Tune That Bike
Make sure your child's bike is safe to ride. If it sat in the garage for a year, take it to a bike shop for a tune-up. Learn how to do a bike safety check before you head out and teach this once-over to your kids. If you need to brush up on your bike maintenance skills, look for a class in your area. If your child is old enough, bring her along.
Helmets and the Law
Learn the bicycle helmet laws of your town. Helmets.org provides a comprehensive list of helmet laws for each state. Regulations vary among states, counties and cities, so make sure you know what's required in your specific area before your kid gets on his bike.
Choose a safe place for your child to ride, or make sure she know what constitutes a safe place if she heads out unsupervised. Take traffic, potential distractions and obstacles into consideration. Make sure she rides in an area where the risks and challenges do not surpass her riding ability.
Teach the rules of the road before your child hops on his bike. Make sure he knows how to ride safely around pedestrians, cars and other cyclists. If your child is too young to safely navigate by himself, stay on your toes to keep him out of harm's way and look for good opportunities to teach him safety rules he will understand.
Model Good Behavior
Remember that you set the example for bike safety for your kids. If you want your kids to wear helmets, buckle yours when you ride. When you lead the way on the street or trail, choose the safest path and ride carefully. Show your kids that riding bikes can be safe and fun when you make good choices.
Article Written By Kathrine Cole
Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.