There’s not enough bicycling education available for kids

Either the parents of the kids at my daughter’s school are really dumb or these kids are simply don’t have a clue about the basics of riding a bike.

Number one basic is the use of helmets. Some kids straight out don’t wear them. Now that’s the kid’s fault but the responsibility of the parent to make sure they do. However, I also believe that the school needs to enforce it…after all it is a law.

Locking a bike seems to be optional at my daughter’s school. On any given day you’ll see nice mountain and BMX bikes not locked. If I really wanted to I could easily grab one and take it home.

Riding on the bike lane is another basic rule that kids don’t know about. I see a bunch of them riding on sidewalks and going the opposite direction.

Thinking back to when I was a kid, we had bike rodeos and usually a police officer would teach the kids the hand signals, rules of the road and the basics of bike riding. Either our government has taken money out of the schools systems which prevents teaching kids about bikes or their parents just don’t have a clue. At a certain point, as parents we can’t rely on the school systems to teach our kids about everything….heck they’re already learning about sex as part of “growth and development classes.” As parents, bike rider or not, if you are going to give your kid a bike, you need to learn about being a responsible bicyclist and you have the obligation to pass that on to your kids.


4 Comments

  1. Ghost Rider November 14, 2007 4:56 pm 

    Despite the problems with bicycle infrastructure and the car-culture here in the Tampa Bay area, our local sheriff’s dept. has about 8 bike rodeos a year. They are pretty well-attended, too! It’s a great step in the right direction, at least…

    There are lots of online resources for teaching kids how to ride safely, too. It is both the parents’ and schools’ responsibilities to ensure that kids are wearing helmets, locking their bikes and observing the rules of the road — there is SO MUCH more they can and should be doing to encourage more kids to ride to school.

  2. Dominic Dougherty November 14, 2007 6:24 pm 

    I don’t think it’s so much the children that need to be educated, but more so adults. There needs to be a bicycling section in driver’s ed. classes, as well as on DMV licensing tests. That would impact how cyclists are treated NOW, rather than 10 years from now.

    I remember a bicycle education class I had in 4th grade. It basically consisted of “Don’t ride your bike on busy streets, don’t ride without a parent, and make sure your brakes work.”

    The parents need to be educated, so that they can pass it on to their kids. Not all education comes from schools, but rather from the role models (term used loosely) these children live with.

  3. Ghost Rider November 15, 2007 5:01 am 

    Good point about instructing the parents…the thing is, though, that I see KIDS doing some really dangerous stuff on their bikes — riding on the wrong side of the street, cruising without helmet or a safely-operating bicycle, etc.

    You’re right that the role model is as crucial to a child’s education as the schools, and I like your idea about a bicycle-education component for driver’s licenses!

  4. Eric Rogers November 15, 2007 8:52 am 

    Schools have cut a lot of things, not just bike education. Most schools don’t offer drivers education either :(

    When schools try to raise the funds to re-instate things like this, people bitch about raising taxes. But you get what you pay for.

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