Man About Menifee: One Young Man's Persistence Pays Off

 By David Baker

It should come as no surprise to my adoring fans -- all three of them -- that I am a big fan of low- or no-cost ways to entertain my kids.

When Nikkolas, my 18-year-old, was younger, the town we lived in had a yearly bike rodeo. Every year at the local Kmart parking lot, the local sheriff’s deputies, along with AAA, CalFire, the local bike store or other civic-minded organizations, would gather to promote things like bicycle safety and emergency preparedness.

One year, CalFire set up a trailer that was a mockup of a house filled with “smoke” (I think they used water vapor, but the effect was cool. The kids had to crawl under the smoke like they would in a real emergency. The local bike store would engrave parents’ driver’s license numbers on the kid’s bikes, in case they ever got stolen, and the deputies would teach the rules of the road. It was a blast, the kids had fun and it was my favorite price - free.

When Nikk was looking for a community service project for his senior year at Santa Rosa Academy (a prerequisite for graduation), he drew on those memories from his childhood and decided to bring something like that to Menifee. With most of his classmates doing little things like food drives, blood drives, and fundraisers, his teachers all thought he had bit off more than he could chew. A few even encouraged him to have a plan “B” when it didn’t happen.

I even doubted him myself at times, but it’s a good thing he’s a stubborn teenager who doesn’t always listen too well.

It wasn’t easy. He had red tape with the city, the school district, and various property owners who all kept turning him away. He spent months calling, emailing, and going from one office to another to try to make sure everything was legit and authorized.

Just when it seemed like everything was not going to happen, he caught a break, thanks to Menifee’s own Tom Fuhrman and the Menifee Youth Foundation -- both proud supporters of local Boy Scout Troop 444. Fuhrman helped find a location and the Foundation is providing Boy Scouts to help staff the event.

So next week, on Saturday, March 16 at the Menifee Rural Center (31850 Haun Road) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can attend Menifee’s first ever (possibly first annual) Bike Rodeo. There will be snacks, an obstacle course, and a raffle with door prizes, with all proceeds benefitting the Menifee Youth Foundation.

A special thanks to Tom Fuhrman, The Menifee Youth Foundation, BSA Troop 444, Menifee Bicycles, The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, County of Riverside, Menifee Fire Station #68, and all the others who helped make it happen.

If you want more information or want to find a way to help, you can send Nikk an email at (subject line bike rodeo).

David Baker, our Man About Menifee, writes about his adventures in and around town every Friday in this space. You may leave comments here for him or email him at


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