Tips for a Safer Bike Month

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Participate in National Bike Month This May

May 9th is Bike to School Day, and May 10th is Bike to Work Day in Marin County, a perfect opportunity for parents to take a bike trip through the Bay Area with their children. Both annual biking celebrations give everyone a chance to experience just how fun and beneficial biking can be.

Residents of Marin County are pledging to bike to work or school to promote community, safe streets, and more livable neighborhoods. Kids and their parents can take the pledge to do some pedaling. Aside from experiencing how easy and enjoyable biking for everyday transportation can be, children will be able to discover their city in a new and exciting way.

Energizer Stations Throughout The Bay Area

As families ride through familiar streets and perhaps explore some that are lesser known, they’ll be able to stop by Energizer Stations on Bike to Work Day for free beverages, snacks, and reusable tote bags filled with goodies.

This year, Trips for Kids Marin will be teaming up with the Marin County Bicycle Coalition to offer refreshments and a Re-Cyclery coupon in the goodie bags passed out at the 4th Street Energizer Station located by the SMART train station in San Rafael. Stop by our booth on May 10th from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to get your collectible bag and fuel for an energizing bike ride.

Looking For Routes To Ride?

Bay Area Bike MapVisit Map – Map Provided By Kuvara Law Firm

If you’d like to ride anywhere outside of your route to work or school, the map above contains over a dozen routes submitted and ranked by riders throughout the Bay Area. The map can be filtered by rating, distance, and difficulty. There’s a path for cyclists of any experience level.

Biking Safety Tips

Biking is a great way to form friendships, strengthen family bonds, get exercise, and reduce our impact on the environment. But, every child who gets on a bike needs to be prepared. According to Kaiser Permanente, more children between the ages of 5 and 14 get admitted to emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries than any other activity-related injury. Kaiser stresses the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet and following 10 basic safety rules:

  1. Choose an Appropriate Bike

For Bike to Work Day, Bike to School Day or any other bike-riding adventure, it’s vital that kids are on the right bikes. Children should be able to have their hands on the handlebars and the balls of their feet touching the ground while they’re sitting on the seat. Don’t buy a bike your child will “grow into.”

  1. Wear a Correctly Fitted Bicycle Helmet

Kids’ helmets should sit on top of their heads and be level. If a helmet rocks backward, forward or side to side, it doesn’t fit correctly. Helmet straps should create a V under the ears and be snug while staying comfortable.

  1. Evaluate the Bike’s Mechanic’s Regularly

Make sure brakes work, gears shift smoothly, and tires are properly inflated.

  1. Dress in Bright, Neon or Fluorescent Colors

Wear a bright or fluorescent vest or jacket over clothes if they don’t stand out. Reflectors on clothing are ideal.

  1. Avoid Rides After Dusk

Take the kids on bike trips before the sun goes down. After dusk, riding requires skills many children don’t have.

  1. Don’t Listen to Music or Wear Headphones

Riders need to be able to hear all of the sounds of the road.

  1. Follow All Road Rules

Cyclists should ride on the right side of the road and travel in the same direction as the other vehicles. Obey traffic signals and signs, and lane markings.

  1. Watch Out for Drivers Parked in Cars

Pay attention to parked cars that might pull out suddenly or drivers inside that may open their doors in front of you.

  1. Wear Close-Fitting Clothing

Loose clothes may get caught in bike wheels and chains.

  1. Make Eye Contact

If you’re crossing in front of a car or pulling into its lane, try to make sure the driver sees you.

Adhere to these general guidelines for proper bike safety. And of course, have fun during National Bike Month.

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