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Despite what the naysayers say, it’s never too late to start anything, even learning how to ride a bike. Did you know that adults aged 69 have learned how to ride a bike for decades under ‘Pedal Ready‘?
Pedal Ready is a Greater Wellington Regional Council regional program in Wellington, New Zealand, to teach adults and kids cycling. Irrespective of region and location, cycling “remains one of the best in terms of safely maintaining social distancing.”
There’s no specific answer as to how long does it takes to learn to ride a bike. It might take a day or even a few hours for you to learn cycling. While for others, it might take weeks or even months to learn how to ride a bike.
However, no matter what, learning how to ride a bike entails numerous benefits.
It keeps you fit, helps you explore your local area, and makes the most out of your time outdoors. Besides these, cycling is also an excellent mode for transport, cost-effective and eco-friendly.
Below is a step-by-step guide on riding a bike if you don’t have a Pedal Ready program in your region.
Learning requires persistence, and learning to ride a bike as an adult is no different than as a kid. It takes the same courage to push out nerves and the fear of falling and hurting yourself.
All you need to do is practice with your bike in an open space. But even then, it seems complicated then you can follow the given steps to learn how to ride a bike.
You must ensure that you have gotten rid of the training wheels before learning cycling. After getting rid of the training wheels, try to set your bike for yourself.
Lower the saddle or higher as per your convenience. However, make sure that your feet can rest on the ground when you mount on the saddle. See if you can comfortably reach the brakes and handlebar while adjusting the seat.
Once you have set your bike, try mounting on and off the bike. Get comfortable with it so that your body gets accustomed to the vehicle.
However, when you try practicing mounting on and off your bike, make sure you apply brakes. Applying brakes will prevent the bike from wobbling and any possible injury you might incur during the process.
Understanding the working of the brake system in your bike is very important. Braking slightly pushes the rider while starting to cycle and prevents your bike from wobbling.
You can try practicing by walking alongside your bike and applying brakes between and when needed. That will give you a fair understanding of your bike brake system.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to apply even pressure on both the brakes of the bike. Failing to do so might lead to severe injury.
Gliding refers to pushing off the bike forward via feet, just like a kick scooter. The motive behind practicing gliding is to build your balance on a bike.
For starters, you must try to keep your feet off the ground for at least 3 seconds while gliding. If you need to put your feet to maintain your balance before 3 seconds have passed. Then you need to put both your feet down and start again.
Once you are able to stay off the ground considerably while gliding, take the next step and start pedaling. Start practicing pedaling by putting one foot on the pedal and the other on the ground.
Slowly lift the other and try to be steady before you start pedaling.
You will notice that the faster you pedal, the more confident and steady you will feel. At the beginning of this exercise, you must try to pedal around a park or an open space in a circular motion.
This will help you build the needed balance on the bike. Once you feel confident, adjust your seat a little higher. The seat height should be higher enough for your feet to reach the pedal with a slight bend.
By following the steps mentioned above and practicing a little, you’ll learn to ride a bike in no time. Riding a bike is all about confidence and balance.
It’s also a surprisingly supportive sport if done in groups. You must look up and in front of where you want to go instead of focusing on the obstacles.
Focusing on the upcoming obstacles and not in front will hinder your balance while riding. Instead, keeping your eyes up and looking forward will aid you in maintaining balance.
Did you know that regular cycling keeps Alzheimer’s away? According to research by Professor Arthur Kramer, Illinois University cycling boosts blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Improved blood and oxygen flow help regenerate receptors, keeping Alzheimer’s away.
That helps in the development of neurons in the hippocampus. Hippocampus is the region of the brain primarily associated with memory function. This region starts to gradually decay with age, leading to memory loss and the ability to make new memories.
Bikes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are designed to be used on the road, while others are for mountain, races, and hybrid purposes. Below are a few options that you can refer to if you are unsure of where to start!
Tommaso Imola has a super lightweight aluminum frame and wheels and comes with 100% Shimano gears. This bike also boasts a lifetime frame warranty, which is great if you are starting to ride.
Shimano Fastback bike comes with a triple-butted aluminum road frame and an aluminum fork with an aluminum steerer. It boasts fast and high performance and is specifically designed for beginners to intermediate riders.
This bike is made of an aluminum alloy frame and comes with butted and formed tubing that is light and highly durable. Furthermore, this bike boasts high performance, braking power, and a lifetime warranty.
If you are riding a short distance, like less than a mile, you can ride in your casual clothes. However, do remember a few things.
- Use a pant-leg band while riding to prevent your pants from getting stuck in the chain.
- Avoid wearing heels or a skirt/dress with a loose or long fabric while riding. However, stop the bike immediately if your clothes get caught in the spokes.
- Be aware of loose straps from the backpack or any sort, for it might dangle into the chain, creating a hazard.
When riding longer distances, wearing bike shorts, pants and sweatshirts might be more comfortable. Furthermore, also make sure that you wear proper footwear while riding.
Avoid wearing flat-soled shoes and open-toe sandals that leave your feet exposed.
Cyclists must follow the rules outlined by their respective state authorities while riding their bikes. They are also required to use white front lights and red rear lights along with pedal and side reflectors at night. It’s also advisable not to speak on your cell phone while riding your bike.
Furthermore, always wear a bicycle helmet and abide by traffic rules, even short cycle trips. Helmets significantly reduce the probability of head injuries and death.