Innovative Kids Cycling Program Gears Up for an Active Summer
Vancouver, June 13, 2019: Kids on Wheels, an exciting program to empower children under 5 to start cycling, is gearing up for its fifth and busiest summer throughout preschools, daycares and community centres in Metro Vancouver.
“Our mission is to spark a lifelong love of cycling,” says Maya Goldstein, the Kids on Wheels founder and manager.
“Through the use of balance bikes which are pedal-less bikes and fun classroom activities, children from ages 2½ to 5 are exposed to the joys of cycling and an active, outdoor lifestyle,” said Goldstein.
Under the auspices of the BC Cycling Coalition, Kids on Wheels offers 5-day programs of cycling activities at childcare centres using balance bikes. “You can see a huge improvement for most kids from Monday to Friday. We often see a switch around Thursday when something just clicks in the kids' brains. All of a sudden they get it,” said Goldstein. With initial support from MEC and support from Shaw in 2018 and 2019, the program has been able to reach many more children.
Riding a bike is a rite of passage. Bikes represent fun, freedom, and fresh air – everything that's good about being a kid and that is fast disappearing. The statistics on youth inactivity and the growing lack of connection with nature are grim. Studies show that 93% of kids are not getting the recommended 60-minutes of daily physical activity. Kids are spending an average of 44 hours of screen time per week. The rate of obesity in BC children has nearly tripled in the past 25 years.
“Our overall vision for the program is that every child in British Columbia will know how to ride a bike by age 5 and that cycling will become a core part of their lives, leading to increased health, wellness, and a better environment,” said Goldstein.
“This year we’re thrilled that we’ve solved one of our biggest challenges which was how to transport all our gear – over 20 balance bikes, helmets, and other materials – without using cars,” said Goldstein. Kids on Wheels has partnered with Shift Delivery Co-op, a worker-owned delivery service launched by SFU graduates in 2011, that delivers by e-assist cargo trikes. Devan McClelland from Shift Delivery Co-op said, “Helping Kids on Wheels with transportation of their equipment is so rewarding. It demonstrates that cargo trikes can deliver more than just parcels.”
Young children can test-ride balance bikes at the special Kids on Wheels Zones at Car Free Day on Main Street (June 16th) and Car Free Day on Commercial Drive (July 7th). Goldstein will be speaking about Kids on Wheels at the BC Active Transportation Summit in New Westminster (June 17th-18th).
For photos, videos, and more information, contact Maya Goldstein, firstname.lastname@example.org