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:

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