Encourage Your Children for Cycling

Kids love cycling. It’s just like a kind of exploratory play and form of exercise. In this activity children learn balancing through different steps. It’s fun for them and they feel independent while cycling so we can say cycling is fun, excitement, adventure and an independent activity at the same time.

Cycling is also a social activity as children enjoy cycling with their friends and travel to reasonable and safe distances from home.

According to an independent research agency SHEU (Schools Health Education unit), cycling is most favorite sport activity for children in UK as 45% of boys aged 11 to 12 years and 36% of girls cycling at least weekly outside the school hours.

According to department of transport 1% of primary school children and 2% of secondary children cycle to school.

If we talk about cycling to school specifically, it’s a physical activity and at the same time children enjoy with their mates. Although parents feel worried due to different kinds of risks specifically traffic. As it’s natural for parents to protect their children and adult supervision is very important but giving them independence, allowing them to do different things and handling risks by their own have positive effects on their physical and mental development.

Teachers of many schools reported that the children who bike to school are more attentive, receptive and has more learning abilities than other children. Many studies show that physical fitness helps a lot in academic performance and no doubt cycling is the best physical activity to keep your children fit and away from different diseases especially from Childs obesity which is actually the root cause of every disease.

Try to encourage your children for cycling as it is environment friendly, efficient and fun filled ride. You can also go for cycling day trip with your family as it will also strengthen your family bonding and you can definitely enjoy this favorable healthy activity with your family. But safety of the children should always be the priority that can be perfectly achieved by using bike safety accessories like cycle safety harness, helmet, knee pads, bike vest etc. Let your child enjoy this independent activity but in a safer way.

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Different Stages of Bicycling

Cycling is the most favorite activity for almost each and every child because it gives them a feeling of independence and fun. Beside the fun factor this activity is also very beneficial for their health and keeps them fit and active. Children typically learn to ride a bicycle sometime between the ages of 3 and 6.

There are different stages of learning bicycle as children learn it step by step that how to balance smoothly.

The children first learn peddling on tricycle which has taught them about those synchronized leg movements, momentum and sense of balancing as well as balance movement onto a bicycle. Tricycles are perfect for toddlers having developing motor skills. Safety measures should always be taken to keep your children safe and sound so tricycles should be ridden only on a playground or within an enclosed yard, not in a driveway or street. Safety accessories are also very important so toddlers like all riders should always wear a size-appropriate helmet and safety vest or bicycle safety harness when biking.

At next step almost in the age of 5 or 6 children start riding bicycle with the help of training wheels. Parents can progressively elevate training wheels to help build their child’s confidence. Finally, when a child learn how to balance on the bike, the training wheels can be removed. If children go straight from tricycles to bicycles, missing out on stabilizers, most will be able to start their bicycle learning from about the age of three and a half. By the age of five most children can balance properly.

A child’s first bicycle should be a one-speed with foot brakes as he can’t handle hand brakes and gears.  He can ride on larger bike with gears and hand brakes at age of 9 or 10 when his hands are larger and stronger. At first children can’t ready for street riding independently without any adult supervision but at the age of 8 and 10 he can start riding in streets where you can teach him safe-riding skills. If your child wants to ride to school, and you feel that he’s ready then encourage him for cycling as its very helpful to keep him fit and healthy.

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Riding Toys

Children love to have fun by riding on different types of toys. They enjoy these type of activities as well as they learn a lot from these activities. These type of fun filled activities play a very important role in child’s development and growth as encourage children for different physical activities and help them to develop multiple skills like:

 

  • Developing coordination skills
  • Balancing
  • Motor skills
  • Develop Independence

 

There are different kinds of riding toys. The variety varies from rocking horse to different types of battery charging ride on toys. Always choose the simple one according to the age of your child.

 

For teaching your child how to ride on toy, always choose a flat and safe spot because safety of your child should always be the priority. Try to keep them safe by wearing them safety vests as well as other safety accessories.

 

  • Ride on toys help to develop motor skills and ultimately this leads to a proper and tremendous skill of balancing.
  • These toys help children to learn how to coordinate between the movements of hand, arms, legs and feet.
  • Ride on toys require movement of legs and in this way they use their leg muscles and for steering use smaller muscles of hand so it makes your children strong and active.
  • These toys are best way to make your children active because they keep on moving around.
  • When children learn how to ride on these toys then this thing built a confidence in them, because they do it by their own and children love to enjoy this kind of independence.
  • It also helps to develop social and emotional skills because they spend a lot of time by playing with other children.
  • It is a healthy activity because children spend a quality time outdoor and experience a natural environment which is very important for them.
  • Now a days children spend a lot of time in Tv, video games and indoor activities so these types of outdoor activities give them a lot of fun and excitement in a healthy way.

