Many of our students rose to the challenge of biking or scooting to school instead of walking or travelling by car over the past fortnight. Thank you to every single one who contributed to our target and tried a new route to school – hopefully all enjoyed the fresh air and what has been pretty pleasant weather recently! In the final stages of the competition, we came 19th nationally out of all the secondary schools who had entered. There was a steady increase in the amount of bikers on site and it was nice to have a bit of a buzz about cycling safely in tutor time. Ten top biking safety tips were shared, the fundraising and cake sale raised over £121 and the students leading the whole event gave out rewards to bikers to keep them going! A great two weeks – we will definitely be signing up again next year!
Safety tip 1: always wear your helmet, even on short trips as you never know what can happen! Bicycle accidents kill hundreds of people every year, but injure even more. Protect yourself!
Safety tip 2: always do a quick check of your brakes before starting any journey. The grip should be tight and the brake pad should have lines going through them. If the brake pads are smooth – they are literally doing nothing! New brake pads don’t cost much – get them changed!
Safety tip 3: don’t ride with headphones in! You won’t hear the sounds of traffic and pedestrians around you and you may miss a danger on the road. Please be careful and if you must listen to music, play it on loudspeaker at a volume that isn’t considered anti-social.
Safety tip 4: don’t ride your bike on the road until you’ve mastered the art of being able to ride with one hand. Signalling left or right to traffic could save your life!
Safety tip 5: fluorescent and reflective gear is always a good idea, not just in winter. Being bright on the road will help drivers to notice you earlier, giving them more time to maneuver around you.
Safety tip 6: Plan your route before you set off and tell your parents which way you’re going. Check the route is safe and if there are any roads that are too dangerous, chose an alternative route.
Safety tip 7: Get your bike serviced regularly, particularly if you only get it out in the summer. Your tyres should be pumped, your brake pads full of grip and the frame should be straight and free of rust.
Safety tip 8: If you cycle into a pedestrianised area, you should dismount and walk your bike. Cycling in an area full of people walking puts them in danger as a crash is more likely.
Safety tip 9: Act like a car. Don’t weave in and out of traffic trying to get to your destination quickly. Look, signal and look again before turning. Try to make eye contact with drivers; don’t assume they will stop for you.
Safety tip 10: Obey road signs. If you come to a junction, you must stop and signal like a car would. If the sign asks you to give way, you need to stop too. Cycling on the pavement is illegal, so don’t pick and choose which parts of the road you cycle on. Be responsible.