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Airmen help kids bike one pedal at a time

Airman 1st Class Kayla Elliott, 50th Security Forces Squadron, helps an Ellicott Elementary School student ride a bike during the school’s bike rodeo on May 19, 2014, in Ellicott, Colo. Elliott and other Airmen from Schriever Air Force Base volunteered to spend the teach fourth-graders how to ride a bike. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Airman 1st Class Kayla Elliott, 50th Security Forces Squadron, helps an Ellicott Elementary School student ride a bike during the school’s bike rodeo on May 19, 2014, in Ellicott, Colo. Elliott and other Airmen from Schriever Air Force Base volunteered to spend the teach fourth-graders how to ride a bike. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Ellicott Elementary School teachers announce the winner of a bike during a bike rodeo May 19, 2014, in Ellicott, Colo. As part of the rodeo, Schriever Air Force Base Airmen volunteered to teach the Fourth-grade students how to ride a bike. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

Ellicott Elementary School teachers announce the winner of a bike during a bike rodeo May 19, 2014, in Ellicott, Colo. As part of the rodeo, Schriever Air Force Base Airmen volunteered to teach the Fourth-grade students how to ride a bike. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Naomi Griego)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Three Schriever Airmen taught approximately 60 Ellicott Elementary School students how to ride a bike May 19, in Ellicott, Colorado, as part of the school's bike rodeo.
 
Lycrecia Oulette, Ellicott Elementary teacher, coordinated with the base to get volunteers to spend their morning on the school playground teaching the 9 and 10 year olds about bike safety as well as teaching them to ride a bike at multiple stations.

Airman 1st Class John Hopkins, 50th Security Forces Squadron, said he heard about the event through email and it seemed like a fun opportunity.

"I didn't realize how many kids didn't know how to ride a bike," said Hopkins. "To a kid, riding a bike is just something you should do."

He said that he was impressed by their perseverance and how, even though they fell off the bike, they didn't give up.

"The kids reminded me to have more fun in life," said Hopkins. "I had to ask myself when the last time I had ridden a bike was, it's been a while."

The kids spent a few hours outside with the bikes, riding from station to station and learning new maneuvers such as how to do a figure eight. As part of the event, six of them received free bikes.

"We had bikes donated for the event and we raffled them to three boys and three girls from both classes," said Oulette.

They asked the kids who already had a bike and if it was in good condition, which helped narrow the raffle down to those who didn't actually own one.

"The kids had a good a time," she said. "They're so happy and grateful to be outside instead of at a desk."

Tucker Muilenburg was one of those grateful students.

"I had a blast today." he said. "The people who came to help were very nice."

He added, "The obstacles can be harder than you think, but don't give up."

Oulette said the event was terrific, she just wishes more bikes could've been donated to give away. She hopes next year will be even more successful.