One of my favorite things to do with my family is to go on a bicycle ride. Now, my wife and children are not always up for a 100 mile ride with me at 5:00 am on Saturday, but not everyone has to go as crazy as me! It’s hard to believe, but spring is almost upon us, and while I have been out running and biking all winter, I am starting to see the roads and trails fill up with young families getting back on their bikes for the first time this year!
Interestingly, during the pandemic, it seems many people have found (or rediscovered) the love of cycling. I was in a local shop just the other day and they have rows of bikes waiting for tune-ups. Perhaps we are all becoming a little more attuned to the benefits of bicycle riding.
Building a lifetime of healthy habits starts at a young age, and biking is a great activity to do with the whole family. It is always a good time to encourage your kids to get out and start leading a healthy lifestyle, and to be safe on their bikes. Let’s take a look at kids’ bike safety.
First and foremost, let’s talk about helmets. All bike riders – especially children – should have a helmet. Helmets should be well-fitted, which means it sits low on the forehead with only one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow. The left and right side straps should form a “Y” over the ear, and meet right below the ear. Helmets should be snug on a child’s head, protecting them from a traumatic injury should they crash. And remember, helmets are required in the state of North Carolina for all bike riders under the age of 16, and all cyclists are encouraged to wear one.
Visibility is also a very important safety consideration when riding with children. Keep in mind that children are smaller and less visible to passing motorists. Both you and your child should be sure to wear bright colored clothing, or clothing with reflective enhancements so that other drivers can see you in less-than-ideal conditions. Reflectors or blinking lights on the front of bikes is a great way to increase visibility. Being seen helps keep you and your family safe on the roads.
Please join us in in promoting safe, healthy bicycling in our community. Stay tuned to our YouTube channel and social media accounts for more bike safety tips in the coming weeks. Be safe and I’ll be looking for you out on the road!