Thursday morning. You feel like a taxi driver. Not an entirely bad feeling, though. While waiting for the light to turn green, you glance into the rear-view mirror, where you see a small friendly face smiling back at you - your child. You love driving your kid to school, but you can't shake the feeling that you're missing out on something. And then it hits you. BICYCLE.
Just to remind you of some of the many things cycling can offer you child, here are some #cycling benefits:
- Cycling makes you child fitter, more alert, more clever
- Cycling encourages independence
- Cycling is good for the planet – and your neighbourhood
...but then comes one huge issue - SAFETY
That's the main factor in your decision making, of whether or not to let your child ride their bike to school. Though we have to admit, cars offer us a false sense of security. As long as your child is a responsible cycler, there's no reason to assume they're in more danger as they would be in the back of your car.
Here are 6 factors to consider before letting your kid ride their bike to school.
#1 Does the school have a safe place to leave a bike?
Are there enough bike racks, spots, or space to leave a bike? If not, you can use the VELOSOCK® bike cover to cover your kid's bike and bring it indoors - it won't leave any marks or bring in any dirt. All you need is a storage room to keep it in. If there isn't any room for leaving a bike, either outdoors or indoors, you can forget about the idea of cycling to school entirely.
#2 Know the area
You should know your surroundings. Is the route to school safe? Are there any dangerous spots, like too much car traffic or pedestrians? How far is the ride to school? If there's a bike path from home to the school, then that's already an obvious reason in favour of cycling. But if there are many steps and other obstacles that impede the ride, you might want to reconsider the notion.
#3 Research the best possible route
Create a designated cycling route for your child. Go on a test ride by yourself, then with your child. Teach, remind and go over traffic laws. Role play some different scenarios in case things don't go as planned, so that they know how to respond.
#4 Is your child ready for it?
To answer this question, you have to know your child, their temperament, and foresee how they'll behave on the road. Are they thoughtful, level-headed and listen to your advice? There are some children who benefit more from being chaperoned, while others blossom with the added responsibility and trust. It's up to you to make the call, since every child is different and requires a unique approach.
#5 Inspire your child to love riding their bike
You have to know how to motivate and inspire cycling, and using it as a method to get to school. Get in the habit of talking to your child about cycling, so that they'll learn to love it as much as you do.
#6 Get the necessary accessories for safe cycling
Reflectors for the bike
A bike lock or a VELOSOCK®
If you've come this far, chances are you've already decided on what to do.
Go for it!