You are 25 years old and still don’t know how to ride a bike. Both of your parents attempted to teach you before but you were so scared that you were going to bump something (or someone) or fall over the pavement. You did not have enough motivation than to learn until your parents became so busy with work they couldn’t teach you how to ride the bike anymore. You did not think much of it because you don’t need to ride a bike anyway. You used to drive with your older sister every day to school and your friends just live in the same neighbourhood that you walk or jog when you visit them.Now, you are 25 and the only adult in your workplace that doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Your office has a scheduled bike event next month and your department needs you to join so that they could qualify as a team. You don’t have a choice but to learn how to ride a bike, no matter how scared or ashamed you are to go to the streets.First things first, there is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s never too late to learn something so if not now, when? If you’ve always wondered what it feels like to ride a bike, now is your chance to finally learn how to. Just remember to be patient with yourself. Don’t force yourself to master it right away. Take a break when your body feels tired or when you feel frustrated. You can always come back to it later and change your approach if something is not working. Another reminder is to relax and not give up! The process may be harder for you than others but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get it sometime in the future. Just practice some more and we guarantee that you’ll eventually get the hang of it.Here’s how to get you started:
1. Buy the right gear.
Make sure you have a bike that fits your size. One marker is that your feet must be able to touch the floor, flat on the ground when you’re straddling. Your crotch must be above the frame. When you’re comfortable with your bike, it’s easy to control and move around.Once the right bike is checked, don’t forget to wear a helmet with a good fit. It should not be too tight but snug, sitting level on your head with the front end one inch or less above your eyebrows.When you’re just learning, lower the seat first. As an adult learning how to ride for the first time, we are assuming that you are scared of falling off from the bike. If you are able to put your feet down on the ground, you could build confidence before raising the seat.
2. Look for the right location.
Since it’s going to be your first bike lesson, look for a vacant lot or an open space to learn. It’s better if it’s a paved, large and flat area rather than going on grassy spots where you can’t speed up for gliding and coasting lessons.
3. Practice mounting and dismounting on your bike.
This may sound easy but most adults are scared of the first time they mount a bike and take off. If you’re scared, take a deep breath and follow these steps. Lean the bike towards the side where you are standing. Pedal with the other foot while the other one moves forward and settles on the pedal once you already have movement. Repeat this over and over until you get comfortable.
4. Learn how to use the brake.
Stopping a bike is as important as learning how to start it. The brakes could save you from accidents so make sure you know how to use them. Use the hand brakes and feel it out first; gauge how strong you have to put pressure on it for your bike to slow down and stop. To slow down, you squeeze the brakes part way. Squeeze the front and back breaks at the same time. The next thing to practice is a smooth, controlled stop. Remember it should not be abrupt. Practice using your breaks every time you cross a 15 to 20 feet mark until you could finally do it seamlessly.
5. Learn how to coast.
You’re not going to use the pedals just yet. Take small steps while you are moving forward on your bike. Then reach one foot forward and take longer strides. Do this repeatedly until you get comfortable to gain speed. You could slowly try to pick your feet up which would give you a feel of the balance. If you’re going faster, it’s easier to balance the bike whereas if you’re going slower, your bike experience would be rocky and you might steer in different directions.One pro tip is to look forward and keep your body straight. If you’re still uncomfortable, just place your feet on the ground.
6. Learn how to pedal.
First, practice pedaling in a stopped position. Sit on your seat with either of your feet on the ground and the other one on the pedal raised at a 1- to a 2-o’clock position. Press down hard on the pedal to move forward. Another option to try is to put one foot on the pedal in a down position and another would be used to scoot. Take a “scooter” step and let your feet find the second pedal. The last way is to use both your feet at the same time and try to scoot forward before your feet land on the pedals at the same time as well.
7. Learn how to steer and turn.
You’ve learned how to start and stop, pedal and speed up; now it’s time to turn left and right and steer your bike in the direction that you want. One good practice is to do figure eights. It’ll be easier to turn wide first before you make smaller turns. When you’re turning, try to stop pedaling because you will go too fast and lose control. Press your brakes halfway when you’re about to turn, stop pedaling and go coast while you make the turn and pedal again once you’re back to going straight.
8. Store your bike properly.
If you want to prolong the life of your bike, make sure you have already installed storage solutions in your garage. First, clean up your garage so that there will be space for your bike. Once there’s a vacant area, you may install a hanger wall-mounted bike rack or a flexible bike hatch rack from FlexiMounts. Both won’t take floor space and would ensure your bikes are in an upright, lifting secured position. These are both heavy-duty and could hold four to six bikes. Both are made of cold-roll steel, adjustable and foldable.