Teaching a child to ride a bike is challenging enough, and for those of us who live on busy streets, those first rides can't be out in front of our houses. Live in the hills? Streets and sidewalks full of cracks and potholes? Here's a list of safe, paved areas where other East Bay parents have taken their children to learn to ride their bikes.
But first, did you know there are learn-to-ride programs for those who want help getting kids to balance on two wheels?
Bike Riding Classes for East Bay Kids
REI (Berkeley, other Bay Area locations)
For kids 5 to 11 years old, group classes at REI locations teach riding skills. As of this writing, Learn To Ride class is scheduled at Corte Madera on eight upcoming dates, but not in Berkeley. See dates >
Cost: $69 for REI members/$89 for non-members
For pre-K to 1st graders, extreme sports summer camp Avid4Adventure offers a fun and intensive week-long Learn to Bike! day camp. Campers choose either morning or afternoon as this is a half-day program open to kids as young as 3.5 who are fully potty-trained. See dates and times >
Cost: $287 or $235/week
This indie bike shop in Alameda offers a Ride on 2 Wheels class on the last Sunday of each month for kids age 4 to 10.
Learn more on their website >
Easy Street Cycling (Alameda)
From summer programs, one-day classes, to private coaching, this organization aims to get kids riding independently and safely. Join their mailing list to be notified when programs are scheduled.
Spokes Bike Lounge (Berkeley)
These 2.5-hour group clinics in North Berkeley get kids as young as 2 years old riding on properly fitting bikes. BYO bike or use it as an opportunity to select a bike for your child. See dates and times >
Cost: $15 (can be applied to new bike purchase)
Places to Teach your Kid to Ride
Here's a list of places that 510Families.com readers have had success in teaching their kids to ride their bikes.
Berkeley and North places to test out your new bike
- Berkeley Marina/Cesar Chavez Park – paved path heading North
- Malcolm X Elementary School – playground has smooth ground with a nice loop for you, and a grassy area in the middle. Bike East Bay holds clinics here periodically.
- Cedar Rose Park – grass as a soft landing place during the falling phase
- King Middle School – flat paved area is where above-mentioned Spokes Bike Lounge holds their clinics
- Miller Knox Park – this Richmond park has a flat pathway
- Golden Gate Fields – the parking lot is huge and empty when there's no event
- Bay Trail behind Costco – the surface is flat and there is generally grass on the side
- Ohlone Trail – The stretch between North Berkeley BART and University is not very populated
Oakland and South parks and paths for learning to ride a bike
- The Gardens at Lake Merritt – surrounded by paths in the Lake Merritt-adjacent area
- Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Park – tons of great, flat trails and is never crowded
- Lake Temescal – path between two ends of the park
- Alameda Shoreline
- Alameda Creek Trail (Fremont)
- Thornhill Elementary School – playground
- Alameda Navy Base
- Havens Elementary Park (Piedmont)
- San Leandro Marina
East of the Caldecott Tunnel where we like to bike with kids
- Moraga Commons – lovely park with path
- Iron Horse Trail
Where else do you like to teach a kid to ride a bike? Share in the comments!
[photos by 510families team, all rights reserved]