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Old 07-26-06, 07:28 AM   #1
ken cummings
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How did you learn how to ride?

The title says it all.

My mom taught me how to ride by having me coast down a low slope in the driveway while she held on to the back of the seat and I kept my feet near the ground while trying to steer to keep upright. Then with feet on the pedals. Then while pedalling. Then one day I got all the way across the parking lot, turned around, and found she was still on the far side of the lot! That evening I nearly ran over my Dad coming around the corner of the house on his long (subway, train,car,foot) commute home. It was a treat to see the surprise and rare approval in his eyes.

So, how did you learn how to ride?
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Old 07-26-06, 08:47 AM   #2
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I don't even remember, it was so long ago. I think I was about 5 or 6....I am 45 now.
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Old 07-26-06, 09:36 AM   #3
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I don't remember any details, but I'm pretty sure it didn't involve anyone pushing me around. I think my first bike had trainning wheels, that got removed after a first day. Although that might have been my friends bike.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:40 AM   #4
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At first I couldnt ride for anything. But my bike I had was a little too big for me. My dad would hold the bike upright when I was pedaling, and when he let go I would fall. Then one day I got a smaller bike, and I rode by myself about the 2nd time out.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:48 AM   #5
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I did everything backwards. I did not ride a bike as a child. My dad had obtained two typical 50s balloon-tired singlespeeds for me and my sister, but I was terrified of the thing for some reason. It sat in the garage.
Much later, as an adult, I got a wild hair and decided to obtain a motorcycle for riding down to the river from my parent's cabin on the Black River.
I traded a shotgun for a venerable Honda S90 (steet bike) and flogged it around a circular dirt road for several weeks, accumulating numerous bruises and dinged shins before I finally got the hang of thing. I got rather involved in motorcycling, and eventually even tried motocross racing. I had read somewhere that riding a bicycle was good training for motocross, so I bought a Schwinn Varsity (5-speed upright) about 1974. After suffering a number of crashes on the motocross course, I gave up racing and decided bicycling was a better way to go...Bought a Schwinn Continental about 1976 or so, and have been pedaling ever since.
I currently have three bikes, two refurbished vintage roadsters (a Cilo and a Miyata) and a home-built recumbent. I also maintain our police department's "fleet" of about 15 bicycles, in addition to doing bike patrol myself.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:51 AM   #6
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I skipped the training wheel phase, and went straight to the ride-down-the-driveway-and-into the-mailbox. Learned how to steer after several tries.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:54 AM   #7
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Training wheels for a week or two.

I am looking to train a friend who's 23 and never touched a bike...any advice since training wheels don't exactly work on adult bikes?
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Old 07-26-06, 10:55 AM   #8
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I did the usual training wheel thing then eventually had them taken off.

My friend's parents taught him an interesting way, by taking of the pedals of the bike and letting him ride by pushing himself with his feet which developed his balance and feel without those stupid training wheels.
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Old 07-26-06, 01:27 PM   #9
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Got on...fell.
Got on...fell.
Got on...fell.
Got on...fell...etc, etc, etc.

Got on...stayed upright!
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Old 07-26-06, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baj32161
I don't even remember, it was so long ago. I think I was about 5 or 6....I am 45 now.
My exact situation. Except I am 31. I smoked my memory away in college.
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Old 07-26-06, 03:27 PM   #11
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Came from a poor family, so no bikes (or toys for that matter) as a child. I only got a bike because that's how most students got around campus. Just before college started, I bought a cheap MTB and taught myself how to ride it. Set the saddle to the lowest postion and off I went (in an empty playground). About half an hour later, I got the hang of balancing the bike. Strangely enough, I was expecting to fall a few times, but I never fall. I guess the main thing to remember is what keeps the bike upright (angular momentum). Several days later, I taught my friend (also going to the same college) how to ride.
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Old 07-26-06, 03:48 PM   #12
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I have absolutely no memory of what took place between me and my bike nearly 50 years ago....
All I can remember is riding no hands and showing off......oh, and when every time my dad found out I had crossed the street with or without my bike, he whipped the crap outa me.

Last edited by roadfix; 07-26-06 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 07-26-06, 08:34 PM   #13
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My dad would trot next to me on a bike way too big for me, and yell at me "LOOK FORWARD!!!!!!!"

After a few tries the old bastard finnally did something for me
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Old 07-27-06, 05:55 AM   #14
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Long driveway, steep grade, a gentle push from dad and the words "Now RIDE the damn thing!"
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Old 07-27-06, 06:01 AM   #15
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Big wheel, then BMX with training wheels on our suburban street, then training wheels disappeared. Had that BMX for a looong time...
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Old 07-27-06, 07:35 AM   #16
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I taught myself when I was 16.

