Cycling just 15 minutes to and from school could make a difference to your child’s fitness, and establish life-long habits of healthy activity. (Experts say that to stay fit, children need at least one hour of moderate physical activity every day).
If your child is going to ride to school it is important to make sure that their bike is the right size for them – the balls of their feet should just touch the ground and they should be able to turn the handlebars, brake and change gear with ease. Check the bike is in good working order and that your child knows how to use the brakes and gears.
Helmets should have a CE mark and meet standard BS EN 1078 or SNELL B.95. When worn correctly they should fit snugly, be level and sit just above the eyebrows with the straps around the ears, not over them. Make sure the straps are not twisted and they are securely fastened.
Any bicycle being ridden on public roads in the dark must be fitted with a white front light, a red rear light and a red rear reflector.
Books and equipment can be carried in a backpack providing it is not too heavy. If there is a lot to carry consider panniers or a basket.
Remember to check with the school to find out what facilities they have to store bikes securely.
Cycling is a healthy form of transport. Riding a bike can encourage independence, it's a convenient way to get to school and a great form of exercise. However, it's important that all people learn how to cycle safely on the road. Cycle training is available for children via your local authority.
Further information about cycling to school can be found online at Sustrans, a leading UK charity enabling people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day.