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  1. #1
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    I've practiced my balancing skills with my bike.

    I've been able to balance my bike for a max between 7 to 10 seconds about twice, which is quite an improvement, but my average balancing time is between 2 to 5 seconds.

    I've once been distracted by airplanes lately, but it's kind of hard to ignore it, because due to my hearing impairment, it can be hard to hear cars. Besides, there is lot of airplane activity going on up in the sky. I've been distracted by a running dog just once but the dog didn't come to me. So when I fell down, both of my wrists, my hands, and fingers just got sore. Stupid dogs... (No offense to those who love dogs.)

    The road in Sloop Place (32825) is very hard for me to practice in due to parking lots with a shallow hill in each side of the road. When this happens and when I slow down, my bike just kind of went in reverse mode even though I tried to stop it and get off.

    I did run toward a couple of cars (I stopped my bike in time) but I once bump toward the red car's front right door with my front wheel. I have got to be careful because I might be sued for a damage to the front left of the door.

    Other than that, I've got to keep practicing some more, but sometimes dog will not leave me alone. My bike is working pretty good, though.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Good for you!
    Hope you didn't get hurt too badly falling. Are you wearing gloves? They will protect your hands in case of a fall. And helmet? Hope so.
    Make sure to look ahead of you, not just under the wheel, and if you keep up some speed, it will be easier to balance. Also, if your seat is too low or you're riding in a too low of a gear, it will make a bike a bit wobbly.

    Make sure to get a mirror, it will really help when you can see cars coming behind you, especially when you can't hear them that well.

    Ride safely and have fun!

  3. #3
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    I've worked up to about 15-20 seconds of trackstanding (that's what you're describing); there's a guy in the local club, leads the Ride of Silence every year, and from the time the ride starts until it ends, he NEVER puts his foot down... and we catch red lights all the f'n time! He's even better than my riding bud, who can trackstand endlessly -- while standing on the pedals. THIS guy does it seated!

    Keep at it; it'll come.

  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    GraysonPeddie, are you talking about riding forward for ten seconds? Are you just learning to ride a bike for the first time? Good for ya!
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  5. #5
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Yeah. I'm talking about riding forward for 10 seconds. I didn't mention trackstanding. Sorry, I'm not being very clear.

    I don't need to wear a helmet since I'm 27 years old (FL law indicates that those who are under 16 years of age are required to wear a helmet). Besides, even if I fall, I can control and keep my head from not hitting the ground.

    Because I survive with very little money right now, I don't have the kind of money to buy a glove (I just bought myself a bike about a month ago using a gift card). And my bike is very simple, so it's a single-speed cruiser bike.
    Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 05-15-10 at 10:27 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Grayson, I still like parking lots for this stage of the game. Since you don't have to worry about shifting, just any old kind of glove will help, though if that's not in the budget, it's not in the budget. Try to practice where there are no cars, even parked cars. And watch out for curbs. A fall doesn't usually hurt much, but you want to be sure you don't fall on a curb, or anything like that.

    Glad you are staying with it.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Well, the problem is there are a lot of cars in the parking lot and with a lot of airplane activity, I do have some trouble hearing cars. I should note that I'm not living close to Orlando International Airport, though, as OIA is located SSW 13 miles away from my apartment complex.

    And I don't know of any places where there are no parked cars to practice in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    Yeah. I'm talking about riding forward for 10 seconds. I didn't mention trackstanding. Sorry, I'm not being very clear.

    I don't need to wear a helmet since I'm 27 years old (FL law indicates that those who are under 16 years of age are required to wear a helmet). Besides, even if I fall, I can control and keep my head from not hitting the ground.

    Because I survive with very little money right now, I don't have the kind of money to buy a glove (I just bought myself a bike about a month ago using a gift card). And my bike is very simple, so it's a single-speed cruiser bike.
    Slow speed crashes can give you brain damage I'd wear a helmet if I were you, especially if you are falling over a lot.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    Yeah. I'm talking about riding forward for 10 seconds. I didn't mention trackstanding. Sorry, I'm not being very clear.
    Try pedalling.


    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    I don't need to wear a helmet since I'm 27 years old (FL law indicates that those who are under 16 years of age are required to wear a helmet). Besides, even if I fall, I can control and keep my head from not hitting the ground.
    R-I-G-H-T!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    Because I survive with very little money right now, I don't have the kind of money to buy a glove (I just bought myself a bike about a month ago using a gift card). And my bike is very simple, so it's a single-speed cruiser bike.
    Gloves are cheap ... under $15.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    I did try pedaling. :/ Geez...

    Balancing while pedaling is one of the hardest parts to master when riding a bike, even for an adult.

  11. #11
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    The faster you go, the easier the bike is to balance.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  12. #12
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    I did try pedaling. :/ Geez...

    Balancing while pedaling is one of the hardest parts to master when riding a bike, even for an adult.
    I give you credit for giving it a go. It's hard for most of us (adults) to conceptualize how difficult it is to learn something which we all feel is such a basic skill. Keep up the effort, it will pay back with plenty of enjoyment & before you know it, it will become as natural as breathing for you.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone!

    I'm going to have to skip today, tomorrow, and maybe Tuesday because of the rain.

    http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/32825

    It looks like it's going to rain a bit almost all week, including next Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I'll have to try to keep this up, because if I don't, not improving my balancing skill everyday is like not practice playing piano everyday.

    Looks like there's lightning (it's hard to see it flashing since I have my blinds closed) outside even though it's not raining right now (weird). I better stay indoors.
    Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 05-16-10 at 04:40 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    (I'd like to make a new post as an update.)

    Good news: I'm able to keep my balance while pedaling for about 15 seconds just once before I hold my fall but I didn't go that fast enough to keep my balance.

