WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The mayoral election is right around the corner and various organizations are hosting events for Wichitans to learn more about their candidates.
Thursday, Oct. 5, Bike Wichita Falls held a forum with a little twist.
This one had the candidates riding their bikes through an obstacle course testing their knowledge of bike safety.
Wichita Falls boasts about its biking community so this forum allowed candidates to show off their skills.
Wichita Falls is home to over 22 miles of bike trails and Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred, one of the biggest bike races in the United States. The city needs people in office who are pro-bicycle and have ideas about how to keep the city on two wheels. Thursday’s event allowed for just that.
“We’re a bicycle-friendly community,” said Mark Beauchamp, county commissioner of precinct 1. “What better way to show that? Candidates for mayor and city council come out and show their support for the biking community and play around a little bit of bikes and show their knowledge of what biking is.”
The candidates who attended participated in an obstacle course involving a figure 8 loop, a weave lane, and other various obstacles every day biker runs into. After the course, the candidates took a quick quiz on bike safety and Wichita Falls bike history.
“When we did the quiz, we went over it with everybody that was here, no one got a perfect score,” said Becky Raeke co-chair of Bike Wichita Falls. “So we all learned something today, and, you know, just seeing them out here supporting our bike community, it’s important to us”
None of the candidates perfectly aced the test or the ride. Some were not huge cyclists, but the candidates all participated—an item that hit home with Becky Raeke.
“You know, the people that were out here today participating, they might not be like huge bike people, but they are open to hearing what we have to say,” said Raeke. “So I think that’s the most important part, showing up, listening. That’s what we want in our future leaders.”
Following the competition, people were able to meet and greet more of their candidates.