Back to School Cycling Tips
Whether your kids are begging you to let them cycle to school with their friends or you want to use the car less, you need to make sure they make it there safely. Here are a few tips and reminders to make you feel at ease when your children ride to school.
No matter how much your kids might complain about how they look, wearing a helmet will reduce their chances of fatal head injuries by 50% and reduces their chances of face/neck injury by 30%. Head to your local bicycle shop to make sure you get one that is fitted perfectly for them.
2. Check their seat adjustment
Your kids are growing so fast, fast enough for them to not even realize when their knees are hitting their chest when they pedal! If they stand next to their bike and the saddle sits below their hips, it’s time for an adjustment. Raise the saddle to hip-height and make sure it’s level enough for them to ride comfortably. When seated on the bike, put your heel on the pedal. Your leg should be straight. So when you put your toes on the pedal you will have a small bend in the knee.
3. Gear up
If your kids are inspired to bike to school, rain or shine, it’s important that they’re wearing the proper clothing. If it’s going to be sunny, make sure your kids don’t leave the house without some sunglasses. Not only will heavy duty sunglasses protect your children from UV rays, but they also prevent their eyes from watering if they’re riding downhill.
When it’s colder, you’ll probably remember to remind them to wear their coat, but you may forget about the other essentials. Biking gloves are crucial to keep their hands warm as they steer and a scarf that keeps their neck warm will help prevent them from developing a cold.
If you’re going to have your child wear a scarf while riding, why not make it a scarf that’s dual purpose? No matter where you live, air pollution has become an ever growing problem. In fact, soot, smoke, mould, pollen, and carbon dioxide in the air causes approximately 4.2 million deaths every year. CYCL has recognized this issue and worked with professional designers and engineers to develop an innovative air-pollution scarf. This scarf includes a nanofiber membrane that filters out 99.9% of harmful pollutants and has an adjustable nose clip that guarantees the scarf won’t slide off your child’s face on their ride to school.
4. Be Seen
Front and rear lights are essential when cycling in low lights and darkness. Make sure you kit out your kids’ bikes with both. There are plenty of low cost options on Amazon or swing by the bicycle shop when you’re picking up the bicycle helmet. Having bike lights that are permanently fixed on might be a good option for kids likely to forget to put the lights on every time they ride.
Hand signalling is essential to let other drivers on the road know where they’re going. But what if your kids feel uncomfortable or unstable when riding with only one hand? What if your kids need to ride home in the dark? The best solution to these issues is Winglights!
There are plenty of bicycle indicators on the market, but the one that has found the most consistently positive driver response time is Winglights by CYCL. These bright lights are easy to install, simple for kids to use, and ensures that they will be seen on the roads.
If your kids are younger, start them off with Winglights Pop - made from hard wearing plastic and they won’t break the bank. With a single tap, they will be able to signal where they are heading in traffic without lifting their hands from the handlebars. If your kids are a bit more mature, invest in the Winglights 360 fixed or mag, made from high quality aluminium and also have a permanent sidelight feature for all round visibility.
Don’t stop at lights, having them wear something bright will make them stand out in traffic. CYCL’s adjustable backpack cover is a luminous neon orange color that is striking enough to be seen during the day and has reflective strips making it highly visible at night. Plus, it will protect your child’s pack from all weather conditions.
5. Hydration is key
It’s so satisfying as a parent knowing your kids are getting their daily exercise, but when they are racing their friends around the neighbourhood it’s very likely they won’t realize how much energy they’re actually using. Make sure they stay hydrated by attaching a water bottle holder to their bike and getting them a reusable water bottle that fits into the attachment.Any other tips and tricks you've found that have helped your kids make the most of their bikes? Tell us by visiting us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.