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Date added: 07/23/2014 Bike Rides to School

The benefits of bike riding are numerous. In fact, there are so many that it’s difficult to list all of them in one place! From increasing your health and fitness, to having less stress, to having higher productive and critical thinking capabilities, riding your bike really allows you to perform better throughout your day. This translates to kids too.

Cyclist
photo credit: Amsterdamized via photopin cc

Studies have shown that riding your bike to school can actually increase children’s participation in the classroom and allows them to perform better when faced with tasks that demand higher level thinking. 

If you’re interested in having your children participate in the tradition of riding their bike to school, be sure you read these tips and tricks that can contribute to safe and fulfilling experiences for your children, and for you!

 

 

How to Bike to School

Did you ride to school as a kid? Pass the fun to your own children with these tips.

Teach Your Kids to Bike to School

Do you have fond memories of riding your bike to school as a kid? Chances are, you do—30 years ago, half of all children biked or walked to school regularly. Today, it’s just 13 percent. But biking is making a comeback. First Lady Michelle Obama has advocated biking and walking to school as part of her Let’s Move initiative. And schools and communities across the country are achieving impressive results, using both simple and high-tech methods to get kids back in the saddle.

Use the following tips to bring the joy of biking to school to your own children.

 

Stock Up on Bike-Safety Essentials 

Your children should have these items on each ride to ensure a safe trip to school.

 

Helmet: A properly fitting bike helmet has been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent. Bring your kids to your local bike shop with you so they can pick them out—they’ll be more likely to wear them if they helped choose them.

 

Lights: Front and rear lights will make your child more visible to motorists. Teach your kid to store the lights in his or her backpack during the day—they’re easy to yank off, and you’ll want to make sure you won’t have to replace them.

 

Bike Lock: To be sure your child’s bike will still be at the rack at the end of the school day, buy a lock. Read Bicycling’s lock reviews to decide what to buy.

 

Bell: A quick ding of a bell alerts pedestrians that a cyclist is coming their way on a shared-use path.

 

Arrange a Ride-Pool 

Worried about your kid riding to school alone? Arrange a group ride with other children in your neighborhood. Parents can take turns leading the group.

 

Practice Traffic Skills

Even kids who live too far from school to bike should learn the rules of the road. Teach your children how to signal and how to anticipate possible bike-car collisions.

 

Let Them Goof Off…Safely 

The best way for your kids to learn bike-handling skills? Just let them ride. Take them to a grassy field or BMX park where they can fall without worrying about cars and road rash. They’ll build balance and confidence while having fun.

 

Make a Route Map

Sometimes, the most direct route to school isn’t the safest. Help your kids plot a route that has bike lanes, wide shoulders, and low traffic.

 

Ride With Your Kids 

The best way to encourage your children to learn to love cycling: Ride with them! If they’re resisting, offer a reward—a 2-mile spin will suddenly seem fun if there’s an ice-cream shop along the route. Bonus: You’ll get fitter, too.

 

Read the original article by Christine Mattheis on bicycling.com here.