Cycling is a very versatile sport. It could be for competition, recreation, or as a mode of transportation. Learning to ride a bicycle is also a developmental milestone. In Australia, most children learn how to ride a bike at an early age.
But before you let the training wheels fall off, it is best to educate them with some safety measures.
Wear Protective Devices and Proper Clothing
- The helmet is on top of the list of protective devices. Proper use of helmet could never be emphasised enough.
- Reflective clothing such as tabards used in your Australia cycling is also helpful for low-visibility conditions. This would help other motorists to see him and decrease the chances of being run over. Letting a child right at night is not advisable.
- Complete his riding gear with some kneepads and elbow pads. These would protect him from further injury in case he falls.
- Riding gloves will secure his grip.
Protective devices are not an afterthought but an essential and must be worn at all times. Proper shoes and clothing must be observed, too.
- Sneakers are the most acceptable footgear for cycling. The other types, such as flip-flops would be a hindrance to correct pedalling.
- Everyday clothes should be fit enough to avoid getting caught in the bike chain. But, it should not be too snug to impede proper movements.
- Using headphones while riding a bicycle is strictly not advised. They pose the danger of the rider not hearing the other motorists and car. Also, in the event they fall off, they might get caught between the chain and tires.
Establish a Routine
Bicycle safety does not start when the cyclist is already on the road. Teach your child a routine before he goes cycling even at short distances.
- Always check that the seat and handlebars are secured.
- Tires should always have the right amount of air and pressure.
- Maintain the tightness of the chain and have it oiled at all times.
- Ensure that the brakes are working.
The maintenance of these bicycle parts translates to an enjoyable and safe ride.
Follow Road Rules
Once your child goes out on the road, he must adhere to regular road rules. Also, there are rules meant for cyclists.
- Always stop at red lights. It may be tempting to zoom ahead but respect the traffic lights.
- Keep hands on the handlebars to avoid swerving.
- When coming from the driveway or a curb, look at both directions for incoming cars.
- Never ride against the direction of the traffic. Always stay on the right side of the road.
- Maintain distance with parked cars to avoid being hit by a door when it suddenly opens.
- Bicycle lanes are preferred for safety.
Practice Hand Signals
Hand signals let bigger vehicles such as cars and trucks know what the next move of the cyclist would be. It must be diligently taught especially to young cyclists. Proper execution of hand signals adds to ensuring the safety of the cyclist on the road.
For a child, it is exhilarating to be able to gain balance on those wheels and move at a considerable speed. Cycling also has many health benefits. Moreover, it is environment-friendly. Proper training on bike safety would let a child enjoy this sport and all the advantages that come with it.
Be sure to educate your child well before allowing him to ride on the road.