Yes...they should if possible.
If distance and traffic allow, cycling to school may be a great choice for children aged ten and above.
The benefits of cycling to school are many as kids who cycle to school will:
- Gain independence and confidence.
- Learn road safety and proper bicycling skills.
- Sneak in exercise both before and after school.
- Get to school three times faster than if they walked.
- Be more alert during class.
- Help protect the environment from harmful pollution.
- Reduce traffic around their school.
- Enjoy an economical commute.
- Develop a healthy and committed routine.
Often, parents are reluctant to let their older kids cycle to school for concern of their safety but this is a natural worry and one that can be easily overcome.
Do the following:
- Check with your child's school to see if they offer cycling safety courses.
- Ask your local authority if they have any safe cycling routes planned.
- Develop a route that does not use major roads or cross busy intersections.
- Ride your child's route with him/her to get a feel for the traffic.
- Practice proper bicycle maintenance with your child. You are the adult so it's your responsibility that the bike is in good and roadworthy condition, but let your child know the ins and outs of their own bike.
INVEST IN SAFE CYCLING GEAR
Investing in a good bicycle and proper safety gear for you kid is not only a smart idea but a necessity. For everyday cycling, your kid needs this.
- A bicycle built for your kid's height, weight, and gender
- Lights for the front and back of the bike
- A strong lock for security
- An approved helmet that fits well
- High visibility clothing to wear while cycling. rain gear should not be black
- A sturdy backpack that can be secured tightly to the back of your kid.
- Athletic or closed toed shoes to be worn while cycling - no flip flops or sandals