To France!

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It’s summer and a great time for getting out to ride your bike for pure fun.  I’m taking advantage of the time by heading to France for a dream trip to follow the last 10 days of the Tour de France. The race is the worlds largest cycling event with three weeks of riding taking nearly 200 riders through about 2,200 miles of France, including some amazing climbs in the Pyrenees and Alps. If you’d like to follow along with me you can see my updates at: WayneandShaneInFrance.wordpress.  I’ll be taking along a locally made Bike Friday folding bike and I’m really excited watch the pros, climb some beautiful and historic climbs, and be surrounded by thousands of people cheering for people on bikes!

mike_wavingA great way to follow the Tour with kids is the Mike and the Bike website. Mike and the Bike (and Lucille and the Wheel) is a great little series of books to get kids excited about biking for sport and for fun and the site is a good spot for kids to follow along with the Tour with games, updates, and tips.

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Here’s more information about Mike and the Bike and his Tour de France journey:

The start of the Tour de France (TDF) on July 2nd, has adult cycling enthusiasts around the globe once again intently following the world’s most well-known and loved cycling event. The adults are the ones wearing their favorite team jersey and imagining themselves climbing the storied Alpe d’Huez, but Michael Ward believes that it is the kids who imagine themselves as the next great riders who are going to save the sport and help increase the popularity of riding a bike.

In response to low levels of interest in riding bicycles by American youth, Michael Ward, Grammy Award-winning musician, avid cyclist and author of the bestselling children’s storybook series Mike and The Bike made it a goal to introduce more children and parents to professional cycling in hopes that it will get more kids interested in riding bikes. Daily coverage of the Tour de France specifically for children can be found at www.mikeandthebike.com. Ward wants to tap into the wonder and excitement of one of the worlds longest and most challenging sporting events to show children and parents how great bike riding can be as a sport, and how fun it can be for fitness and health.

Throughout the month of July, Ward provides children with previews of each day’s race including daily winners, team and rider standings and fun facts about the world of cycling. This unique children’s cycling site features online games and reinforces the idea that fitness and learning go hand-in-hand. Ward believes initiatives like these will lead directly to getting more kids on bikes.

“When I was young I had no idea that Tour de France even existed. Today, it is one of my favorite events and gets me even more excited about riding my bike than I already am. I believe that if we can create more fans of the sport of professional cycling at a younger age than we will have more people on bikes of all ages.”

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Ward is the author of the Mike and The Bike children’s book and music series, which was inspired by Ward’s love of cycling, music, and reading with his son. Ward created the Mike and Lucille characters to inspire children to get outside and ride their bikes.

The Mike and The Bike initiative to get more kids on bikes supports other companies and organizations that promote active and balanced lifestyles for children including: USA Cycling, Bikes Belong, Safe Routes to Schools, Summer Fit Learning, DeFeet Sock Company and Carmichael Training.

Mike and The Bike and Mike and The Bike Meet Lucille the Wheel storybooks are available nationwide including Amazon.com, REI, Barnes and Noble and local bicycle shops.

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