Author Topic: How hard is it to learn how to ride a bike?  (Read 3039 times)

micah_mae_

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How hard is it to learn how to ride a bike?
« on: February 03, 2013, 12:52:59 PM »
I mean I'm sure I remember how, I've never pulled a trailer though and when I get to that point I'll have 2 in a trailer and one in a baby seat. I'm concerned about losing my balance and dumping the kids! It'll be a bit before I start biking as I am 8.5 months pregnant so I have some time.

zug

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Re: How hard is it to learn how to ride a bike?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 01:47:08 PM »
I switched to recumbent bicycles which require you to learn how to ride a bicycle all over again because your body is in a completely different position. The first hour was very shaky, it would have been dangerous to leave the parking lot. The first month I was very careful in challenging situations (on inclines, around traffic, through steep curves). It slowly became less and less weird over time.

If you already know how to ride a bike and it's just been a while, a few hours of riding should prepare you for the trailer.

Carolina on My Mind

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Re: How hard is it to learn how to ride a bike?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 02:37:11 PM »
Do you mean starting up again for the first time as an adult?  I did that about five years ago (I was 38) after not having ridden a bike since I was a kid, and at first it was somewhat terrifying!  But it's true what they say . . . after practicing a little bit, it was a piece of cake.  I've never used a trailer, but it might be worthwhile to throw some books or something in there and ride around with it a few times -- make sure you're really comfortable with it before you load it up with actual kids. 

However you approach it, it will be easier than you think, and you'll love it.  Enjoy!


girly mustache

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Re: How hard is it to learn how to ride a bike?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 10:04:56 PM »
I didn't start riding again until my early forties - and now I am addicted - so this is very doable! I also tow my daughter in her trailer - the trailer doesn't help or hurt my balance - it doesn't affect it at all. Just watch out for the hills because you will feel the weight of the trailer going up a hill. Also, with a trailer - if you fall the trailer stays upright... As for the babyseat on the bike - that was tougher - you do have to watch your balance more (depending on weight of the child - the older/heavier they are the more they can affect the balance. The toughest parts of balancing with a child seat is starting and stopping - the only times I've ever fallen off my bike are when I stop - especially if I try and stop on a hill. When my daughter was very young I used an IBert seat that goes on the front of the handle bars - that made the balancing easier and I liked having her where I could see and hear her....I would practice without kids until you are comfortable - for me I started out just practicing in low traffic areas and then worked my way up to streets with traffic and then added my daughter to the mix. It's also worth reading about bicycle safety to make sure you have a good understanding of where your risks are... Some more urban areas have family bicycling classes where they will teach you some of this - I gleaned most of my info off the internet...We are several years into it and my daughter loves her trailer - that's how she best likes to travel.

GuitarStv

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Re: How hard is it to learn how to ride a bike?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 08:26:18 AM »
I think the key is to be realistic.  If you're brand new on a bike, spend several months getting more and more comfortable on quiet side streets and paths before you start taking to crowded streets and roads.  If you're new to biking with heavy panniers or towing a trailer, you want to be very comfortable handling a bike (stopping/balancing/standing on the pedals/etc.) BEFORE you're biking back 8 miles with 60 lbs of groceries . . . or a kid.

Some basic skills that you should use to gauge what your skill level is:
- Able to balance on a bike without problems.
- Able to stop a bike quickly using the front brakes (you have to lean back), the rear brakes (you have to learn to control the skid), and both.  Also, you want to learn how the brakes stop you differently depending on road conditions.
- Able to look over your shoulder while biking in a straight line.
- Able to keep the bike going in a straight line with only one hand on the bar (required for signalling)
- Comfortable balancing on a bike while standing and hammering the pedals (required sometimes when climbing and carrying lots of weight).
- Comfortable biking around cars (this is mostly mental, but I know many who are afraid of biking on roads).
- Comfortable biking in bad weather (high winds, snow, on dirt, potholes, etc).
- Comfortable descending hills at good speed.

Once you're cool with the above, you should be good for just about anything that you encounter on a bike.