These events encourage community members to consider:
Creating safe, friendly routes for biking and walking
Building a sense of community or school spirit
Inspiring families to walk and bike to school more often
There are lots of ways to get involved year round. You can start simply by encouraging students to walk or bike to school, then spread the word and build into a larger community-wide initiative. You can also plan and register a local event, see schools walking and biking in your community, and find support materials.
Children deserve safe places to walk and bike—starting with the trip to school. That’s why the National Centers for Safe Routes to School also partners with Vision Zero for Youth to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero provides additional opportunities for advocates to tap into a broader initiative that city leaders have publicly and officially committed to. Encouraging your city officials to join Vision Zero for Youth can bring more visibility and possibly additional funding, improvements, or actions that benefit Safe Routes to School.
Plan and register a local event, see schools walking and biking in your community, find support materials, and learn more about this movement.
Celebrate National Bike Month this May by biking to work, school, the store, park, pool and anywhere in between. Whether you ride to save money, time, improve your health, preserve the environment, explore your community or just for fun, jump on your bicycle and enjoy the great outdoors!
It’s easy on the joints. When you sit on a bike, you put your weight on a pair of bones in the pelvis called the ischial tuberosities, unlike walking, when you put your weight on your legs. Making it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness.
Pushing pedals provides an aerobic workout. That’s great for your heart, brain and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals—which may make you feel young at heart.
Cycling builds muscle. In the power phase of pedaling, you use muscles in the buttocks, thighs and calves. In the recovery phase, you use the hamstrings in the back of the thighs and the muscles in the front of the hips. Cycling works other muscles, too. You use abdominal muscles to balance and stay upright, and you use your arm and shoulder muscles to hold the handlebars and steer.
It helps with everyday activities. Benefits carry over to balance, walking, standing, endurance and stair climbing.
Pedaling builds bone. Resistance activities, such as pushing pedals, pull on the muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density.
5 RULES OF THE ROAD:
Follow the Law. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.
Be Predictable. Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.
Be Conspicuous. Ride where people can see you and wear bright clothing. Use a front white light, red rear light and reflectors when visibility is poor.
Think Ahead. Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other people on bikes will do next. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at an angles.
Ride Ready. Check that your tires have air, brakes are working and chain runs smoothly. Wear a helmet.
Ride a bike that’s the right size for you.
Riders of any age should be able to put one leg on each side of the top bar (tube) of their bike with both feet flat on the ground. Otherwise, the bike isn’t safe to ride.
Check the brakes.
Make sure the brakes are working before you ride.
If you are choosing a bike for a child, choose one that brakes when the rider pedals backwards. Young children’s hands aren’t big enough or strong enough to use hand brakes.
Always wear a bike helmet!
Get in the “helmet habit” – wear a helmet every time and everywhere you ride a bike. A bike helmet is the best way to prevent injury or death from a bike crash.
Make sure your helmet is certified. Look for a sticker on the inside that says “CPSC.” This means it’s been tested for safety.
Bike helmets only protect you if you wear them the right way. Every time you put your helmet on, make sure that:
The helmet is flat on the top of your head
The helmet is covering the top of your forehead
The strap is buckled snugly under your chin
Find out more about the right way to fit a bike helmet [PDF – 2 MB].
Kids grow quickly – check regularly to make sure their helmets still fit.
Replace your helmet if you crash.
Even if your helmet doesn’t look cracked or damaged, it might not protect you in another crash.
Make sure people can see you easily.
Drivers can have a hard time seeing bike riders, even during the day. Follow these tips to help drivers see you:
Wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors.
Put something on your clothes or bike that reflects light, like reflective tape.
Try to plan ahead so your bike rides are over before it gets dark. If you are going to ride at night:
Make sure your bike has reflectors on the front, back, and wheels.
Put battery powered lights on your bike. A red light is for the back, and a white light is for the front – just like with cars.
Follow the “rules of the road.”
Look both ways before entering the street.
Ride in the same direction as the cars.
Stop at all stop signs and intersections.
Use hand signals to show others what you plan to do next.
For a left turn, look behind you, hold your left arm straight out to the side, and turn carefully.
For a right turn, hold your left arm out and up in an “L” shape.
To signal that you are stopping, hold your left arm out and down in an upside-down “L” shape.
Use your left hand to make these signals for left turn, right turn, and stop.
Paying attention to the things around you can help you stay safe.
Look for potholes, rocks, wet leaves, or anything that could make you fall.
Be aware of cars that are parking or backing up.
Listen for traffic and other activity around you. Don’t wear headphones when you ride.