How to: Cycling safety

Teaching children basic cycling safety

Key Messages

• Make sure your bike is a suitable size

• Check the brakes on your bike

• Make sure you can be seen and other road users can see you

• Wear a helmet

• Don’t wear anything that might get caught in the bike’s wheels

• If you are unsure, get off the bike and walk to cross a road

• Plan ahead, think about your journey; is there a safer off road route that would take you away from traffic?

• Know your limits as a cyclist; don’t ride in traffic or circumstances that makes you feel uncomfortable and nervous

• Understand basic road signs and what they mean


Ideas to help teach these messages

• Organise a practical 'know your bicycle' session which includes basic safety and maintenance checks

• Organise basic cycle training lessons in conditions appropriate to your local area

• Ask children to design a leaflet showing how to keep a bike in good condition (basic things to check/maintain)

• Ask the children to compare and contrast different outfits, thinking about which ones are most/least suitable for cyclists i.e. long shoelaces, fluorescent and reflective materials/clothing, helmets etc

• Use YouTube videos/adverts to discuss road positioning

• Ask children to investigate why people do and don’t wear helmets. Plot findings on charts and graphs, and debate/discuss reasons for and against

• Spin a bike wheel then add in a flap of material to see what happens and discuss what would happen to a cyclist if this happened to them.

• Use picture games (Sudokus) of local signs to increase road knowledge


Resources for download and where to find out more

Safer cycling presentation: signs & road markings (Powerpoint)

Bikeability: cycling proficiency for the 21st century

Information about the national cycle training scheme in England

Do you have a resource(s) that we could include here and share with others? If so please contact us by email and send the resource if it’s not too large. Remember, the resource must be available for others to use without charge.