Educating Children and Teens

Introducing kids to the fun and freedom of riding a bike should go hand in hand with teaching them about bicycles, how to ride them, and how to maintain them.

Bike education involves a lot more than safety. The first thing to remember about bike education is that should also promote bicycling. Focusing solely on the dangers of the road tends to discourage people from cycling. But the best kinds of bike education highlight the benefits of cycling—such as sports, exercise, adventure, pleasure, healthy transportation—while arming new cyclists with the knowledge and tools they need to safely share the road.

Bicycles are fun to ride, but they're also legally considered vehicles, and are therefore subject to most of the same traffic rules and regulations as motor vehicles. This includes obeying traffic lights and right of way rules. It is the responsibility of every cyclist to adhere to these laws as well as other safety guidelines. The minute a bicycle enters a pathway, a sidewalk, a park, a street or road, it is not a toy; it is a vehicle.

Since kids learn differently depending on their level of development, we have divided them into four age categories. Each age represents an important rite of passage in learning to cycle effectively—from being a passenger and first encountering the bicycle as a vehicle, to learning to ride on sidewalks and close to home, to riding on streets, to riding more independently. For each age group we've targeted the most salient issues and the most important skills they need to know.

The PBIC Video Library offers a number of educational videos aimed at teaching children about safe bicycling practices:

  • Ride Smart: It's Time to Start: This fast-paced bicycle safety video uses humor, real-life examples, computer graphics, and a peer-to-peer approach to teach children and youth how wearing a bicycle helmet can protect them from serious injuries.
  • Fitting a Bicycle Helmet: This video demonstrates step by step, how to properly fit a bicycle helmet.
  • Bike Safe Bike Smart: This entertaining, yet instructional, bicycle safety video uses a visually stimulating, peer-to-peer approach to teach elementary and middle school age audiences how to Bike Safe. Bike Smart.
  • Danger Rangers Bike Safety: The Danger Rangers help kids have fun and stay safe! This PSA reminds kids to wear their helmets whenever they ride their bike, skateboard, or scooter
  • Walk and Ride - Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety: Important tips for children to stay safe when biking and walking to school(also available in Spanish).