Getting around

7 tips for a better ride to school

Get to class on 2 wheels safely, smoothly and with a smile.

We can’t think of a more energising and healthy way for kids to start the day than riding to school. Here are 7 tips for a safe and smooth trip to school by bike for your family.

Riding to school should be fun, so leave earlier and enjoy the journey
Riding to school should be fun, so leave earlier and enjoy the journey

Take the route that’s the most fun, rather than the fastest

Riding to school should be fun, so leave a few minutes earlier and enjoy the journey. Look for streets that have cycleways, shared paths or wide footpaths, or less traffic, and do a test ride on the weekend first.

Kids under 16 can ride on a footpath

And so can any adults accompanying them. Just remember to take it easy, as you’re sharing the space with people walking who might not expect to see a bike.

If you're riding on the footpath, use your bell often and early to let people you’re passing. A thanks and a smile as you ride past go a long way too.

Be aware of driveways

Children riding are less visible than adults for vehicles exiting driveways. If you’re riding on the footpath, take it slow where cars might be crossing.

Consider having 2 adults in the group

If you’re riding on the road with younger or less experienced riders, one adult in front and one at the back is safest.

The adult at the back can ride wide of the kids, giving them a little safety buffer from passing traffic. If you’re the only adult, position yourself at the rear of the group.

Set up your bike to carry the kids’ bags if you can

A basket or rear rack will let you lug the backpacks, sports gear or instruments. And pack a water bottle for everyone too, even if your ride is only short.

Or do all the pedalling yourself

Consider a cargo bike and load the kids on board.

There are plenty of options now for long-tail cargo bikes that carry up to 2 kids, and it’s a fun way to travel.

Lock up the bike at the end of your trip

Make sure to lock the frame, not just the wheels, to something solid and secure.

Order a free City of Sydney cycling map and begin planning a safe, fun and easy ride to school with your kids.

Published 26 May 2020