I’m an Adult, Can I Still Learn to Ride a Bike?

I'm an Adult, Can I Still Learn to Ride a Bike?
April 1, 2022 Biking tips

Can adults still learn to ride a bike? Yes, it’s never too late!

It is not shameful to admit that you did not learn how to ride a bike when you were a kid. Nor is it disgraceful to confess that you have not set foot on a pedal – not even once – in your lifetime.

Some people say the best time to learn cycling is when you are young (and carefree!), because kids learn faster and adapt faster to new skills, but no matter how old you are, it is never too late to learn how to ride a bike – as long as you grab a bike from us here at Stead Cycles and set your heart and mind into it!

What is the best way to learn to ride a bike as an adult?

The best way to learn is to think like a child. Have you noticed their curiosity and eagerness to try new skills? The element of fear is not in their vocabulary until they get older; this fearless attitude is what makes a child learn like a pro.

Wouldn’t it be nice for adults to have a child-like attitude? If there is a step-by-step approach to teach kids how to bike, why not apply the same approach to adults? Read on to know more about these steps and learn quickly like a child.

Find a bike size  that fits you

1.    Find a bike size that fits you

Find a bike that fits you like a tee. Here is a guide to know if it matches perfectly:

  • You should be able to stand over your bike without the top tube pressing you.
  • You can sit on the saddle with your feet flat on the ground.
  • You must be comfortable reaching for the handlebars and brake levers.
Get a sturdy helmet

2.    Get a sturdy helmet

You cannot have a bike without a helmet. Remember that you can be fined for biking without a helmet in Australia. A good-fitting helmet is snug but not too tight:

  • It should sit comfortably on top of your head with the front edge one inch or less above your eyebrows.
  • It protects you if you fall off your bike.
Look for a flat, open space to practise

3.    Look for a flat, open space to practise

Basketball courts, tennis courts and parking lots are few ideal places to learn cycling. These are often paved areas that are large and flat. Agrassy area may cushion the fall, but it is not advisable because you will not be able to get enough speed and learn to coast and glide.

Practise getting on and off your bike

4.    Practise getting on and off your bike

It would be easy to straddle the bike if you stand on one side and make it lean towards you. Simply do the reverse when getting off your bike. Try to practise several times until you get the hang of it.

Handle brakes properly

5.    Handle brakes properly

Master the skill of using hand brakes. Walk alongside your bike and squeeze the front and rear brakes simultaneously to feel how much pressure to apply if you want to stop or slow down. Try to make a stop every 15 to 20 feet until it is smooth and not too jerky or abrupt.

As you learn to move more quickly, try to use your rear brake (left side) harder than your front (right side) brake, to avoid going over the front of your handlebars! Similarly, do not just use your back brake as you may skid and lose some control. Frequent skidding also wears your tyres down unevenly.

Try coasting without pedals first

6.    Try coasting without pedals first

Before you get too excited to coast with pedals, practise coasting without pedals first. Get a feel on how to balance while gliding.

Take small steps while seated. Take longer stretches as if you are running and elevate your feet for just a second or two while running. In doing so, you will learn how to balance. The accelerated speed makes balancing easier.

As you move up to longer stretches, you may try steering while coasting. Practise turning left and right in a calculated move while doing an enormous figure eight. Try to keep your body in an upright position and look toward the direction you are going. Just place your feet on the ground when necessary, but do not look down. Learn to maintain your line of vision to keep the balance at bay.

Get ready to pedal

7.    Get ready to pedal

At this point, you must have mastered the art of balancing, applying brakes, and keeping visions steady. Get ready to pedal, starting with one foot on the ground and another on the pedal at a 2 o’clock position. This action helps gain momentum when you start to pedal.

Push down the pedal to a 6 o’clock position and place your other foot on the opposite pedal as you move forward. It is easier to maintain balance when you pedal at a faster pace. Try to keep pedalling in circles and navigating cones and obstacles to get the hang of it. Before you know it, you are already riding a bike!

How long does it take to learn to ride a bike?

The amount of time it takes to learn to ride a bike varies for every individual. Kids are like sponges when learning new skills like biking, throwing all caution to the wind. The average time for them to learn the basics is approximately 45-120 minutes. Adults are a lot more cautious. It may take around 2-3 days for an adult to learn to ride a bike.

Bike classes for adults

If hiring a trainer helps build confidence, by all means, look for professional trainers in your area. Learn to be patient and do not give up! You may not know it, but you might be joining a biking marathon soon.

Best bike for adults learning to ride

If you want to make your ride safe, comfortable, and enjoyable, choose the right bike for the occasion. At Stead Cycles Beresfield, our team will help you choose the best beginner bike for your needs.

Here you will find an easy bike to ride and find the right size for your height. We have a wide range of stock, including top gears and bike accessories. Call us on (02)49662141 or visit our shop at 29 Landor Street, Beresfield, NSW, 2322. You can also email us at info@steadcycles.com.au to get helpful tips and information.