Bike camp kicks off
Break out the sunscreen and pump up those tires, because the Community Cycling Center’s Bike Camp begin June 20th! Each week we’ll be hosting a rotating assortment of camps for various age groups, both at our shop and off-site around town. From Coasters to Urban Riders, there will be something for everyone. There are still a few spots left in our Coasters and Cruisers camps, click here for registration details.
Each summer we line up some really exciting community partners to host our campers for special activities. Campers will have the chance to learn about healthy eating through activities like a behind the scenes tour of New Seasons or helping maintain a community garden with Growing Gardens. They’ll learn about new ways to view urban ecology through partnerships with Friends of Trees and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. We’re also partnering with members of the local bike industry. We’ll check out custom bike builders, visit Sugar Wheelworks to learn about custom wheel building, and, in an activity that many campers relish, recycle bikes at a “tear-down” at our bike shop. Each camp will have different opportunities to meet with a variety of these great community partners, plus a few special engagements, such as a MAX riding lesson from Tri-Met for our Urban and Advanced Riders.
One of the most interesting features of our summer camps is their democratic nature. Instructors work closely with campers to establish expectations and goals for the week, and adjust the time spent with community partners, riding, and gaining mechanical skills according to the desires of the group. Camp is structured to give kids the opportunity to experience many different activities in addition to riding all over town. We also give campers the opportunity to work with instructors to shift some activities and emphasize others. For instance, a lengthy ride through North Portland might be amended to make time for an epic game of capture-the-flag among the trees in Pier Park, or time might be made for an in-depth clinic on shifting to build skills and confidence before tackling a hilly route.
Whatever the pace of a particular camp, campers will gain experience and knowledge in actively sharing the road, navigating the streets of Portland, and building the mechanical skills to become self-sufficient cyclists. Bike Camp culminates in a graduation ride on Friday – which includes delicious popsicles in the park from our friends at Icicle Tricycles before heading back to the shop for the last time.
One week may not seem like a tremendous amount of time, but the close relationship with instructors and emphasis on teamwork have created monumental gains in confidence and ability for many past campers. But on a day-to-day basis, campers most enjoy the freedom that Bike Camp gives to savor the very best things about summer; biking, making new friends, cooling off in water fountains, and, of course, popsicles!
Photo by Lucas Balzer