Regina Sinsky, Special to the Chronicle

What better way to get the kids out of the house to meet new friends, see the city and learn a new skill than bike camp? More and more people are bicycling in the city, and your children can join them. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Learn to Bike Classes for families are filling up faster than they can be scheduled, so here are three other options:
Wheel Kids Summer Camp

So you grew up in the suburbs, and your summers were filled with bicycling. If you wish your city kid could have the same experience, Wheel Kids ( is for you.
“I tell people this is an adventure and exploration summer camp,” says Tim Hurley, president of Wheel Kids Bicycle Club. “We’re trying to replicate the small-town experience: Take the bike, leave the garage and explore independently from your parents.”
San Francisco’s busy streets and hilly topography – as well as your parental fear – may be keeping your kids from the streets. That’s how Jenny Silva felt, until she met Hurley.

“Tim is very mature and responsible,” says Silva, whose son Nick, 8, attended Wheel Kids camp last summer. “You want your kid to have fun, but you want a camp leader who is concerned about safety first. Tim is so thoughtful about safety and itinerary. After the first day, Nick knew hand signals.

“He was aware of his safety, so much so that I let him ride three-quarters of a mile to camp on his own.”

Nick rode across the Golden Gate Bridge. He rode to a baseball game. He rode to lunch at the Ferry Building. “These adventures make living in S.F. worthwhile,” Silva says. “I felt totally comfortable with him doing it.”

Published 4:00 am, Wednesday, May 18, 2011