We kicked off our first week of summer break with a week-long Pedalheads bike camp. With six instructional levels for children ages 3 – 12, I was able to register both my children, ages 4 and 7, in a bike camp at the same time and location in Edmonton. We opted for their half-day camp from 1 – 4 p.m. (as I was hopeful my kids would sleep in and their 9 a.m. camp would be too early for us – silly me).
So I dropped both kids off with a nut-free snack, water bottles, rain gear (yay Alberta weather), helmets, and bikes. From the email communication – camp reminders and helmet fitting guides – to their sign-in and sign-out sheets, it was clear that these camps were a well-oiled machine. When we arrived, we checked in at the main tent with their supervisor and were told which group each child was in. I led each of my kids to their designated group – marked by a numbered pylon, signed them in, and left for some sacred alone time.
My oldest was thrilled to be back at camp again. She came to Level 1 last summer never having ridden without training wheels and left 3 hours later whizzing around on two wheels. This year in Level 3, she honed her current skills, learned more about road safety, and practiced signaling (and more). She was eager for camp every day and wanted to keep biking after each afternoon finished. She’s been biking nonstop since.
My youngest, on the other hand, was more reluctant. He’s a strong-willed 4-year-old not easily swayed or tricked, but he was so proud of the biker he’d become after his Trikes ‘N’ Trainers Camp last year that he agreed to attend. When he arrived last year, he could barely pedal, couldn’t steer, and could only look at the ground. After five days of camp – each day of camp being only 90 minutes – he was riding like a champ. His eyes were always forward, he could actually pedal, and his steering game was masterful. This summer, he was registered in Level 1. Because the goal of Level 1 is to get kids riding without training wheels and because he was such a strong biker with his training wheels, they took his off on the first day. The poor kid was not prepared. He downright refused to get back on his bike and when I arrived he was happily putting sticks and grass into his group’s pylon. But with a little coaxing from me and major encouragement from his instructor, he gave two wheels a try and willingly participated for the rest of the week. Pedalheads has a great track record of getting most kids off of training wheels in just one week! How amazing is that?
If you’re looking for an active camp for one or all of your children ages 3 – 12, if you’d like your children to learn how to ride without training wheels, or learn how to safely ride on the road, I highly recommend Pedalheads. They offer half-day (3-hour), full-day (7-hour), before and after care, and private lessons. You can feel confident knowing that Pedalheads has been teaching kids to ride since 1995! They have small classes, which means your child will receive plenty of one-on-one time and personalized instruction. And their instructors are amazing! They are enthusiastic, kind, patient, and knowledgeable. They encourage every child to do his or her best and give additional supports when needed. Their lessons are age-appropriate, fun, and foster imagination. My son’s favourite activity last year was one that worked on developing his ability to steer – the instructors set up several small foldable pylons and kids were told to “squish the bugs”. The kids had a blast and my son learned how to steer! I love that each camp begins with a fun group warm-up, like tag. And each day they have an extra activity they get to do, like wash their bikes or decorate them. On the last day, every parent and caregiver is invited to arrive 20 minutes early for the bike parade – where each child has an opportunity to demonstrate what he has learned. All the kids cheer and beam with pride as they show off their new skills. It’s the sweetest thing.
Pedalheads offers their bike camps in Canada and the US. They have 16 locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and St. Albert. Visit their website to learn more and to register. We’ll be signing up again in August and every summer until they age out!