Safe Cycling with Kids

Safe cycling with the kids

Cycling is a cost-effective, fun and adventurous way for families to spend time together and what better way to get out and enjoy the great weather than jumping on a bike with the kids. Now, while they are young, is a great time to get kids into fun, healthy exercise habits that could last a lifetime.

Here are some tips to ensure your family has fun and stays safe on their bikes:

Riding Safely with Children

  • Plan the route and length of the ride carefully so that it's not so long that the kids have had enough by the end
  • Hook up with another family with similar aged kids and swing by the playground or pools on the way home
  • Pack a bag with an extra layer of clothing, water and healthy snacks
  • Under 10s should always ride accompanied by an adult
  • Bike should be the right size for the rider - children should not be riding adult-sized bikes
  • Helmets should be a good fit - this is something your child shouldn't grow into!
  • Children should be encouraged not to ride outside of their comfort zones, either in terms of speed or environment

Getting Ready to Cycle

If your bikes have been sitting in the shed, or left out in the elements for some time, ensure you give them a quick health and safety check before heading out on your first ride:

  • Make sure the seat is low enough that your feet can touch the ground when stationary
  • Brakes should hold the bike still even when you try to push it forward. Kids' fingers can't stretch as far so make sure their brakes are operating with only a small stretch of the finger
  • Tyres should have some tread and be well inflated
  • Wheels and frames should be free from rust, which can weaken the metal
  • Chain should be clean, not sagging, and well oiled
  • The rider should always wear a helmet that is an approved model and fits snugly. They should be fed, well hydrated and aware of their own abilities when planning the route for their first ride
  • Wear bright colours and especially if riding at night, in low light or rain, make sure you have reflectors, reflective tape and lights (with plenty of battery power) attached



Published 14 December, 2012, with thanks to Bike Wise


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