Bikes, trikes and big wheels welcome at Tour de Naperville

Children, start your pedaling! While little ones may not be quite ready to go for the yellow jersey in the grueling Tour de France, they can ride their way to glory in the Chicago suburbs at the Junior Tour de Naperville on Saturday, July 11.

Children between the ages of 3 and 10 can ride their bicycles, big wheels or tricycles around the 1.2-mile trail at the event hosted by the Naperville Park District at Commissioners Park (3704 111th St.).

This is the third annual Tour de Naperville, which first began in 2013 as a way to mark the 100th edition of the Tour de France. The celebration of the 102nd riding this year features a kid-friendly version of the real race, from the yellow shirts to the cheering supporters to the refueling stops, but without the punishing mountains, brutal competition and scandals.

I love that it is a no-pressure event that focuses on the joy of riding and offers a nice change of pace from the usual rides around the neighborhood.

“There is plenty of room for kids to bike at their own speed, and for parents to join in the fun,” said Ashley Stubbeman, Party and Events Coordinator at the Naperville Park District.

Family and friends are encouraged to cheer on their little riders, either from the sidelines or as they accompany them around the course.

Participants can take full advantage of three “support and gear” stops that offer drinks and snacks, and all participants go home with a sweet yellow t-shirt.

There will be separate starts for younger and older participants: Kids 3-5 will start at 9 a.m. and kids 6-10 will start at 9:30 a.m. The older kids will be challenged to go around the course as many times as they can.

If you’re worried that your little cyclist’s equipment could use some attention, you’re in luck because Oswego Cyclery will provide free bicycle tune-ups for participants at the event.

Registration is required, and you can do that at the Naperville Park District website. Happy riding!

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