Getting Ready for Your Lesson
Click a question to view the answer.
Does my child need to have his or her own bike for the lessons? +
NO. We have a fleet of high quality, ultra lightweight childrens’ bikes from our partners at [Woom Bikes USA] that we use for teaching. During the first lesson, we will fit your child to an appropriate bike to use in lessons. That said, it always our goal to transition the student back to their own bike successfully, so we will begin to transition to their bike as confidence and skills develop. Many of our students will need a new/larger bike after learning, and we work with our partner brands and Bike Doctor locally to help our PedalPower families select the right bike for their child. So please don’t rush out to buy something- but do bring his or her bike along to the first lesson as we’ll adjust the seat height, remove pedals and training wheels etc so your child can practice between lessons.
What do we need to bring? +
Helmet (we do have spares just in case!)
Water Bottle - important as bike lessons are hard work!
Mom, Dad, Grandparents or Guardian to sign Waiver - we will have you sign a Waiver & Release. You can complete this online in advance to save time! here.
Where will my lesson take place? +
For Summer and Fall 2019, PedalPower Kids has limited its service area to be able to meet customer demands. Families travel from as far as Western Maryland and Washington DC for lessons in the Annapolis area, and if you are willing to make the trip, we will determine a convenient location in Annapolis/Arnold for your lessons. In the winter season, for families who prefer lessons in their home/neighborhood and who have safe and suitable spaces to ride (PPK must approve), we will travel to homes in the following zip codes for lessons: 21146, 21012, 21409, 21401, 21403, 21402, 21108. Other Anne Arundel County zip codes and City of Bowie zip codes will be available for at-home private lessons pending PPK approval for a $15 per lesson travel fee. For location, simply select PedalPower Kids when booking. We will provide you with an appropriate location in a confirmation email that centrally located to Annapolis/Arnold (Rachel Varn) and Severna Park/Millersville (Megan Beyerle) that is conducive to learning.
Should my child wear knee and elbow pads? +
No, not necessary. We learn to glide and balance first, which minimizes dramatic crashes (though everyone falls when learning to ride- it happen!). Knee and elbow pads tend to add more frustration and discomfort.
What should my child wear? +
This is important - as the wrong clothing can be a hindrance, frustration and even a danger when learning to ride. Students should wear closed toes sneakers (laces tied tightly!) and long socks or long pants/leggings. Socks or pants protect sensitive shins which tend to get bumped frequently by pedals. Anything overly baggy (large basketball shorts for boys, skirts for girls) can be a danger and a discomfort. We suggest bringing a warmer layer like a sweatshirt or jacket that can be easily removed for managing changing temperatures.
What should I do during the lesson? Can I leave? +
You sure can leave! Parents are welcome to stay but asked to keep a bit of distance to allow student and instructor to develop a rapport. Please use encouraging words to cheer your child on as they learn and practice- the development of confidence is key to success and we practice positive reinforcement and clear, firm expectations for each student. Some children will try to give up more easily or frustrate faster if they think Mom or Dad is going to “give in”... so let us handle it and maybe take some time for a walk, emails, phone, younger siblings etc. Your child will be SO excited to show you their progress at the end of the lesson! It can be confusing to students if technique/terminology is different, so we will give parents some tips for coaching cues to use when practicing between lessons to reinforce and stay consistent. We’ll also suggest some “homework” for your child to work on - getting practice in between sessions is a huge help! Please do not allow your child to ride with training wheels between lessons - see this article for why we feel so strongly about it.
How many lessons will my child need to start riding? +
As you can imagine, it varies between children based on age, experience, fear, etc etc, but we typically find that most are riding in 1-3 lessons, and riding competently and confidently in 4-6 lessons- which is why we offer both 4 and 6 lesson packages. Remember that we are training kids to be safe and confident cyclists- which goes beyond just being able to pedal in a straight line- often skills like stopping and safety awareness can take longer to develop. Before you “check out” after the first lesson, you can opt to change the lesson package you originally booked based on how the first lesson went.
How and when do I pay? +
As of August 2019, we do require pre- payment for private lessons. If you are unsure which package to book, you may book and pay for the Initial Consultation, and we will allow you to pay the difference between that and the package you select afrer the first session. All packages must be paid in full at first lesson. If you plan to do single a la carte lessons, you may when booking. If you would prefer to pay via venmo, cash or check, please contact us to set up your private lesson as online booking requires credit card payment in advance.
What is your inclement weather policy? +
Kids love riding in the rain! That said, there are days where weather conditions are not safe for lessons and we will cancel in that case. We typically do not cancel for expected weather in advance as Maryland can be sunny/stormy/sunny again all in the course of an hour! If we mutually agree on the day of the lesson that conditions aren’t feasible, or if we have to call off a lesson mid-way through, you won’t “lose” that lesson and the time will be made up. However, we would kindly ask you to stick to the 24 hour cancellation policy in the event the weather conditions are suitable for riding. It’s not fair to us or our other PedalPower families waiting on lessons to cancel that day just for the threat of rain showers. Lessons cancelled within 24 hours will be charged and counted towards your lesson package.
What is your cancellation policy? +
Stuff happens - and we get it! We just ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we can attempt to book someone else in. A no show or cancellation with less than 24 hours notice will be counted as used towards your package of lessons. Remember to join our PedalPower Pals Facebook Group as we’ll add last minute cancellation availability here!
How do we book the next lesson? +
We strongly recommend you book lessons well in advance, 1-2 times per week, as consistency is key to progress. Evening and weekend spots fill first so book early for first choice! Use our online booking system to request appointments. If you’ve paid for a package, use the service type “existing customer lesson $00.00”. Remember that lesson requests require PedalPower Kids to confirm and accept the lesson. While we try to maintain the most accurate online calendar possible, there are instances where travel times and other conflicts won’t be accounted for accurately.
What safety and liability precautions do you take? +
We use low-to-no traffic areas for lessons, within neighborhoods, parking lots and public spaces, and typically utilize extra hi-vis cones to enhance visibility in the teaching area. This is one reason we will need to review your home address if you want lessons to occur at home. We maintain Red Cross First Aid and CPR certification and have a fully-stocked first aid kit available. PedalPower Kids maintains appropriate levels of liability insurance for the nature of the business.