From an early age, children are encouraged to learn how to ride a bicycle. This will usually start with the child riding a bike that is supported by stabilizers. This give the bike a wider base and means that the child will not need to concentrate on their balance. As the child gets older, it is not long before they move onto riding a bike that doesn’t need the assistance of extra wheels. It is a major part of growing up, the first time a child manages to rise a two wheeled bicycle without any external influences helping them. Once this is mastered the youngster now has greater mobility to go off and explore.
Feelings are mixed when parents see their loved ones learning how to ride a bike. They want them to learn, but they are fearful for their child’s safety. It is popularly known that, in certain situations, riding a bike can be a dangerous activity, as sharing the road with fast moving cars can be a hazardous occupation.
One of the most common areas that a child is seen cycling in is on their way to school. The beauty of using the bike is that it is environmentally friendly and will keep cars off the road. Many of the roads in the larger urban areas have cycle paths and children will make the most of these routes.
The prospect of large numbers of pupils riding to school does give senior teachers potential problems. Firstly, they want to make sure that their pupils wear the proper protective gear and secondly, ensure they ride their bikes in a safe manner.
Many schools in the United Kingdom have provided safety training for their pupils who cycle to school. They have done this through “Bikeability” which has replaced the old cycle proficiency test. The four to six week courses insure that the pupils learn how to safely ride their bicycles on the road. “Bikeability” training programs are available to cyclists of all ages and not just children.
Over recent years there has been a great scrutiny of what cyclists are wearing. The majority of schools insist that all pupils wear a helmet when riding to school. This is now the norm in society, with it being accepted that wearing of the safety helmet is a part of riding a bicycle.
One of the most dangerous parts of riding a bicycle is that motorists struggle to see them. Today’s bikes are fitted with reflecting lights, plus they have separate battery powered lights for when it gets dark. The cyclists now all tend to wear reflective clothing. This allows them a greater chance to be seen by car drivers even in the poorest of lights.
The modern day cyclist knows of his road rights and the instillation of cycle lanes has made it much safer for them to get around the urban areas. However, some cyclists have taken things to extremes by cycling around with miniature video cameras attached to their helmets, so they can record dangerous car drivers.
The recent rise in the numbers of people using bicycles for their everyday journeys has made motorists more aware than ever of bikes on the road. The safety measures that have been implemented have made riding a bike safer than it has ever been, and this resulted in the rising popularity of the bicycle as a mode of transport.