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Below students can find resources providing information on the following topics:
  • Recommendations for making your walk to school a safe trip.
  • Recommendations for making your bike ride to school a safe trip, including:
    • Bike Safety and Maintenance recommendations.
    • Bicycling laws in the city of Platteville.
  • A Bike Safety video summarizing both safe riding practices and suggested routine maintenance.
  • Bike Security issues including:
    • How to register your bike with the local police and how to report a stolen bike.
    • How to choose the best bike lock and the best method for locking up your bike.
Walking to school:
The most important way to ensure a safe walk is to remain aware of your surroundings.  Students can easily walk to school safely by following the recommendations below.
  • Wear bright colored clothing or reflectors that make you highly visible, especially when walking at night. 
  • Walk along the most direct route with the fewest crossings.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths whenever possible.  If you must walk along the street, walk facing on-coming traffic.
  • Do not cross the street alone if you're younger than 10 years old.
  • Cross at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks and always look left and right before crossing the street, making sure there are no cars coming.
  • Make sure drivers see you before crossing in front of them.
  • Stop at the curb before crossing the street.  Walk, don't run, when you cross the street.
  • Cross at least 10 feet in front of a school bus.
  • Do not play in driveways, streets, parking lots or unfenced yards by the street.
  • Never run into the street to chase a ball, pet, or any other object.
Biking to School:
There are two major components of bike safety.  The first is to ensure that you have the proper equipment and that it fits correctly and is properly maintained.  If you have faulty equipment, any number of unforeseen accidents could occur, regardless of how well you practice safe cycling.
The second component, then, is safe cycling techniques.  This consists of following bicycling rules, but also maintaining safe practices while biking. 
Bike equipment and maintenance
The most critical piece of equipment you can have is your bike helmet.  One report showed that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by 85%!  However, for a bike helmet to work properly, it must fit properly.  There are many types of helmets and many manufacturers and, of course, many different sizes.  To ensure that you find the helmet that fits you best, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Bike Helmet webpage.
Another important element of bike safety is how your bike fits you!  Bikes come in all sizes and shapes and you should consult your local bike shop to be sure that you are neither too tall for your bike nor too short.  For a rough guide, the chart below provides bike frame sizes for various heights and inseams.
Determining Your Road Bike Frame Size
Height Inseam Length Bike Frame Size
4'10" - 5'1" 25.5” - 27” 46 - 48 cm
5'0" - 5'3" 26.5" - 28" 48 - 50 cm
5'2" - 5'5" 27.5" - 29" 50 - 52 cm
5'4" - 5'7" 28.5" - 30" 52 - 54 cm
5'6" - 5'9" 29.5" - 31" 54 - 56 cm
5'8" - 5'11" 30.5" - 32" 56 - 58 cm
5'10" - 6'1" 31.5" - 33" 58 - 60 cm
6'0" - 6'3" 32.5" - 34" 60 - 62 cm
6'2" - 6'5" 34.5" - 36" 62 - 64 cm
Frequent and basic bike maintenance plays a very important role in how safe a bike ride is.  If the gears are not properly oiled or the breaks are not frequently checked, a rider could be prevented from stopping when they need to.  Basic bike maintenance starts with the ABCs of biking: 
  • Air pressure - Tires should be inflated to the recommended pressure as provided by the tire manufacturer.  If a tire is too inflated or too flat, it could lead to a puncture or to lack of traction while riding. 
  • Brakes - Ensure that the bike's brakes work properly when applied and that they do not rub against the tires when they are not applied.   
  • Cranks & chains - These need to be properly tightened (cranks) and oiled (chains) to avoid having them freeze up on you during your ride or becoming too loose, not allowing for proper acceleration.
Bike Safety and Laws
A good understanding of biking safety procedures and the laws of your city and state can help you make your ride to school successful.  Laws and safety recommendations related to bicycling in Platteville are outlined below:
  • When riding a bike, you should always ride with traffic in the right hand lane. 
  • Bicyclists must obey the same traffic signals as cars.  This includes stopping at stop signs, yielding when directed, and using proper turn lanes.
  • You should always wear bright or reflective clothing when riding so you can be visible to cars.
  • Biking on sidewalks is not allowed in the area bordered by Pine Street, Water Street, Furnace Street, or Chestnut Street.  Biking on sidewalks IS allowed in all other areas of the City. (38.13(1))
  • Always use the proper hand signals when turning.  Hand signals for left and right turns as well as stopping are illustrated below.safe11.jpg (9673 bytes)
Bike Safety Tips Video
The video below was created by the US Department of Transportation in association with the League of American Bicyclists and offers a great introductory overview of safe bicycle practices as well as recommended maintenance practices.

NHTSA Bike Safety Tips

Bike Security
Most communities offer bike registration, if not require it.  To register your bike, or should it be stolen, contact your local police department.
Bikes should be locked up when parked in public places such as schools or libraries.  There are several types of bike locks on the market for you to choose from.  The three basic types are D or U Locks, Chain or cable locks, and Wheel Locks.  For a complete review of bike locks, visit the Cool Biking Zone website.
The most effective method of locking a bike is to make sure that the lock passes through the bike frame as well as the front tire and then through the bike rack where the bike will be parked.  This will ensure that the bike remains secure and that tires won't be removed from the bike.