Learning to ride a bike is like buying a ticket to freedom. And teaching your kids to ride their own bike will buy you the freedom to walk faster than a tortoise (beside them) and ride the trails you once took for granted (pre-kids).
Yes, it can be done. Of course, little-little kids will need to hitch a ride. For that, we love Calgary-based Chariot Carriers. Rent one at Sports Rent for $20 per day, or at The Calgary Outdoor Centre for $12. Your thighs will scream uphill, but think of the heart-healthy benefits and you’ll make it up in no time.
When it comes to the post-training wheels stage, options include riding slowly on one of the city’s easier bike paths, or hitching up an Adams Trail-A-Bike. We love this invention that gives your five to seven year-old his own seat, pedals, handle bars and back tire (but no brake). It’s easier to pull than a Chariot, and kids love taking advantage of grown-up speed. Trail-A-Bikes are also available at The Calgary Outdoor Centre ($8 per day). Get Friday and Monday gratis with a weekend rental. The Outdoor Centre is also a great place to rent a bike to pull the trailer.
Where to go? We think the (just over) five kilometre loop linking Bowness and neighbouring Baker Park (north of the Bow River) is a good place to start. It’s flat, paved and scenic, and takes you by pit stops like playgrounds, a spray park and a concession stand.