It was that time again; time for Policewoman Paula to visit all the classes at “Can Do” Street Elementary School, and speak about bike safety.
It was officially spring, although it didn’t feel like spring. Summer couldn’t be far behind. With warmer weather, the “Can Dos” were looking forward to bike riding every day. Some of them had two wheel bikes and were good at riding them. Others were still learning to ride a two-wheel bike.
No matter, thought Policewoman Paula, they all need to to know how to be safe when bike riding.
After she thanked Miss Pat for having her, and greeted the “Can Dos” she talked to the children about how much fun bike riding can be if you follow the rules of bike riding and pay attention to what you are doing while riding.
Policewoman Paula spoke to the class about the following bike safety rules:
- Use a practice track to get really good at bike riding before you ride in the street. A practice area is where you get to apply biking rules in a safe area. A gym or playground with a flat, concrete area works well as a practice biking area.
- Obey traffic signs. Get to know what traffic signs mean, and have a parent test you before you go out in traffic.
- Wear a helmet whenever you ride, no matter how short the ride, no matter how hot the day. Make sure your helmet fits well. Your bike helmet should fit snugly without rocking from side to side. Helmet sizing pads help get the proper fit. The helmet should sit low on the forehead. It should only have about one to two finger-widths between the eyebrow and the helmet.
- Make sure the bike seat and handlebars are a proper height. You should be able to straddle the bar with both feet flat on the ground with about 2 inches of clearance.
- Check you bike each time before riding it for loose chains, low tires, broken spokes and other possible bike dangers.
- When riding a bike in traffic:
- Ride in single file and in a straight line on the right-hand side of the road.
- Make sure your hands are always within reach of the hand brakes.
- Use hand signals when turning. For a left turn, put your left arm straight out and parallel to the road. For a right turn, bend the elbow of your left arm so that your forearm and biceps form a 90-degree angle.
- Keep an eye out for potholes, sewer grates, uneven pavement, and soft shoulders. Warn riders behind you by calling out these dangers.
- Never ride with both hands off the handlebars.
- When biking, don’t wear headphones (they muffle the sound of approaching vehicles) or pants with flared cuffs (they can get caught in the bicycle’s chain).
Remember, no night riding; you are 3x more at risk of having a bike accident at night.