Getting a bike
is really exciting. At last you can go off and join your mates, you can go places that are too far to walk, you can take yourself around to friends, you can go on bike rides, you can ....STOP and think for a minute.
Getting a bike
Before you go and get that super red racer that you've been saving up for, or driving your mom and dad crazy about, you need to learn some things about bikes.
You need a bike that fits you. Growing into a bike that is too big is not a safe idea.
Bikes can break down. You need to learn to look after it.
Bikes are vehicles [ve-hik-l-z] just like cars, trucks and all the other transport that uses the roads. You need to learn the rules of the road.
Some car drivers donít seem to be able to see bike riders. You need to be easily seen.
Bikes can be dangerous. You must wear a helmet to protect your head You need to keep yourself safe when you're riding a bike. You need to concentrate on what you're doing all the time.
The best way to become a bike rider is to do a Bike Education course, perhaps at your school, or ask at the police station to find out where you can do a course, or look up 'bike safety' on the internet to find which organization in your neighborhood Bike Safety courses for kids.
Getting a bike that fits you
A bike that is the right size for you should have about 3 centemeters of space between the crossbar of the frame and yourself when you are standing with both feet on the ground - a bit more for BMX or mountain bikes.
Girls have to imagine where a crossbar would be - between the posts for the handlebars and the seat.
Handlebars should not be loose and they should have grips that cover the ends properly.
You should be able to sit on the seat and reach the ground with your feet without leaning the bike over.
Donít forget to get a bike bell or a horn to warn others that you are coming.
If you are going to do any riding at night there should be lights on the front and back, and reflectors on the front and back of the pedals and wheels.
Taking care of your bike
Ask mom or dad to get a small tool kit together for you so that you have everything you need to keep your bike in good shape.
You should always check the chain, wheels and horn [or bell] before you go on your bike.
Learn how to pump up the tires, how to fix a puncture, how to oil the chain lightly, how to keep your bike clean and work out where you are going to keep it so that it doesnít go rusty.
Bikes are vehicles
Before you go on public roads you need to know all the rules of the road and especially the ones that are really important for bike riders to know. Get a copy of these rules, learn and practice them carefully to keep yourself safe. Experts say that it is not a good idea for kids under 9 to ride bikes without an adult being with them.
Some people can't see bike riders!
Well of course they could, if they were looking and concentrating as they were going along. BUT you need to make sure that everyone can see you by wearing light bright colors and a bright helmet and KEEP CONCENTRATING, just in case one of these people who can't see bike riders comes your way. Try not to ride your bike at night until you are older as you are much harder to see in the dark.
Bikes can be dangerous
Learn to ride your bike in a safe place away from traffic and other riders until your skills are good enough for you to be able to see what's going on around you.
Kids who don't wear helmets and think they're super cool are really super dumb!
Your head is the most important part of your body and is often the first part to hit the ground when you fall off a bike.
You can keep yourself safe If :
you look after your bike,
stay off the roads until you have great skills,
wear the right gear,
learn the road rules and follow them.
stick to cycle lanes and paths whenever you can
stay alert to whatever is happening around you
take part in a Bike Education course.
Click here to browse Quality Toys selection of children's bikes.