Many adults never got the chance to learn how to ride a bike and many kids want to learn. If you are in any of the two above categories, you’ve taken the first step.
There’s a common misconception that if you didn’t learn how to ride a bike as a kid, you’ve missed your chance. This is not true. After all, learning to ride a bike as an adult is no harder than learning as a kid as long as you take the same step-by-step approach to the process. All you need is a bike and a safe, wide-open place to practice, like an empty parking lot or park.
Follow these steps below and you’ll to learn how to ride a bike in no time.
Set up your bike:
First make sure you can stand over your bike without the top tube pressing into you. If you can’t, then you’ll need to pick a smaller size. Remember that proper bike fit is important when possible. Then lower the seat so you can sit on the saddle with your feet just resting on the ground. You should be able to reach the handlebars and brakes comfortably too. If it is adjustable, that’s better.
Find a fitting location:
When you’re learning as a beginner, you want to find a place that’s comfortable and far from traffic. A good place to start is a flat, smooth stretch of ground such as your driveway or your sidewalk. Those who don’t have space at home can practice in a parking lot or park.
Wear riding clothing:
Knee and elbow pads insulate joints and protect against scrapes, so they are recommended for all riders. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants also help protect against falls and can be combined with pads.
Put on a helmet:
Helmets are recommended for beginners and experienced bike riders alike. You never know when an accident will happen. A broken bone can usually be fixed, but head trauma, common in bicycle accidents, leaves a lasting impact.
Practice getting on and off and get used to braking:
To mount the bike, lean it toward you while applying the brakes so it doesn’t roll or wobble. Apply the brakes again when getting off the bike. Braking is a crucial skill that will give you a lot of confidence starting out. Walk next to your bike and push it down the street while practising pulling on the brakes to stop. Make sure you apply pressure evenly on both brakes.
Start with one foot on the ground. Your other foot should be flat on a pedal pointed upwards. Push off, put that foot on the other pedal, and go! Keep going as long as you can maintain balance. Going faster makes balancing easier, but don’t go so fast that you lose control.
Learn to glide:
Now you’re ready to start moving. Anything that involves balance is helpful and can be used as a point of reference. Look toward where you want to go, instead of focusing on obstacles to avoid, the pedal, the ground or your hands. It will help you maintain balance and follow your line of vision.
Learn to ride on slopes:
Walk the bike to the top of a slope, mount it, and glide down, allowing the bike to slow naturally in the flat area at the bottom. Dismount and repeat as necessary until you get used to balancing and controlling the bike.
Dismount from the bike:
Don’t stop with your legs foot. A better practice is to stop by using the brakes. Stop pedalling, shift your weight onto the lowest pedal, and squeeze both handbrakes, if the bike has them. Once the bike has stopped, raise yourself a little and step off onto the ground.
Don’t forget to guide the bike in the direction you’re headed by steering it left or right, up or down. Never forget also, that the bike you’re on has got a brake and you can use it.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.