Athletes who use Hannibal's Ramp Park are looking forward to competing in the annual competition, Ride Cool at the Ramp Park.

Athletes who use Hannibal’s Ramp Park are looking forward to competing in the annual competition, Ride Cool at the Ramp Park.

Ride Cool at the Ramp Park will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21 at Huckleberry Park, sponsored by the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department and Hannibal Clinic Health Services.

Paula Epker, manager of the Ramp Park, said, “Hannibal has one of the nicest ramp parks in the area. Hannibal youth use the park regularly and so do kids from Quincy and Palmyra.”

She said the participants at the Ramp Park look forward to Ride Cool.

“The competition allows riders a day to showcase their sport. Ride Cool is also a family fun day at the park where family and friends of the competitors and people in the community can come out and see some talented riders,” she said.

James Zimmerman, of CoolByke Bicycle Shop in Hannibal, said Hannibal maintains a strong presence in extreme sports.

“Extreme sports are on the decline and fewer kids are using the parks nationwide,” he said. “But the Hannibal Ramp Park is still going strong.”

Zimmerman, who is also an art teacher at Hannibal High School, said he encourages youngsters to “get out of the house and off the cell phones.”

Zimmerman said there are several benefits to participating in extreme sports.

“On top of the health benefits from being active, they also gain social skills and learn to take risks and become competitive,” he said. “Kids improve coordination and balance.”

He said the Hannibal Ramp Park supports all types of extreme sports.

“The three major avenues are BMX, skate and the ever-growing scooter industry and Hannibal Ramp Park allows all three. This is a great concert park with a good flow and large enough to accommodate several kids,” he said.

He added that Ride Cool promotes safety among the riders by giving out helmets.

The first 200 children will receive a helmet from Hannibal Clinic Health Services, starting at 10 a.m.

There will be free entry to the Ramp Park all day. Registration for skateboard, scooter and bike competitions begin at noon. Competitions start at 1 p.m. The emcee will be Casey Otto from P9 Entertainment.

Prizes for the competition will be provided by Coolbyke Bicycle Shop and Pedal’rs Bicycle Shop.

Spectators are welcome on shaded bleachers behind the Ramp Park. The Ramp Park concession stand will be open.