Y Bike Presidio: A Stress-free Way to Get Them Riding!


Y Bike Presidio: A Stress-free Way to Get Them Riding!

October 28, 2019 / Sarah Montoya / Out & About


By Sarah Montoya

Do you ever wonder how the heck you will get your kids to learn how to bike in this hilly, traffic jam of a city? You are not alone! Read about GGMG's Sarah Montoya's successful trip to Y Bike event at the Presidio YMCA, and get inspired to scoot around the Presidio with your kids! 


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I had nearly given up hope of teaching my three kids (all under five!) to ride bikes before they were all 6. Just thinking about trying to teach one of them while also keeping the other two safe felt like too much. Then, I discovered Y Bike,  a non-profit project of the Presidio YMCA. I am suddenly feeling hopeful...soon we will all ride together.

My family went to one of their monthly learn-to-ride events in the Presidio and it was fantastic! They sized the kids helmets to ensure a perfect fit, they helped the kids pick out the right size bike (bikes are available with and without pedals), and then the professionals onsite helped teach us how to teach our kids how to ride. It really was the perfect city kid introduction to biking. 

So how does it work? When we arrived we were greeted by amazing volunteers who signed us in and had us sign the liability waiver. They had a good amount of the road closed off and lanes of cones for practice laps. The kids were encouraged scoot and balance while we followed alongside them. The instructors gave us pointers for how to encourage them and help them figure it out. They were incredibly supportive and gave us helpful tips. The most reassuring tip they gave us was that simply exposing the kids to the bikes is all most kids need at this age. This was such a relief to me because I honestly don’t know how often I can get the kids to safe places to practice, and I’m not ready to buy each of them a bike that they will outgrow within the year. Knowing that going to these events just once a month and letting them ride the bikes provided is enough to help them on their way to loving cycling is a huge weight off this busy mom’s shoulders!

All three of my kids had a great time riding around, though not all of them let me let them go. But they experimented with bike riding and that was the goal.

I highly encourage you to check it out. While you’re there check out all the Presidio has to offer (views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Walt Disney Family Museum, or one of the many restaurants). Maybe soon you and your kids will all be able to do it on your own bikes!

 Also, if you have older kids I encourage you to check out the YBikes website (https://www.ymcasf.org/programs/y-bike-presidio) to see all they have to offer. One thing that caught my eye for when my daughter older is the Girls Riding Club - *GRC welcomes 4th-9th grade girls (cis and trans) and non-binary gender folks who feel a part of the girls' community. (Taken from website) But they offer so much more, it really is a great organization!

The Presidio Learn to Ride

First Sunday of each month from 11 am - 2 pm

Presidio’s Main Post Lawn

Cost: FREE

They provide everything and including helmets for you to keep! Just show up with your kids!


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Sarah Montoya is a San Francisco mother of three and a postpartum doula. She loves to explore SF and the Bay Area with her little ones. You can follow her adventures, get more family travel tips, and read her thoughts on motherhood at @sarahromontoya

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