Fun on wheels at Wheelie Fun Camp

Anna performs some last-minute training-wheel adjustments

"You should be riding with a helmet. You don't want to end up like the watermelon, do you?"

Aaron had  taken only two pedal strokes. In the grass. With training wheels. And Sophie would let him go no further. Because, well, no one wants to end up like the watermelon.

On the second day of camp, Anna C., our Youth Programs Assistant, fit a bike helmet to a watermelon and dropped it from a step-ladder. The helmet-clad fruit went unscathed. She then removed the helmet and dropped it again, with predictable results: it broke in two, giving the kids a vivid reminder of the importance of protecting their own melons.

Our education department finished up Wheelie Fun camps last week. Geared toward our youngest riders, ages 4-8, the camps were a huge hit. The kids played games, went on a treasure hunt, rode through an obstacle course and more, all while learning safety tips that will stay with them as they graduate to bigger bikes and more treacherous roads.

"Red light! Green light!"

They've also learned that bikes are about more than just fun. Asked what she likes about biking, eight-year-old Sophie says, as if it's the obvious truth, "You can go wherever you want." I know some staunch car-drivers who have decades on this little blondie and have yet to learn that lesson. I'm thinking Wheelie Fun Camp might do them some good. There's always next year...

For more information about Cascade's summer bicycling camps, visit the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation website.