Bike Bus Guardian Guidelines

This page serves as a short set of guidelines that we would request guardians of children who participate in the bike bus read. We want to ensure two fundamental properties:

  • the bike bus is as inclusive as possible – anyone who wants to take part can.
  • the bike bus is as safe as possible – we maintain the most contiguous group as is possible throughout the event.

As a general rule we would remind all parents and guardians to ensure that they and their children observe the rules of the road. We are very visible and identifiable, so we are under scrutiny. We would ask that all riders follow these rules of the bike bus:

  • Please do not ride your bike on the pavements – there are potentially vulnerable pavement users and we must be respectful of them. It can appear quite intimidating to have cyclists riding down the pavements so please stick to the road and riding with the main group.
  • Please observe keep left signs. For example, as we leave the Astley Ainsley going north we should keep left of the traffic island.
  • Please keep to the left side of the road on wider roads such as Whitehouse Loan. We accept that this is harder on the narrower roads such as South Oswald Road, but this is also important there where possible especially when approaching blind binds. Some of the organisers may overtake on the right order to get to junctions, but it is very important that all children keep to the left-hand side of the road.
  • Please do not undertake other cyclists and let people know if you are going to pass them.
  • Remember this is not a race!
  • Please be kind and polite to everyone else even if occasionally things may get a bit cramped, and remember we are a community that supports each other.
  • Do not overtake the ride leader – they are there for all of our safety and it is important they control the speed and location of the front of the group.
  • If you are joining the bike bus please find a space to join in from the left and if you see people joining from the pavement, please if possible make space for them and slow down to let them in.

Gillespie’s Bike Bus Specifics

Another reason for writing this page is that recently the rear of the bike bus itself has become fragmented and the safety of the group is lost for those at the back. We always have a rear lead rider, and some ride leaders at the back, so in the instance that a child is unable to cycle up the hill or has a mechanical breakdown, there is someone who will notice and assist. However, recently some children have been left struggling at the back unbeknownst to their parents or guardians, and the rear riders help these kids to school, not within the bike bus itself. Often this means that cars occupy the spaces which is a situation we want to avoid. Specifically, the area where this happens can be seen below, going up the hill of Whitehouse Loan north of the Astley Ainsley exit.

Going north up Whitehouse Loan.

In order to stop this happening, we are trying to slow the group right down, but we would ask that guardians read the following, to help us out mitigating the danger of cars turning in and fragmenting the group.

  • Guardians should remain in sight of all the children they bring on the bike bus, preferably staying at the level or behind their rearmost child.
  • Try to encourage children to fill in the gaps as much as possible.
  • At the Astley Ainslie North gate we will try to make a space for slower kids at the back to come through to the front so they can start off up the hill. This will encourage the whole group to stay together.
  • Should a child be struggling with the hill, we can offer help – whether than be financial assistance for extra lessons or with bike improvements.
  • Potentially we could offer some weekend extra rides of the route to help children practice or assess how well they will manage.

We are absolutely committed to the most inclusive possible community event and want to encourage children of all abilities. Hopefully, we can work together, with the above points in mind to ensure the safety of the group by being as contiguous as possible, and make sure everyone who wants to take part can do.