Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Riding on the road with your kid
  • Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    Taken to riding on the road with our 7yo to school. Seems like an important skill to learn – and he does well with it, I ride behind him and he’s pretty confident. Thing is, you get some atrocious driving around schools. He said today he thought he was going to get splatted on the way in.

    So was wondering how other Dads treated the step up onto the road. Is it something you actively try and teach early on, or just leave them to cycle on the pavement until they’re older.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    We have, and for two of ours it has worked well. They are confident, and pretty aware of traffic and where they need to look, position and signal.

    What we struggled with was persuading them of numptiness from so many drivers. They just are not aware of the ‘what if’ as they have not seen it or believe it…

    We also have one who has zero road sense, on foot or bike, and just will not listen or work with us to sort it. He scares me.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    My 8 year old isn’t riding on the road yet, certainly not in the school run.

    Hoping to get her on the local lanes this summer, just to make it easier to ride from the doorstep. Similar with her brother when he was that age. He’s done Bikeability with school, now 12, he is OK on the road but very cautious still.

    Iirc there were some research saying kids don’t get road safety properly till 13?

    Premier Icon oldejeans
    Full Member

    I have ridden the 2km school run with my 4yo and 7yo. Mostly down a very steep hill along 2 streets and a main road. Very occasionally I let the kids ride in the road on the quieter streets. However, on the faster, busier road we stick to the pavement. I can’t consider riding the busy road with the eldest for at least a couple of years mostly due to the steepness and the associated speed differential between cars and push bikes

    Premier Icon scruff
    Free Member

    Pavement everytime.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Full Member

    Started them from 4 ish depending on their control and attitude at that age,
    but we only have a Km or so to school in a small village. I ride side by side with the youngest and junction spot etc. – try and coach him through every day so he picks it up naturally.

    It’s still quite staggering how many people think they need to squeeze past on the narrow single carriageway bits, only to stop 200 yards on at the road junction.
    Even more staggering how close some other parents think is suitable. They wouldn’t get that close to a horse. On one occasion I’ve had a word in the car park, but it was a hiding to nothing – they really couldn’t see the problem of putting an XC90 wing mirror within 30cm of a childs head.

    I don’t think I’d chance it anywhere busier unless it was a separate dedicated use cycle way. We do ride on the country roads a lot round here and it’s fine, but it’s the school run that ironically is the worst time.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Full Member

    Iirc there were some research saying kids don’t get road safety properly till 13?

    I don’t know about that, they do seem to learn some of it. Some goes right over their heads though.

    You might be thinking of peripheral vision – it was a shocker to learn how late that develops, and it explains some of the wandering bike habits and why they can’t find their shoes/bag/lunchbox when they are only a metre in front of them.

    Premier Icon larkim
    Free Member

    I doubt there is much you can do to take the fearful parent out of it, other than making sure you ride defensively behind them, kit them out in hi vis, make sure they know how to use the brakes (!), picking the safest practical route and making appropriate use of pavement cycling as necessary.

    When he was three, our littlest (who we affectionately know as our in house Health & Safety advisor due to his cautious nature) rode the 400m to nursery, and aged 4 / 5 was riding a couple of km to school with my wife. Had no issues, but the route was relatively easy.

    They don’t need to know the rules at that point, other than to ride in the lines at the side and stop at junctions.

    Truly none of us are safe from idiot drivers, and I suppose cycling advocates have to take that measured risk that putting a child on any road at any time could result in a tragedy; I doubt many accidents are caused by the children though.

    My heart goes into my mouth on descents mainly – “what if their brakes don’t work?”, “what if they forget to brake?”, especially if heading down to a t-junction. If the whole family is out we put one of us at the front and another at the back for our 5 or 6 man peleton for maximal control!

    Premier Icon iainc
    Full Member

    my 9 yr old rides his bmx to school most days, but he can do it all off road, apart from 1 crossing, where there’s a lolllipop man. No way would we let him do it on the road – at that time of day it’s polulated by car commuters and school drop mums, many running late, on phone etc etc 😯

    We are having an ongoing battle with his 13yr old brother who is hankering after a road bike, but we dont reckon he would be safe out there…

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Even more staggering how close some other parents think is suitable. They wouldn’t get that close to a horse. On one occasion I’ve had a word in the car park, but it was a hiding to nothing – they really couldn’t see the problem of putting an XC90 wing mirror within 30cm of a childs head.

    Good work on not just killing them. This is the main reason I will hold off getting mine on the road as long as possible. I’d be no use to him in prison.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Free Member

    I was just starting to sometimes ride the first bit of the school run on the local roads with oldest (was 7 at the time, now 8 ) however now we have lots of construction traffic, shitty parking and shitty driving on our little local roads so that’s gone out the window 👿 So back to doing the whole thing on the pavement – the last bit is along a major road but has a shared use cycle path alongside which we’ve always used, though I use the road if on my own. Haven’t managed to catch up with the chap who does gardening work at a house on our route who told my 6yo he should be riding on the road (sharing it with tipper trucks) when he’d had to squeeze past his car parked on the pavement – was absolutely fuming!

    larkim wrote:

    When he was three, our littlest (who we affectionately know as our in house Health & Safety advisor due to his cautious nature) rode the 400m to nursery, and aged 4 / 5 was riding a couple of km to school with my wife. Had no issues, but the route was relatively easy.

