Bike Riding Rules

by Leighann on June 8, 2011

Q loves riding her bike and our new neighborhood has lots of sidewalks, something our old neighborhood didn’t have, as well as a long sidewalk that goes between the houses.

As the weather has warmed she’s wanted to be out on her bike more and more. My husband and I need our bikes tuned up before we can ride along with her. Oh, and I need to find my pedals! I have clipless bike shoes and pedals, but I don’t like using them in town because I’m not the quickest at getting my feet out!

In our front yard, I have two landmarks that the kids may go back and forth between. These landmarks keep them in sight and prevent them from crossing driveways or going into the street. Our neighbor is very old and I don’t want them in her driveway for fear that she’ll not see them.

On one of her first outings, Q left her father in the dust and appeared back at our doorstep without him. I knew he must have been blocks behind and I realized we hadn’t reiterated our biking rules.

We sat down with her and went over them one-by-one making sure she understood each of them and why. I ended almost every sentence with “because if you don’t do this, your dad and I would be very worried.”

Yes, we are a little over protective, but she’s only six. She’ll get some more freedom as she gets older and as she gets to know our neighborhood.

But I have to wonder if we would be a little more lax if she didn’t have diabetes (probably not!).

Our Biking Rules:*

Stay within sight of your grown up.

Stop where the grown up tells you to stop and wait for the grown up to catch up (assuming the grown up is walking).

Do not turn a corner because you will be out of sight and we might not know which way you have gone.

I explained to her that when she gets out of sight we begin to worry because a stranger might take her and we wouldn’t know, she might get lost and we wouldn’t know where to look, she might have a low blood sugar and we wouldn’t be able to help her if she was lost and we didn’t know where she was.

Now to find those pedals!

What rules do you have for letting your d-kid play in the neighborhood?

*We didn’t have to tell her to wear her helmet because she always does this already.

Oh, and I thought I was going to have to teach her to ride without training wheels in the first few weeks of summer, but spontaneously, she did it on her own.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Becky June 8, 2011 at 10:50 am

Those sound like good rules to me for a 6 yr old and are similar to what I tell my son (5&1/2) if we are walking together somewhere. Though I usually don’t mention the ‘stranger taking’ – I want to keep him innocent of worry on that for as long as possible. He knows not to go anywhere with a stranger though. I emphasize falling down or getting lost.

I love our house and yard, but we live on a very busy road (45 mph) with a very long wooded driveway. It has been challenging for my son to learn to ride his bike because our driveway is gravel and kind of sloped. We took him to an empty school parking lot to practice and then he really got the hang of it. But it will be a LONG time before he is allowed to ride on our road without a grown up and I anticipate at least a year before I will be adventurous enough to try a ride with him on our road.

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2 Rachel June 9, 2011 at 8:53 am

Those are the same rules I have for my 8yr old son. Always have had them, even before diabetes, and yes I told him the why’s too and included the stranger danger… not to scare but to educate and to be aware….he doesn’t worry- but once in a blue moon will bring up what a not-so good stranger might say to trick him to get close to him/her….like say they lost a pet and show a picture….I thought it was cute. I walk while he rides…so he knows to stay in eye sight and to always watch for cars running or backing up in a driveway as he crosses them, always waits for me before crossing any roads…I’m sure it gets annoying but we will know when they are mature enough to do it all on their own &/but with diabetes….I don’t see him riding alone ever, he will always have to have a ‘buddy’ with him for obvious safety reasons.

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