Learning to ride a bike is mostly about getting over your fear of falling and getting comfortable with balancing on two wheels. After that, it's just practice to build confidence and getting used to the rules of the road. Here are some tips on learning to ride a bike or teaching adults or children how to ride.
No gears at first
Most kids bikes don't have gears. That's good because it is less to worry about while learning. If you are learning or teaching someone to ride on a bike with gears, have someone set it so it is in a comfortable gear to ride on flat surfaces. Don't worry about shifting gears until you can balance on the bike and pedal.
Fear of falling.
Getting over the fear of falling is a big part of learning to ride a 2 wheel bike. When you haven't developed balance yet, you can lessen this fear by lowering the bike seat until the rider's feet can touch the ground without having to tip the bike sideways. Then find a grassy slope with a slight
incline, like a schoolyard or golf course, and practice coasting down the hill. The rider can touch his or her feet on either side to slow down or regain balance, but this gives them a good feel for developing balance. You can take the pedals off to start with so the feet don't bang into them.
Start by coasting
Once the rider gets a pretty good feel for balance, put the pedals back on and find a flat quiet parking lot without any traffic. Try coasting around by pushing off the ground with the feet. Eventually, try coasting with one foot on a pedal, then both feet for short periods. It is natural for a beginning
rider to grip the handlebar grips very tightly and lean forward in concentration. This makes it harder to balance. Put the riders weight on the seat and relax the handgrip.
The next step is to raise the seat up so the legs are not cramped and can stretch out normally on the pedals. The seat should be high enough so the rider's leg is slightly bent at the knee when the foot is comfortably extended to the pedal. Once the rider starts pedaling, you can stay on the parking lot or try a hard grass field if fear of falling when pedaling is still present.
A little at a time
Finally, practice for 20 or 30 minutes per day, not for hours at a time. A new rider will get frustrated and tired, so keep their interest by not doing too much at one shot. Good luck. A bike opens up a whole new world to you!
- Beginners should always wear a bike helmet for safety
- A bike rodeo is a structured event with safety instructors and is designed for beginning riders. See if there is one offered near your home.