Learning to ride a bike!

So your parents never taught you how to ride a bike? That’s okay! I’m here to tell you that with this easy-peasy technique, you can be pedaling through town in under 10 minutes!

First, we’ll run through some important parts of the bike, so you know what’s what. Bicycles are machines and have lots of important parts. You really only need to know about the most basic parts.

Starting at the top, you have handlebars, these control your steering. Connected to the handlebars, there are often hand brakes. Some bikes operate with pedal brakes, but I personally think hand brakes are not only smoother but more controllable. You squeeze the brakes to slowly stop, it’s basically like the brake pedal in a car, you can stop slow or fast depending on how fast you squeeze them. One side stops the front tire and the other side stops the back tire. You will really only be squeezing both handlebars so that’s not important.

The pedals are also important, they make you go forward. Some pedals have adjustable “tensions” for different terrain, but that will probably only be available on mountain bikes. Pedals often are textured to give grip to the shoes while riding. Pedaling barefoot is not recommended.

The seat of the bike is probably one of the most misunderstood parts of it. The seat is not actually meant to be sat on. Let me tell you, you will not want go for an hour long bike ride and sit on that seat the entire time. Your butt will hurt. Bikes are meant to be pedaled, full force. Full force means with every muscle in your body. You will go from fully standing on one pedal to fully standing on the other, rinse and repeat. That being said, no one does that. Because it is exhausting. You will sit on that seat for the better part of the hour, and near the end of the ride, you will just sit in silence, suffering.

Now, onto learning to ride. You’ll start by standing over the bike. Lower the seat if it is touching your butt. You just want to stand over the bike. Now you’ll start walking, with the bike under you, still not sitting on the bike. Once you are feeling really uncomfortable and tired of walking over the bike, sit on it. But don’t move again yet. You want to just sit on the bike and practice picking up your feet and keeping the bike upright. Now if you’re feeling comfortable walk with the bike again, but this time you can sit on it. If you want to go faster maybe try kicking up your feet a bit. Even try gliding down the road with your feet off the ground. This step is one you want to take your time on, practice as much as you want and need until you feel comfortable. Just keep gliding around, getting a feel for the balance of the bike, not using the pedals.

After a while, if you feel really comfortable with gliding on the bike you can try the last step. Pedaling is super easy when you’ve mastered the balance of the bike. Always remember to go at a speed you are comfortable with, don’t turn to hard on stone roads, and REMEMBER YOUR BRAKES.

TA-DAH! YOU CAN RIDE BIKES NOW!

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