Is teaching the kids to ride their bikes giving you the blues? If you’ve ever googled ‘how to ride a bike,’ Melissa Malejko of Safer Cycling Calgary is more than happy to help.
While her original clientele were adults, after trying to teach her own daughter to cycle, she truly understood the dilemma that parents face when tackling the task.
The only certified CAN-BIKE Instructor in Calgary who provides CAN-BIKE courses, the first step in Level 1 is to teach kids about how to properly wear their helmets, and the bike fundamentals.
Not only do the training wheels then come off, but the pedals do as well. For kids who haven’t had the opportunity to explore balance bikes, this session allows them to focus on just that: balance.
Once riders have mastered a balanced glide, the pedals come back on. Learning to pedal, steer and stop comes next. Melissa’s three-hour course has even the most nervous riders finding confidence.
Each session is $100, and with a maximum of 4 participants, Melissa is able to easily work one-on-one with each of the participants. There is even a Level 1B for adults who haven’t yet had the chance to take on the two-wheel challenge. Sessions end with a brief breakdown on the practicality of bike security.
Courses run at different dates at the Haysboro Community Association in August, or on Saturday, July 21 at Cardel Rec South.
Level 2 (All in the Family)
Once your kids have mastered the basics, Level 2 (or the Family Bike Rodeo) is the next step. Designed for kids 7 and up – and parents – this “playground” based biking experience is all about learning skills to ride safely on the road. The 90-minute session is $20 and covers things like straight line riding, signaling, shoulder checking, braking, starting and pedaling, and other fun activities.
Level 3 Courses
The Level 3 courses come in different packages: one for kids (9-15), adults (16 and up), families (parent and child aged 9 and up), or women only (16 and up). The Level 3 course focuses on the rules of the road, preparing kids (9-14) to ride safely on residential streets, recognizing that from age 14 and up, they will be prohibited from riding on the sidewalk.
Other aspects include safe route planning, safety equipment outside of helmets, bike maintenance, group riding etiquette, handling skills, rules for riding on residential streets and more. The 9-hour course costs $125, and only allows for 6 participants per instructor, once again allowing for lots of one-on-one time. There is also a half-day camp version of Level 3 at Cardel Rec South for five days (July 23-27) from 9 am to 12 pm.
The step-by-step approach to bike riding, safety skills and more makes Safer Cycling Calgary a truly valuable option when it comes to teaching kids the basics. If you’re at a loss as to how to help your kid learn to ride a bike, aside from running alongside the bike in the hopes that the kids will magically figure out the next steps, Melissa and her team can perform the miracle for you instead.