Learning How To Ride A Bike

Riding a bike is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. People usually learn how to ride as kids, but it’s definitely possible to learn how to ride a bike as an adult. Regardless of when you learn how to ride, once you do, you never forget how to do it, and you’ll always be able to experience the fun of riding. Here is some useful information that will help you learn how to ride a bike.

Girl practicing her cycling skills on an empty road

Riding a bike begins with being ready to ride, both from a physical and mental standpoint. Most adults will be ready to ride physically, but depending on the age, some children may not be strong enough to push the pedals, which means they may have to wait until they’ve grown a little. Mentally, a person of any age must want to learn to ride a bike. Some kids may have no interest in riding until they’re much older, and some kids and adults even are afraid of getting on a bike, which is a common hurdle that can be overcome through familiarization with the bike.

Once prepared on a physical and mental level, you have to get the necessary equipment. A helmet that fits and pads for the knees and elbows will keep you protected, and a bike that is the right size for your body will allow you to ride correctly. The bike should be big enough to allow you to place your feet flat on the ground while straddling it, and have a few inches of clearance for your crotch. The bike seat should be adjusted to allow the feet to rest directly on the ground while sitting. For young kids, training wheels can be used, but you’ll have to remove them eventually.

Once you’re ready, become familiar with the bike and how it works by practicing mounting and dismounting it and using the brakes. Use a level area like an empty basketball court or parking lot to practice. Build up comfort for it by leaning the bike toward you while standing on the side of it to a successful straddle. While you aren’t mounting the bike, stand on its side and press the hand brakes. Push the bike forward while walking along with it and pressing the brake to get an idea of what it takes to stop the bike without it jerking smoothly.

After familiarization, you can learn how to coast with the bike. Coasting can be done with the pedals on or off, but beginners may find it easier once they are removed from the bike. Use small steps to move the bike forward while sitting on it. Now you can transition to longer steps that mimic a run to get more speed and try to lift your feet from the ground to get a sense of balance. The more you practice, the longer you’ll be able to keep your feet off the ground while staying balanced. Once you can coast for longer periods, try steering left and right, starting with small turns and building up to wide turns.

Now that you can coast and balance, it’s time to put the pedals back on if they were removed, and start pedaling. It’s important to stay calm and avoid looking down to help to maintain your balance when pedaling. There are three ways to start pedaling. You can begin with a foot on the ground and a pedal on the opposite side raised to a 1 or 2 o’clock position that will be pressed. Or you can use one foot on one down pedal while scooting on the ground with the other foot and then putting it on the second pedal when you have enough speed, or you can push with both feet and try to put both on the pedals when the necessary speed is reached. Speed and momentum will keep you going once you start.

Much like with coasting, you’ll need to practice steering once you can pedal for long periods. Start with small turns and move to wider turns. Don’t try to turn when you are going too slow. It will be a lot harder to keep you balance that way.

It can take time and patience to learn how to ride a bike, but once you’ve done it, it becomes second nature. Practice using the information presented here, and you’ll be riding a bike in no time.

And then you can move on to learning tricks on the bike:

6 Benefits Of Cycling

Cycling is considered one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling forms of exercise for many people. Although a preferred mode of transport for many, cycling can be used for both low-impact, casual, and even intense exercise depending on one’s goals. You, too, can enjoy the sport if looking to keep fit and in the best shape both physically and mentally. Here are some of the ways cycling can be/is beneficial for your health and overall well-being.

Woman riding her bike in traffic.

  1. Weight Loss/Management
    Cycling, especially high-intensity cycling, provides an excellent way to tone down and keep fit without ever having to use fad diet plans or even sign up for the gym. While considered a habitual exercise, cycling for at least 30 minutes triggers increased metabolism, burning many calories in the process. This exercise is also recommended for those looking to lose weight and gradually gain muscle mass.
  2. Improved Leg Strength
    Unlike most exercise forms that might be overly taxing on a specific muscle, cycling is known to strengthen all leg muscles, especially the glutes, quads, calves, and hamstring. The best thing about cycling is you can adjust its intensity depending on how energetic you are. Thus, you can start off slow and gradually increase the intensity for optimal muscle development and leg strength. You might also want to try squats, lunges, and leg presses for even better performance.
  3. Improved Mental Health
    Do you always find yourself feeling drained, lethargic, and stressed? Taking on even the simplest of exercises, such as walking or cycling, can, however, help boost your mental state and health. One of the reasons for this is that cycling allows you to commune with nature, or even get outdoors to see new things. Breathing fresh air promotes increased blood flow to the brain, which supplies brain cells with nutrients and oxygen required for healthy growth and development.
  4. It Kickstarts Your Day
    There are days when your body will feel stiff, making you want to stay in bed all day long. Starting your day cycling, however, helps combat feelings of sluggishness and improving your alert levels. Five minutes into cycling and blood will be flowing to all vital parts of the body, giving you the extra energy required to push through the day. The low-intensity exercise also helps enhance your endurance performance, metabolism levels, and burn any extra calories. There is no better way to start your day than with blood already ‘hot’ and pumping through all arteries and veins. Studies also show that cycling every day for at least six weeks helps improve a person’s insulin response, thus reducing diabetes risk.
  5. It’s Good For Your Heart
    Cycling through the streets and parks every morning not only helps boost your energy levels but is good for your cardiovascular health as well. Exercise triggers increased metabolism, heart rate, and blood flow, one of the key factors doctors and health experts are always campaigning for. With the increased heart rate, respiration, and blood flow, your risk of contracting heart-related conditions, including high blood pressure, is lowered.
  6. Improved Posture, Coordination, and Balance
    The simple act of riding a bicycle requires concentration and the ability to stabilize your body and bike. While this may be easy for a child or teenager, most adults will find it harder to maintain balance on their bikes and sway off from time to time. Making a habit of riding your bike every day, however, restores your natural coordination, posture, and balance, enabling you to better control your bike. The improved coordination from enjoying bike rides will thus prove fruitful in your golden years.

These are but a few of the many benefits of cycling. Check out Bike Binge for some great reviews and buying guides. Remember to have your protective gear on while riding down the street, or even the park, to avoid getting hurt in case of a fall. You can find