It’s not too late or you’re alone if you never learned how to ride a bike as a child. We’ll walk you through a few easy steps in this article to get you moving and boost your confidence while riding a bike.
Here are some considerations to bear in mind before you begin learning to ride:
- Be patient and avoid attempting to rush the process. Take a break and return to it later if you start to feel worn out or frustrated. Instead of attempting to do too much at once, it might be better to practice for shorter, more focused periods of time.
- Don’t give up; even if you can’t learn to pedal right away, practice makes perfect. Always keep in mind that things will get a little bit simpler over time.
Get Ready to Ride
Make sure you have the right tools before you start learning.
Locate a bicycle that fits you: With your feet flat on the ground and your crotch at least a few inches above the frame, you should be able to straddle your bike. A comfortable bike will be simpler to steer and control.
Check the fit of your helmet: A properly fitted helmet should be snug without being uncomfortable. In order to protect your forehead, it should sit level on your head (not tilted back) with the front edge one inch or less over your eyebrows.
You should be able to sit erect on the seat with both feet flat on the ground after removing the pedals and lowering the seat. The ability to put your feet down to balance helps develop confidence because most folks beginning to ride for the first time are afraid of falling. (Note: A pedal wrench makes it easiest to remove pedals.)
Locate a large, level, paved area, such as an empty tennis or basketball court or a parking lot, where you can study. You won’t be able to gain enough speed on grassy regions to learn to coast and glide, so stay away from them.
Practice Getting On and Off the Bike
It’s a good idea to practice getting on and off your bike after you’ve put it up. To make it simpler to straddle, lean the bike toward you while standing on one side of it. Repeat it till you feel comfortable.
Learn to Brake
Next, try using the hand brakes while not on your bike to gain a feel for how much pressure is required to stop or slow down. Slow down by walking next to your bike while applying the brakes partially. Make sure you simultaneously apply pressure to the front and rear brakes. Next, make an effort to come to a controlled, smooth halt that isn’t jerky or overly abrupt. When you can stop every 15 to 20 feet smoothly, practice stopping.
Learn to Coast Without Pedals
Get on the bike now and practice coasting without using the pedals. Take modest steps when riding while seated to advance the bike. Take longer “running” strides after that, reaching one foot forward as though you were running. Repeat this a few times.
As you become more at ease with these “running” movements, try to increase your speed and then, if you can, lift your feet for a little period of time. Learn how to balance by doing so. Continue honing this skill and aim for longer periods of time when you can pick up your feet and maintain balance while riding the bike. If you start moving with some momentum, it will be much simpler to maintain equilibrium.
Practicing turning to the right and left while coasting will help you learn to coast for longer lengths of time. Try performing huge figure eights with wide turns in both directions eventually.
- Look upward and ahead in the direction you want to go.
- Try to maintain your upright posture.
- If necessary, put your feet down on the floor. You must be able to put your feet level on the ground and your bike must not be too large.
Learn to Pedal
It’s time to put the bike’s pedals back on once you’ve mastered long-term balancing and steering. Keep the seat lowered for the time being so that you may still stop by placing both feet on the ground.
Pedaling from a Stopped Position
It’s time to learn how to move from a halted position now that the bike’s pedals are back in place. There are various methods for doing this. Make sure your bike is in a low gear (if it has gears).
- Place one foot flat on the ground and the other on a pedal that has been lifted to the 1- to 2-o’clock position. Sit on the seat. If the pedal is too level, you won’t have enough momentum to move. When the pedal is raised, firmly depress it. The bike’s forward velocity will be provided by this pressure.
- Another choice is to begin by placing one foot in the down position on a pedal and using the other foot to scoot, as you would on a scooter. Find the second pedal after taking a quick scooter step to gain some speed.
- Thirdly, try scooting forward while simultaneously using both feet, then locate the pedals and place both feet on them simultaneously.
- Avoid looking at your feet because doing so likely to make you lose your equilibrium.
- You can always take a step down if you’re gazing up and have trouble finding the pedals with your feet right immediately. Not to worry!
Steering and Turning
Practice turning and steering after you can ride a bike for longer periods of time. Aim to perform figure-eights. Prior to making smaller turns, do a wide turn. The majority of people typically find that turning to one side is considerably simpler than the other.
As you learn, avoid pedaling through the entire turn because doing so will cause you to travel too quickly for a controlled turn. Predict the turn, cruise while easing off the pedal, make the turn, and then pedal when you come out of it.
It takes time to become a bicycle rider. Even though you might not be able to ride completely in one day, you can with practice. You will also experience that “a-ha” moment when everything clicks into place and you will start pedaling.
Learn more: How to Ride a Mountain Bike: Tips & Techniques