KANSAS CITY, Mo. - There wasn't a single animal or cowboy in the rodeo that took over Kemper Arena Sunday. The 2014 International Bus Rodeo instead showcased the stars of public transit and this year, it came to Kansas City, Mo.
"It is like the Super Bowl of driving!" said one man who came from Canada to coach one of the seventy drivers from all over North America in Kansas City to compete.
From maneuvering massive wheels through a tiny row of tennis balls to measuring the inches between the busses and cones or mock curbs, the rodeo's obstacles presented challenges as hard if not harder than what drivers face every day on city streets.
Driver Nick Miller represented Kansas City. Even though he's been driving for 13 years, this was his first rodeo. He qualified after winning the Kansas City competition.
"I was a little nervous starting off," he laughed. With only one minor mistake, Miller is proud of his run. Perhaps he'll win the rodeo, which comes with a trophy, bragging rights, and a $1000 prize.
Miller appreciates that the rodeo recognizes a job that comes with daily difficulties. Maneuvering a 40-foot bus on the streets of Kansas City isn't a breeze.
"A lot of people think you're behind there just driving around but there's a lot of things going on you have to be focused on," he said.
The winner will be announced at an awards dinner on Tuesday.