Whilst its wonderful to see the next generation having received their bikes for Christmas, may I as a seasoned rider offer parents some important advice.
If your child is riding after dark (and highly advisable in poor visibility – eg if it rains or is foggy) they must have, under law, a minimum of:
• 1x front white light
• 1x red rear light
• 1x red rear reflector
Lights are very cheap now, they can even be fitted permanently (eg Reelights will cost you no more than £30 and use magnets instead of batteries – they are always on). If you can afford a bike for Junior you can afford good lights. £12 will get you a cheap supermarket set, £55 will get you a quality Moon Comet or Smart Lunar set.
If in doubt, seasoned riders will always offer advice via the internet forums (Cyclechat, Bikerader, CTC’s own etc) or via the local clubs (see British Cycling’s website)! You are not alone!
I also recommend you contact your child’s school and ask about Bikeability classes. Eighty per cent of child cycling casualties are down to the child doing something they can easily avoid. Parents can also get this training via Southampton Cycle Campaign and the local CTC body – it will help them understand what is expected of their child.
Let’s raise the next generation to be safe and responsible. Give them the opportunity to enjoy cycling without the risks via these practices.
DJ COOK, Southampton.