Cycling back to school

&Cycling back to school


The path leading to daycare or school is ideal for introducing children to active transportation, including cycling. At first, a parent will pedal for him, then soon he will be grabbing the handlebars of his own bicycle. 

Vélo Québec recalls that “in Quebec, more than 80% of elementary-aged students live within walking or cycling distance of their school. and win by pedaling to get there.

In particular, children are more alert, do better in school and learn to move around independently. There is less congestion in the neighborhood, risk of accidents, pollution and noise. Without forgetting that this activity makes communities more pleasant, safe and promotes good neighbours. 

“At the start of the season, at the start of the construction holidays and before the start of the school year are three more hectic periods”, for the purchase of bicycle equipment allowing you to pedal with your child, notes Frédérick Duchesne, co-owner of Demers Bicycles and cross-country skis.

First rides 

Comfortably seated in a baby seat or a cart attached to an adult's bike , the child will first calmly tame the surrounding sounds, the passing landscapes, the movements of the bicycle, etc. 

Chariot Thule Cross 1

According to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), a child installed in a seat or cart must be at least 12 months old, so that the muscles in his neck are strong enough to support his head in case of accident. He must also be able to sit up on his own and be able to wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet. 

«  risk of absorbing the shock in the event of an impact and not the head… Which cancels out the advantages of the helmet “, indicates the SAAQ on its website. 

A little practice 

There are a variety of other pieces of equipment for riding with your child, such as a saddle and footrests installed on a frame in front of the cyclist, a trailer seat placed at the back of the bike or an electrically assisted cargo bike to transport multiple children.

In any case, since the extra load will change the handling of the bike and the braking, the SAAQ suggests a little practice first. By placing a bag of potatoes corresponding to the child's weight in the trailer or on the seat, the cyclist will slowly become familiar with cornering and braking. 

Towards the range 

Trail-Gator tow bar.

Around the age of 4, children looking for autonomy will first be able to pedal on a half-bike or on their own bike attached to the back of their parent's using a a tow bar, then benefiting from the supervision of an adult who will introduce him to the rules of road safety. 

EVO Beep Beep balance bike.

When he is finally ready to ride on his own, the balance bike (lower and without pedals) will help him gain self-confidence, before getting on a bike adjusted to his size and well equipped, with or without small stabilizer wheels. 

The schoolyard, a park or an alley will then prove to be places conducive to learning, says Vélo Québec, before taking quiet streets with an adult to learn how to travel on the road network to school