ABC Safety Check

This lesson should be completed first and the safety check should be done by your rider EVERY time they ride a bike.

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Skill Progression:

  • Session 1: Teach your rider the safety check.

  • Session 2: Have your rider verbally describe each step of the check.

  • Session 3: Have your rider “teach” the safety check to a friend, parent, or toy.


  • Your rider can complete the safety checks before mounting their bike without being asked.

We want riders be in the habit of ensuring bikes and selves are safe before every ride. The ABC Safety Check is an easy way for riders to remember what to check prior to riding.

Helmet Check:
The first step in the safety check is to make sure helmets are properly fitted. To do so, we use the two–finger check:

  • Have your rider use their index and middle fingers to check:

    • Under their chin strap (more than two fingers means its too loose)

    • On their forehead (two fingers should fit between the helmet and their eyebrows, too big of a gap is a risk for head injury)

    • Along both ear straps using “peace fingers.” The peace sign should follow the straps from the base of their ear up to the side of the helmet shell.

Bike Check:
The second step in the safety check is to make sure our bikes are ready to ride. We use the “ABC Quick Check” method for this. Have your rider do the following:

  • A is for Air: Check the air pressure by squeezing each tire. Are the tires squishy or firm? Have your rider help you pump up the tires if necessary.

  • B is for Brakes: Squeeze each brake and try to push the bike forward to ensure the brakes function. If the bike doesn’t have hand brakes, test the coaster brakes by moving the pedals backward until they stop.

  • C is for Chain: Look at the chain. Are there any bent links or visible damage? Spin the pedal cranks forward and backward while the back wheel is lifted. Does it make any weird noises?

  • Quick is for quick release: Check to make sure any quick release levers on the wheels or seat are tight by lightly pulling on them with one finger. If they come loose, they need to be tightened.