Now that warm weather has arrived, many of you might be ready to dust off your bicycles and hit the road. Cycling for kids is a great activity that all children enjoy with the whole family, but before you get pedaling ensure about the safety.
Take a look at our cycling safety checklist
Thousands of people visit the emergency room in Spain each year with cycling related injuries. Many of these accidents result in serious head injuries. The best way to help protect you and your family against such injuries is to wear a helmet. Always wear a bike helmet, even if you are going for a short ride. It should be worn level and cover your forehead. Don’t tip it back so your forehead is showing. The straps should always be fastened. If the straps are flying, it’s likely to fall off your head when you need it most. Make sure the straps are adjusted so they’re snug enough that you can’t pull or twist the helmet around on your head. You should replace a helmet if it has suffered a hard blow.
See and be seen. Wearing bright clothes and putting reflectors on your bike also can help you stay safe. It helps other people on the road see you. And if they see you, that means they’re less likely to run into you.
Brakes should be in good working order and stop the bicycle quickly and smoothly without sticking. Tires should be adequately inflated and firm and check that the tread is not worn through. It is especially important to check that the seat on your child’s bike is secure and at the correct height from year to year. Oil your chain regularly.
Make sure that your child’s shoes are tied securely. Shoelaces and pant-legs can get tangled in the chain and pedals causing the child to fall. Children should always wear tennis shoes when riding a bike. Sandals, flip-flops, shoes with a heel or cleats should never be worn while riding a bike, these types of shoes won’t allow you to grip the pedal properly.
Stay the Course
Especially when riding with young children, try to stick to familiar, well-lit routes that are easy to navigate and generally free of obstacles. Be careful of wet leaves, gravel, mud, and curbs, these can cause falls. And always be aware of other rides and pedestrians!
Check out this great article for adults if you need a refresher on where to ride your bike and how to get set-up!
So, now that your bike is road ready, where should you go?
One of our favorite bike excursions for the little ones is to a great park located at the corner of Avenida de Juan XXIII and Calle Almansa in Pozuelo near the Centro Comercial La Estacion. This wonderful park has a special closed circuit track designed for little ones to ride around in a safe, car-free setting where they can perfect their starts and stops and how to handle the curves while Mom and Dad look on.
Got any other recommendations on where you can ride your bike? Share them with us! The Kidsinmadrid Facebook group is full of other parents looking for great ideas.
Do you want to know more tips for parents? Visit our blog