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Market Safety Bicycle Rodeo Takes Center Stage
Long Bike
Even modified bikes can maneuver the obstacle course of the Bicycle Rodeo at the Wednesday, July 1 Farmers Market in Riverbank, sponsored by the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce and Police Services officers and staff. The bike event, coupled with a Kids Safety Fair, has become a popular part of the market each year. At the end of the evening, before the free movie, Chief Erin Kiely and his deputies gave away two pairs of bicycles to lucky youngsters. Ric McGinnis/The News


In spite of the soaring temperatures of the past week, the Riverbank Farmers Market continued Wednesday, July 1 with a popular event returning to Community Center Park along with it.

With the thermometer registering over 100 degrees earlier in the week, other events around the Central Valley were either canceled or re-scheduled, but the market went on as usual, helped by overcast skies in the afternoon and an increasing breeze as the evening wore on.

The Safety Night and Bike Rodeo went on as intended, with only a few minor adjustments to accommodate the warmth. The Rodeo is usually held on Sixth Street, between Santa Fe and Stanislaus streets, alongside the Teen Center. Police Chief Erin Kiely decided to move the Rodeo to Seventh Street, next to the playground area of the park and near the swimming pool. He said Seventh had trees which provided shade to his officers and participating bicyclists as well.

He said he wanted to avoid any of his officers, in their dark blue service uniforms, from being overly affected by the heat. And he said he especially didn’t want participants to suffer from adverse effects, either.

On Sixth Street there are almost no trees for shade.

Riverbank Police Services officers provided instruction, as well as the occasional guiding hand, to bike riders attempting the obstacle course. They were learning traffic safety at the same time.

Other community groups and businesses brought their pop-up tents to provide shade where it was needed, with activities and information for participating youngsters throughout the event.

Following the rodeo event but before the movie, Chief Kiely held a drawing to give away four bicycles, a boy and girl bicycle each in the 9-10 age group and the 11-12 range.

The lucky Safety Fair bicycle winners were Aaron Brown, 9; Neftali Alcantara, 9; Ameli Piceno, and Giovanny Guzman, 12. Piceno and Guzman were not present for the drawing. The chief thanked the sponsors for the bicycles donated, CBS Janitorial, Target, Les Schwab Tires and Powerhouse Dance Studios Inc.

At sundown, the free movie shown was Despicable Me.

No musical entertainment is scheduled for tonight, July 8, but the free movie is set to be Despicable Me 2, which should start at sunset. The Farmers Market is presented by the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Wednesday at Community Center Park. Fresh fruits, vegetables and prepared foods are on sale.