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6th-8th Grade

Bike & Pedestrian Safety & Learn to Ride

(updated 4/08/2020)


Learn to Ride 

Learn to Ride Tip Sheet from Eugene Springfield Safe Routes to School (pdf)

Video "Learn How to Ride a Bicycle in 5 Minutes"

Blog post covering how to teach a younger child to ride, covering all the basics 

Tips for adapting that teaching for an older child


Bicycle Safety

Below are a list of videos about safely bicycling on streets and multi-use paths.  When you are riding through neighborhoods, it is usually safer to ride in the street than it is to ride on the sidewalk.  The topics are listed in the sequence in which they would be covered in a 4J Safe Routes to School, 10-day Bike Safety course taught by the City of Eugene’s River House Outdoor Program.  Next to each video link is the length in minutes and seconds. Several activity descriptions are included to give you ideas about how to practice specific skills after watching the videos.


Overview: Being Visible, Being Predictable, Following the Rules of the Road

English version:    (5:07)

Spanish version:   (6:18)

(videos by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration)


Accompanying this video is a short online quiz about the topics covered.

Fitting Your Bike Helmet  (1:23)

(video by Oregon Safe Routes to School)


Activity: If you have a bike helmet, put it on and make all of the correct adjustments.  The helmet should fit snugly on your head but shouldn’t be so tight that it hurts. Also, make sure that your helmet is made up of hard foam on the inside.  Some skateboard helmets do not have this hard foam.


Also, check your clothes to make sure that there isn’t anything loose that could get caught in the chain, gears, or wheels.  This includes baggy pants, shoe laces, and jackets tied around your waist.


Checking Your Bike (to make sure that it is working properly)   (1:15) 

(video by Oregon Safe Routes to School)


Activity: If you have access to a bicycle, check the tires, brakes, chain, crank, and quick releases to make sure everything looks and feels right.  See if you can find the recommended amount of air pressure for your tires. Look on the side of the tire for words that say something like “INFLATE TO 50-80 PSI” (PSI stands for pounds per square inch).  Have an adult or someone with a lot of experience help you inflate the tires to the proper amount and to oil the chain. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to ride.


Using the Power Pedal Position to Start Your Bike:   (1:06)

(video by Oregon Safe Routes to School)


Starting AND Stopping Your Bike   (1:30)

(video by the League of American Bicyclists)


The beginning of this video is review, but the second half talks about how to safely stop your bike.  Make sure to watch it!


Activity: Practice starting your bike using the power pedal position and practice coming to a smooth controlled stop.  If you have two hand brake levers, make sure you use them both at the same time. Using only the front brake, which is the left hand brake lever on most bikes, can cause you to flip over the front of the bike!


Bicycling Basics: Using Hand Signals, Riding in the Street, Avoiding Risky Behaviors, and Avoiding Obstacles   (16:12)

(video by the North Carolina Department of Transportation)


Activity #1: Practice the three hand signals.  Practice riding in a straight line and using your hand signals.  If you’re getting ready to stop or to turn, be sure to put both hands back on the handlebars before you do.


Activity #2: If you have a bike, practice riding in a straight line and looking behind you for a second or two.  Most of the time, it makes sense to look over your left shoulder. If you can control the bike with just your right hand on the handlebars, put your left hand on your left hip when you look over your shoulder.  This will help you twist your upper body more and see better behind you.


Going Through Intersections: Turning Right, Going Straight, and Turning Left   (2:30)

(video by Oregon Safe Routes to School)


Activity: If you have a bike, find an intersection where you can practice where there is very little traffic.  Practice the different moves shown in the video: turning right, going straight, and turning left. For some of the moves, you must look behind you over your left shoulder (“shoulder check”), use a left turn signal, and move to the middle of your lane before you get up to the intersection.  Make sure to look around for other vehicles and pedestrians. If there’s a stop sign, stop before making your turn. If there’s not a stop sign, ride at a speed where you can see what’s going on.


Three Different Ways to Turn Left at an Intersection:   (2:36)

(video by Commute Options) 


Right of Way at Intersections: When Is It Your Turn to Go?  When Should You Wait?   (2:18)

(video by Oregon Safe Routes to School)


Activity #1: Find an intersection in which there is a stop sign in every direction.  If it is a four-way intersection, look for the “All Ways” sign right below the stop sign.  This tells you that everyone has a stop sign. Stand on the sidewalk near the intersection for several minutes and observe what cars and bicyclists are doing at the intersection.  Are they following the Right of Way rules? Make sure you stand far enough away from the corner that drivers don’t think you’re about to cross the street.


Activity #2: If you have a bike, practice riding through an intersection in which everyone has a stop sign.  If you know that it is your turn to go, but you see a car coming, make sure that the car is slowing down or is stopped.  Make eye contact with the driver to make sure that they see you. Have your foot in the power pedal position, so that you can make a strong quick start when it is your turn to go.  If you are practicing at a busy intersection, especially if you are new to this kind of intersection, bring an adult or other responsible and experienced older person with you to help you do it safely.

Pedestrian Safety User Guide for Middle School Students

Below is a video aimed at middle school students about safely walking along streets and crossing streets.  It is available in both English and Spanish. Next to each video link is the length in minutes.  


Pedestrian Safety: Quick Review of Basics and Details about Using Walk Signals at Intersections

English version:   (4:53)  

Spanish version:   (6:54)

(videos by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration)


Accompanying this video is a short online quiz about the topics covered.

Black Sport's Bicycle
Black Sport's Bicycle
Black Sport's Bicycle
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