 

Always choose a durable riding toy for your children because there should be no compromise on the safety of your child.

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Cycling Fun for Your Toddlers

It’s a wonderful and joyful experience for a toddler to ride a tricycle but a little handling with care teaches them properly how to ride a tricycle and how to paddle on in a proper way.

It’s a new experience for your little one so proper safety measures should be taken because the safety of your child should always be the priority. Knee pads, elbow pads, well fitted helmet and vest are very important safety accessories to keep your child safe and sound.

Children learn different activities through experience. The process of riding bike requires multiple skills like pedaling, steering, balancing, coordination and strength.

Try to focus on all the skills one by one and don’t overburden the mind of your toddler. Usually children start with riding toy. These riding toys help to develop skills like climbing on and off, forward and backward movement, steering as well as how to handle through different obstacles.

When the child becomes expert of all the skills like positioning and turning then then the next step is riding a tricycle with support of pedal and steer.

  • Your child shows interest in tricycle then start practicing your toddler with support until he’ll be the master of all skills.
  • Try to buy a bicycle according to size of your child so he or she can easily ride on it.
  • Your child feels super excited by perfect positioning on pedal.
  • Try to push your child from backward to build a confidence and giving the impression that he is doing all the things by his own.
  • See their reaction that how they enjoy movement of pedal, balancing and weight shifting.
  • When the child is used to the positioning of pedals and leg movements then try to practice them on some incline surface to teach them how to handle the tricycle but give them support on all their way.
  • Then on the next step practice them on flat surface.
  • Teach them Paddling and steering separately.

For practicing use wide and smooth surface because it helps your child to pedal properly and easily. It’s also useful because in this way a child feel more independent by his own and enjoy paddling and steering without any kind of directions and obstacles.

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Cycling Trends of Children And Young People

According to some statistics of 2015, 0-16 year olds made 12 cycle trips each compared to an average of 17 for all age groups and cycled around 17 miles over the year as comparison to an average of 53 for all age groups.

Some figure of 2015 shows that in England travel to and from school is as follows;

  • Approximately 1% of children aged 5-10, and 2% of children aged 11-16 cycled. This figure shows a decrease from 2% and 3% respectively in 2014.
  • 37%, cars/vans were the most common form of transport used for the school/college run, even though the normal distance travelled for education purposes was only around three miles.
  • Travel for education contributed significantly to peak time traffic: from 2011-15, it was responsible for about 29% of trips between 8 and 9 am, with an additional 21% accompany others to education.

There are some statistics regarding Scotland and Wales:

In Scotland, According to a ‘hands-up survey’ in 2014, 5% of children indicated that they normally cycled to primary school. While 0.9% cycle to secondary school. According to Transport and Travel in Scotland, 1.2% of children cycled to and from school in 2015.

In Wales 2% of trips to primary schools and less than 1% of trips to secondary schools in 2014 were made by cycle.



Conclusion

 

These statistics show that there is not very common trend of cycling in children for different purposes. Parents also don’t encourage this activity because they think it’s risky for their children but with the help of some proper safety measures you can make this activity safer. Use proper safety accessories like properly fitted helmet, avoid loose clothing and use padded vest that helps your children to learn the bike without stabilizer more confidently. The injury rate in bicycle riding is similar to the other type of sports but parents should supervise the children while bicycle riding to avoid such type of injuries. In this proper way parents should project and encourage this activity because it’s very healthy for children.

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Important Myths Related To Kid’s Bicycle Safety

There is a division among parents on the issue of bicycle riding by kids. There are some parents who believe that bicycle riding is a dangerous activity for kids therefore children should not be allowed to ride a bicycle. On the other hand, some parents say that bicycle riding is a healthy activity for kids and kids should be encouraged to learn to ride a bike. The fact is both perspectives are true. Bike riding is healthy for kids but what makes bicycle riding dangerous for kids are the myths held by parents related to bike safety.  The wrong guidance by parents related to bicycle riding leads to injuries and accidents. Parents don’t understand the fact bike riding in itself is not unsafe for kids, their lack of knowledge and misconceptions related to bike safety makes bike riding dangerous for kids. We are presenting myths related to kid’s bicycle safety below to remove all misconceptions from the minds of the parents.

