How to Learn to Ride a Bike As an Adult

Perhaps your parents tried to teach you when you were six years old, but you hit a tree and refused to ever get on the bike again. Or maybe no one has ever tried to teach you, or you never wanted to learn. But now, a few weeks after the start of the pandemic, things are getting boring. Your partner, your friends, your neighbors, or your kids pull out their bikes and embark on epic neighborhood adventures, risking further than your legs can carry you, and you’ve decided it’s time to learn how to ride a bike.

Until a few weeks ago, I had hardly ridden a bicycle since my teens. But this is – as they say! – like … cycling. Not that it’s easy to learn on its own, but once you know how to do it, you’ll never forget. And after so many years at home, save for a few walks around the block and short trips to the grocery store, it seems like sheer freedom. So, if you are finally ready to learn, now is the time. You can do it!

First, you need a bike

You can borrow one to get started, but it must be the right size for you. You should be able to swing your leg over the bike, sit in the seat and balance comfortably, with your legs straight and both feet on the ground (or nearly flat).

If you are tense, it will be more difficult for you to practice balance; However, if the bike is too short, it will be difficult for you to pedal. Adjust the seat up or down for a comfortable height.

Try the Schitt’s Creek Method

“This is one foot on the pedal and the other on the ground, and then get the hell out of here!”

I’m kidding, I really don’t recommend it. I’m just drinking this show right now, I love this scene and I had to share it. (“The pedals make it move more!”)

Okay, anyway …

Start with a slight coasting motion

Find a wide, open, level, paved surface such as a side street, path, or low-traffic parking lot. With your feet on the ground, completely ignore the pedals and start walking / cycling by pushing off your feet. As you pick up speed a little, lift your legs a little to feel the balance of your upper body.

Try to resist the urge to stop by using the “slide your feet on the ground” method; practice stopping with the hand brake instead. You get the instinct to brake with your hands, which will be important when you start moving a little faster.

Put one foot on the pedal

Once you are comfortable coasting and balancing with both feet, place one foot on the pedal and push / roll with the other, as if you were riding a scooter. This will help you go from accelerating on the ground to accelerating with the pedals. Follow this path until you feel that your speed and balance are comfortable enough to lift your other leg and begin pedaling.

The visuals always help with this, so watchthis video of a very cute guy teaching his friend how to ride a bike:

I remember when my father-in-law taught my son to ride a bike, he gave the best advice: “Pedal, pedal, pedal!” Pedaling quickly when you’re just starting out (you get nervous!) May seem counterintuitive, but pedaling is what gives you momentum, and momentum is what you need to stay in balance, so keep those feet in motion …

And finally, make sure you wear a helmet, but don’t be afraid to fall – chances are good that you won’t fall at all, but even if you do, the worst thing you can get is a small bruise or scraping off to show your efforts. …


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