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Posted by: WCC

On May 3, Warsaw Community Church hosted Warsaw Community Schools, Warsaw Noon Optimist Club, and Kosciusko County Velo (KCV Cycling) for their Tracey’s Trailer Spring Bike Rodeo. The rodeo included 261 third grade students from Claypool, Eisenhower, Jefferson, and Washington elementary schools.

Tracey’s Trailer Spring Bike Rodeo is part of the Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake Advisory Committee’s initiative to provide bicycle safety education for children in the community. KCV instructors present basic bicycle safety and maintenance curriculum to the students in their classrooms for four weeks prior to the rodeo. The classroom instruction then culminates at the rodeo, where pretrained volunteers from KCV, the optimist Club, the Warsaw and Winona Lake police departments, WCS, and WCC instruct the students and help them practice what they learned in the classroom. At the end of the rodeo, each student receives a new bicycle helmet and a goody bag.

From May 17-19, WCC then provided sponsorship and numerous volunteers, including youth groups and growth groups, for the 19th Annual Fat and Skinny Tire Festival, which takes place each May. Over 20 different events and activities are provided to the community with the goal of bringing the community together, while hosting thousands from outside of Kosciusko County that have gathered to learn about and ride their bicycles casually and/or competitively. The festival has grown to become one of the largest bicycling events in the Midwest and has helped the city of Warsaw, town of Winona Lake, and Kosciusko County gain statewide and national attention. This attention has allowied them to invest in building bicycle and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure like bike lanes, trails, greenways, and sidewalks for the community to enjoy for safe recreation and transportation options. 

As an event sponsor, WCC put together a four-person relay race team to enter the event’s community/corporate challenge. Competitors from each team took turns racing a single speed beach cruiser bicycle around the “island” racecourse in Winona Lake on Sunday afternoon. Along with coach Noel Wiebe, the WCC team of Eli Demopoulos, Tim Devlin, Will Faas, and Erin McManus advanced from their qualifying race, which took the top three teams from the two heats for the final race. In the final, WCC took first place, repeating their win from 2023, beating out the teams from Lutheran Kosciusko Hospital in second and Zimmer Biomet in third.

Community Outreach Pastor at WCC, Greg Demopoulos, is also a co-founder of Kosciusko County Velo, the local bicycling advocacy organization that is responsible for both the bike rodeo and the bike festival. “I love seeing so many people from our church involved in the community in many ways,” said Greg.  “But come May, because of my other local affiliations, I really get to spend time serving our community alongside them. It’s been such a blessing to see so many of our church family combine their hobbies and their faith to serve others, which is just one example of how we’re trying to live on mission.”


Greg Demopoulos

Pastor of Outreach & Engagement

574-268-0188 x256

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