A Bike. Think of the type of riding you want to do before you buy one. Mountain bikes are strong and stable and built for gravel roads and tricky trails. Racing bikes are built to go super fast on pavement, and sport bikes, a combination of both, are good for many different purposes.
A Helmet. Your helmet should sit right above your eyebrows and be tightly buckled so it doesn't slip while you are riding.
Use your head and wear a helmet! You should always wear a helmet when you ride — plus, it's the law in many states. It's also important that your helmet is approved by one of the groups who test helmets to see which ones are the best: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell B-95 standards are best for bicycling helmets. Try not to ride at night or in bad weather, and wear brightly colored, or reflective clothes whenever you ride so you can be seen. You can even put reflectors or funky reflective stickers on your bike — who knew being safe could look so cool? Also, watch out for loose pant legs and shoe laces that could get caught in your bike chain.
Be street smart. Ride on the right side of the road, moving with traffic, and obey all traffic signs and signals. Discuss the best riding routes with your parents — they'll help you determine safe places to ride near your home.
When you reach an intersection, be sure to stop and look left, right, and then left again to check for cars — then go. Use hand signals to show when you're going to turn, and be sure to keep an eye out for rough pavement ahead so you can avoid it. And although you may think you can't go out without your favorite tunes, never wear headphones when you're on your bike.