Back to School Time – Let’s Talk Bike to School Safety

ArleighCycling Tips, Family Riding, Latest, Resources2 Comments

Photo Credit: Mark Stosberg

School started this week in many areas of Denver. The parents are recovering from a summer hang over, and the kids are excitedly showing off their new shoes, backpacks, and hopefully pedaling or walking to school! As a mom that lives in North Stapleton I get to see the bike and foot parade every morning and afternoon as the kids head to High Tech Elementary. I’m thankful that the majority of the kids have helmets on, but often that is where the safety ends. Here are a few quick tips on bicycle safety for your kids!

The Basics

Helmet and Safe Shoes

I think this is self-explanatory! Please make it a routine, and requirement that your kids wear a helmet and shoes while riding their bike.

Wear Bright Clothes

Many of the uniforms I see riding around my neighborhood have navy or gray tops. Pick up a brightly colored windbreaker, or a safety vest that your child has to wear. Yes they will fuss, but let them pick out the jacket and it may be easier.

Safety Check

Your kids were probably pretty hard on their bikes this summer with all the fun they had. Have you bolt checked their bike, and inflated the tires? If you are in the neighborhood I am happy to do this for free. Simply contact me and mention this post!

Ride With Them the Weekend Before

Start out slow with your kids and ride on a peaceful weekend before you brave the round trip ride to and from school that will be busy with many humans, cars, and buses. Teach your kids hand signals, where to stop, what to look for, and how to act around cars, people, dogs, and strollers. You are already winning if you have been practicing this all summer long with friends!

Stapleton Kids Biking

Photo Credit: Mark Stosberg

Make Your Kids More Visible

Bell or Horn

Help your kids be heard! A lot of kids ride on sidewalks then come up behind pedestrians and don’t know their right from their left which can cause a tangle. Help them to learn when to use their bell / horn so people know they are coming. (I keep easy to use Jellibells in stock at all times for you.)

Blinky Lights

Basic front and rear blinky lights are <$15 and your kids will love them. I’m also a big fan of Reelights which are magnetically driven and stay running as long as your wheels are moving. You no longer need to worry about batteries, or turning the lights on!

Rear Flag

Kids typically can’t be seen over cars. The flag helps them grow a couple of feet, and the fluttering orange fabric catches people’s attention. Yes, I know it isn’t cool but for under $15 you can ensure your child is seen much better.

What are your tips for safe back to school biking? Please add them in the comment section!

 

Photo credit: Both photos from this post are from Mark Stosberg. Find him on Flickr and Twitter!

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