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Perham Bike Rodeo rounds up 100 kids

Caitilin Reitmeyer, Olivia Melo, Mara Haberer and Myriah Tharaldson won the bikes for girls ages 10 and under. Four boys bikes and two adult bikes were also given away. Bike helmets were given away thanks to Mike Heikes, a brain injury survivor. Connie Vandermay/FOCUS1 / 2
Bike winner Tait Bormann was all smiles after picking out his new prize. Ten bikes for boys and girls were given away at the Perham Bike Rodeo, held last Wednesday at the site of the new Boys and Girls Club. The club was also celebrating its new location at the former hospital with an Open House. Connie Vandermay/FOCUS2 / 2

The Perham Bike Rodeo participant count nearly tripled from last year's total of 35, with 100 area kids riding through the course.

After school on May 9 at the Boys and Girls Club, kids of all ages rode through the coarse on their tricycles and bikes. They practiced safely coming out of a driveway, looking for cars at crossroads, swerving around cones, braking, steering between lines and testing hand signals.

Upon completion, participants put their name in a drawing for a chance to win one of 10 new bikes.

Kids also learned about safety measures with biking, including the importance of wearing a helmet. One girl yelled as she pedaled off, "If you don't wear a helmet, you can crack your head open."

"Pros wear bike helmets," brain injury survivor Mike Heikes told the kids, as he made sure their helmets fit correctly. Heikes is a cross-country bicyclist and knows the importance of protecting the head after sustaining injuries from an accident.

Bikes were also thoroughly inspected, including quality of brakes, chains and tires as well as safety measures like correct seat height and necessary reflectors.

After successfully completing the coarse, participants went on a ride along the Cal Miller Tail.

Winners of the bikes were Tait Bormann, Carter Seederf, Max George, Gavin Hoefs, Mara Haberer, Caitilin Reitmeyer, Olivia Melo, Myriah Tharaldson, Dannika George and Nevaeh McCanery.

The Bike Rodeo was sponsored by PartnerSHIP 4 Health, Perham Police Department, Boys and Girls Club, East Otter Tail 4-H, Perham Lions, KLN, Health Reform Minnesota, ABC Realty and Perham Health.