A Classic Bike Ride for Kids

First two-wheel trip to school last fall

One of Owen’s greatest accomplishments this past year was learning how to ride a bike.  A few months before his fifth birthday, he declared that he was ready to pedal. There were no training wheels to lose, since the Skuut Balance Bike had been his main mode of transport until then. My husband and I knew he was ready to make the transition. The way he zipped around on that little wooden bike, steering with precision and gliding swiftly after gathering speed with his feet, showed us that all he needed to do was master those foot cranks and get rolling.

It took just a few tries for Owen to get the hang of it — I credit the Skuut with preparing him for what’s often the most difficult part, balancing — before he was joining the group of “big kids” who lap the park like a little gang. The confidence he gained from the achievement has been palpable, making me as happy for as I am proud of him. I remember that feeling from my own foray into the two-wheel world — the freedom, the fun, the wind blowing my hair in a wonderful tangle around my head (who wore helmets back then?). It’s a watershed moment in childhood. Even months after learning, Owen will casually drop “I can ride on two wheels” into conversation at the slightest suggestion of context. Maybe it’s showing off a bit, but I let it ride. He earned it.

So, I’m crossing my fingers for good weather this weekend, because I know my biker boy would love this event:  The annual Air Force Cycling Classic  is this Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, and there will be special races for kids ages 4-9 along with the main event.

The Saturday race will take place in Clarendon at 11:30am, and Sunday’s will be held in Crystal City at 11:15am. Multiple heats for different age groups will vary in distance; the older the kids, the further they ride. Participants must bring their own helmets and bikes, and trikes and big wheels are welcome, too.

You can register your child online or on race day from 9-11am, though advance registration is recommended to avoid a slow process this weekend.


Filed under Annual, Competition, Outdoor, Sports, Virginia, Weekend

5 Responses to A Classic Bike Ride for Kids

  1. Rachel

    Where do you go so that your son can ride around on his bike? We live in downtown DC and are eager for recommendations in the District. Thanks.

    • Hi Rachel – We take our son to Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill. It’s our neighborhood park and has a paved area in the middle where kids can ride safely away from traffic. They mostly do laps around a field, but sometimes ride along the dirt paths through nearby grassy areas as well.

      If you’re riding along with your kids, I’d suggest biking on the Mall or going to Hains point where there isn’t too much traffic. You might also try the Capital Crescent Trail which runs parallel to the C&O Canal. Start in Georgetown just past Water Street and ride out toward Fletcher’s Boathouse. We haven’t ridden there with our kids yet, but I think it would probably be a nice ride with little ones.

      Have fun!

  2. EMily

    Too bad we missed this! My six year old was just saying that he wants to ride in a bike race. He rode in the ING race in 2008 at age 3, ON his (Kettler) scoot bike. And bested a lot of kids with pedals, too. Now he’s got 20″ wheels and tears up the pavement. Do you know of any other kid-friendly events coming up in the area? And by the way, congrats to your kid.

  3. Hi Emily – I don’t know of any other similar events coming up, but I will be sure to post about them if I hear of any. Sounds like your son is ready to race! 🙂

  4. thanks for the artice.i enjoyed it kudos to the writer I am bookmarked the blog and coming back for more

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