The question is, if it’s a while since you’ve been out on a bike yourself, how do you make sure your children are riding safely and sensibly? We asked Chris Boardman for his thoughts on getting youngsters out onto the road, safely:
“The best advice is to lead by example, even if that means you feel slightly self-conscious about hand signals, and following all the rules of the road for cyclists.”
The Highway Code has a section of ‘Rules for Cyclists’, which is an excellent place to brush up on what the law says about cycle lanes, rights of way, and advisable approaches to junctions etc. There are many websites offering online ‘flashcards’ that will help your children get a better understanding of road signs, too. But before you get out onto the road, it’s very sensible to ensure your children have a basic knowledge of cycle craft.
Many parents remember their RoSPA cycle training – and that’s a great way to get your children comfortable with things like turns left and right, safe emergency stops, and the importance of checking over their shoulders for oncoming traffic.
RoSPa’s website is full of useful links to training aids, and downloads that offer support to parents or schools that would like to offer basic cycle training (although the most basic courses aren’t intended to prepare trainees for riding on their own on the road in traffic).
Offered privately, or through schools, Bikeability is an organisation that offers access to a network of qualified cycle training providers. As with RoSPA training, children have to bring their own bikes along – and they’ll have a quick check, from the instructors, to make sure the cycle is roadworthy.