Finally got on a bike again, running into some new problems...
So, I'm on vacation, and I rented a nice, casual cruiser while here, to try and figure out the whole bike thing while in a place where it's not 110 degrees. I'm starting to get some more control over it, but I'm still feeling a bit iffy.
And more importantly, when I'm turning, it feels REALLY awkward. I can't quite lean into it sometimes, and when I pull it off, I find it iffy to lean back out right. Plus, my timing's still way off. Any thoughts on how to work on this, aside from just riding more? Anything I need to try and do?
sometimes, on cruisers, when they have big fat tires, turning can be a bit odd and difficult. sometimes, rental bikes feel a bit sketchy. it might just be you getting used to riding again. could be lots of different things. what do you mean your timing is way off? is it possible to trade in that rental bike for a different rental bike?
Well, the place kept the things rather well-maintained, from what little I can tell, so I don't think it's a problem of the bike being wonky. And it's the same style as what I want to ride day-to-day(though the one I'm looking at is a gorgeous black beauty with a nice, pert little rack up front and a big shelf in back), so any wonkiness with the format is something I need to get used to, not avoid.
Timing, it's mostly that I'm having a hard time gauging "turn now!" versus "If you try right now you're going into that pillar, not around it", which stems from having a hard time gauging how hard the turn's gonna be. I'm starting to get over it, but not enough that I'd be comfortable on the streets.
hmmm. you might just need to keep on riding it and get used to how the bike handles. again, some cruisers are just sort of difficult (at first) to turn. when you get a chance, try riding a different style bike, just to see the difference. sorry i couldn't be more help.
No worries. I mostly just wanted to vent a bit about my difficulties somewhere where I'd get pats on the back and "You can do it!"s.
Having gone on another short ride in the spacious parking garage, I'm feeling better about it, probably about bike trail/MUP level. Still a little iffy on keeping it straight at low speeds, and not quite comfortable at high speeds, but that's more psychological than anything else, I think, and will be helped by getting out in the open more.
*nod* So I've heard, coldfeet, thus why I think it's a mix of psychological not feeling like I could control it that fast, and being in the relatively confined space of the parking garage right now. It's probably a good 100 feet long and 10-20 feet wide(and in a T shape, with a shorter side path to go down for figuring out cornering), so it's not like I'm trying to learn by riding down an apartment hallway here, but it's definitely not a wide open beach or parking lot or something where I don't have walls to run into.
The other big thing that's stopping me up is that it's coaster brake only, when my instinct is to go for handlebar brakes. However, this was also the most comfortable, simple bike on rent, so there we go. The one I'm buying has handlebar brakes already, so no big deal.
Those big, fat tires can generate a lot of friction and if not fully inflated can squirm around quite a bit. Make sure the tire pressure is where it's supposed to be.
Also, "cruiser" bikes generally have a rather "slack" steering geometry....Slow and stable. They want to go straight.
Instead of "leaning", try counter-steering. Counter steering generally results in a more positive feedback to the rider. (at least, I find it so.)