a cyclist from falling, they can save lives,” said Kevin Jones, Atmos Energy. “We’re pleased to be able to donate bike safety helmets for this event because when they are properly fitted, helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent if a fall occurs.”

“Every year, more than half a million bicyclists visit hospital emergency rooms because of cycling mishaps,” Wiley said. “Nearly one quarter of those injured in bike-related accidents are youth. As the main sponsor of this bike rodeo, the Kansas City, Kan., Kiwanis West Club is committed to making sure area youth understand the importance of riding safely.”

Back again this year will be a free, drive-through car seat safety check. Experts will inspect car seats and ensure they are installed securely in families’ vehicles.

Kiwanis West Club president Kimberley Holm, a certified National Child Passenger Safety Technician with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, said, “Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of children from ages 1 to 14. Even though most parents understand the importance of putting their children in car and booster seats, seven out of 10 kids in child safety restraints are not buckled in properly. We want to reduce that number.”

On Saturday, Schlitterbahn season passes will be on sale for $5 off the full gate price. Season pass holders will have an exclusive opportunity to beat the rush and process their season pass ID Cards during the event.

“Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City is thrilled to host this popular community event,” said Chuck Stites, Kiwanis member and Schlitterbahn director of development. “In addition to helping kids gear up for a safe bike-riding season, the event promises to offer a morning packed with free family fun.”

Bike rodeo participants will be treated to a free cookie or doughnut, courtesy of Judi’s Bakery; get to enjoy performances by kids affiliated with Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts; tour attractions at Schlitterbahn; get a close up look at emergency vehicles, get into the groove with fun Zumbatronics workouts; and engage in other activities, games and crafts provided by local businesses and organizations.

Those who have questions or need directions on the day of the event, may call 816-751-4227. To get to Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City from I-435, take Exit 13 – State Avenue east. Turn left at the second traffic light and enter the parking lot.

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