The Second Annual Avignon Children's Bike Classic

An Enjoyable Event Designed to Build Relationships

by Dale Fisher

“Dad, the boss is having a bike race on Saturday and you need to stay home,” is what a father reported to me after his son introduced his dad to our neighborhood's Second Annual Children’s Bike Classic.
Marti and I like to do things that build community and foster relationships in our neighborhood. So last year, I created a children’s bike classic for kids on our block. As you can see in my story and photos from last year's bike classic, this type of local event is a great way for kids to have fun riding their bicycles while their parents come out to watch. It also gives Marti and me the opportunity to join our neighbors as we help everyone get to know one another. One boy, who particularly enjoyed last year's bike classic kept asking me for "another race" saying, "I thought it was so much fun last year. I want to do it again." Marti and I felt similarly.
I set the date and sent out invitations to all the appropriately aged kids. About an hour before the classic's starting time, two boys rode over to our home, both ringing the door bell and knocking on the door. They asked “Hey, if we are going to have some bike races, then where's all the stuff?” At that point, I enlisted them as event helpers and we three began to mark off the course.
All in all, our second annual children's bike classic included approximately six different races. We focused on having fun instead of competing. Ten bike riders blazed through the street dodging pine cones, flying over jumps, and popping water balloons.
Many parents came out to watch, cheer, and photograph their kids. Marti and I met one new dad and began to build a relationship with him. Other dads talked to each other as we had desired. Our philosophy for these neighborhood events is to help everyone have fun, get the kids and parents to come out together, and begin relationship building that may eventually lead us to sharing Christ with them.
Enjoy the following photos of this year's fun event.

The event's starter raises the flags . . .

The starter begins the eventThe starter drops his flags . . . He blows his whistle . . . The race is on!

Click this photo to start the race! . . .

Click each thumbnail image to enlarge it, read its caption, and shrink it.
• Start in the upper-left corner, moving across to the right.

  Contestants ready their bikes at the big event's starting lineContestants ready their bikes at the big event's starting line.       Here's a young contestant waiting to begin the obstacle course eventThis classic event begins with an obstacle course on a lawn where riders pass through pairs of colored "feathers" or pink and blue bristled markers.
This contestant waits patiently at the starting line.
      Another neighborhood boy paces himself on the obstacle courseAnother neighborhood boy does a good job of pacing himself on the obstacle course.       Bikers drop three bean bags into as many buckets then pick them up againAbout to start the event's bucket race, three fathers hold a bucket while the racers,
each carrying three bean bags, drop one into each bucket going up the street
and then quickly pick them up again going down the street.

      A mid-air bean bag is about to enter the bucketLook closely. The mid-air bean bag is about to drop into the bucket.       A speedy biker is about to drop his bean bag into Dale's bucketDale awaits receipt in his bucket of a bean bag
from one of the neighborhood's  f a s t e s t  riders.
      Phase one of the crawl through a box eventRunning the "crawl through a box" event, this racer dismounts his bike
and prepares to enter the empty box.
      The biker quickly exits the empty boxPhase 2: The biker quickly exits the box as another contestant enters it.

      Out of the box and onto his bike, he heads for the finish lineAfter exiting the empty box, this young racer mounts his bike
and races to the finish line.
      Racers take a break at the food table pit stopRacers take a break from the 106-degree heat at the food table pit stop.       The next pase called burst the balloon beginsRacers take off for the next event: the "burst the balloon race."       A popular event was driving over water balloons to pop themA popular event was driving over water balloons to pop them.

      The kids cool off as they ride under a hose spraying cold waterThe finale of this hot bike classic was riding under Dale's garden hose
that shot a stream of cold water.
      Two daring contestants brave the cold-water streamTwo daring contestants brave the cold-water stream!       Parents gather and share race accounts at the food tableParents gather and share race accounts at the food table.       Participants pose with their parents after the race ends.At the end of the second annual bike classic, remaining event participants
and their parents pose happily in full regalia.
(There were 10 riders but some had to go home early.)

You can see last year's photos on this next page.

5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:5–6).

another Christian fish with a cross