Biking For Family Fun And Fitness
With spring having officially sprung and National Bike Month (May) right around the corner, it’s a great time to suit up the family and get rolling! After all, what better way to keep active as a family than going for a bike ride? Besides being fun, healthy, environmentally friendly and a great way to explore, biking reduces stress, builds muscle tone and increases your overall strength.
While biking together can be a terrific bonding experience for families, parents should consider a few key safety issues tips before hitting the trails. First of all, make sure your child’s bike is in good working condition and is appropriate for their age and size. Plan the best place to bike with your kids, whether it’s on the road or a designated bike or multi-use path. Be sure to teach them traffic safety and the rules of the road. To help with this, here are some additional tips for safer riding from the League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org):
- Wear a Helmet
- Make sure that the helmet fits on top of your head, not tipped back or forward.
- After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, visible or not, replace it immediately.
- Follow the Rules of the Road
- Ride with traffic and obey the same laws as motorists.
- Use the rightmost lane that heads in the direction that you are traveling.
- Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings.
- Always look back and use hand and arm signals to indicate your intention to stop, merge or turn.
- Be Visible
- Ride where drivers can see you.
- Wear brightly colored clothing at all times.
- At night, use a white front light and red rear light or reflector. Wear reflective tape or clothing.
- Be Predictable
- Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars.
- Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there.
- Do not ride on the sidewalk.
- Anticipate Conflicts
- Be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to take evasive action.
- Learn braking and turning techniques to avoid crashes.
- Be extra alert at intersections.
During National Bike Month, many communities will be hosting special events such as bike parades and community bike rides that will help your kids get excited about biking in a safe group environment. Click the below link to search for bike month events in your area:
So get out there and ride, and I’ll bet you make a few new discoveries about your neighborhood and neighbors!
Suzy Cerra is the President of Experience Triathlon Youth Club, an official USAT youth club promoting fitness and fun for athletes ages 6 to 16. She is also a Certified USA Cycling and Triathlon Coach with Experience Triathlon Coaching Services. Learn more about Coach Suzy and Experience Triathlon at www.experiencetriathlon.com and at www.ET-Youth.com.