Every summer the Lehigh Valley Velodrome offers free bike racing lessons
for children 8 and older. For younger kids 5-8 they offer lessons on bike safety. The lessons run for three weeks and are three days a week except for the 5-8 year old group whose classes are on Saturdays for 4 weeks.
During these three weeks kids 8 and older learn how to get on a track bike, ride a track bike and race a track bike. There are different age groups so the older the child the more they learn about actual bike racing. 8-12 year olds only learn the basics while the 13-17 year old group learns how to actually race on the track bikes. There are track bike riding lessons for adults too.
Track bikes are supplied by the velodrome, all you have to bring is you helmet and your willingness to learn. Track bikes are very different from regular bikes. For one thing they don’t have any brakes. If you want to stop you have to pedal slower first. Pedaling slower is made easier by the fact that your feet are strapped into the pedals so you can pedal by pushing down on the pedals and by pulling up on the pedals. Another difference is that track bikes are only one gear.
The summer program is sponsored by Air Products and is completely free for all the kids who want to participate, and a lot of kids do. Lessons are offered all throughout the summer. There are morning, afternoon and evening classess so finding classes to fit your schedule is easy.
The lessons are done right on the track of the Lehigh Valley Velodome, the same place that racers race every week all summer long. Many great bike racers have come from there and trained there over the many years that the Velodrome has been around including Marty Nothstein and Erin Hartwell.
All coaches are USA Cycling certified. They will teach children the proper ways to ride a track bike. Once the child has learned to ride a track bike they will be taught the basics of racing their track bikes. If the child has already had a beginner’s track bike racing course they will then be able to participate in the advanced track bike racing course. If they do well they will be able to race in the Air Products Finals.
Just bring your helmet and a water bottle. The track bikes are provided for your use in this course completely free. The bikes offered for your use come in sizes a small as 20 inches and go up into large adult sizes. If your child doesn’t have a helmet the Lehigh Valley Velodrome does have some helmets your child can use while there. If your child is taking the Pee Wee Pedlers course they need to bring their own bikes.
Chilren as young as 5 can particiate in these courses and they are completely free. If you live in the Allentown, PA area or don’t mind traveling to Trexlertown, PA a few days a week for 3 weeks and your child really enjoys biking this is a course you shouldn’t miss.