Learning how to ride a bicycle

Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by FAB Jim The Cyclist

You see all the great benefits of cycling, but you don’t know how to ride a bike.  Don’t worry, it’s not that hard and most anyone can do it.  Once you learn, everything just works on instinct, and it becomes as easy as walking. 

First thing you will need is a bike of course.  You will want to make sure it is the correct size.  Make sure you dress appropriately in some athletic clothes.  Shorts are usually good to keep your pant leg out of the chain, though many bikes have a sort of chain guard. 

Now you want to get familiar with your bike.  Make sure you are fully aware of how the brakes work on your bike.  Very, very important.  Have the seat really low so you can still touch the ground while sitting, you will likely raise it later as you get more confident riding.

If you are not familiar with pedaling you might want to find a stationary bike so you can practice the movement.   Most exercise places will have some sort of bike.

Now that you are feeling ready to learn, you should find a nice, safe place to practice on your bike.  Either a not busy road or maybe a parking lot for someplace that is currently closed.  You want to be able to safely focus on learning to ride and not worry about cars and other things.  You should have a lot of room to move around without hitting anything.

Now put your helmet on and sit on your bike.  Practice a little with the brakes. 

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Now you just want to sort of walk around with the bike and practice steering and braking.  Just move around slowly this way for a while so you get familiar. 

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Once you are feeling comfortable you should practice balancing.  Instead of walking, push yourself along and let your feet come of the ground so you can glide a little.  Start with very small distances and work your way up.  As you get better this is a great time to practice your steering and braking while you glide along.  Practice stopping and putting your feet down, so you don’t fall. 

Photo by Bianca Gasparoto on Pexels.com

Once you are comfortable with balancing, gliding, braking, and steering you can start to try pedaling.  You will do his by pushing yourself off like a glide and then try to pedal a few revolutions.  Then practice stopping again.  Keep doing this till you go farther and farther and get more comfortable.  Start with straight lines and work in more turning as you go.  Eventually you will just keep on going. 

Here is a nice video that might help:

Probably less helpful:

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