Cycling to school is an enjoyable, convenient and affordable way for children to fit some physical exercise into their day. By supporting cycling, you are taking an active role in promoting healthy lifestyles.
Getting the right bike
Children are always growing, but getting the right size bike is important so they feel most comfortable and are safe. You can find information about choosing a child’s bike on the Somerset Road Safety website. You can get further advice from staff in local bike shops, whose experience can be used to get the proportions right, as well getting the bike set up correctly for the rider.
You can find useful information on cycle training and teaching the basics on the Somerset Road Safety website. Contact your school if you would like your child to have Bikeability Cycle Training.
Wearing a helmet is not compulsory, but if they are correctly sized and fitted they do provide excellent protection if you’re unlucky enough to have an accident. Make sure it’s specifically a cycle helmet and conforms to the EU safety standards EN1078 (for adults) or EN1080 (for children). Again, bike shop staff can provide advice on sizing and adjustment.
Lights on the front and back of the bike are compulsory when cycling in the dark. We recommend adding a light to your clothing to increase visibility. The choice of clothing colour can also help you be seen, with high-visibility vests, bags and cycle clips on your ankles all available.
Other bits of equipment you might want to consider getting are a bell to warn other users of routes, mudguards to keep you and the bike clean, and a basic toolkit.
If good money has been spent on the bike itself, it’s also very much worth investing in equipment to keep it secure, with 10% of the price of the bike a common guide to buying a lock. The most secure system is to have a solid ‘D’-lock attaching the bike frame with a cable or chain lock attached to this and the wheels.
Student bike loans
To help Somerset College and sixth form students access education more easily, to promote healthier lifestyles and to reduce the amount of CO2 produced in the county, we run a College Bicycle Loan Scheme. You can find out more on our bike loans for students page.