Buying someone a bike this Christmas? GEM has some handy safety and security tips
ROAD SAFETY organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging everyone to put safety first when giving a bicycle as a present this Christmas.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE says: “A bike makes a fantastic and exciting Christmas present for most ages, and it encourages good health and exercise for grown-ups and children alike.
“But we do want safety to be the priority – and that’s why we urge buyers to see beyond the bright colours and fancy styling to ensure that any bike is right for the person riding it.”
GEM has compiled some useful safety and security tips for anyone who’s buying a bike this Christmas:
- Make sure the bicycle is the correct size for the person riding it. As a guide, they should be able to straddle the bike and touch the ground with the balls of both feet.
- Seek out a local supplier with a good reputation, who will sell you a bike that’s right for your needs – and correctly assembled for the person riding it.
- Another good reason to ‘buy local’ is that these bike shops tend to offer high quality after-sales service.
- GEM supports the wearing of cycle helmets. So make sure the helmet fits correctly. Children are more likely to wear a helmet if they like the look of it.
- Stress the importance of being seen by other road users. High-visibility clothing is vital for safety.
- If you’re buying for a child, don’t expect them to achieve Tour de France standards on their first ride. Encourage them and offer basic help with steering, braking and good observation somewhere quiet and private if possible – before letting them anywhere near a public road.
- Find out about formal training and proficiency schemes such as those offered by local authorities. Check availability with your local council.
- Help to make sure the bike remains the property of the person you’re buying it for, by also buying a decent lock.
- Another good plan is to register the bike on the National Property Register (immobilise.com). Then if it does get stolen, it will be easier for the police to trace it back to you if they recover it.
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