Biking can be a fun way to get outside, stay active, and explore Philadelphia. Learn more about how to bike with kids!
Children are still developing the cognitive and physical abilities to ride safely. They need adult supervision as they grow and learn more complex biking skills.
Before you start, make sure you and the child have:
Where a child should ride depends on their age and ability. Sidewalks, trails, or places with low traffic are great for skills practice before they start riding on the street. Get creative and use chalk to draw out routes and obstacles to help simulate bike lanes or stopping lines.
Before riding on the street, kids should master basic bicycling skills. This includes:
Safe Routes Philly has information for families and educators about biking safely, including lessons and activities.
In Philadelphia, children under age 12 are allowed to ride on the sidewalk. They should be encouraged to do so in areas with heavy traffic or high speeds.
When biking on the sidewalk, it’s important to remember:
If your child is still learning how to bike and is moving slowly, walk or run beside them on the sidewalk. If your child is a confident rider, hop on your own bike and ride alongside them on the street. It’s okay if you are separated by a lane of parked cars—this is still the safest way to ride together!
You bike slightly ahead of the child, but close enough so that you can communicate. This allows you to spot any intersections, driveways, or other issues ahead of time.
If the child is over 12 or a skilled rider, they should ride on streets, in bike lanes, or on trails. When biking on the street, it’s important to remember:
Trails are great places to bike with kids of all ages and abilities. Keep these tips in mind when riding on a trail or multiuse path.
Ride behind your child, or to the left if there is room on the trail. This will help them remember to stay to the right to allow people to pass.