Portland’s reputation as a bike-friendly city is boosted by the popularity of summer bike camps.
“We only have about a dozen spots left for the rest of the summer,” said Melinda Musser at the Community Cycling Center in Northeast Portland.
This is the 14th year for the organization’s summer camps and they’ve added a location in Southeast Portland to keep up with the demand.
“We’ll have 500 to 600 kids go through the camps this summer and we have a variety of themes to keep it new and fresh,” Musser said.
There’s a Spanish immersion camp, a bike craft camp and even a food cart camp where the kids cycle to enjoy their foods of choice.
Before they leave on daily bike trips, they learn to do a bike safety check and a personal safety check.
“We make sure our shoelaces won’t get caught in the chain and our helmets are on tight,” 13-year-old Claire Lyons explained.
The campers also check the spokes, the seats and the tire pressure on their bikes.
“We find out how to patch a tire in case we get into trouble,” Lyons said.
The cost of the five-day Community Cycling Center camp runs about $290, depending on the theme.
For some cyclists, the experience goes well beyond the bike rides.
“Choosing a bike really helps the environment and that’s important to me,” middle-schooler Julia Kimes concluded.