I wrote this post last year, shortly after learning how to ride a bike. It was a few days before my 30th birthday when I learned, and it was one of the best experiences in my life!
For some reason, this post never made it to the blog, until now.
If you missed it, I shared my entire learning experience here.
Let’s get into the Tips:
• Don’t feel ashamed.
Getting over the feelings of embarrassment can be tough. Consider this…you’re not the sole adult on the face of the earth who hasn’t learned how to ride a bike! If the thought doesn’t comfort you in some way, trade those embarrassed feelings in for excitement. Get excited!!! You’re about to begin a new adventure, and the very moment you take off, riding…that moment is what you have to look forward to; and the overwhelming feelings of joy & accomplishment that comes along with it. In that moment (I promise you), self-consciousness will be the furthest feeling because, it melts away every time you practice!
• Get a bike.
Ask family/friends, if they have a bike that they can loan you to practice on. If not, you don’t have to buy one just yet. Check in your area for businesses that offer bike rental services. If you want to buy a bike, definitely visit a bike shop, versus purchasing one from a superstore. A good bike shop can give you bike (make & model) suggestions, based on your height/weight, comfortability/concerns, and goals.
• Go to a comfortable, spacious place to practice.
Prior to learning how to ride a bike, I did a lot of research & reading on how to do it (which probably wasn’t necessary). It was widely suggested to learn on a vast, grassy area, with a slight hill. The thought made me feel uncomfortable, so I ended up going to a big, empty parking lot. Where you go to practice is completely up to you. Choose a place where you’ll feel safe & comfortable; just be sure there is plenty of space, free from obstacles.
• It’s okay to be scared.
Who wants to fall?! I know I didn’t. Feeling scared is totally normal, but you can’t let fear of falling, stop you from learning. The best you can do is prepare. Wear protective clothing & gear: jeans, long-sleeves, gym shoes, riding gloves, and a bicycle helmet. Don’t be concerned about “looking silly”; the goal is to protect your body, in case you fall. I remember wanting knee & elbow pads (my fear was so serious), but it was suggested to me that I didn’t need to go that far.
• Lower the saddle & remember your brakes.
Another “comfort factor” is having the seat of the bike in a low position. To start, you’ll probably feel more safe if your feet can comfortably touch the ground, to stop the bike when you need to; but try not to become dependent on that. As you start to gain confidence (& speed), you definitely want to use the brakes the stop.
• Get on the bike & scoot.
Learning how to ride a bike begins with, just getting comfortable being on a bike. Once your on it, scoot around until you can glide (Hands on the handle bars, push off the ground & raise your feet, letting the bike roll forward a bit. Because you’re scooting & not actually pedaling, gently bring your feet down, when you’re ready to stop.). Notice the moments you were balanced, when the bike was rolling forward. Continue to practice scooting & gliding, until you feel comfortable enough to pull your feet to the pedals.
• Don’t look down.
After finding the pedals & pedaling, guess what!?…You did it!!! Smile because, you’re riding a bike! 🙂 Now, look ahead in the direction of where you want to go, to continue the ride.
• Don’t think too much & have a good time!
Just like “looking down” when you’re riding, “over-thinking” things (that you’re doing) can also screw you up. Try to free your mind, and don’t worry about how much time it’s taking you to learn. You’ll get it, when you get it. Have fun!!!
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