If you think that you have missed out on learning to ride a bicycle, it’s never too late to rectify that. Don’t assume that learning to ride a bicycle is something only a kid can do. You can surely learn how to ride a bicycle as an adult, and it’s way easier than you think.
It’s understandable that being an adult is not easy and oftentimes you don’t have anyone around you to help you out, but those who know how to take care of their shit by themselves are courageous souls.
Hence, I had to take this initiative to help you out with our years of experience in bike riding.
Riding a bicycle is somewhat life-changing to be honest; it’s better not to even try and explain that because I want you to experience that for yourself as you learn how to ride a bike by yourself. Be it for fitness, commute, or just fun, bikes are awesome.
“There’s a big elephant in the room”
Let’s clear that up first. You might have heard a thousand times over that you can’t learn to ride a bike or learn to swim by reading or listening.
Holding that to be true, you can actually learn these things faster and safer if you go through proper guidelines and tips. Of course you have to get out there and do the actual thing to do it right, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make every mistake to learn skills thoroughly.
You can simply learn from others to get ahead faster and safer.
One more thing – you are allowed to be nervous, but don’t be discouraged. It’s never too late to learn something new, and don’t worry about the details, I’ll provide and link everything that you need right here.
4 Important Pre-riding Steps ( steps to ride a bike)
Before we get started with the learning process, there are a few mandatory things to discuss.
Step 1 – Finding the right bike
Maybe you’ve already got a bike, or you are planning to get one after reading this article. If you already have one, then you have to know how to adjust it for your fit.
Making sure that you can reach the ground with your feet when you stay seated on the bike is vital for new learners; it makes it easier to control the bike and make bike riding safer.
You can easily adjust the bike seat to your liking. You should also be able to reach the handlebars and brakes properly; it’s gonna be hard to control the bike otherwise.
PRO TIP: Wearing boots or shoes with thick soles helps you reach the ground a bit better if you are not tall enough already.
Having a bike that fits you will make a night and day difference. If it’s way too small or large, then it’s sure gonna be a pain in the ass which is not worth it. If it’s somewhat the right fit, then you can surely adjust it.
On the other hand, if you are going to get a new bike, then we have a proper guideline on how to choose a bike with all different types explained. For a beginner, a cruiser or hybrid bike with a low top-tube would be our suggestion; you could even go for a mountain or electric bike if you are feeling enthusiastic.
Two great online places to buy bikes would be Amazon and Rei. You’d find tons of retailers and options to choose from.
Step 2 – Gearing up: Personal Safety is priority
Wearing the right gear gives you confidence and makes it safer to ride a bike. And when you are confident, everything else is easy peasy.
Getting hurt while learning to ride a bike is not uncommon. When it comes to riding gears for beginners, I recommend wearing proper shoes, helmet, and gloves as a bare minimum. These would keep you safe as well as complete your cycling look.
Pro Tip: Make sure you are not wearing baggy pants or clothing that can get into the chain. Also, tuck your shoelaces properly for obvious reasons. You can wear socks to make sure you keep your ankles protected as they get smudged with the pedals.
Step 3 – Finding the right place
Getting the right place is equally important. A proper riding area will make sure you can learn to ride quickly and safely.
It might not be an issue for some people to find the right place, but it could be a problem for some.
Make sure it’s an empty space where there are no cars and mass people. You don’t wanna bump into any of those. Also, the place should not be an uneven or broken and bad road.
An empty parking lot, tennis court, or a serene area in a park sounds nice. However, grassy areas are not nice to learn since it will get harder for you to pedal on terrains like that.
Pro Tip: It would be helpful if you practice early morning or in the afternoon. There are fewer people and less heat to give you sunburn. The learning process itself is highly energy consuming, you don’t want harsh conditions on top of that.
Step 4 – Mindset makes you winner
There are whiners and then there are winners. The difference is only Mindset. Learning how to ride a bike is not rocket science, and there are billions of people who can do it. There is no reason that you won’t be able to do that.
All you need is a bit of patience and persistence. Don’t try to force the process. If you find yourself getting tired or frustrated, take a break and come back to it later. Shorter, more focused practice sessions may be a better approach than trying to do too much all at once.
