Kids on 2 wheels run amok at fest

Two-year-old Arlo Bruton of Grand Junction negotiates the obstacle course during the 500 Block Push-Bike Grand Prix.

Children ruined Saturday’s first-ever 500 Block Push-Bike Grand Prix in downtown Grand Junction, business owner Chris Brown said in his tongue-in-cheek analysis.

“They cry a lot and sometimes wreck while just standing there,” the owner of Brown Cycles, 549 Main St., observed while obstructing a steady stream of small bicyclists zipping up and down the sidewalk in the 500 block of Main Street during Saturday’s Art & Jazz Festival.

“Children can’t follow a blue line on a sidewalk if their life depended on it, or they’ll start running the course backwards before you know what’s going on,” Brown continued. “And their heads are a lot bigger than I thought ... it’s hard putting their awards on.”

Sugar cookies dangling from bits of rope, courtesy of Main Street Bagels, served as medals during Saturday’s loosely organized push-bike contest for children ages 2 to 5 years. Kairos Boutique, 533 Main St., and Toys for the Fun of It, 519 Main St., joined Brown’s efforts to lure foot traffic between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.

The push-bike course, blue tape leading the way, snaked its way through each business while moving up and down the 500 block of Main. Prizes were to be handed out for the fastest to finish.

Brown said they considered doing a zip-line into the stores, “but the sharp cornered aluminum door jams proved to be an interesting challenge.”

Running a push-bike course through places of business on a festival weekend proved interesting as well.

“They’ll stop and play with a tea set, or pull things off a wall,” Brown said. “And right in the middle of the course they’ll throw down their bikes and go to the bathroom. We’re not sure how to deal with that as far as point deductions.”

The course had a series of homemade obstacles, including an orange-painted wooden teeter-totter.

“We’ve learned if you only weigh 26 pounds, you’re not heavy enough to trigger it,” Brown said.

Imperfections and all, the course appeared to be a hit with parents like Jennifer Cutts of Grand Junction. Her daughters, Elizabeth, 3, and Anna, 4, zipped along on separate bicycles.

“All these booths are for us,” Cutts said, gesturing to the Art & Jazz happenings. “For children this is awesome.”


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