What Every Parent Should Know
Bicycling is fun, it helps us keep fit, and it gives
us mobility. For kids, the bicycle is their first
vehicle, a source of pride — and an important
way to get around. In addition, bicycling is,
generally, a safe activity. But, when bicyclists
make basic mistakes, they are the ones most
likely to get hurt. For this reason, the attitudes
you instill in your child now will determine
how he or she will ride for years to come. If
your child gets a good grounding in safe rid-
ing techniques, he or she will be able to enjoy
bicycling for many years.
By and large…
…bicycling is a safe activity. But, like
many activity, one has to learn a few
things before safely taking part. This
brochure points out common problems
kids have while bicycling and suggests
some solutions. But just reading it isn’t
enough, nor is having your child read it.
You and your child should go over the
topics and do the exercises suggested.
If possible, you should ride with your
child. This will be valuable for both of
you. And fun, too!
How old is old enougH?
Before the age of 10, few kids under-
stand how traffic works. Children have
trouble judging speed and distance. They
can’t locate sounds — like a car’s en-
gine or a siren — very well. They think
that, if they can see a car, the driver can
see them. They can, however, be taught
skills and rules but may have trouble
with confusing traffic situations.
Are you are an experienced cyclist? Take
your child out for training rides. This can
work with young kids. If you aren’t a
skilled cyclist, lay down iron-clad rules
and help your child learn specific les-
sons. First, the rules:
1. No playing in the road.
2. No riding on busy streets.
3. No riding at night.
4. Stop for all stop signs.
5. Ride on the right, with traffic.
6. Make your own decisions.
7. Always wear your bike helmet.
Next, let’s look at four common bicycling
myths in the next column…
MytH #2: “a cHild needs a Bike to
MytH #1: “Bicyclists s