Beyond The Training Wheels – What Your Child Needs To Know About Bicycle Safety

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014 in Bicycle, Bikes, biking, Cycling | 0 comments

A bike offers so much to a child. It promotes exploratory play; it’s a mode of transportation; it encourages independence; it develops balance; and so much more. Hence, it’s no wonder that kids, boys and girls, just love bicycles. But teaching them how to drive their bikes properly can be a challenge. They will fall and they will get scratches and bruises. Yet they will try and try because, to them, nothing is more rewarding than the day when their training wheels are removed. Still, before these are taken out and before you allow your child to drive longer distances on his own, you must explain to him what his responsibilities are as a biker so that he’ll remain safer on public roads.

bicycling

o He must have proper training. Some kids are not very good bike riders. They know how to drive straight, but they don’t know how to turn or stop when needed. Without the right biking skills, your child becomes a danger to himself and to others. Hence, assess your child’s driving abilities first.

o He must use the right equipment. Accidents on the road can happen. In order to improve your kid’s safety while on the road, see to it that he has the recommended equipment. A helmet is essential, and this must be worn each time your child rides. Knee and elbow pads can also protect him in case he falls.

o He must not ride his bike at night. Kids are independent, and your son might try to ride his bike to go to a friend’s house at night. But bicycling when it’s dark outside is very dangerous. A child is small; thus, it will be harder for other drivers to see him. Streets are also more deserted at night, and this makes your child vulnerable to attackers.

For older kids who are already allowed to bike at night, they must be required to wear the proper gear. Moreover, they must utilize items that will help in increasing their visibility while biking, such as LED lights that can be attached to bicycles and also reflective vests. Nevertheless, parents must not allow their children to go out at night especially since many accidents that involve bikers often happen between 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. These are also the times when drunk drivers are on the road.

o He must be aware of traffic rules. Bob M. Cohen & Associates believe that bicyclists have the same rights as other motorists. Because of this, cyclists, young and old, are also subject to the same traffic rules that govern all drivers. Therefore, before allowing your kid to drive his bike on public roads, he must understand traffic regulations and he must know how to put them into practice. To illustrate, a young driver must be able to identify and follow all traffic signals or lights, and he must obey all road regulations in order to stay safe.

o He must realize that riding a bike is a responsibility. A child who is old enough to drive a bike on his own must also comprehend that bicycling is not play, particularly if he is out on public roads. Hence, he must not participate in bike races or other recreational activities that might threaten people’s safety. He has a responsibility to himself and to other motorists. He must also understand that accidents do happen; and, when they do, the effects could be devastating not only to himself, but to other victims too.

Citations:
Featured images:

Claire Taylor is a freelance writer and a mom. Her articles are often about road safety and automobile maintenance.

Read More

Motorcycle Madness: The Best Bikes For Your Ride

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Bicycle, Bikes, Cycling | 0 comments

It takes time to discover which motorbike is best for you. When deciding on a vehicle, models are usually simultaneously similar and starkly different and your choice will usually depend on which features you will use most. While some concept cars aim to be more unique and specialised, these are mere distant dreams. Bikes are customisable in that they can be tailored to individuals and what they look for when they go riding. Are you looking for comfort? Speed? Aesthetics? Off-road capabilities? With so many different types of bikes on the market, it can be tough knowing which is best for you. Here’s a breakdown to make your choice easier.

Cruiser

The Cruiser is a favourite among many, the most famous model being the Harley-Davidson. Harvey Davidson’s are retro and evocative of old motorcycles from the 1930s. The riding position tends to be feet forward and hands up with the spine straight and erect or leaning back slightly. This is claimed to be more comfortable for long rides, but many will dispute this and it all depends on what you’re comfortable with. They typically don’t have a windscreen which means you’ll get a full blast of air if you’re riding fast down a highway. Cruisers are mostly designed with cruising in mind, thus the name, which means riding around town almost leisurely. They are relatively heavy and their handling suffers from the design, making them unsuitable for high speeds and racing.

Sports Bikes

Made for speed, these are the types of bikes you want to have if you ever find yourself at a red light with a young, cocky and smug rider revving his engine in the lane next to yours. While you’d be wise to avoid street races, it’s still nice to know that you’d win. These bikes are great for racing at your local race track, or taking on cruises with tight bends. Their handling is superior to most other bikes and they are generally very pleasing to look at. These might be too powerful for beginners, so consider this option carefully before you commit as they might be too much to handle.

Dirt Bike

If you have access to off-road trails and want to bask in the glory that is off-road biking, then you can’t go wrong with a dirt bike. Dirt bikes are designed exclusively for off-road riding. The suspensions are specially designed so that you can take jumps at high speeds. Naturally, you’re sitting higher than on normal bikes for greater comfort when you’re jumping over obstacles. These bikes are light, fast and dangerous. While they provide for a great recreational activity, beginners should have in depth instruction before setting off on their own.

Dual-Sports bikes

Combining on-road and off-road riding, this bike tries to build a bridge between the two types. They are designed to be used as standard bikes on highways and paved roads, as well as being taken to a dirt track. The flaw, it is generally agreed, is that a jack of all trades is a master of none. By this I mean that, while it can accomplish both tasks, it does neither of them particularly well. This will vary from model to model, but generally, they aren’t as good as the dedicated on or off-road bike. That doesn’t mean they’re worthless, it just means you’ll have to regularly take part in both types of riding to fully appreciate the dual-sports bikes. If you just do one or the other, I’d recommend you stick with either the sports or the dirt bike.