You may not learn to pedal right away, but with continued practice, you’ll get it. Remember that each time it’s going to get a little bit easier.
Pro Tip: commit and take it easy. It takes time to get better at cycling, but the basics take only a few days to master.
Let’s learn How To Ride A Bike Alone In 6 Steps
Step 1 – Practice Mounting the bike
At first, you won’t even have to start riding the bike. Just practice getting on and off of the bike. Get yourself familiar with the sensation of sitting on a bike. That can help you get your bearings straight (pun intended!). I know that it sounds simple, but please don’t overlook it.
For the next step, if you were a kid, I would’ve suggested taking off the pedals in the beginning, but I don’t think that would be too much of a hassle. Also, don’t even think about training wheels. Not even a kid needs that.
Step 2 – Waddle like a duck: Push and brake
I lost count on how many times I crashed because I forgot to pull the brake lever when I was a kid learning to ride a bike.
I should have started with practicing how to stop. It is the most important skill to get familiar with for a beginner.
Now you can start pushing the bike with your feet. Once your bike wheels start to move a little forward, use the brakes to stop. You can even walk alongside the bike and push it down the street to get used to using the brakes.
Apply pressure on both the front and rear brakes as you push the bike and see how they work. Pressing too hard on the front brake can easily tip you off. However, if you have coaster brakes, the ones that slow down the bike by spinning the pedals backward, you will have to try braking after you learn to pedal.
This process can also build up your confidence as you get yourself accustomed to breaking. Push the brakes every 10 or 15 feet of walking the bike.
Try both waddling like a duck and pushing off with both feet at practice.
Step 3 – Glide like a superhero: Learn to balance
Step 4 – Move like a snake: Learn to turn and steer
Now you can start trying to coast and steer the bike, but not with the pedals. Once you’re seated on the bike, keep your feet on the ground and take little steps to move forward.
You can take bigger steps as you go and try to gain more speed. It would be as if you are running on the bike.
Try turning your bike left and right while keeping your balance. Start with small turns and eventually take large turns as you go. Learning how to turn takes a bit of time tho, so keep practicing.
Step 5 – Now we pedal
Keep one foot flat on the ground and put the other one on a pedal. Raise the pedal high at a 2 o’clock position and press with your foot.
Your bike would move forward as you keep pressing the pedal. At this point, you can add your other foot on the second pedal and press with both feet. Do not think about the speed. When you pedal faster, your balance would be steadier.
One mistake almost everyone would do in the beginning is to look down at the pedals; you have to look forward. So, pedal a little and look forward.
You can always find your footing if you feel like you are losing balance as you pedal. Try pedaling straight and gain speed. Hey, if you need to stop, you know where the brakes are!
Pro Tip: Try to find a sloped area, so that the bike moves on its own downhill. It’s hard to balance, pedal, and gain momentum. If the momentum is built from the slope, you can easily get into pedaling super fast. In simple words, it’s hard to push on your own in the beginning, that’s why you’d see other people pushing the learner. In your case, a sloped road is your best friend.
Step 6 – Do it all over again
Now that you are pedaling, try steps all over again. Try getting on and off of your bike, practice breaking, and take turns. You can even set up some obstacles by yourself to learn how to maneuver better.
Take wide turns and then try the smaller turns. Try not to pedal as you make the turns since the speed can be too much to handle. Once your turn is complete, resume pedaling.
No one can learn to ride a bike in a day. It takes time to perfect any art. Yes, you may end up with some minor injuries or even a scar or two. But don’t stop practicing and have faith in yourself. You can surely have your ‘eureka!’ moment.
Check these videos out for Visual Instructions
Confusions you might have
As a beginner, you might have a lot of questions and confusion regarding bikes and different parts. For example – what is bike gears, derailleur, shifters, suspension fork, and the list keep going.
It’s totally okay to not know everything in the beginning. It’s time for you to focus on learning how to ride first. With time, you’ll get hold of everything.
There are tons of free resources on the internet explaining every little detail about bikes. I’ll add some of the lists that help beginners to understand bikes better.