I rolled down our street and into the empty car park of the local shopping centre on weekend afternoons. I just kept rolling on the thing until I learnt to balance.
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Old 07-27-06, 08:35 AM   #17
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First I had a 3 wheel bike, then sometime in the late 80s I got a BMX bike w/training wheels. Training wheels soon went away and I spent much of my vacations at the park riding. Had that bike for quite some time...
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Old 07-27-06, 01:47 PM   #18
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When I was about 6 or 7, a friend of mine brought his bike to the park. I asked if I could try it out. When I got on, and was able to make it go without falling over, I was hooked. I got a bike that christmas.
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Old 07-27-06, 01:49 PM   #19
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I was 6 years old and at my dad's company picnic. Saw some kids on bikes and wanted to ride. So my dad borrows a bike from them, puts me on it, holds the seat and pushes me off. I have no idea when he let go, but I was RIDING! I was so proud! I wanted to show my dad and found him sitting on the lawn and rode over. Problem was I didn't know how to stop. So he heard a desperate "DAD, DAD, DAD!!!" right before I rode into his back!
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Old 07-27-06, 08:12 PM   #20
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I rode a tricycle when I was 3 or 4, then when I was 5 I got a 2 wheeled 20" bike. I think it had training wheels at first. Then I didn't really ride that much until I was like 13.
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Old 07-27-06, 08:54 PM   #21
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5 years old, Dad got me a junker 20" banana seat bike that I could barely lift off the ground and promised to customize it however I wanted once I learned to ride it. I was embarassed to ride the training wheels, and a little frightened of how the bike handled with them, but I couldn't get off to a good start. A few days later, the neighbor kid let me try his 16" and I got it right away. The 20" was easy after that.

I requested primer grey, a drag bar with black motorcycle grips, black banana seat, and an eagle sticker on the top tube.
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Old 07-27-06, 08:58 PM   #22
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When I was maybe around 5, my parents got me and my brother a bike. It was green and beautiful, and we had a brief but heated argument about which way the handlebars should point (coaster brake and no gears meant no cables, hence the front wheel could just swivel freely 360 degrees). Bloodshed ensued: he actually bit me in the pinkie. Yeah, he went through a biting stage in his early years...

Our family spent summers at a dacha (summer cottage), where there were plenty of quite rideable dirt roads with virtually no traffic - good for cycling! I loved the new machine but since I couldn't balance, I was always insisting that parents or grandparents push the bike for me (I'd help by pedalling). One day my grandfather took a break after propelling me on the bike for an hour or so, and I still really wanted to ride. So I just tried to balance on my own. And tried, and tried, and tried... and then it just happened! I was riding! Yee-ha!

My younger brother hasn't learned until quite a few years later. I taught him by the tried and true old method: push, let go, *thud*, wait for the kid to get back up and on the bike, repeat. It worked.
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Old 07-27-06, 09:10 PM   #23
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Had some really interesting biking experiences after that, riding on bikes that didn't fit or didn't function mechanically very well. They were all single-speed coaster-brake heavy as hell old clunkers - but there were no other bikes around, so nobody felt deprived. I have memories of:

- riding on bikes FAR too big for me by sticking my leg UNDER the top tube

- riding on bikes too big for me by attaching a bunch of soft clothes on the top tube so that when I am pedalling the private parts don't get as much of a rough ride. Of course I had to stand on the pedals the whole ride, and still the crotch would be in contact with the top tube. *shudders*

- riding on women's bikes far too big for me: the top tube wasn't a problem, but the distance to the handlebars on the other hand...

- riding on a couple of properly sized and RELATIVELY lightweight bikes and really enjoying the experience

- riding as a passenger on the rear rack of a parent's bike: again, some soft stuff was strapped to it to make it tolerable. Gotta watch out for those spokes: dangling kids' legs are a hazard!

- trying to pull off all sorts of crazy stunts and taking some spectacular falls (no helmet, of course)

- riding on tires inflated to 10 psi and wondering how come the bike feels so damn sluggish!

Still alive to tell the tale. Even the private parts still function.
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Old 07-27-06, 09:35 PM   #24
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Just thinking of this the other day. It was 1953, third grade. Classmate loaned me his 20" bike. Set me up on the sidewalk, in front of a house with a low stone wall I could lean against. Started to peddle and although a bit shakie I got the hang of it. Borrowed bike a few more days to improve skills. Finally back home I tried one of my big sister's 26" bikes. Had to learn how to step on pedal, move off and swing my leg up and over the seat to get on. Oddly, my method of mounting now with the high seat. My first crash was a few months later when I rode into a curb, somehow forgetting to use the brakes. My first senior moment at age 9. And of course to cap 1953, I got my own bike at Christmas. A "Rollfast" is the only name I remember. Can't remember the original color, but the last color I painted it was Ford's Chestnut brown, from model year 1962. I left the bike in 1967 in the hanger at USMC New River air base, NC. To close the loop, I got the daughters a 20" used bike. Younger daughter was more daring and would ride in neighborhood with training wheels. But it was at a campsite in NJ, guess both the girls felt safer riding on the sandy roads. One push each, then is was a battle between them for their turn to ride.
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Old 07-28-06, 06:00 PM   #25
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My father put training wheels on my convertible bicycle ... remember those? The top tube was removable to make it either a "boys" bike or a "girls" bike. Unfortunately, he put the training wheels on crooked so that I could tilt to one side or the other before they came in contact with the ground.

I HATED THAT WITH A DEEP AND BURNING PASSION!!!

I almost didn't learn to ride a bicycle because of that.

Finally, in tears, I begged him to make the training wheels even, like all the other kids in the neighborhood. He did ........... and I was off and riding. No problems.

I was 6 years old at the time, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
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