Biking is a fun, healthy activity that children, adults, and families can all do. But before you jump on your bike for a ride, review the tips below to make sure you are “Bike Smart”. Have fun and be safe!”
How should my helmet fit me?
Every bike ride should begin with putting on a helmet. But it’s equally important that you ensure a proper fit, so your helmet can best protect you. Size can vary between manufacturers. Follow the steps to fit a helmet properly. It may take time to ensure a proper helmet fit, but your life and your child’s life, are worth it.
You want the helmet to be comfortably touching the head all the way around, stable enough to resist violent shakes or hard jolts. Be sure the helmet covers the forehead. It should be as low on the head as possible and held level on the head with the strap comfortably snug.
According to Safe Kids World Wide, “properly fitted helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by at least 45 percent, but less than half of children under the age or 14 wear a helmet.” If a child is trained to wear a bicycle helmet from a very young age it is more likely to become a healthy life habit. Let’s train the children when they are young and help them establish healthy bicycle habits.
By law, anyone under the age of 12 MUST wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in Pennsylvania. This applies to anyone operating the bicycle, riding as a passenger, or riding in an attached restraining seat or trailer. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation strongly recommends that ALL bicyclists wear helmets whenever they ride. Adults too!!!
Helmets should sit low and level on your head, covering the forehead.
Two fingers should fit between your eyebrows and the helmet front.
Adjust the side straps so that a “V” shape is formed around your ears.
Buckle your chin strap and tighten it.
One finger should fit between your strap and chin.
Strap should fit snugly.
When should I replace my helmet?
You are in a crash.
You drop it hard on the ground.
It has a crack in it.
The foam is falling apart.
It is more than five years old.
It doesn’t fit correctly.
Bike Smart Check List
Is my bike ready to ride?
Before heading out on a bike ride, there are a few things you should do to make sure that your bicycle is safe. ...
Check your tire pressure.
Check wheel quick releases.
Check your brakes.
Check your wheels.
Check your crank arms and pedals.
Check stem and headset.
Check your chain.
Remember to never purchase a bike that is too big for your child and expect him/her to grow into it. It is good practice to purchase a bicycle that fits correctly.
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Closed toe shoes are important. Don’t forget to tuck in your laces so they don’t get caught on the pedal or the chain. Wearing slides or flip flops can cause a bicycle crash due to the lack of stability.
What kind of clothes should I wear?
Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing that could catch in the bike’s chain and mechanics. Wearing brightly colored clothing will make you more visible to drivers. Be sure to wear a reflective vest/clothing if riding your bike at dawn, dusk, or nighttime.
What if I need to carry something while riding my bicycle?
If you are bringing anything along with you, store it in a backpack or in a basket on the back of your bike. Front baskets are more dangerous and can provide balancing issues.
Plan Your Ride
What if I am riding in a new area or riding without an adult?
If riding in a new location, map out your route. Know where you’re going before you start and try to avoid major traffic when possible. If you are riding alone, it is important that you tell someone where you plan on going and when you plan to arrive. Giving them a copy of your route is not a bad idea!
Rules for the Road
What are some rules when riding a bike?
Ride right, pass left: Bicycles are considered vehicles. Ride on the right-hand side of the road and pass on the left.
Stay Alert: Listen to what is happening around you. Avoid any distractions when riding on the road.
Follow the flow of traffic: Always ride with traffic, never against it. Bicycles ride in the same direction as a vehicle.
Obey all traffic laws: Be sure to stop at all stop signs, red lights, and obey all traffic signs.
Look for your lane: Always ride in bike safety lanes when they are available.
Look left, right, left: Look left, right, left near all driveways, and when crossing a street.
Be aware of roadway hazards: Roadway hazards like potholes, rocks, drains, wet leaves, gravel, and grates can cause a fall. Learn how to move around these obstacles without losing control.
Light up at Night: If you are biking between sunset and sunrise, your bicycle must be equipped with an active front white light and rear reflector that is visible from 500 feet. This will help motorists see you at night.
Bike Smart Club
Let’s get moving! Kids love to be active, what better way to get some exercise than bicycling. Riding a bike can play a leading role in shaping a child’s future. Cycling can not only boost the health of youngsters, cut car use and reduce travel costs, but also improve their outlook and quality of life. The American Trauma Society, PA Division is here to offer The Bike Smart Club for your child. Join the ATSPA Bike Smart Club to order an approved bicycle helmet and receive a certificate of completion, collapsible water bottle, and reflective zipper pull. We supply the educational materials to help you teach your child the safety of biking. Review these powerful bike safety tips with your child. Then watch the Bike Safety Slideshow with him/her. Club Membership Fee: $20.00
Join the ATSPA Bike Smart Club and help your child become “Bike Smart!”
You can purchase a Bike Smart Club membership from American Trauma Society, PA Division. Follow these steps to get the proper helmet for your child(ren).
First: Measure the head
Toddler – 46-50 cm
Color preference: light pink or baby blue
Extended coverage on side and back for young children
Small – 52-57 cm
Medium – 54-58 cm
Large – 58-62 cm
X-Large – 59-63 cm
Color preference: Silver/Black/White, Red/Black/White, Blue/Black/White
Helmets come with a turn-dial retention system to secure the helmet
*Please note, due to COVID-19, ATSPA is not currently accepting any Bike Smart Club