Kids do not need helmet while riding bike in neighborhood

That’s not true. Instead, parents should encourage kids to wear helmet for every short and long ride. Accidents are not limited to streets; you too would have witnessed accidents taking place in driveways and on sidewalks. Places close to home and far from home are equally unsafe for kids while riding bike. Therefore, make it a habit of your kid to wear helmet every time he/she rides a bicycle. In case, if your kid falls from bicycle helmet will protect him/her against any injury.

Football helmet & bike helmet are similar

Foot ball helmet and bike helmet serve different purposes. Bike helmet is particularly designed to protect head in case of fall from bike. It is to be noted that all types of helmets are designed for different sports to protect head from specific type of injury linked to every sport. Therefore, never ever allow your kid to wear helmet other than bike helmet while riding bicycle.

Kid will grow into bigger bike

Always buy a bicycle that is fit and safe for your kid. Never buy an oversize bicycle because oversize bicycles are dangerous and result in crashes.

Kids should be discouraged to use hand signaling while riding bicycle

There is a misconception in minds of some parents that hand signaling while riding bike weakens kids control on bike. The fact is it is an essential part of road rules that must be taught to kids when they start to learn to ride  their first bike. Hand signaling is a non verbal communication between cyclists and motorists. With the help of hand signaling cyclists convey motorists about their intended actions.

It’s ok for kids to ride against traffic

That’s not right. Always teach your kids to ride bicycle on the right side of the road while facing traffic. Kids who ride bicycle against traffic sometimes confuse motor drivers. Many accidents take place each day due to bicycle riders riding against traffic.

 

Bike riding at night is safe for kids, if they use bike reflectors & reflective vest

No. It is not safe for kids to ride bicycle at night unless and until they take special training. Discourage your kids to ride bike at dusk and after dark.

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Balancing of Bike Without Stabilizers

Children love cycling and they enjoy this healthy activity. At starting age they use stabilizers for balancing their bike and completely enjoy their ride but with the passage of time children start learning the tactics of balancing with the help of their parents. Cycling without stabilizers means self balancing is the biggest achievement for a child and a powerful memory in child’s life.

Some useful Tips

Here are some steps that how parents can help the child for a perfect ride without stabilizers:

  • Lowering the seat and removing pedals as well as using the brakes in a right way can enable a child to easily stable the bike.
  • Encourage your child to take oversize steps.
  • Encourage your child to use hops for short distances.
  • Try to do the wiggle with brakes to show your child that bike is stable.
  • Make sure your child is comfortable.
  • Make sure the safety of your child.
  • Using one foot on pedal and then scoot with other help your child how to balance in a right way.
  • In their first attempt hold their body and then slowly release them and fully encourage them to handle their bike to their own.
  • Encourage your child to look up and balance the bike. Don’t look down on their feet or the wheels. Otherwise it will confuse them.
  • Find a traffic free and smooth place to teach your child.
  • A slight slop in downward direction helps the child to easily learn the balancing.
  • Make sure that pedals are placed well.
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Safe Cycling

Safe Cycling

Cycling is the activity of riding a bicycle for transportation, sports, recreation or exercise. Cycling has many benefits – it is an affordable mode of transportation, it keeps the cyclist healthy and fit, it safes the environment from air pollution and helps reduce consumption of petroleum products. All these benefits of cycling are overlooked due to one drawback of cycling i.e. slow speed. We know that the world has become so fast that everyone is trying to catch up with the pace of time. Therefore, we see flood of motor vehicles on roads. A small number of people who still prefer cycles over motor vehicles are reluctant to ride cycles on the roads because of heavy traffic.

It is to be noted that that cycling in heavy traffic is not dangerous if you know how to ride a bike safely. For all the cycle lovers, we are sharing tips for safe cycling so that you can use cycles for everyday travelling to work, school or any other place.

