Velo City Cycles in Holland isn’t your average bicycle shop. With its exceptional customer service and weekly rides and events, it creates memorable experiences that bring the lakeshore community together.
Velo Kids is a program that’s all about getting local kids active and out on bikes. While taking kids out on rides, the program teaches bike skills, bike safety and bike trail stewardship. Lesson plans are prepared and taught by Velo Kids volunteer coaches for every ride.
“My husband, Brad, and I became owners of Velo City Cycles in 2013 — at that time we had two small children and a third on the way,” said Jenny White, Velo Kids coach and co-founder. “Biking has always been a favorite activity for us and our kids — we knew we wanted to incorporate that into our business and our everyday life.
“Early on, we met other young families who also had a passion for cycling and healthy living. We — along with these other kid-loving, health-promoting friends — started Velo Kids in 2017.”
The Velo Kids rides and events are always free and for children ages 2–15. Riding groups are split up by riding ability, with coaches available for each ability level. There are a variety of rides for children to participate in, including ice cream rides, indoor winter rides and outdoor trail rides.
“Velo Kids rides let kids experience more of the diversity in their city by giving them a chance get together and ride with other kids who don’t go to their school or live in their own neighborhood,” said Abby Harris, Velo Kids coach and co-founder. “The kids are brought together for the joy of riding their bikes and enjoying the outdoors — and popsicles, of course!”
Last year, 302 kids from 161 families participated in Velo Kids rides at Riley Trails, Upper Macatawa Cycling Trails and Pigeon Creek Park, on single-track trails, paved paths, city streets and gravel paths.
“I hope that as these kids grow up, biking becomes a natural part of life for them so that we can continue to make Holland an even more bike-friendly town,” Harris said. “I think the confidence the kids are gaining and the fun they are having will make them more inclined to use their bikes to ride to school or around town.”
Velo Kids rides typically kick off in May, with the first of 2020 scheduled for May 27 at 6 p.m. at Riley Trails.