Biking Safety

person in black jacket and black pants riding red bicycle

So your child knows how to ride a bike, hooray! It may have happened quickly for you and it may have taken a longer time.

We were lucky enough when our son was younger to have a girl working with our son who taught him all of the basics in a very methodical way. I remember watching them every day as he progressed along. For him, this took awhile, it didn’t happen quickly but once our son knew how to ride a bike, he just got better and better.

When he was younger, of course, you have to teach bike safely, wearing a helmet, what side of the street to ride on (we don’t have sidewalks on our particular street) and to watch for oncoming traffic.

If you really think about it, there’s a lot to absorb. You have to think about riding and braking as well as looking around and being aware of traffic.

I want to say that it takes longer to teach a child with autism to do this, but honestly, I really don’t know.

Since there hasn’t been a lot to do with the state of our world today, we have taken to a daily bike ride route. We do this together every day of the week, except when it’s raining.

I prefer to do outdoor activities myself to stay in shape, especially when the weather is nice out and we’ve had some really amazing weather lately!

So, I probably mentioned before, that I am a Type A personality, so I like to be in control of everything, I mean everything, down to the tiniest detail. This includes biking.

So we’ve been riding every day and with our son’s increased independence, I still find myself thinking about how I can control the situation. For example, as part of our route, we have to go uphill on this sidewalk. We have to take the sidewalk because it is a main street. Sometimes there are people walking on the sidewalk.  I always go up first and then look back to see if he’s looking, does he go around the people, it’s almost like I’m waiting for a crash.  Sounds silly right?

I keep my mouth shut though and wait for him to get to the top to join me.

The other day I also noticed some of the other things he was doing, which I found kind of strange. I watched him when we were riding on the road in our neighborhood, when he got to each driveway, he would actually go from the road and ride on the driveway and then back down. He did this for each and every driveway. No wonder it was taking him much longer than me!

I told him he didn’t have to do that. But then I realized that he was being extra safety cautious. He would even ride around a parked car so close and then go right back to the very right hand side of the road. In fact, many times he hit his wheel on the curb because he was so close. My husband is Mr. Safety and I thought about how proud he would be to see this.

So not only was he able to navigate, he was also super-aware of his surroundings and in fact when cars went by, he would just automatically stop and get off his bike. I know that I didn’t teach him this, but I was pleasantly surprised to see him doing this.

This is another huge accomplishment and it makes me so very happy when I see him becoming such a independent person.



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