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How to Ride a Bicycle?
The basics of riding a bicycle are the same, whether you are an adult looking to learn to ride a bicycle or trying to teach it to your kid. Many adults don't know how to ride a bicycle, and there is absolutely nothing to feel embarrassed about. Instead, you should feel proud of it, as riding a bicycle is one of the healthiest and most environmentally-friendly modes of transportation that can quickly be learned through preparation and technique.
Part 1: Preparation
Prepare yourself for riding bicycle with these below mentioned step by step preparation tips −
Step 1: Find a location
As a beginner, you need to start with a place that is flat, smooth, and away from the traffic. You can start riding on grass surfaces or smooth gravel, as these surfaces help balance by making pedaling harder. Also, you won't be hurt if you fall while riding on these surfaces.
Step: Finding appropriate clothing
Knee and elbow pads are a must to protect your joints and skin against impact and scrapes. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants further helps you protect against falls.
We recommend you not to wear baggy pants or long skirts as they may get caught in the tires or gears of the bicycle. Also, wear fully-covered shoes while riding, as they will save your toes and nails if you ever fall.
Step 3: Use a Helmet
Whether you are a highly-experienced rider or teaching someone to ride, make sure never to skip on the helmet. Unlike broken bones and dislodged joints, the impact of head trauma remains in your life forever. Besides, it is illegal to ride without a helmet in some areas.
Finding the fitting sized helmet
A helmet should tightly fit the head and come down to 2.5 cm above your eyebrows. It has straps to keep the helmet in place, allowing you to move your head and mouth while riding.
Commuter helmets are common ones comprising foam and plastic with rounded shapes. Road helmets are elongated and come with vents. They are also made of foam and plastic and are usually used for on-road traveling and competitive racing.
You can also go for mountain bikes and professional sports helmets with neck bracing and visors to travel through rugged terrains.
Step 4: Learning during the day
Although you can learn at night, it's not recommended for beginners as it takes time to get acclimated with the surroundings and to learn balancing to swerve through traffic and obstacles. This is only possible when you can see appropriately. That's why it's better to learn bicycle riding during the day.
Part 2: Riding the Bicycle
After preparation has been done now the time is riding bicycle efficiently −
Step 1: Start with a flat surface.
Flat surfaces such as the driveway, park trail, and sidewalk are safe and stable places to start riding your bicycle as you get an easier time balancing and stopping the bicycle.
Step 2: Adjust the seat
Bring your bicycle seat lower enough to put your feet on the ground while seated quickly. This allows you to stop riding with your legs or use your legs to stop yourself from falling.
Step 3: Learn about brakes.
Learn about the braking system of your bicycle before you start riding it. Simply take the bicycle out for a walk and push the brake buttons to know how your bicycle reacts when you use them.
Some bicycles have brakes on their handlebar. You need to test by pressing each brake to know which side controls the front brake and which is for the rear wheel. Using rear brakes can be helpful and safe, this is because using the front brake can make the bike pitch forward. This could make you lose control abruptly.
The front brake has more effective stopping power, so you must use them wisely. Meanwhile, rear brakes are ideal for regulating speed, bad traction, and rough terrain, so if you are a beginner and riding your bike at a slow speed, then using the rear brake could be ideal.
Some bicycles have to backpedal brakes, in which you need to press down the pedal like pedaling backward to stop the bike.
Step 4: Put your foot on the ground
Use your dominant foot to keep on the ground and hold the bike upwards between your leg. Having your feet on the ground gives you more control and prevents the bike from toppling. Always sit up straight on the bike, and keep your weight in the bike's center, ensuring it is evenly distributed between left and right.
Step 5: Push, not pedal
If you are a beginner, start by pushing yourself off by foot, and do not start pedaling right away. Once your use your foot to glide on the bicycle, try to maintain your balance and put your dominant foot on the pedal.
Step 6: Start Pedalling
As you keep your foot on the pedal, start pedaling forward and slightly lift the foot of the other pedal and push it when the pedal comes under your foot. It may sound confusing and complicated, but it will come naturally to you once you learn how to do it.
Important tip − try to pedal faster to have more balance, as the more slowly you pedal, the higher the chance of losing control and falling.
Step 7: Getting off the bike
Don't try to stop the bike using your foot unless you are riding very slowly. Always use brakes, especially the rear one, as they won't stop the bicycle all of a sudden. However, if you are at full speed and need to stop the bicycle right away to avoid an accident, you can use the front brake.
Part 3: Riding on Slopes
You must know how to ride on slopes carefully. We have discussed here some steps by step guide to ride on slopes −
Step 1: Learn to glide gently.
Take your bike to the top of a mount slope and glide to the bottom. This allows the bike to slow naturally. Get off the bike and repeat the process until you learn how to control the bicycle or get used to balancing the bike on slopes.
Step 2: Use brakes
Gently squeeze the brakes when pedaling down the hill. Use the brakes as slowly as possible, so you don't lose control or pitch.
Step 3: Learn to steer
Once you learn how to mount, pedal, and use the brake, it's time to learn how to steer your bike to change direction without losing control. You can use some blocks on the way to learn to steer or go to the hill and start to glide. Then use your handlebars to change your direction without losing balance.
Step 4: Go up the slope.
Pedaling your way to the slop will be pretty challenging, but you must learn how to pedal your way up the slope. It requires additional energy and stamina; you have to lean forward to pedal or start up to add additional force on the pedals.
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