    Both our kids rode to nursery on their balance bikes – probably when they were still 2 – which involved quite a bit of road with no pavements, but crucially they are roads with light traffic which is also largely very considerate local drivers.

    Premier Icon antigee
    Full Member

    my youngest started secondary this year and now uses the train to get to school, we rode to school most days for 2 years

    live in Melbourne and in Victoria it is legal for under 12’s and accompanying adult to ride on the pavement, interesting experience, definitely no safer than riding on the road – problem is cars appearing blindly from house drives, cars turning into carparks and crossing busy junctions, plus cars used house drives near the school to turn around in – we ended up using the road for most of the journey as despite traffic speeds (limit is 50km/h on side roads 60km/h on 4 lane roads) had less near misses. Walking is as challenging as cycling.
    Think I’d rather have my kids learn how to read traffic and avoid dangerous road positioning and pick safer routes now than by trial and error when they are older.

    Plenty of main roads I wouldn’t let them ride on though, same applied in UK – main commuter road in valley where we lived was just full of drivers who get up and leave home too late or think risking someone’s life is worthwhile to get in front of the TV quicker, passing two cyclists safely is beyond their skill levels

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    Even with my kids on the back of my bike or in a double trailer I’m on the pavement unless it’s a quiet road. I live in North London so often I’m on the pavement or a footpath

    Premier Icon DezB
    Full Member

    My lad (12) started cycling a couple of miles to school everyday and he uses pavements nearly all the way. There’s a few side roads where he’ll go on the road.
    I’ve seen him some mornings crossing the dual-carriageway at the pedestrian crossing – he gets off & walks… I never taught him to be so sensible!

    Wouldn’t trust drivers for him to do the whole route by road. No way.

    Premier Icon senor j
    Full Member

    Sadly,it’s not going to be like my childhood for li’l J. I remember being let off the loose on the local roads at 8/9 y.o.
    No chance now…maybe 11/12& as part of a club.
    We’re in North London and it’s pavements for us. Unfortunately ,quite a few people make snide comments re the bike on pavement thing…had one bloke grab my bars with boy on back!!

    Premier Icon Radioman
    Free Member

    I think “sensible” pavement riding should be allowed in this country. When I ride with my kids we often use the pavement. One difficulty in the UK is that so many are fixated on their “personal rights”. E.G That idiot in the XC90 who squeezes through the narrow lane leaving 30cm between the mirror and the kids head probably making full use of his “right to do 30mph”, I have also seen some idiots on bikes going at silly speed on crowded pavements. We should be allowed to use common sense, however it seems difficult in the UK especially in towns where people can become quite thoughtless.

    Premier Icon peepingtom
    Free Member

    Id sooner annoy the odd pedestrian then have a 7 year old ride on main road . Madness .

    Premier Icon m0rk
    Free Member

    My neighbour and I took his 6yr old out a few months ago, he was excellent on the unpavemented bits of the route we took. I just sat at his 4 O’Clock well and truly in the prime position and wasn’t budging for anyone.

    School run though… Pavement if it’s appropriate (noting that not all pavements are sensible to ride on)

    Too old for a trailerbike?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    We are “allowed” to ride on the pavement if riding considerately for other users, as per guidelines to the Police. The point was made many times when that stupid copper threatened to confiscate that little girls bike.

    Premier Icon dirtyrider
    Free Member

    We also have one who has zero road sense, on foot or bike, and just will not listen or work with us to sort it. He scares me.

    I’ve got 3 like that 😆

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    We also have one who has zero road sense, on foot or bike, and just will not listen or work with us to sort it. He scares me.

    To be fair, the kids are alright. A couple of my mates mind you….. 😉

    Premier Icon eskay
    Full Member

    Mine started really young (probably 5ish). I would ride behind them and out a bit further from the kerb to protect them. That would be mainly on quiet suburban roads, if we hit a main road they would be on the pavement (but letting them know that they had to give way to pedestrians).

    We would regularly ride to my parents and the in-laws (5 miles each) with a mix of road types.

    You can teach them a lot about road awareness on quiet roads where they can hear what you are saying.

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Started at 4. Always rode defensively behind them and about half a metre further out. Never had any issues. We lived in rural Oxon, so lanes were pretty empty though, so I accept that urban cycling may be more of an issue. That said, I would still do the same again.

    Premier Icon Radioman
    Free Member

    @More Cash.. Good to hear we are allowed to ride considerately on the pavement…hadn’t realised that… I really hope the police stick to that guideline and enforce it with proper discretion rather than fining. Considerate pavement use is one of the key needs i believe to enable more use of bikes rather than cars. On my walk to work I often see an old chap riding along the pavement. Forcing people who are not able to safely ride onto roads puts them off cycling and risks lives. I often use the pavement in some parts of rides although I’m careful to go slow and give plenty of space to others. I take my kids on the road in some parts but certainly not on some rural lanes with 50mph plus limits

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    Not on their own. And they’re 12.

    It really pisses me off because the only way for them to get the road sense is to ride on the road by themselves, but the standard of driving around here is piss poor at best.

    Premier Icon loddrik
    Free Member

    Started to get my 9yr old riding on road with me. Definitely not on main roads though. Teaching her to rude defensively, not to be shy on getting on and riding on pavement when needed. Definitely not waiting in middle of road to turn right etc. Self preservation above all else.

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