Les Tlustos, Brookings Optimist Club member and longtime bike rodeo volunteer, above, teaches youngsters the importance of stopping at the stop sign and walking their bikes across an intersection during the annual bike rodeo on Wednesday.

The obstacle courses, set up on Kidoodle Way, saw a lot of traffic from approximately 240 kids, said Katherine Eberline, children’s librarian at the Brookings Public Library. 

One of them was Hudson Fjerstad, 8, of Brookings, below, who rode a three-wheeled Fliker scooter through the obstacle course.

The Optimist Club partners with the library to put on the bike rodeo every year, said Roger Hansen, president of the Optimist Club. Helping out on the day are Optimist members, Brookings Police officers, library staff, and VFW Auxiliary. The Children’s Museum lets its parking lot be used for the event so kids have a nice, smooth surface to ride on.

The Optimists donate money for bike helmets, which are given away to the kids who don’t have any, Eberline said. Spoke & Sport gives a discount so the money goes farther, and they pump tires at the event. Any helmets left over after the rodeo are donated to the Brookings Police Department, which distributes them to any children they meet who don’t have helmets.

No one is sure how long the bike rodeo has been happening, but best estimates are well over 30 years. It’s one of the big traditions in Brookings, Eberline said.

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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