Our family LOVES to go on bike rides together, it’s one of our favourite activities to do with the kids! We even bring our dog Bandit with us, he sits on the front of my bike in a special basket designed for dogs. We started Pedalheads bike camp when our son was just 5 years old. We tried to teach him to ride with confidence without the training wheels and my husband and I were just not having any luck. He was so scared he might fall and we were so frustrated that he wasn’t trusting us with our teachings. I remember a lot of tears back then, so when a friend suggested we check out Pedalheads we did. Within 1 day at bike camp Logan had his training wheels off, and he had so much more confidence on his bike! Every day he would come home from camp that year he would immediately ask to go to the park near our house so he could show us what he learned. We spent hours with him in that park every day so he could practice after camp and both of us were absolutely amazed how fast he picked up his new skills.
That week we invested in a bike seat for our daughter Quinn. She was 2 at the time and it allowed us to get out for family bike rides! All summer long we explored our neighbourhood with Logan at the lead, he loved biking so much. Year after year we put him in bike camp, and every year he gained more confidence and learned more things. He made it up to level 5 and always enjoyed his week at bike camp in the summer. Fast forward a few years and it was Quinn’s turn to learn to ride a bike!
Quinn’s birthday is in August so she started in bike camp a little sooner at 4 years old. Her first week of bike camp was a completely different experience than we had with our son. She did not catch on as quickly as he did but that is ok! Because the teachers are trained and the class ratios are small she was up on two wheels by the end of the week. They spent the time to work with her on it everyday! Her personality is a lot different, if she doesn’t get something right away she gets very frustrated and upset. They worked through this with her and helped her build up her confidence that she could do it on her own. We would also practice with her after camp at our local park every night. One of the tricks that worked so well for both of our kids was counting how long they could go. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 out loud so they could hear us. Each time we would do this our kids would want to get that number higher and higher!
Pedalheads offers 6 levels of bike camps for kids, each level has a different set of skills to learn. We were amazed every year how much our kids learned during their week at camp all while having fun and meeting new kids. Every instructor we have had has been great with our kids and we could see they loved their jobs which I think is also important. I was not able to get either of our kids off training wheels so I know how hard their job really is!
The bike camps are offered at multiple locations through the city of Edmonton and surrounding areas. They also have camps available in other provinces within Canada!
This year Quinn is in Level 4 of bike camp. They spend lots of time riding out on the road and learning important safety skills at this level which is so important. Soon she will be off riding her bike to a friends house or school and we feel more comfortable letting her go with the skills she has learned.
Before this class level kids must already be able to:
- Shoulder check while riding in a straight line
- Hold a hand signal for 3 seconds while maintaining their straight line riding
- Ride in a straight line for a minimum of 20m/75ft without assistance
- Be age 6 or older
Some of the skills they develop in this level are:
- Road riding skills on and off site
- Improve group and single file riding
- Improve road safety and identifying hazards
- Bike maintenance
We noticed an improvement in her confidence on the road in just one week at the camp!
This blog post was written in partnership with Pedalheads. Views expressed are my own based on our personal experiences with the camps over the last 6 years with both of our children. Year after year I have recommended their camps to friends because we love them so much