Tips for Safe Cycling

Here are some of the tips that should be followed while cycling on the road:

  • Follow the traffic rules.
  • Limit your speed especially in wet weather due to slippery roads.
  • You can’t take control of your cycle at high speed.
  • Be vigilant while cycling.
  • Always wear helmet and other bike safety accessories.
  • Keep your bike in a very good condition.
  • While cycling make sure that motorist can see you.
  • Use your bell when required because some time pedestrian can’t see you.
  • Use lights and make an eye contact with other road users.
  • Be attentive especially at junctions.
  • Be aware of other vehicles and avoid any kind of collision.
  • Avoid undertaking the vehicles specially the big ones like buses and Lorries etc.
  • For the road safety, cycle training is very important. It will boost your confidence and help you tackle and mange busier roads.

In the end, motor vehicle users should give space to cyclists on the busy roads because cyclists and motor vehicle users have the same right to use the road space in a proper way. So, it’s necessary to respect rights of every user road user and give his/her equal opportunity to use roads in a proper and safe way.

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Road Safety Training

Children love to travel on cycles. They enjoy cycling alone to the school as all this give them a feeling of freedom. But due to heavy traffic and safety concerns this trend has been decreased and parents not allow their children to enjoy cycling alone.  The better way to solve this problem is that parents should teach their children about traffic rules as well as road safety. Let your child enjoy the freedom of cycling.  It will also give your child the confidence to ride a bike in better way.

Road Safety Tips

Follow the following tips to make sure that your child is safe and sound while cycling:

  • Good condition of Bike

Make sure that your child’s bike is fit and in good condition for cycling on road.

  • Proper Supervision

To give your child the confidence takes a position behind him just for his or her safety or supervision.

  • Bike Safety Accessories

Make sure that your child should wear bike safety accessories like helmet and bike safety vests. These things will keep them safe and sound in case of any collision.

  • Teach them Rules and Regulations

Also teach your children about road safety rules and regulations.

For the road safety training teach your children about following rules:

  • Over Crossing

Don’t cross red light.

  • Traffic Rules

Obey traffic rules.

  • Clear Vision

Ride in a position that your vision should be clear.

  • How to take Control

Don’t go too fast otherwise you will lose your control.

  • Use of bell

Use your bell when required.

  • Give way

Don’t cross any other. Try to give the way to others.

  • Special Care

Be careful at junction, entrance and bends.

  • Be on your side

Make sure you are on your side.

  • Unusual Situations

Teach them how to take control on the bike in case of any unusual condition.

Conclusion

These tips are very necessary to develop better skills and to gain maximum confidence. It can also give a feeling a pleasure and independence to the children.

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Bike Helmet

It’s very necessary to use all the cycling safety accessories while bike riding to keep yourself safe and sound.

 

Cycling Safety Accessories

 

The accessories include helmets, special clothing like jerseys, jackets etc. Helmets are especially very necessary for the kids who are in the process of learning balancing and having first balance bike. Through these cycling safety accessories, your kids can easily learn cycling without any injuries. The use of helmet and accessories are also very necessary for adults to keep safe and sound and avoid any kind of injury.

 

Well manufactured Helmet

 

Light, comfortable and easy to handle helmets have more significant results that’s why manufacturers try to make these safety accessories according to strict set standards. There are different types of helmets like casual, road bike and mountain bike helmets. You can choose your helmet according to your requirements.

 

Components of Helmet for safety

 

Usually cycling or bike helmets are enclosed with a plastic shell to grip the helmet simultaneously in a collapse and in this way provide a support to protect your head and neck.

The helmet liners are made of stretched polystyrene foam. It is very important that the liner perfectly fits your head so can easily protect your head while any kind of accident.

Ventilation, sun-shielding visor, chin bar to provide face protection and straps are some other adding components of helmets that are designed for the ease and protection of rider.

Different sizes of Helmet

 

Always select the right size while choosing the helmet. A well fitted helmet is very necessary; there are different sizes you can choose like small, medium and large having different measurements.

 

General sizing parameters:

 

  • Extra-small: below 20″ (51cm)
  • Small: 20″–21.75″ (51cm–55cm)
  • Medium: 21.75″–23.25″ (55cm–59cm)
  • Large: 23.25″–24.75″ (59cm–63cm)
  • Extra-large: above 24.75 (63cm)
  • One size fits all (men): 21.25″–24″ (54cm–61cm)
  • One size fits all (women): 19.75″–22.5″ (50cm–57cm)
  • One size fits all (kids): 18″–22.5″ (46cm–57cm)

When your helmet is damaged either just slightly damage in any kind of collapse just replace it as soon as possible because safety always comes first.

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