BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Normally, rodeos are a big draw for families in North Dakota. But on Wednesday, Bismarck city workers left the horses at home and had their own rodeo.
KX News takes us to the competition that’s helping operators gear up.
It’s the 12th annual Bismarck Roadeo, and operators say they’re ready to rock the roads.
With the weather cooling down quickly, soon, we’ll be seeing snow in our forecast. To make sure the city is prepared, they host a Roadeo.
“Every fall we put the Roadeo together so that everybody can get back in the seat of the equipment and get used to it again before the snow flies,” said Crew Leader Chad Schiermeister. “So we set up some obstacle courses so everyone can run through it and kind of make it a little friendly competition.”
Several dozen operators showed their skills, weaving through the obstacle courses, dodging cones, and hitting metal targets.
“We have some gray plastic totes out there that simulate a car, you obviously don’t want to hit that, or you’ll lose some points. Every obstacle is a little bit different,” added Schiermeister.
KX News spoke with an operator who is participating in his first Roadeo, and he says it’s effective at sharpening up those street cleaning skills.
“I did better than expected, you know, being the first time out and the first guy out on the trial so, I did good,” said Equipment Operator Shawn Leisinger.
The Roadeo is geared towards prepping people for the snowfall, and if it’s anything like last year’s, the operators will be in for an uphill battle.
“We’ll have a lot of new people in that equipment again, so hopefully we’ll see a below-average snow season and not anything like last year,” said Schiermeister “If we get stuff like last year again, we’ll be prepared. We had quite a few of us, myself included, that stayed at the shop last year during the nights and made sure we made it to work every day, so yeah, we’ll be ready to go.”
Schiermeister says the Roadeo is also a great opportunity to get the message out about what to do near plows this coming winter.
“When we are out plowing, just give us the time that we need, don’t crowd the plows, a lot of times, when we’re doing some of the major emergency routes, like State Street’s a very good example, we’re pulling the stuff to one side and cars will try to pass us, all that’s going to do is get you stuck and that’s going to cause a longer wait, and I know people are used to going places fast, but come wintertime, slow it down a little bit and just give us the room that we need.”
As we said, the Roadeo is a competition. Schiermeister says the winners will have their names put on a plaque in the city office.