10 Best Bicycling Tips for beginners:
- Start with a fixed gear bike, this makes maintenance really simple
- Avoid uneven grounds and narrow lanes at first
- Make sure you eat something before and after you ride. Energy is important.
- Definitely carry a water bottle and energy bars with you.
- Join a club or community to make new friends and enjoy riding
- Buy your own sets of basic tools teach yourself some basic repairs like flat tire fix, or keeping right tire pressure
- Avoid pushing yourself too much too soon
- Know the basic bike rules, signs, and laws of your state
- Make sure you are visible. Wear bright and reflective clothing, or use bike lights if needed.
- Practice Practice Practice every day
Benefits of cycling:
Physical Health: It’s a no-brainer. Biking is a fun physical activity that makes sure you get your daily dose of exercise right. Numerous studies have shown how cycling 20 minutes a day can immensely improve your physical health, immune system, digestion, and more. It’s a fun workout that you’ll never be bored of.
Mental Health: Going out, connecting with nature, and the cycling activity itself is soothing enough o give you a positive mental boost. It allows you some alone time when you ride solo and gives you the freedom to go new places.
Save money: getting your car out for a short commute and daily errands is neither good for your pocket nor good for the planet. At the end of the year, when you cycle more, you end up paying less gas money and you have to pay fewer visits to the doctor as well.
Lose weight: One of the most fun and effortless way to lose weight is cycling. Riding a bike regularly can help you regulate and lose weight pretty easily. You have to make sure you follow that up with consuming cleaner foods and having better sleep. If you keep that up for a considerable amount of time, you are bound to lose some good weight.
Eat more without guilt: If you ride more, it means you are good to consume more without worrying about anything. You could be one of those people who eats a lot but doesn’t put up much weight.
Make friends: there are lots of cycling communities out there that will warm-heartedly welcome you to join them. Making new friends and feeling the warmth of community is something invaluable. Most cyclists are super awesome people.
Want to know more? Check this out – 30-great-benefits-of-cycling
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it illegal to ride a bike without wearing a helmet?
It’s both yes and no. Local laws vary when it comes to riding a bike without a helmet. But most states require teens or younger bike riders to wear a helmet. People over the age of 16 (12 or 18 in some states) can ride a bike without worrying about wearing a helmet.
Is it illegal to ride a bike on sidewalks?
It is not illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalks unless the local traffic control deems it prohibited. It can be illegal in some cases since riding a bike on the sidewalks can endanger the pedestrians. Check your state law for that.
How fast can you ride a bike?
The average speed for any bike, even for beginner cyclists, stays around 10-14 mph. If the rider has a rather athletic build, they can easily take their bike up to 30mph. The top speed record is however way more than that.
Is it possible to ride a bike with a broken spoke?
Yes, it is possible to ride a bike with a broken spoke. Just make sure you remove that spoke as soon as possible so it won’t damage any other parts of the bike. But if your bike has several broken spokes, avoid riding it.
How long does it take to learn how to ride a bike?
It’s hard to specify a number since not everyone has the same capacity. Some enthusiastic people can learn basic riding within a day. Generally, 5-7 sessions should be enough for anyone to learn how to ride a bike.
What are the best bikes for adults?
It depends on the rider and what they are looking for in a bike. Read this article to know more about – 10 best bikes for adults.
What bikes are for Women?
There are bikes that are specifically designed for women. Usually, they have a step-thru frame with a curved top tube for easy mounting. Also, the handlebar positions and some other features are specially designed for women’s body structure. For suggestions, check this out – Best bikes for women.
Learning to ride a bike alone can be pretty daunting, but reading this article has given you the guideline that you need. You have already spent enough time reading, it is time to take action. Even if you have some confusion, even if you are skeptical or scared, it’s time to move ahead with the plan.
Once you take a new decision, new things are bound to happen in life. Let this new thing be a healthy journey all along. You don’t have to have the perfect setup – just get up and start riding.
Before you go, make sure you share this with friends who you wanna ride with. Even they might get interested to join you pretty soon.