With National Bike Month just around the corner (May 1-31), it’s a great time to dust off your bikes, trailers, and training wheels and take part in this month-long celebration! To help you and your little ones get pedaling, we’ve put together a list of our fave cycling must-haves along with the best places to ride and family-friendly bicycling events going on around the city. So turn off the TV, put away your iPad, and get outside with the fam and ride!
Before you get your kiddos on a bike, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got their noggins covered. These days, helmet manufacturers have raised the bar on kids helmets–offering stylish (and super-safe!) options for lil’ kids, big kids, and every kid in between! Check out the latest crop of kids helmets from manufactures such as Raskullz and Nutcase as well as totally awesome (and totally stylin’) helmet covers from Tail-Wags.
To get your kiddo up and riding on a two-wheeler in no time (and to avoid countless skinned knees and elbows!), you’ll want to check out the Gyrowheel made by the folks at Gyrobike. This innovative wheel senses unbalanced biking and re-centers the bike underneath the rider’s weight at the point when tipping starts to occur… exactly why we’re huge fans of the folks at Gyrobike! Say goodbye to training wheels and hello to a safer and more effective solution!
In addition to state-of-the-art wheels, you’ll want to check out some super-cool bike accessories we found at Bicycles West. Kiddos of all ages (and riding abilities) will love sporting Incredibell Bells, Honka Hoota bike horns, and SunLite squeeze horns on their handle bars!
If you’ve got a little one who doesn’t like to ride tandem, check out the Kangaroo Carrier by Wee Rides. This center-mounted bicycle carrier offers a more comfortable and enjoyable riding experience for kiddos up to four-years old or 40 pounds… no more staring at mom or dad’s back!
Places to Ride
Once you’ve got your bike gear, you’ll need to find the perfect place to ride (or practice!). Lucky for us, Seattle offers cycling families plenty of safe and scenic trails. And starting May 5th, Bicycle Sunday returns along the shore of Lake Washington. Families can enjoy the four-mile stretch of Lake Washington Boulevard between Mount Baker Beach and Seward Park (car-free!) on several Sundays through September. For a list of upcoming dates, be sure to check the City of Seattle’s website.
The Cascade Bicycle Club along with Bike Works, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Totcycle, and other Seattle-area organizations have put together a variety of family cycling events to celebrate Bike Month as well as events to keep you and your family ridin’ throughout the spring and summer months. Events include:
Bike to School Month
May 1 – 31, 2013
Both you and your child (and your child’s school!) can join the Cascade Bicycle Club for a month or day challenge! Students sign up at their participating school for Bike to School Month and earn prizes by completing as many bike trips as they can during the month. Since every child cannot cycle safely to school, trips for Bike to School Month can include any trip made by bicycle including sports, music lessons, trips to the library, and play dates. Bonus: The elementary school that makes the most total round-trips will be featured in the Cascade Courier.
Bike to School Day
May 8, 2013
Rain or shine, strap on your bike helmet, dust off your wheels, and participate in Bike to School Day! This event, sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club, encourages students to ride to school and help reduce car traffic and air pollution! By participating with your kids, you can make a difference for the environment and for your health!
Kids Bike Rodeo
May 11, 2013 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Join CleanScapes, Bike Works, and Compass Outdoor Adventures at the CleanScapes store in Gillman Village for a free helmet fitting, bike safety and handling demos, a fix-a-flat workshop, and a super-fun geo-cache ride! Plus, donate your old bikes and earn a chance to win a variety of prizes!
Ballard Street Party
May 31, 2013 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
At this annual block party, celebrate National Bike to Month with thousands of other cyclists from around the city! In partnership with Seattle Summer Streets, the folks at Cascade Bicycle Club will transform the heart of Ballard into a huge bike block party! Activities will include bike art stations for kids, free food and beverage samples, free bike tune-ups and vendor displays, plus a bike fashion show, games, giveaways, music and drawings for cool swag.
May date TBD
This super-fun, safe, and easy-going family bike ride is designed for kiddos of all ages and abilities! Kidical Mass is organized by a biking-fool-father with too many bikes who writes a collection of posts, along with photos and links (about biking with kids) on his blog Totcycle. The goal of these rides is to educate bike-curious parents about ways to bicycle with kids, help kids learn to ride safely in the city, and increase the visibility of family biking on Seattle streets. The rides usually involve a mix of calm streets and bike trails, and often finish with a park adventure. All manner of bikes and high-occupancy velos are welcome to participate!
Kohl’s Helmet Safety Program at Seattle’s Children’s
Ongoing April through September
Does your kiddo need a new bike helmet or multi-sport helmet? Make sure to check out the upcoming helmet fittings and giveaways courtesy of Seattle Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Cares for Kids. Wearers must be present and be fitted to receive a helmet; quantities are limited.
Will you be participating in National Bike Month? Tell us where your favorite place is to ride bikes with your kids?