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How To Ride A Bike As An adult. My Learning Experience At 27: What Mistakes To Avoid And How Hard Can It Be

Updated on May 17, 2013

It is said that everything has to be done at the right time. And the childhood is a great time to learn how to ride a bike. But, what do you do when you have passed the childhood or even the adolescence period and you wake up in your 30’s that have not yet learned how to ride a bike?

Why I haven't learned by now?

My parents didn't want to buy me a bike when I was little. They were afraid that I probably hurt myself. Instead, they encouraged me to go on the roller and ice skates. None of my friends had bikes, so no need to learn how to ride a bike.

The time passed, my childhood friends are far away, and many of my new friends are bike lovers. So, I found myself in my almost 30’s, along with a work colleague, in a park, as we learn how to ride a bike as adults.

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Why are there people who still don’t know how to ride a bike?

Like me, because they haven't had the opportunity, or felt the need to learn how to ride a bike. As my colleague from work, because they have tried at one point to learn, they failed and quit.

Or, maybe because didn't have the opportunity until now, although they would have liked it, because they were not interested in such a thing until now, maybe because they've fallen while trying to learn, hurt themselves and quit, or probably they underestimated themselves and never tried to learn, or because they are shame that others will laugh while they are practicing how to ride a bike.

There are many reasons why some of us learn just now how to ride a bike as an adult, but there are also many mistakes that we can make. The mistakes when learning how to ride a bike can lead to injuries and abandon.

So, if they don't learn the right way, many get to quit. I have the easiest way to learn how to ride a bike as an adult.

The method is tested and experienced by yours truly.

I have managed to ride a bike when I was 27. I needed just a few hours, no teacher. And, now, I am a big fan of bike riding. It is superb feeling and it offers me a sense of freedom.

Why should you want to learn how to ride a bike?

  • For fun
  • For health reasons
  • As an alternative means of travel
  • To overcome your limits
  • To satisfy a curiosity
  • To impress someone
  • To fulfill a childhood dream.

Mistakes when trying to learn how to ride a bike

Before you learn how to ride a bike, have a little patience and read about the mistakes to avoid. It is very important!

  • Using another person's help to keep your balance. Really, you don't need the help. At first some of my friends offered to help me - the saddle or the handlebars technique, but that wasn't OK (for me)
  • Don’t use the supporting wheels
  • Don’t use a bike that is too big, or if the saddle is too low or too high.
  • No negative thinking and preconceived ideas, like "I'm sure I'm going to fall", "I'm not in the mood", "I'm not going to learn";
  • Don’t care what others may think of you while you are learning how to ride a bike.

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Now, let’s learn how to ride a bike!

First, you have to understand one thing: people are bipedal beings; they are made to move on their feet - to walk or to run. Around the age of one we do our first steps and we continue in a vertical position. We are biologically adapted to walking.

Every time we try to do otherwise, for most of us it’s difficult - consider swimming, car sickness, riding a snowboard or skis, riding a bicycle and so on.

When you are trying to learn how to ride a bike you must take into account that, in fact, we are not made to keep our balance on a two-wheel thing.

But, we can get used to it, because people have the capacity to adapt to many situations. When we learn to ride a bike we adapt to this new way of traveling.

Two big steps to complete, so you can learn how to ride a bike:

1. To keep your balance
2. To use pedals – to move around and for speed.

The first step is to get a normal bike, with no support wheels. It doesn't matter if you buy your bike, if you rent one, or if you borrow a bike from a friend.

But, it is very important the size of the bike, compared to your height. The saddle must be lowered or raised enough so that when you sit on it – in a vertical, normal position, where the legs are stretched out perfectly - your feet should touch the ground.

The idea is to feel safe enough. Knowing that you can always put your feet on the ground, if you can’t hold your balance, or if you want to stop, and to push yourself with the feet, to propel forward.

It is pointless to try to learn how to ride a bike if you don't have a bike your own size.

The most important thing when learning how to ride a bike is to NOT USE the PEDALS.

Now, we must learn how to keep our balance

1. Take the bike and go to a safe area (preferably, a park not too crowded, with no dogs, without slopes/ramps, preferably without sand/gravel).

2. Now, alternating the feet, try to move forward. You're perfectly safe. You can’t fall - you can always put your feet down and stop. Go like this for a few minutes, even half an hour. Learn how to use the hand-brake, go right, go left, go ahead with some curves.

3. Continue like this until you'll feel able to raise your feet off the ground. You won't need anyone to run after you, to hold the saddle or handlebars. You will do very well on your own. At first, you will be able to sit with your legs up for half a second, and for a second, two seconds and then five seconds.

All you have to do is to continue to practice. If you are now able to push and go with your legs off the ground, without the fear that you will fall, that means that you can hold your balance on the bike.

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4. The next step, increase the speed

5. Then, you have to miming the pedaling

6. Lift your legs even higher. This time, on the knee level. And keep on practicing. Go right and left, slowly, then faster.

7. It’s time to use the pedals. Begin, first, with a very easy pedaling. Go on a straight road, without curves.

8. If you feel like you don't have the proper balance, put your feet down. And try again!

9. It's best to practice pedaling on light speeds, which do not require pressing the pedals with power. Once you try with low speeds, you can progressively increase the speed.

10. If you are successful, congratulations! You just learned how to ride the bike as an adult!

REMEMBER!

  • Use the bike that is the correct size for you
  • Forget about the pedals
  • At first you push with the legs, until you can learn how you keep your balance
  • Pay attention to the cars, dogs, holes, bumps, sand, gravel, kids
  • Be confident
  • Repeat again and again
  • Don't be afraid
  • Have fun!

Want to share your knowledge, express your creativity and EARN MONEY? Sign up for free HERE at Hubpages. Enjoy the experience!

It is two years since I learned to ride a bike.

It took me a few hours. It is a day that I remember with great pleasure.

Do you have any great tips on how to learn to ride a bike as an adult?

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      Beverley 2 years ago

      I came across this a month ago and it really gave me the added confidence I needed, to have a go at learning to ride. I wasn't given the opportunity as a child and have either never needed to know how to ride, or else, kept putting it off. However, at the age of 45, I have just learned to ride my first ever bike and using your technique! I am so happy that I have achieved this - just need to keep practicing and gain more confidence, to go out onto roads now. Thank you so much for sharing this advice.

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      mizunogirl 3 years ago

      Well, I hope that I will be able to do this within 2 hours, so far...I have worked with my running coach, on a very steep hill (ugh) and it was terrifying...of course the bike was not my size....