    However, I am liable for damages to the rear of the red car when I fall off my bike. My front tire hit the rear of the car and I did not know how much damage I'm causing. By doing so, my front wheel tilted to the left a bit while my steering wheel is in centered. I suffered a bit of a bruise in my lower elbow of my left arm and my lower leg (left). So yeah, I better find a place where there are no parked cars. Plus, open spaces too, because I once run toward the pole but I almost did not fall off my bike. I ran to the pole through the shallow ramp near the curb. I think the two shallow hills in the parking lot inside my apartment complex causes a lot of balancing problems.

    Oh, there's one more thing: there's always parked cars in my apartment complex but not all parking spaces are full.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    OK, how about lowering the saddle to the point where your feet can touch the ground ... flat, not just your toes ... and removing the pedals. Then scoot with your feet. Then if you feel like you're falling, just put your feet down. Yes, I'm serious about this. And practice using the brakes so you don't run into things.

    If you can, go to a park, a quiet country road, or a local MUP to try this. You need more than just a small apartment parking lot to work on this.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    What Machka said. Flat-foot around an EMPTY parking lot to learn balance. For that the pedals come off and the seat goes all the way down.

    I know what you mean about the helmet. I schedule my accidents and falls strictly on days I wear my helmet, and I always make sure that there are no curbs, rocks, cars, etc, near me when I go down.

  17. #17
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    If only I can find a place to find where there is a lot of empty spaces with no parked cars (I live in zip code 32825 and I don't have a car, as I cannot drive). I can try to use brakes, but still, the balancing is just quite hard for me to master.

  18. #18
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Is there any public transportation available? If so, a 5:30 am Sunday bus ride to the mall should provide a vast low-traffic asphalt surface to practice on.

    Colleges and industrial parks are frequently good at that hour as well.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  19. #19
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    It's a bit dark outside before 6:30 AM, but thanks for your suggestions.

  20. #20
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Most of the lots are pretty well lit. Bring coffee to sip if it's still too dark by the time you get there. You should be able to see pretty well just after civil twilight commences (around 6:07 tomorrow), even if the lot's not lit that well.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  21. #21
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    I know what you mean about the helmet. I schedule my accidents and falls strictly on days I wear my helmet, and I always make sure that there are no curbs, rocks, cars, etc, near me when I go down.
    Brilliant! I think it's also good to dangle your helmet on the handlebars as you ride. That way it's always there for you to quickly put on as you're falling.

  22. #22
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraysonPeddie View Post
    If only I can find a place to find where there is a lot of empty spaces with no parked cars (I live in zip code 32825 and I don't have a car, as I cannot drive). I can try to use brakes, but still, the balancing is just quite hard for me to master.

    I'm sorry for your lack of facilities, but ya just don't practice juggling, or learn to rollerblade, in a Hummel(tm) shop. Be responsible and stay away from other people's expensive personal property. Ideas: schools on weekends, churches, as ToP wrote, malls in the morning... I'm sure if you're resourceful you can find a safe place.

    Regarding the practice itself. Take the pedals off. Sit on the bike and 'walk' it around. If you can't get the seat low enough, then work with what you have or get another bike that's the right size. When you feel yourself tipping, steer INTO the fall. That's how bikes balance. Bikes being 2-wheeled, are always in a state of falling over; steering them through the fall line sets them up to fall in the other direction. Done with control, it looks like a straight line, but in reality it's a series of controlled falls. The better you get, the straighter line you can follow. BTW, that's how walking works, too -- you fall forward but your foot catches you before you do a face plant. Then you fall again and your other foot catches you.

  23. #23
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    I know how tough it is, I taught my girlfriend to ride a bike a few summers ago. The trick is to turn into the fall so you regain your balance, once she got this she was able to ride for quite a while, and can now ride without ever having to come off the pedals for an unscheduled stop due to losing balance. Even if she doesn't ride for ages she can still do it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member GraysonPeddie's Avatar
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    I just thought I'd like to give you an update:

    I was in a lookout for cars. One time, the white car traveling east followed me and I couldn’t keep a straight line, so I turned around to face west to go back. Then, a white cargo van approached me and I have to make a left turn and end up stopping at two empty parking spaces; luckily, I did not hurt myself or any car in the parking lot.

    When I attempt to leave Sloop Place, a car came up behind me and I heard the sound unexpectedly; luckily again, I turned left toward the median, cross over it, get back in the road, and turn left. There are no cars behind me, so I went back into Sloop Place (street) in my apartment complex.

    It’s no wonder the “get out of my way” mindset just drove me crazy, complete with shallow hills in the road that try to get me to lose my balance even if I overcome it about 60 to 70% of the time. What I mean is, these hills just kind of made me a reckless cyclist.

    In a positive note, since there are hills that lead to the drainage system/grate (or something) and there's a strip for stopping, I stop pedaling and just let myself glide. Then, I turn left to continue to complete another lap. Whenever I ride a bike, I pedal about a few revolutions, stop pedaling to let my bike slide, start pedaling to push my bike forward, stop pedaling for a bit, start pedaling, stop pedaling if I feel like I'm going downhill a bit, and I do that so on and so forth while trying to control my bike. I did make two falls though, but I'm alright the first time for the asphalt, but I ended up over the curb and I fell over the grass. Consequently, I got sand in my left handlebar (I took care of it, though).

    It looks to be a beautiful day tomorrow (sunny in 32825).

  25. #25
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    If I were you I'd walk my bike out to Chickasaw Trail, south to whatever that big parking lot is some early morning. Looks like there's 5 Star Chinese, a nail shop and Napoli's Pizza in there. That lot is probably pretty vacant 'til 8am or so on a Sunday morning.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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