Wheelin’ Groovy

Bicycles and skateboards are a lot of fun, but they can be dangerous if you’re not sensible about riding them. Approximately 35 per cent of all bicycle accidents in Australia happen to children between the ages of five and nine who weren’t wearing a helmet!To stay strong and healthy, firmly buckle up your helmet every time you ride your bike and have it checked by an adult. Wear brightly coloured clothes to increase your visibility and long sleeves for extra protection. Helmets aren’t just for cyclists, though. If you’re into rollerskating, rollerblading or skateboarding, a helmet will protect the most important part of your body – your head – if you come off. You should also wear elbow and kneepads to ensure you don’t damage these delicate parts of the body.If you are under the age of 10 you should not be riding on the roads at all – they are for cars and experienced cyclists only! The safest place for younger cyclists to be riding is an area fenced off from the road. Bicycles are legal ‘vehicles’ under road rules, which means cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users. The golden rule is to treat other road users with respect and courtesy. All road users should drive (or ride) safely and obey traffic rules at all times.When riding on paths it is important to remember that most of them are ‘shared footways’ under the law, not bike-only paths, so be cautious and courteous. Expect to share the space with walkers of all ages and paces, rollerbladers, prams, joggers and tricycles.No matter what your age, remember to be alert around driveways, pedestrians, other cyclists and cars!To help reduce the likelihood of an accident, have the height of your bike checked. When sitting on the seat and holding the handlebars, your feet should be able to touch the ground comfortably.If you follow these straightforward rules, you’ll be cycling (or skating or boarding or blading) for a long, long time!

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