Cycling as a family has many benefits, however, it’s really important that you stay safe if you’ll be cycling on the roads. Many accidents can be avoided, so make sure you’re prepared with our top cycling safety tips:
- Always wear a helmet: Whilst the law doesn’t state you need to wear a helmet when cycling, it can reduce the risk of serious head injuries by nearly 70%, so the whole family should all wear one when cycling. Ensure growing kids have helmets which fit them correctly before going out on the roads. The right size helmet will sit level on your child’s head, with an inch gap between their eyebrows and the helmet. The straps need to sit firm when buckled up, but not be too tight or loose. Also consider knee and elbow pads for young children who are new to cycling.
- Be safe, be seen: If you think you may be cycling in the dark, make sure all your bikes have working lights. It’s a legal requirement to have and use one white light pointing straight forward and one red one pointing straight back. You must also have at least one red rear reflector and four amber pedal reflectors. And it’s a good idea to wear hi-viz clothing so other vehicles can spot you.
- Ensure you’re road-ready: Before you and your family begin your bike ride, check that all of your bikes are road-ready. Check your tyres are inflated properly, and your brakes work correctly. And pack a repair kit so you can fix any issues. Growing children may also need their seat adjusting, so check that when your child is sitting on their bike, their feet are just brushing the floor.
- Plan your route: If you’re going out with the kids, you’ll want to go to places which have family-friendly cycle routes and paths. Somewhere that’s easy to ride, with relatively flat terrain. And choose roads with less traffic, or dedicated bike lanes. And always ride with traffic, never against it.
- Ride at the back: When you’re cycling as a family, ride behind your children so you can see them at all times. If there’s another adult with you, ask them to ride at the front so they can look for any potential hazards up ahead.
- Stay hydrated: Take plenty of water for the whole family, especially on a hot day. Take regular stops, and pack healthy snacks to have along your route, or even a picnic to enjoy at a picturesque spot in the countryside.
- Check the weather: Pack waterproof clothing and extra layers if the weather looks grim. And don’t forget sun lotion and sunglasses if cycling on a sunny day. Young children may also need a hat to protect them from the sun’s heat.
Cycling is a great family-fun activity. By taking some precautions, you can help your family stay safe while out riding.