When temperatures drop during the long, frigid Michigan winters, it’s difficult for families to stay active and for kids to have fun outside. Kara Koster, owner of Moms in Tow, a group that provides discounts and social events for moms, decided to do something about that in her community.
Koster partnered with a local bike shop, Velo City Cycles, to try something a little different for kids—an indoor bike event, called Go By Bike.
“In the Michigan winters, it seems like kids go so long without being able to ride their bikes,” Koster says. “We thought it would be a fun opportunity.”
In order to find a venue with enough space, Koster went to her church, Harderwyk Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan, where weekend attendance is around 700. Harderwyk opened up its doors for her and for families throughout the community to spend an afternoon bicycling in the middle of winter.
Cones set up on the floor of the gym created a zigzagging bike course for kids to ride through, with a stop sign at one point and streamers at another.
About 100 kids came to the two-hour event, which was held twice over the course of the winter. Families could come and go as they desired.
The event was free, and kids brought their own bikes, so setup and planning were simple. Koster advertised on her website, on Facebook and with flyers around town. Velo City Cycles provided a number of strider bikes, with no pedals, so toddlers could join in the fun in their own designated area.
“The kids loved it,” Koster says. “And parents thought it was a great way for their kids to burn their energy when they’re stuck inside all the time in the winter.”