Ahh! The breeze in your face and quality time with your family! Children love to spend time with their parents, grandparents or adults in their lives. Autumn is a great time for bike riding with your kids. The advantages of biking include increased energy, improved health, family bonding, and a way to "tire out" kids before bed time. Here are a few tips for fun, family bike rides:
- For beginners, choose an area that avoids traffic, such as a park trail. Children under age 10 should not ride on streets or roads.
- Avoid "hangry" bikers by eating a meal before you go or taking along a simple snack such as a cheese stick, fruit or granola bar. Bike to the local park and reward kids with a break to eat their snack or play on the play-ground equipment.
- Select bikes and helmets that fit properly. Children's legs should have a slight bend when the pedal is all the way down. Helmet straps should go around ears and allow a finger width between the strap and chin. Visit the resources listed below for more information.
- Biking together as a family helps adults to role model safe habits, such as wearing a helmet and using hand signals. Be sure children know the rules of the road before they bike alone or to school each day.
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet to prevent head injuries.
- Tuck in shoe laces and pant legs.
- Ride in the farthest right hand lane with traffic.
- Follow traffic signs and signals.
- Stop at stop signs and look TWICE.
- Use hand signals.
- Ride predictably.
- Use safe routes.
- Wear reflective clothing.
- At night use a white headlight and red flashing tail light.
- Stay alert! No ear buds.
- Bring a cell phone and first aid kit for emergencies.
- Look ahead for obstacles on the path.
- Drink water to stay hydrated.
- Dress in layers.
This newsletter was peer-reviewed. Orginally written by Jamie Goffena, updated and reviewed in 2020.