Hi, I just learned how to ride a bike this weekend at the ripe old age of 20. I used to live in a place with terrain that was just about the opposite of conducive to learning to ride a bike, and now I live on a very populated street of Boston which is just as scary. I have literally ridden a bike once, out in a suburb with my boyfriend. My dad is dropping off a new bike for me today (he tells me it's a cheap, old mountain bike).
I don't really know how to practice. I've considered riding on the streets late at night when there are no cars on the road, but I don't like to be out by myself that late. I am not coordinated enough to stay on a sidewalk, much less avoid pedestrians. I have no other means of transportation besides on foot or on the T (subway). I suppose I could bring a bike on one but it would be very inconvenient and inconsiderate for for others.
Basically, I am at the skill level of about a five year old, with no one to teach me, and in sort of a dangerous area. I don't even really know where to start.
Does anyone have any ideas on how I can improve that will not risk my life at the hands of Boston drivers? I am kind of on my own here and I would like to get better so that I can go for rides with my boyfriend (but he lives too far away for me to be able to see him often enough to get the practice I need if I were to leave the bike at his place and only do it when I see him. He usually comes to see me).
Any advice would be appreciated. I am a blank slate!