CanBike Safer Cycling Classes - Learning how to ride a bike!

Safer Cycling Calgary Course (instructor Sasha in front)

A child at Safer Cycling Calgary course

Today, my kids and I checked out a CAN-BIKE Safer Cycling Class.

Safer Cycling Calgary is the only business in Alberta that offers the full range of CAN-BIKE courses to the public, and it is locally owned and operated! It was founded in 2011 by Melissa Malejko, who is fully certified in all of the CAN-BIKE courses. Sasha, our instructor, is certified only to teach Level 1 courses which is what we signed up for. This particular class has a maximum of 4 kids and is $80 for the outdoor class (subject to weather) and $100 for the indoor option. Safer Cycling offers a variety of courses for every skill level, starting from the very beginning of learning how to ride a bike, up to advanced cycling skills.

My sons' were both on training wheels at the start of the course, and my oldest now knows how to ride without training wheels but is not comfortable riding. My youngest did not want to pay attention so he is still clueless when it comes to riding, which was an expensive lesson to throw away at $80 a class. I think the course would have been more beneficial to my children had I not been there (you know the saying, how kids are always better for everyone else!) but the parent has to say on-site for the duration of the class. Out of the 4 kids, my youngest (aged 5) was the only child that did not learn how to ride their bike. There were two other children and one learned within 15 minutes of the course, the other took a little longer but learned at a fast pace as well.

I was impressed with the courses they offer, however it was a little difficult to find! There is another cycling class that is highly advertised but offers week-long classes, at a cost of between $239-$409 and is much more well-known. I have polled other parents and very few had heard of Safer Cycling Calgary, but nearly every person I have polled (over 100 people) had heard of the competition. I had been looking for biking classes off and on for about a year before I found out about the Safer Cycling courses. I found this very odd, especially because they are so much more affordable than the competition!

Aside from that, the contract they send you at registration states that you will receive a confirmation email 36 hours prior to the class, to confirm it is still happening as it is weather dependent. I did not receive my email until less than 15 hours before the class and that was only after I sent an email to the website and sent a message to the Safer Cycling Facebook page. That was the only negative thing I have to say about the course.

Footage of Oldest riding his bike at the end of the course

Cost: Course dependent - Level 1 is $80 for the outdoor course or $100 for the indoor option

I would absolutely recommend Safer Cycling, but I would offer the suggestion of more advertising, and possibly just ensuring you are following up with your customers in a timely fashion when they request information.


  1. Thank you for blogging about the course! I would like to respond to some things you mention here.

    The reason that we require parents to stay on site is because you know your kids best: you are able to monitor their exertion, offer encouragement and praise, and give them comfort if they get hurt way better than we can. Sasha told me that you also brought a 3rd child, who was preoccupied with making your life miserable, and making it difficult for all of the participants to focus. She also reported that your youngest did in fact learn how to ride a bike, so I'm not sure why you have written that he wasn't successful. I'm sorry you didn't find it worth the cost to bring them both, since they were both successful at learning how to ride. We may define "success" differently than you do, but in short, a participant who is able to glide for about 10 seconds or 20m gets their pedals back and then if they are able to propel themselves with their pedals they are a success. Your youngest achieved these goals, despite having a slow start and not wanting to try. If you felt that was a waste of money, I'm not sure what could have gone differently to make you think it was worth the cost.

    Continued in another post...

    1. I operate a very small business that hasn't been around very long. My advertising budget is basically zero: I can't compete with a company which has been around for 20 years and has an entire marketing team (and higher fees to feed their marketing budgets). However, I don't actually want to, because that company doesn't provide any actual cycling education; they rely entirely on peer pressure to "teach" kids how to ride without training wheels and as a result they have the same success rate in a 5 day, full day camp (more than 30 hours) as we have in a single 3 hour course: about 80%. Further, with Safer Cycling Calgary, you get more than just a "drop off your kids" program, as you learn how to support them and continue if they aren't successful, you learn about bike security and get a theft-deterrent registration as well (included in the registration cost, a $13 value) - virtually every parent who has brought their child to a course (over 200 now) has stated that they learned something as well: you can't learn things by dropping your kids off. The competition's higher level courses, which take kids on the road, use post-secondary students who have no cycling education at all and are only certified in first aid: the process to become a Certified CAN-BIKE Instructor is demanding and has high standards (being certified in first aid is just one of the requirements, along with more than 30 hours of training plus a practicum) and participants are taught theory and physical skills on how to ride, not simply sheep being herded around using bikes as a mode of transportation. Safer Cycling Calgary offers education, not simply entertainment. This is a responsibility that I take seriously, and am not willing to compromise on in order to increase volume.

      Last but not least, the course you attended was the very first course Sasha had done the administration of on her own. Normally, I will send the confirmation emails (between 36 and 24 hours before the course starts, as we have to look at the hourly forecast and feel confident that it won't be wet) but I was away on vacation. I agree that the confirmation came late, and that wasn't good, and I assure you it isn't the norm. I will amend the information sent out with registrations to provide an additional point of contact, though I felt it was unnecessary for you to send so many messages when you didn't immediately get a response (doing so did not expedite you receiving confirmation as Sasha doesn't have access to any of the messages you sent). I do apologize for not ensuring Sasha understood the importance of sending confirmation no less than 24 hours in advance.

      I do appreciate you reviewing the course and I would be happy to offer you a Level 1 for your 3rd child at no cost as compensation for you helping to promote my business.
      Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns that I have not yet addressed.
      Thank you,
      Melissa Malejko
      Certified CAN-BIKE Instructor
      Owner of Safer Cycling Calgary


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