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Old 06-01-08, 04:03 PM   #1
ablang
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training adults to learn to ride for 1st time?

I'm curious b/c this situation will apply to me in a few short months... Is there a technique that has been proven for training adults to learn to ride for 1st time? They don't exactly make training wheels for adults, do they?

Here's my idea. To just sit on the bike and see if the adult can propel themselves along just by moving their feet (not even pedaling) and pushing the bike along. They can use their feet as crutches by letting them hang just above the surface of the asphalt. Same as motorcyclists do just before they get enough speed to take off. Maybe if they can hold their balance long enough and often enough, pedaling will come easy. What do you think of that?
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Old 06-01-08, 04:20 PM   #2
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Put them on top of a hill, let go.
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Old 06-01-08, 05:35 PM   #3
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My wife was 30 when I taught her to ride a bike using the exact technique that you describe. took about an afternoon. that's the way that I teach my grand kids to ride too.

Training wheels are a waste at any age. All they do is extend the amount of time that it takes to learn to ride a bike.
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Old 06-01-08, 07:02 PM   #4
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Lower the seat so their feet can touch the ground while sitting on the seat,
take off the pedals so they don't bash their shin.
Have them self propel with their feet, gradually coasting in sections and finally some slight
down hills. Make sure they understand how the brakes work and become comfortable modulating
the brakes. Then make sure they understand how the shifter(s) work.
Once comfortable coasting downhill, adjust the seat to a pedaling height and attach the pedals.
Go ride on some flat smooth terrain, just doing big circles for a while.
Usually takes a couple of sessions for the person to get comfortable; just about any adult can
learn this way.
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Old 06-01-08, 08:26 PM   #5
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The lowest platform is a scooter. A two wheel scooter has smaller wheels, a big platform, and cannot go too fast. All the attributes are here. Its one foot to push off the ground and the other on the platform. Pretty soon that one foot on the ground will lift off and the rider is actually balancing.

If you're the instructor, show the adult how to ride a scooter. But don't show off. Keep the propelling foot moving to so the adult maintains "control". Do this in a large area like a big parking lot in a secluded area to avoid embarassment.
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Old 06-02-08, 06:29 AM   #6
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I just did my first Back to the beginning bike clinic and it went very well. 4 adults showed up who can't ride and we just lowered the seat, took off the pedals and let them have at a gentle grassy slope.

Basically it's just a matter of spending some time getting yourself and the bike coordinated so you can balance and turn.
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Old 06-02-08, 06:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martianone View Post
Lower the seat so their feet can touch the ground while sitting on the seat,
take off the pedals so they don't bash their shin.
Have them self propel with their feet, gradually coasting in sections and finally some slight
down hills. Make sure they understand how the brakes work and become comfortable modulating
the brakes. Then make sure they understand how the shifter(s) work.
Once comfortable coasting downhill, adjust the seat to a pedaling height and attach the pedals.
Go ride on some flat smooth terrain, just doing big circles for a while.
Usually takes a couple of sessions for the person to get comfortable; just about any adult can
learn this way.
+1
This is how I taught my wife to ride. It is helpful to twisty-tie one of the cranks to the chain stay
so it wont move around.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:33 AM   #8
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Get an Electra Townie or similar bike.

It allows the rider to put their feet flat on the ground when stopped.
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Old 06-02-08, 07:43 AM   #9
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...and we just lowered the seat, took off the pedals and let them have at a gentle grassy slope.
Those are the important things, I think. Even with the lowered seat, there are most likely going to be falls, and they'll hurt a lot less on grass than on pavement. If you're stuck using pavement to start with, you might consider skate-boarder elbow and knee pads...and don't forget gloves!
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Old 06-02-08, 11:11 AM   #10
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There are some archived threads on this very topic.
I would suggest you put the bike in a low gear then forget about gears.
Tell them how to brake (inc bracing arms) before you get them to ride downhill.
Clothing tip is good: long pants, jacket, gloves. Learning on smooth grass is much easier than tarmac.
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Old 06-13-08, 12:13 AM   #11
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Someone sent me this link through UseNet:
http://www.squidoo.com/easyriding
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