Decorated Bike Contest Brings Out The Best Designs


During the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce’s decorated bike contest, Lola Rice was going for gold. The 9-year-old chose a theme that celebrated an international pastime, a move that paid off with her winning the title of Best Overall.

“We’re trying to make (the bike) for the USA Olympics because I like gymnastics,” she said, adding that she was proud of her first-place finish. “It feels really good.”

Judges chose their favorite bikes, tricycles and wagons, awarding prizes to winners and runners-up for three categories: Best Overall, Most Original and Most Patriotic. This year marked the first time the Best Overall category was included, as it replaced Most Beautiful.

After declaring that this year featured some of the best designs that judge Colette Barnes has seen in her roughly 11 years of coordinating the contest, winners were announced.

Lola’s entry featured the iconic Olympics rings and star-shaped balloons to go with red, white and blue tinsel garland.

Emma Matsumoto, also 9 years old, earned the Most Patriotic honor.

“We put tape, more tape, pinwheels, flags, paper, streamers and more tape on the bike,” Emma said, referring to the help her parents provided.

Even the kids who did not win were glad to have the opportunity. One of those kids was returning participant Kellen Mays, a 13-year-old who was eager to ride his bike on Holly Avenue and show off his community spirit.

“I have a flag in the back, so it waves in the air for patriotism,” he said. “And I have bells.”

After winning Most Patriotic last year, Ava Paisley arrived with a new entry, a wagon carrying an inflatable blue bird.

“This is a blow-up, and it has a necklace, pinwheels, a duck and a hat,” said Ava, who also brought another animal: her miniature stuffed dog.

While most kids were thrilled to be part of the friendly competition, there was no mistaking their goal: a trophy and prize. Before taking runner-up for Most Original, Ava reflected on her success in the 2023 contest.

“The prize for that was my favorite part,” Ava said.

The decorated bike contest was sponsored by Lean On Dee. Victory Awards & Promotions provided trophies to the winners, and the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce gave winners a bag with treats and items inspired by the Fourth of July theme.


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