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14 Responses to Bike Safety With Kids

  1. Dionna  

    Such good tips! Kieran learned how to ride his pedal bike this summer, and he loves it. Since we are not in a bike-friendly city, though, there hasn’t been a lot of opportunities to teach him real-life riding skills (so far, we primarily ride in a huge empty parking lot). I am coordinating a bike safety class with a local bike shop for our homeschooling cooperative this fall, though, so I’m trying to be proactive about teaching proper safety skills. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Christy  

      What a great idea to do a homeschool bike safety class! It is definitely harder to cycle, adults or kids, if your area isn’t bike friendly, as I find that car drivers can be almost belligerent to cyclists. I’ve even been yelled at when I’m cycling safely on the road.

  2. Lauren Wayne  

    This is marvelous! I need to work on teaching these bike rules to my kiddo. I’d love to become a more bike-proficient family so we can go on longer jaunts than just the bike path along the beach. I love the way you’re focusing on both safety and etiquette.

    • Christy  

      Thanks! I have found that etiquette and safety are very linked – if drivers perceive cyclists to be taking risks they drive more aggressively (I could share some stories!). I definitely recommend becoming more bike-proficient because the getting there is sometimes half of the fun of the adventure. Good luck!

  3. Maud  

    Great tips. My kids are both excellent bike-riders and as they get older it’s vital that they know how to travel safely.

    • Christy  

      Awesome that your kids are good cyclists – my middle daughter has been somewhat reluctant to do road riding (or biking in general), but because I love cycling and feel strongly about trying to go car-free more often, I’ve had to push her.

  4. Janet Dubac

    Great! I always advice my love ones to wear a helmet and make sure that their bikes have all the safety features needed to make cars and other drivers aware. Reflectors are equally important especially when biking at night. I find riding bikes a very good form of exercise but I also find it unsafe at times. But with appropriate safety measures, nothing can go wrong.

    • Christy  

      I agree that cycling can be unsafe at times, which is why I haven’t taken my kids out after dark, and there are a few major roads that even I won’t ride on. As always, it is best to be mindful of safety and plan out routes in advance to minimize dangers.

  5. Jennifer S  

    This is a really great piece! My daughter is 4 1/2 and getting really confident on her bike. The cruddy thing is that we live on a super busy street with all kinds of dangers. So as we start riding in our own neighborhood more and more, it is important to have these safety guidelines! Thanks for such a sound post!

    • Christy  

      Oh, too bad about living on a dangerous street – it can really limit what you feel safe doing. We live on a mildly busy street but it is wide enough that I feel ok taking my kids out. Hopefully, as your daughter gets older you can try more. Do you have sidewalks on your street? With each of my kids, before I felt they were ready for road riding, I cycled on the road and they went on the sidewalk beside me (with little bikes so ok). It limits where you can go but it is a more gentle way of getting kids used to big cycling trips.

  6. Justine @ The Lone Home Ranger  

    Thanks for a great post! We haven’t taught our kids much yet except for having them wear a helmet. Now that we have a kindergartner, I think it’s about time (or probably past time) to let her ride on roads other than our quiet street. I will use your lessons as guidance.

    • Christy  

      Kindergarten was about the age when I let each of my older girls try riding their own bikes on bigger trips. I planned the routes carefully to make sure that there were sidewalks (I rode beside them on the road). Otherwise I put them in the bike trailer so I could still do the big trips that I enjoy.

  7. Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook

    I haven’t been on a bike in years due to knee problems, but I loved riding as a girl. My parents owned at least 10 bikes of various sizes, and we would often go riding as a family. I think your advice is excellent!