Bicycling is a great exercise. It’s good for any age, and especially during school, many children and adolescents ride their bikes to school. Safe bicycling should be of paramount concern. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says, remember that a bike isn’t a toy. It’s a vehicle, just like a car or motorcycle. Keeping that in mind will itself orient you to a safe ride.
As you ride, keep the following keys to safe bicycling in mind.
- Before you ride, carefully examine your bike to make sure that all the parts work correctly. For example, make sure that nothing is caught in the spokes and that the tires are correctly inflated. Check that your brakes work.
- For safe bicycling, wearing a well fitted bicycle helmet is a must. As in any sport where you need to protect your brain (football, for example), a helmet is essential.
- You must be able to be seen by others. That goes whether you are riding in the day, dawn, dusk, at night, and whether the weather is good or inclement. Whenever you ride, wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors—in both day and night. Also wear reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights, on your clothes and shoes—they reflect light.
- Importantly, remember that wearing white clothes, socks, shoes, or jackets does not to make you more visible.
- You must be able to control your bike at all times. If you have books, carry them in a backpack or carrier. You need to always ride with one hand minimum on the handlebars.