School’s out! While travel plans are part of summer for many of us, there are plenty of opportunities to have new biking adventures right here in San Francisco. Many families are enjoying a slower pace and are able to spend more time with each other. Summer is a great time to help your children learn to ride or improve their biking skills, and to bike and play in your own neighborhood. It’s a good time for you to gain confidence as an adult rider, too, and for you and your family to try out new routes together.
1. New parents: learn about family biking gear and get rolling
Are you pregnant or wanting to start riding with your baby or child? We’re offering our free Biking with Babies (Pregnancy to Toddlers) class on July 30 at Natural Resources in the Mission. You’re also invited to Test Ride a Family Bike at Sunday Streets.
2. Learn to ride: you’re never too young — or too old!
Toddlers agesd two to five can get the feel of rolling, balancing and steering on a balance bike (also called a scoot or push bike). A taller child gets the same healthy start when you remove the bike’s pedals and lower the seat. Our experienced biking coaches can help out at SF Bicycle Coalition’s free Freedom From Training Wheels workshops or Presidio YBike’s monthly Learn to Ride events for children of all ages. Or perhaps you’d like to brush up on your own biking skills, especially if you plan to bike with your children. Take a free SF Bicycle Coalition adult class this summer.
3. Start biking close to home
If you or your child is new to biking for everyday transportation, a short walk or ride to a nearby schoolyard, playground or friend’s house is a great way to start. There are now public schoolyards open every weekend from 9:00 am to 4:00 pmin neighborhoods across the city, with at least one open schoolyard in each of San Francisco’s 11 Supervisorial Districts. What a great place to practice biking! See the list of open schoolyards and Shared Schoolyard kickoff events coming up.
4. Practice your biking skills on car-free streets and paths
Sunday Streets is a favorite place to stroll or practice biking in a car-free space.. Visit the SF Bicycle Coalition tent at Sunday Streets to learn more about our work, let the kids try Freedom From Training Wheels, or Test Ride a Family Bike. Another car-free favorite is JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park on Saturdays as well Sundays all summer long. Family-friendly off-road paths are an option any time in the Panhandle, on the path parallel to the Great Highway, on the route that circles Lake Merced, and the Blue Greenway on the waterfront from Marina Green in the north to Heron’s Head Park in Bayview.
5. Replace one transit trip or car trip weekly with a bike ride
When you’re just getting started, take it slow. Try swapping out one of your regularly-occurring weekly car or transit trips with a bike ride: How about a Bike to Summer Camp Day? Or making Bike to Work Day a habit? Take advantage of the long summer days, lighter car traffic and less scheduling pressure, and enjoy a new biking adventure right here in San Francisco. Have a great summer!