Bicycling is a great way to spend leisure time with your kids. In addition to helping every member of the family spend time outdoors enjoying a fresh air activity, bicycle riding also is an easy way to exercise, building muscle tone, strength and stamina. Riding a bicycle involves the whole body and helps to develop coordination. Bicycling with your kids is also a great way to improve everybody’s mood and gives children a nice feeling of independence and accomplishment once they know how to ride safely.
Know The Rules of the Road
Since NSW Road Rules consider a bicycle a vehicle, it is essential for every member of the family, adults and children alike, to understand how to obey the rules of the road when out bicycling. All bicycle riders are required, even children riding bicycles with training wheels, to wear a correctly fitting helmet. Children 12 years or younger riding on any footpath must be supervised by an accompanying adult rider. Ride in approved lanes marked by bicycle lane signage whenever possible. Learn the proper hand signals to use when changing directions and obey such basic road rules as stopping at stop signs and red traffic lights.
Be Well Protected
Every safe cycling excursion with your children involves being outfitted in a special way to protect yourself and avoid injury in the event of a spill off the bicycle. Make sure that everyone’s helmet complies with NSW safety rules. Adhere to the rule of “no helmet, no bike.” Ensure that everyone is wearing closed shoes rather than open-toed shoes or sandals which can cause pedaling accidents. Avoid loose clothing that will flap in the wind or get tangled up with bicycle equipment. Wear reflective strips on clothing when cycling after sundown and brightly colored clothing during daylight hours to be more visible to motorists and other cyclists.
Keep Your Bicycle Well Maintained
Before heading out for some cycling fun, make sure that everyone’s bicycle has at least one working brake, proper air inflation in the tires and an easy to hear horn or bell to alert other bicyclists or pedestrians if necessary. Steady flashing white front and red rear lights are also required on the bike after dark.
Plan Your Route
Have a plan for your bicycling outing so you can take advantage of bike paths, shared paths or less busy residential streets rather than finding yourself in the midst of traffic with less experienced children riders. Show your children how to practice good road etiquette by always bicycling on the footpath when possible or on the left side of the road with no more than two people riding abreast.
It’s often easy for an experienced adult rider to get so caught up in enjoying the bicycle ride himself that he forgets that he needs to constantly stay alert to supervise the children under his care. By wearing a helmet and proper protective gear in addition to knowing the rules of the road when cycling and adhering to a planned route that avoids car traffic whenever possible, you and your children can enjoy quality family time and fun outdoors when riding bicycles.
Check out a wide range of kids bikes on http://www.merida.com.au and start having fun with your kids on the wheels!