Featured images:

Adrian Rodriguez is a freelance writer with a passion for motorcycles. He recommends that you finance your ride instead of paying it all off in one go.

Read More

The 8 Greenest Cities In The UK

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Bicycle, Bikes, biking, Cycling, Environment | 0 comments

If you are preparing to either purchase your first home or move to a new location, you undoubtedly have a list of priorities for your home that include great schools, fantastic job opportunities and a safe neighborhood. Hopefully, a city’s green rating is also on the short list when it comes to choosing the best place for you and your family to reside. After all, a city that fails to have a green outlook fails to plan for the future. Thankfully, many cities in the United Kingdom, aware of environmental issues, are taking measures to preserve the environment for generations to come.

Are you ready for our list of eight cities that are doing it right?

Newcastle

While this city’s roots date back to the Roman era, their green initiatives are certainly not behind the times. Since 1995, Newcastle has been the host of an annual Green Festival, celebrating the protection of natural resources. The city does not limit its green activities to a festival; rather, in their 2012 Newcastle City Deal, they established a goal to become a low carbon Pioneer City, reducing carbon output by 34% by the year 2020. Newcastle’s plans include the installation of hundreds of charging points for electric cars, and they are well on their way to becoming the electric car capital of the country. The city’s “green” and “blue” gym initiatives are creative ways to help people stay fit while interacting with the local environment. This is truly a city of the future.

Leicester

It is no accident that Leicester makes our list. After all, it was officially named Britain’s first “Environment City.” Leicester’s environmental fame does not end there; the city was one of only twelve local projects from around the world chosen to be honored at the international Earth Summit in 1992. The city features a labyrinth of walking and bicycle paths, some of which go through its award-winning park featuring an abundance of wildlife. The city’s football club boasts an organically-fertilized field, and the recycling program is top-notch. Leicester’s crowning glory is the Eco House, which features a home with the most environmentally-friendly technology, a large organic garden and a store that sells environmentally-friendly merchandise.

Brighton and Hove

This beautiful seaside city offers a park within a minute’s walk from anywhere in the city. Six of these parks (one being a former gravel pit) boast the coveted green flag award, demonstrating the community’s dedication to reclaiming wasted locations for the environment. Additionally, the city is actively pursuing status with the United Nations as a Biosphere Reserve. This lofty goal sets Brighton and Hove apart as one of the leading green cities, not just in the UK, but around the world. The city is divided into charming villages and presents a beautiful place to call home as well as an excellent green travel destination.

Bristol

With a 4.7% growth in the green economy for the year 2012 and ambitious goals toward becoming a low-carbon community, Bristol won the European Green Capital Award for the year 2015. Of course, Bristol is no newcomer to the green scene. Its annual Big Green Week attracted green ideas, art, entertainment and 50,000 visitors from around the UK in 2013. The green aspect of Bristol’s business sector is seeing significant growth, and the city has made great strides toward finding sustainable transportation solutions. All these add up to make Bristol a truly green UK city.

London

The capital city makes the list in spite of its massive population. The reason lies in the great strides London has made to become more environmentally friendly, strategies that include improving the large city’s air quality, greening the city with parks, and dealing with waste more effectively. Many of the strategies stem from the mayor’s 2009 goal of making London one of the greenest cities in the world. From transportation emissions to building energy usage, London has set out to tackle some huge problems, and she is doing a fantastic job.

Leeds

This city is on board with the Green Deal program and has become the largest partner in the deal, negotiating £100 million to fund energy saving remodeling in homes and businesses across the city. Additionally, the city has established 90,000 plus green jobs and a commitment to continue transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Cardiff

Cardiff’s What Matters 2010:2020 focuses on key goals for the city during that 10-year period. The primary concern is the health of the people of Cardiff, and second is a safe and clean environment. Cardiff is putting its feet to the ground with initiatives and has a website boasting at least twenty different campaigns to keep the city green. These campaigns range from dog cleanup to fly-tipping prevention.

Edinburgh

Scotland’s beautiful green city of Edinburgh makes the list thanks to its progressive 2020 goals. The city plans to reduce carbon emissions by 40%, depend on renewable energy for 40% of its energy needs and promote low-carbon transportation city-wide. Its lofty goals have promoted sustainable housing standards, an increased focus on public transportation and stricter standards for waste and recycling.

Your new town’s commitment to green inititives can make a huge difference in lifestyle. Is there a recycling program? How about an environmentally-friendly public transportation system? Are there renewable energy options? All of these affect quality of life.

Siemans developed a Green City Index that tracks environmental performance, research projects, specific eco-friendly buildings (and more) for cities around the world. It is a tool that can help you decide where to look for your next home.

After all, when green considerations are included on your list of prerequisites, you are planning for the future — and not only for this generation, but for those who follow.

Featured images:

Chris Turberville-Tully, a board member and writer for ESA-ServicedApartments.co.uk, enjoys traveling around the world. Thus far, Chris has traveled to eighty countries enjoying the sites, sounds and smells of other cultures, tasty cuisine and stunning views. Follow Chris on Google+.

Read More