By Jenny White, Velo City Cycles
Normally, this is the time of year that hundreds of West Michigan kids, ages 2 to 16, and their coaches meet up at local parks for bi-weekly Velo Kids bike rides. At these rides, Velo Kids learn and practice bike skills, bike safety, and bike trail stewardship.
Now, due to the pandemic, these group rides are not happening, but that has not stopped the kids from riding! These bike-loving kiddos are out riding and participating in the Velo Kids Summer Bike Adventure.
The Summer Bike Adventure is an eight-week challenge that encourages kids and their families to ride at different local trails, practice bike skills, and hunt for hidden bananas along the way.
Each week’s challenge sends participants to a different local trail or park and suggests specific skills to practice that are tailored to the location. It also includes clues to a secret spot where they can find hidden (plastic) bananas along the trail. Finding the hidden bananas has been a highlight for many of the kids and families.
“Many of the Velo Kids coaches have been creating challenges for each other this spring, so we combined that spirit with the weekly skill lessons that we normally cover in person to create something fun and low-stress for our Velo Kids families this summer,” said coach Martin Harris.
The Bike Adventure started on June 8 and will end on Aug. 2. It’s not too late to join. Parks and trails included are Riley Trails, Windmill Island, Pigeon Creek, Bass River, and any local-to-you areas where you can ride to get ice cream (or your family’s favorite treat). All rides are intended to be completed with family members, not in large groups.
Bike Adventure Scoresheets are available for kids to fill out as they complete the weekly rides.
Weekly write-ups are sent out with skills to practice and how-to videos, such as how to pump up a tire, how to do a track stand, practicing the rules of the road, hand signals, and more. Kids who complete four out of the eight weeks will earn their own Velo Kids water bottle!
“We love Velo Kids! Our family looks forward to the rides, and we’re excited that despite the different format, it’s still going to be a part of our summer routine,” said Anne Stolz, mom of two young Velo Kid riders.
“They have done an awesome job motivating kids and making it fun to get outside to explore the outdoors of Holland by bike. I love the emphasis on being safe and encouraging others while riding. We can’t wait to find the bananas each week.”
The Velo Kids Summer Bike Adventure is free and open to everyone. And it’s not too late to join. Visit www.velo-citycycles.com/about/velo-kids for more information.
Let’s get out and ride bikes!
Jenny White and her husband, Brad, have been the owners of Velo City Cycles since 2013. Jenny is a Holland native. She, along with other kid-loving, bicycle-riding friends started Velo Kids in 2017. Jenny and Brad have three kids, who also now love riding their bikes.
This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Transportation: The movement of people, goods, and services within the area is an evolving system that links us to our regional, national and global networks.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.