Prepare bikes and equipment
- Every bike needs two well-functioning brakes. The tires should be well pumped and have sufficient tread. In the dark, a light is necessary and mandatory.
- The saddle should be comfortable and properly adjusted. The saddle height is properly adjusted when you have both feet flat on the ground in city traffic. When cycling in the countryside, the leg should be almost fully extended and only the tips of the toes should touch the ground.
- The helmet must fit properly, without pressing or wobbling. At the front, the helmet reaches to within two fingers of the root of the nose. There should be room for one finger between the chin and the band. After a fall or if damaged, the helmet should be replaced.
- Clothing should be comfortable and breathable. It should protect against wind and rain in bad weather. Bright clothing with reflectors is better seen by other road users and thus increases safety.
- If you are traveling with your children by bike for several hours or a whole day, remember to divide the tour into short stages.
- Choose roads with little traffic.
- Plan tours with places of interest, playgrounds or rest areas, bathing spots, swimming pools, etc., so that resting is worthwhile.
- For younger children, entry routes are between 10 and 15 kilometers. For more experienced children (10 years and older), a tour of up to 30 kilometers is also possible.
- Do not overtax the children: they should discover the joy of cycling and not lose it 😉
Practicing cycling with children
- Teach your child how to behave in traffic even before the bike ride. Ride the everyday routes together with your child several times until he or she feels safe.
- In the traffic garden in Basel-Stadt, children can also practice riding a bike in traffic in a protected environment. Link to the traffic garden.
- Set an example and behave correctly in traffic.
- Before setting off, turning or crossing the road, look back together.
- Make sure that the child is driving in front of you so that you can see him or her. Only then will you notice if he or she is not concentrating or is getting tired.
- Do not ride side by side.
- Rather, divide the ride into short segments so you can give feedback or look at the hazards or features of the next leg together when you stop.
- Unexpected stops in the group are dangerous. Therefore, slowing down needs to be communicated – either by shouting or holding your hand up. This can also be practiced.
- Bicycles always ride on the right side. If there are cars parked on the side of the road, the distance to the roadside must be increased. Make children aware of the danger of car doors opening.
- Do not pass trucks and buses on the right at red lights or intersections, either stationary or moving. This is dangerous because the bicycles may be in the blind spot – i.e. not seen. There are no exceptions to this rule!
- In the city, streetcar tracks have to be crossed again and again. Practice this too with your children so that they feel safe and don’t get tense crossing the tracks. If possible, the streetcar track should be crossed at right angles.
- A child 12 years of age or younger may or should ride on the sidewalk during dangerous passages. Remember that there are also pedestrians on the sidewalks and the stronger, faster ones are considerate of the slower ones.
- The whole group can also dismount at intersections and cross the street on the pedestrian crossing.
- If possible, ride on the marked bicycle routes. There is a dense network of marked bike paths throughout the region.
- To begin with, choose a rather flat route with few ascents, but also few descents. You will find these mainly along bodies of water and in valley bottoms.
Plan for reliefs
- If you have a bike trailer or cargo bike, you can use them to give the kids a rest.
- Make sure that luggage can be attached to the bike and that heavy backpacks do not have to be carried all day.
- Many tours can also be planned in combination with public transport. You can take a train or bus to a starting point and begin the route, or you can make an excursion and know where you can shorten everywhere because you can change to the train, bus or a ferry.
All adults are responsible for their own children. The association slowUp Basel-Dreiland does not take any responsibility or liability for the content of this document. It is only a recommendation. All information without guarantee.