About two months ago, I got a bike so that I could ride with my five year old son. It's proved to be one of my best purchases, enabling us to have a fun, healthy and bonding activity each day. I used to bike all the time, but after having my son and moving, I gave my bike away and haven't touched one until recently. How I missed it! I urge any parent who has a kid who's into biking to hit the trails.
Here are a few tips for keeping it safe with the kiddos:
1. Try to keep on the sidewalks until the child is 10 years old. I had to look this up because I wasn't sure about the rules here, but apparently it's best to stay off the streets wherever possible until they are ten. Kids should bike only when supervised until 10 years old as well.
2. Flow with traffic even if you are on the sidewalk. In other words, don't ride against traffic. It's easier for cars to see you if you are going in their direction, and most accidents between cars and bikes happen when bikes are not riding with traffic.
3. Dismount and walk across busy streets and crosswalks.
4. Try to wear bright colors such as orange, yellow or red, and utilize reflectors, blinkies and flashing headlights.
5. Other stuff is fairly obvious--always wear helmets (that's obvious, right?) and proper shoes (no sandals or slides), don't ride at night, avoid busy streets, obey all traffic signs, etc.
For more safety tips regarding kids and bikes, check out the IBF's safety page and for a more thorough look at bike safety and how not to get hit, read HOW NOT TO GET HIT BY A CAR on bicyclesafe.com.
Image Credit: Mark Wiewel