Learn to Ride

Posted by Elon Glickman on June 22, 2020 in

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just getting started getting on a bike, haven’t ridden in 20 years and need a refresher or helping a child or friend to get their balance, these tips and tricks will help you out.

Biking is big in the Jones family. The photo below shows three generations of riders: Grandma Sylvia taught Papa Warren, and Papa Warren taught Jasmine.

They have generations of experience (and patience) when it comes to teaching their family how to ride. But not everyone has that, so we wanted to share some tips to help you or help you teach someone else how to ride a bike.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just getting started getting on a bike, haven’t ridden in 20 years and need a refresher or helping a child or friend to get their balance, these tips and tricks will help you out.


(from left to right) Warren, Sylvia, and Jasmine go for a ride.

THINGS YOU’LL NEED

  • A bike (keep it basic). The bike must fit so that the new rider can put their feet flat on the ground while sitting on the seat.
  • A helmet.
  • Tools adjust seat height to remove the pedals (allen keys, crescent wrench, pedal wrench)..
  • Air pump.

SETTING UP THE BIKE

  • Inflate tires to proper pressure
  • Adjust seat height. The new rider should be able to rest their feet flat on the ground while sitting on the seat

WEARING A BIKE HELMET

  • Wearing a bike helmet improperly is the same as not wearing a bike helmet at all.
  • Fit the helmet so it’s level on your head with two finger widths between your eyebrow and the helmet. Do the “eyes, ears and mouth test” – with your eyes, you should be able to see the top of the helmet, the straps should form “Y” and meet below your ears, and if you open your mouth all the way, it should pull the helmet towards your head.

KEEP IT FUN

If teaching someone else, coach them, don’t criticize. Be patient and positive. Tell them what they should be doing instead of what they shouldn’t be doing. Take breaks and keep a time limit. If it’s not working one day, try again the next!

LEARNING BALANCE FIRST

  • Try removing pedals from the bike to learn balancing before pedaling.
  • Sit on the seat (and stay seated). Keep your eyes forward and not down in front of the wheel. Scoot the bike forward using your feet on the ground. Try picking up speed. While rolling, try lifting your feet off the ground. Put a foot down to prevent falls and tip-overs.
  • Only use your right/rear brake to control speed or stop. Steer into/towards the direction of a lean (if you start to tip over, steer slightly in that direction). It’s best to have a little speed and momentum to get rolling – a bike that’s barely moving will want to fall over.
  • Reinstall the pedals only when the new rider can glide forward in a straight line without losing control, tipping over, or wobbling around.

FIND THE PEDALS

  • Don’t look down while the bike is rolling
  • Continue gliding or start pedaling forward with feet on the pedals

OVERCOMING COMMON PROBLEMS

  • The seat may be too low and cause the rider to lose balance while pedaling through the top of the pedal stroke – raise the seat to hip height to get a close to full leg extension.
  • A kid’s bike with coaster brakes will stop when the first foot touches the pedal and rotates backwards. Be sure to remind the new rider that their first foot goes forward on the pedal.

SAFETY REMINDERS

It’s exciting to learn how to ride but important to know how to stop!

STOPPING

  • Use both brakes
  • Keep your weight on the seat until you’re fully stopped
  • Keep your feet on the pedals until the bike stops

TURNING

  • Keep inside pedal up and lean into the turn

Learn even more tips and techniques for learning to ride a bike at our first ever Virtual Learn to Ride Class, Thursday, June 25th at 6:00 PM.

Learn to Ride students will learn techniques to teach themselves or someone else how to balance, pedal, start, stop, and steer a bike, as well as adjust a helmet for proper fit.

The workshop will take place on Zoom. Join info will be sent out to RSVPs the week of the class.

RSVP: https://bikeeasy.nationbuilder.com/learn_to_ride_virtual_workshop

Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more info.

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