Posted by Madi Carlson on June 11th, 2019 at 6:01 am
Portland has a wide variety of summer bike camps: Everything from learn-to-ride camps that ease kids onto two wheels to camps that teach advanced riding and repair skills. You might think it’s late in the game to find a spot in one of them, but most area bike camps still have spaces in some sessions.
My son attended his favorite bike camp back when he was five. He decided he wanted “bike racing camp” instead of “regular bike camp” and I found a new camp offered at a bike coaching facility. They started each morning of the week watching Danny MacAskill bike trick videos before pedaling off via multi-use path to a park where the instructor had stashed an obstacle course in the bushes. In addition to the emphasis on riding and tricks, he came home with more art projects from this camp (we still have a precious old bike cranks and duct tape creation) than from the larger, more traditional bike camps he’s attended.
I’ve called around to find out which bike camps still have spots. Check out my list below. If you’re aware of any camps I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post. (Note: all grades reflect the campers’ grade in the fall.)
Community Cycling Center
$360-$425 per week
Spots are available in Cruisers (grades 5 and 6), Freewheelers (grades 7 and 8), Food Cart Seekers (grades 7 and 8), Girls Mechanics (grades 7 and 8), and Voyager (NEW! grades 9 and 10).
Community Cycling Center’s Bike Camp enters its 18th year this summer. At camp, our goals are to:
➤ Develop the skills of youth in a fun, safe, and supportive environment
➤ Provide opportunities for cooperative learning and decision making in a team environment
➤ Develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for the bicycle
➤ Connect youth with Portland’s cycling infrastructure
CCC is also partnering with Hacienda CDC, Urban Nature Partners PDX, Home Forward, and Catholic Charities to bring Bike Camp to the Cully neighborhood, New Columbia neighborhood, and McCoy Village this summer thanks to Metro’s Nature in Neighborhoods grant and City of Portland’s Expanding Opportunities for Youth grant. Through these community bike camps, participants will attend a week of bike camp at no cost and receive a bike, helmet, and lock at the completion of their week.
— Learn more at communitycyclingcenter.org.
Lumberyard Indoor Bike Park
$425 for full day per week, $49 for half day per day
Lumberyard’s website has current availability listed, with quite a few camps still with room.
With early drop-off, snacks provided, aftercare available, free park access with guardian supervision the rest of the day, and 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to shred, Lumberyard is sure to entertain (and tire out!) your lil’ shredder. The Greenhorns Half-Day Summer Camps for balance bikers on Mondays and new pedalers on Fridays are fun for the aged 3-6 set not yet ready for a full day or full bike park. Rental bikes (as well as rental balance bikes) are available for camps, too.
— Learn more at lumberyardmtb.com.
OBRA Junior Track Camp
$150 for three days
Juniors aged 10-18 with OBRA licenses can attend a track camp June 27-29. Kids 13 and up will camp overnight at Alpenrose Velodrome while 10-12 year olds will join for the daytime activities. The weekend includes a shred session and pizza party at Lumberyard on Sunday. Those who own track bikes should bring them, but the camp fee includes track bike rental if needed as well as Lumberyard bike rental.
— Learn more at obra.org.
$305.00 member/$382.00 non-member per week
As of this writing Bike PDX for grades 4 and 5 has space for the week of July 29th. This class is taught by Community Cycling Center’s fun instructors and meets at OMSI for 4-15 mile explorations of the area around the museum. Extended care is available and bikes can be stored at OMSI overnight. “Take science on the road!”
— Learn more at OMSI.edu.
$169 1.5 hours, $249 half day, $439 full day per week
With four locations around Portland and one in Beaverton, Pedalheads has a spot for you. From three- and four-year-old balance bikers with 1.5-hour-long skill building through games and obstacle courses to road and mountain bike classes for the age six and up more experienced set and everything in between.
— Learn more at pedalheads.com.
$235 half day per week
Learn to Bike: Road Rovers has some spots available at all three Trackers locations. This class is for kids entering kindergarten and 1st grade who are just learning to ride. The class is just 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., but it’s action packed with personalized instruction, crafts, and games. Includes a bike to use if the camper doesn’t already have one.
— Learn more at trackerspdx.com.
Vancouver Parks and Recreation
$260 per week
Bike Clark County is running camps for the City of Vancouver, Washington and the three weeks of 6-9 year old camps still have spots. Kids ride 4-10 miles each day on different field trips to places like Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Pearson Air Museum, the Water Resources Education Center, and Esther Short Park. Kids love these camps so much they take the same camp two weeks back-to-back and return year after year! Personal bikes that pass a safety inspection on the first day of camp are encouraged, but bikes and helmets can be provided.
— Learn more at cityofvancouver.us.
$295 per week
Washington County kids aged 9-12 will love Saddle Up Summer Bike Adventures. The Hillsboro camp is full (but there’s a waitlist), but other cities — Beaverton, Forest Grove, Tigard, and Wilsonville — each have one open one-week camp spaced throughout the summer.
Campers will bike to different programs and activities in 2-5 mile increments, building their fitness levels over the course of the week as they gain riding skills and repair knowledge. Using project-based learning each camp will explore parks, watersheds, and cultural sites in and around the communities of Washington County. In addition to riding, kids will do art, environmental projects, community building activities, play interactive games, and journal about their adventures.
Note: scholarships application are still being accepted online, and no campers will be turned away for lack of resources.
— Learn more at washcobikes.org
YMCA Camp Collins
$835 per week overnight camp
Camp Collins Questers in grades 7-9 leave the comfort of their extraordinary Treetops Village for camp activities each day, including 2-3 hours of a specialty focus. For sessions 1, 3, 5, and 7 (June 23–29 Harry Potter theme, July 7–13 Color Wars theme, July 21–27 Jurassic Adventure theme, and August 4–10 Star Wars theme) Questers can select mountain biking as their specialty (note: Camp Collins does its best to assign each Quester their first or second choice specialty so no guarantee you’ll be biking).
Questers learn basic riding skills, maintenance, and bike safety. They’ll explore the trails of Oxbow Regional Park and enjoy a long trail ride off camp. Bikes and helmets are provided.
— Learn more at ymcacw.org
Did I miss any? Or do you have a fun bike camp story to share in the comments? Thanks for reading!
Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.
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Madi Carlson (@familyride on Twitter) wrote our Family Biking column from February 2018 to November 2019. She’s the author of Urban Cycling: How to Get to Work, Save Money, and Use Your Bike for City Living (Mountaineers Books).
In her former home of Seattle, Madi was the Board President of Familybike Seattle, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting bicycling as a means for moving towards sustainable lifestyles and communities. She founded Critical Lass Seattle, an easy social group ride for new and experienced bicyclists who identify as women and was the Director of Seattle’s Kidical Mass organization, a monthly ride for families. While she primarily bikes for transportation, Madi also likes racing cyclocross, all-women alleycats, and the Disaster Relief Trials. She has been profiled in the Associated Press, Outdoors NW magazine, CoolMom, and ParentMap, and she contributed to Everyday Bicycling by Elly Blue.