Hey, family riders,
I am a commuter, so I mostly hang out on that forum, but I was wondering about some questions having to do with bikes and kids. As a commuter, I'm almost always in the road with traffic, as I believe most adult cyclists should be, but with my boys, ages 5 and 7, we stick to the sidewalks, and walk as pedestrians across the major intersections. I'm wondering what is a good age, in general, for kids to transition from sidewalk to road riders.
One consideration is speed of travel. In other discussions I've had, there is a general consensus that one reason sidewalk riding is bad is that bikes are usually much faster than pedestrians, and therefore are a danger to pedestrians trying to share their space. So that would argue for staying out of sidewalks once a certain rate of speed is attained.
But it seems fairly obvious that kids will be able to whizz around on bikes much earlier than they are capable of being safe in traffic, so that argues for an older transition age, such as the teenage years. Since riding in traffic takes many of the same skills as driving a car, perhaps 15 or 16 is good, and could be learned concurrently with learning to drive.
I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on this.