Bike riding is part of healthy, active and happy lives. Families and whānau can support young people so bike riding becomes a real and enjoyable choice.

Kid's feet.

Family adventures

Kids are influenced by their parents' exercise choices. Dads and mums who have their own bikes set a wonderful example.

Fit a baby seat (child carrier) to your bike, and a very young child can experience the pleasure of going for a bike ride.

Once your kids can ride, take them to parks or cycleways to gain experience. Feel free to take the bikes in the car or van and drive to a suitable place.

Hook up with another family. Having friends involved is fun and motivating.

When older children learn on-road skills through BikeReady, ride with them to the shops, the library or the beach. Let them experience bike riding as an everyday choice for getting around.

Tips for outings

  • Get everyone involved in planning the route
  • Look for routes with light traffic, simple intersections or bike lanes
  • Plan the length of the ride: long enough to be an adventure but not so long your tamariki get tired
  • Kids under 10 should only ever ride on the road with an adult riding too
  • Pack a bag with warm clothes, water and yummy healthy snacks

Riding to school

Always ride with your child if they're under 10. Continue until you're sure they have the skills and confidence for the traffic and road conditions between home and school.

Plan the route. Map out a safe route to school. Choose side streets with low traffic speeds and good visibility. Ride with your child and make sure they understand the route — have them lead to show they know where to go.

Carrying gear. They should keep their school bag light if possible and strapped on firmly. Don't hang anything from the handlebars — it could throw them off balance or get stuck in the wheels.

Road rules. Check your child can demonstrate what they learn from BikeReady. Practice signalling turns, stopping at stop signs, looking around for hazards and riding predictably with traffic.

Being prepared

Checking bikes and helmets often is a good idea. Get your child involved in this. They'll learn the basics through BikeReady and practice at home reinforces their learning.

  • Make sure your child can straddle their bike frame with their feet on the ground
  • Check the brakes work and the tyres have air
  • Make sure his or her helmet fits and is properly positioned

Here is BMX champion Sarah Walker's advice on checking your bike and fitting your helmet.