You know that mother on your street? The one smiling and waving calmly as her kid bikes by at a pace that would make Andretti cringe? Yeah, that’s not me. So how does a scaredy-mom teach her kid it’s okay to ride a bike fast enough to pass a snail?
Enter Pedalheads, an amazing summer cycling camp that teaches kids everything from steering and braking to bicycle maintenance, safety and etiquette.
They’ve thought of everything. Realizing children get bored easily, they intersperse lessons with games (a safety sign version of memory and bike bowling are effective favourites), alternate between grass and tarmac, and are constantly varying drill strategies for optimum learning.
Additionally, their eight-level approach (similar to swimming classes) guarantees children are always progressing.
Where: Various locations throughout Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia
Activities: Safety knowledge, safety skills, trail riding, street riding, and bike maintenance
Truly child-centred, classes are small (4-6 kids, with supervisors mingling to provide a degree of individual attention), and staff employ peer motivation to encourage stragglers. Owner/founder Claudia Sjoberg has craftily created a 5-story picture book on cycling for younger riders.
Pedalheads’ hiring reflects this same thoughtfulness; staff are recruited from child-focused university classes, ensuring counselors are as kid-savvy as they are young and energetic.
Indeed, on the day of my visit I witness one instructor running back and forth positioning cones, while another jogs alongside a young cyclist. These same staff members helpfully stick around at pick-up time to give parents instructive feedback.
So what do parents say? Offers grateful mother Jessica, “Our daughter was off training wheels by day two, and now she’s a confident 2-wheeler”.
Whether your kid is up for full-day, half-day or private lessons, Pedalheads has it covered.