Peterborough GreenUP's Summer Ride Club is a self-directed program that encourages families to cycle together with a series of challenges each week during the summer, and offers a grand prize for those who participate. (Photo: Jessica Todd / GreenUP)

Peterborough GreenUP’s Summer Ride Club is a self-directed program that encourages families to cycle together with a series of challenges each week during the summer, and offers a grand prize for those who participate. (Photo: Jessica Todd / GreenUP)

By: Ashley Burnie

School is almost out for summer and parents everywhere are looking for activities to keep their kids active and engaged. For those families, GreenUP has some exciting news! Our family-friendly Summer Ride Club program is returning for its second year! After an amazing response from kids and families in 2023, we are looking forward to another summer of fun, sun and biking adventures!

Summer Ride Club is a self-directed program that invites participants to complete nine unique club challenges throughout the summer and offers a grand prize for those who participate. Families and kids are invited to embark on a new challenge for each week of summer, explore new places, and document their experiences in the Summer Ride Club passport.

The passport features destination ideas, bike safety tips, and space to record your biking journey and the distance travelled, like a journal. The challenges are designed to be open ended and inclusive, allowing people of all ages and skill levels to participate, in any area of Peterborough. Challenges include “Pedal to a Playground”, “Bike to a Beach”, or “Bike to a Buddy”, and our passport features a safety tip or information along with each challenge to help families have a successful ride.

Summer Ride Club participants who submit their passports to GreenUP before August 27th will be entered into a grand prize draw for a $750 gift card for a bike shop of their choice – B!KE, Fontaine Source for Sport, or Wild Rock Outfitters!

“Bike to a beach” is one of the Summer Ride Club challenges. The featured beach is at Beavermead Park, located off the Trans Canada trail. The beach’s water is tested for E. Coli every business day by Peterborough Public Health and the beach features city lifeguards and nearby public restrooms. (Photo: Natalie Stephenson / GreenUP)

“Bike to a beach” is one of the Summer Ride Club challenges. The featured beach is at Beavermead Park, located off the Trans Canada trail. The beach’s water is tested for E. Coli every business day by Peterborough Public Health and the beach features city lifeguards and nearby public restrooms. (Photo: Natalie Stephenson / GreenUP)

In the last 10 years, the Sport and Fitness Industry Association reports that the number of kids from ages 6 to 17 who rode a bike at least 25 times a year fell by 1 million kids! Some reasons cited for this decline included: parents’ fear of kids riding alone, and a lack of protected bike riding lanes or trails. To address these barriers, Summer Ride Club encourages families and kids to ride together, and older kids to ride with trusted friends.

The program also helps introduce kids and families to the many places to explore in the Peterborough area this summer that are accessible by bike. Our suggested destinations are along or nearby dedicated bikeways and separated multi-use trails.

Planning the safest route with a trusted adult or biking buddy is encouraged and helps support young riders to develop spatial orientation, gain confidence, and become safer, more competent cyclists.  Cycling is not only a fun, inexpensive and energizing summer activity, but it also helps set kids up for a healthier lifestyle as they grow into adults.

Club participants can complete their Summer Ride Club rides in any order and at their own pace. There are options for everyone to ride, whether cruising through familiar neighbourhood spaces or pedalling to new places. Participants are invited to use the QR codes in the Club passport to specifically highlight cycling infrastructure or to select the “biking” layer on Google Maps.

Don’t live in the city? You can still participate and make the challenges and destinations your own! Choose local, parks, beaches and bridges, that you can start a few kilometers away from and bike a portion of the way to your destination.

“Bike to a playground” is one of the Summer Ride Club challenges. The featured playground destination is the naturalized playscape at Ecology Park just beside Beavermead Park. (Photo: Jessica Todd / GreenUP)

“Bike to a playground” is one of the Summer Ride Club challenges. The featured playground destination is the naturalized playscape at Ecology Park just beside Beavermead Park. (Photo: Jessica Todd / GreenUP)

The official Summer Ride Club Kick-Off is at the New Canadians Centre’s 45th Anniversary block party on June 28th from 2pm to 6pm and you are invited! Attendees can register for the “the Club” and take a spin in the bike playground.

Passports will be available at the GreenUP Store and Resource Centre, Ecology Park’s Native Plant and Tree Nursery, and B!KE.

Join The Club, and feel excited and supported to ride bikes all summer long! More information and F.A.Q found on the GreenUP site here. Read more about the other amazing activities happening at the New Canadian’s Centre 45th anniversary block party here.