On Wednesday, seven youngsters grabbed their bicycles and headed to the Clay County Justice Center, preparing to tackle obstacles presented to them.
The 2012 Clay County 4-H Fair Bicycle Rodeo went off without a hitch Wednesday. For the past several years, the event has taken place at the justice center, with local law enforcement officials serving as guest judges.
This year, Sheriff Mike Heaton and Chief Deputy Rob Gambill judged the contest.
"It's an indescribable feeling," Heaton said when asked about judging the competition, "especially since you get to see the same kids (year in and year out). You get to watch them grow up.
"The kids remember us. They get the experience and exposure to see us."
"They get to see us in a different role," Gambill added.
The contest was separated into seven stages, including Single Obstacle, Double Obstacle, Double Zig-Zag Obstacle, Balance, Figure 8 Steering, Figure 8 Balance and a written test. The majority of the riding tests are timed slowly for balance.
"(All competitors) are supposed to wear proper gear," Clay County Extension Educator 4-H Youth Development officer Tammy Steiner said. "(The event) teaches them to maneuver so they can ride better."
There is a Junior Division (for 4-H'ers in grades 3-7) and Senior Division (for 4-H'ers in grades 8-12). This year, five competed in the Junior Division, with two in the Senior Division.
The winner of the Junior Division was Grant Nicoson, while Nathan Buell won the Senior Division. Both qualified to compete in the event at the 2012 Indiana State Fair.
While the 2012 Clay County 4-H Fair doesn't officially begin until Sunday, July 15, a handful of competitions, such as the Dog Show, Cat Show and Bicycle Rodeo, have already taken place.
Livestock barns will be set up Thursday and all livestock are due to the barns Saturday.
Other shows are scheduled to take place Saturday, July 14, with the Pet Animal Show at noon, Rabbit Ambassador Show at 1 p.m., and the Horse Show "Contesting," at 5 p.m.
The Western Horse Show will take place in the Horse Arena at noon, Sunday, with the Rabbit Show starting at 1 p.m.
Other shows set for Sunday include the annual Beef Cook-off (2 p.m.) and Fashion Revue (6:30 p.m.).