Max and Henry Johnson started when they were 8 years old. Now, at 16 and 13, they are pumping up their tires ready for another year of riding to school.
If you are considering letting your children ride to school this year, you may have some concerns or questions about the best way to start.
“When they first started, we would ride with them” says Jodie Bradby, Max and Henry’s mum “We did that for a few years then they started riding together and by the time they reached high school they were quite independent riders”.
Aside from having comfortable gear in good working order, including a well-fitting helmet, riding along with the kids may be the best way to start them off. Showing them the best route to take and how to safely cross roads.
If you are not able to do that, talking to neighbors whose kids attend the same school may be a good alternative. As the children grow older and more confident, they may be able to also join other neighborhood students who may be commuting independently.
If your children are not yet confident enough on a bike to face the commute, Pedal Power offers lear-to-ride course for children up to 8 years old during school holidays, with the next course starting in April.
Of course, making sure your children feature on your Household Pedal Power membership is also important as this will mean they are covered by insurance should an accident occur.
And if your local bike path is in bad condition, don’t forget to report it to Fix My Street so it can be repaired.
“I love the independence of going to school on my own” says Max (16) “and I can also take myself to my part-time job after school”.
“Not having to collect them from school to take to afternoon activities is very convenient for us, too” says Jodie who works full time, as does her partner Craig. Both Jodie and Craig also commute by bike, Jodie on her e-bike.
On weekends, the family can all get together for a relaxed ride around the neighbourhood, the lake or some of the many local bike paths. Check out Canberra by Bike for guided rides at a very family-friendly pace.