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  • Tara Crutchfield

Pedal Up Club

Biking is a great way to keep kids healthy, fit, and outside. Polk County has plenty of scenic trails to take advantage of, from the Van Fleet Trail to the Auburndale TECO Trail. The problem with buying bikes for children? They grow! Stew and Meghan Mackie, owners of the Bike Shop of Winter Haven, have a solution – the Pedal Up Club. Meg and Stew have little ones of their own: Wattson, four, and Millie, two. They understand parents’ challenges with finding the right bike for a child just to have them outgrow it within the year.

“Millie is definitely following after Mommy. She can’t move from room to room without grabbing a blankie, a drink, and any other little toy she can find,” Stew said. “Watts, he just likes to ride bikes. They’re a mixture of both of us, to be honest.” The Mackies started their kids on bicycles at age one, as soon as they could ride a strider bike. Wattson recently took off his training wheels.

Pedal Up Club is a monthly bicycle subscription service for children starting at $6.99 with no minimum term, maintenance fees, or contract. According to Stew, the spark for the Pedal up Club came from a family friend, David Martin. “David’s insights, combined with the Mackie family’s shared experiences, underscored the need for a solution to the challenges of growing children and their ever-evolving biking needs,” according to their website.

A company in the UK does something similar, and David told Stew he should look into it. Stew pushed the idea aside for a while. “I finally looked at his suggestion and thought, ‘That’s a good idea. Let’s try to make it work.’”

The challenge the Bike Shop addresses is how quickly children phase through bikes and the expense of purchase and maintenance. “You’re eliminating waste, storage, and having bikes sitting around,” Stew said. “This also helps make bikes accessible to people who can’t afford them.”

In addition to customizable, cost-effective plans, Pedal Up Club addresses storage hassles. If you’ve got limited storage space at home, you don’t need a row of unused bikes eating into it. With a bike subscription service, you won’t have to worry about storing old bikes when they’ve been outgrown. The program is also environmentally sustainable. “With fewer bikes being discarded and more being reused, there’s a positive impact on reducing waste and the carbon footprint,” according to their website.

So how does it work? Visit the Bike Shop of Winter Haven, where they’ll size your child for a bike. You can even size your child online based on inner leg length. Pedal Up Club says, “This method means they’ll always be able to reach the ground properly and have the perfect experience.” Next, confirm your subscription online, pick up your new wheels at the Bike Shop, and roll out. When your kid outgrows that bike, bring it back in and size up.

Pedal Up Club would make an excellent summer break, birthday, or holiday gift. “We just need to get the word out,” Stew said.

Pedal Up Club

249 3rd St SW, Winter Haven

(863) 299 9907

FB & IG @pedalupclub

Photograph by Amy Sexson


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