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Tips for Riding a Bicycle

Wear a Helmet

A helmet protects your brain in case you fall over or crash. Wearing your helmet correctly will make sure it stays on to protect your head from injury. Make sure it is level and snug. You should be able to see the helmet brim.

Be Visible

Wear bright colors or reflective material so drivers can see you from far away. Avoid riding at night. If you ride when it is dark, make sure to use lights on the front and back of your bicycle.

Practice Safety

It is important to follow all the rules of the road. Control your bicycle by keeping at least one hand on the handlebars at all times. Carry books in a backpack to help you balance. Get permission from a parent before riding to school alone.

Be Alert

· Ride on the right side of the road going with the flow of traffic.

· Ride in a straight line when riding with other bikers, not side by side.

· When turning, look back for cars and use your hand signals.

· Yield to traffic when appropriate. If you see people walking across the street, stop and wait for them to cross.

· Always stop at the end of your driveway and look left, right, and then left again before bicycling into the road.

· Watch for cars backing out of driveways and for cross traffic at intersections.

· Use your eyes AND ears. Don’t wear earphones or listen to music while you are riding so you can hear traffic.

· Watch for and avoid dangers that can cause crashes, such as potholes, loose gravel or dogs.

ABC Quick Check for Your Bicycle

Adjust your bicycle to fit. Make sure your bike is working before every ride by using the ABC Quick Check:

Air: Squeeze your tires to make sure they are firm and full of air.

Brakes: Hold down your brakes and try to move your bicycle back and forth, if it doesn’t move your brakes are working.

Chain: Make sure your chain is black or silver and quiet when you ride, if it is orange or squeaky it is rusty and needs some oil.

Try it out on a short ride before riding too far, listen for strange noises and make sure it handles well before taking it for the long haul. If your bike doesn’t pass the ABC Quick Check ask an adult to help you fix your bike before you take it out on a ride.

Sources: www.rochester.k12.mn.u www.FireUpYourFeet.org and www.SafeRoutesPartnership.org

For more information on bike safety visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov

Kids on bicycles
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