Family on the bike paths

En famille sur les voies cyclables

Bike lanes are taken over by families this season. So that the children know the pleasures of a bike ride in complete safety, here are a few tips they find with the SAAQ and Vélo Québec.

A bit of practice

Before riding on a bicycle, the child must be exercised in a place little frequented, like “in a school yard, a park or an alley,” suggests Vélo Québec. The method of the push-along (which is explained on the site www.velo.qc.ca/boite-a-outils/methode-de-la-draisienne), that is to say, learning to ride in balance before pedaling, could prove to be a valuable guide during this period of initiation. The parent or the adult in charge will then accompany the apprentice cyclist “on quiet streets, that they may learn to to travel on the road network,” suggests Vélo Québec, and to introduce them to the highway safety Code.

Good control of his bike

The cyclist in the herb, which borrows the bike lanes must be able to perform some basic maneuvers, which modulate its speed according to the circumstances, work around obstacles, stop, get off of his bike alone, take turns, roll in a line on the right side of the bike lane, observe a safe distance with other riders, etc It may be necessary to remind him of the obligation to ‘move remaining astride and taking constantly the handlebars”, as shown in the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).

A child on the lookout

The child must also be aware of the dangers that could invite on its way and beware of the doors of cars that open suddenly in front of him, vehicles coming out of private entrances on back (show him what are the reversing lights), vehicles which are approaching and which can be placed in its blind angle, etc., in addition, they will learn to properly convey its intentions and to decode the traffic signs.

Parents on the lookout

He prefers to be placed at the front or rather to follow his child during a hike, the parent stays always on the watch. According to Vélo Québec, “ride behind your child will allow you to see how it behaves and to provide advice”. While “riding in front of your child will allow you to anticipate what may occur”. The responsible adult chooses the position with which it feels more confidence.

The SAAQ, for its part, recommends “the escort to be in front. If the hiking is done with two parents, one should be placed forward and the other back.”

Plan your hike

Choose a route to the height of the capacities of the child feed the fun of it for this activity. It is best to take into account the distance, the terrain, which brings up the challenges that the child may pass through, the staging, attractive in which to do the full of energy, and so on, uncertain weather or a strong wind, which requires that we redouble our efforts, could slow down the ardour of the young cyclists. Before starting, it is essential to ensure that all bikes, even the smaller ones, are in order and well fitted to its user. That all bicyclists wear a properly fitted helmet, they are dressed in clothing and not very detailed (we forget the little dress and the sun) and that the laces are well tied. The water bottles filled and snacks in the backpack, the family will be ready to go.

Did you know that?

  • It is generally accepted that cyclists under the age of 10 years old ride on the sidewalk if they are riding slowly and pay attention to pedestrians,” says Vélo Québec.
  • “The highway safety Code prohibits a child under the age of 12 years to ride on the roads where the limit is over 50 km/h, unless it is accompanied by an adult.”
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