I am quite literally a newbie cyclist; I never rode as a kid, and have managed in the past month and a half to teach myself (from various pearls of wisdom on the Ďnet) to ride. But I still have a bunch of questions and things that cause me some difficulty, so I would appreciate it if you folks could help me out
1) How is it possible to take one hand off the handlebars to signal turns? Every time I try, I almost lose my balance and wobble over the road. Is this something that will get easier with more experience in riding?
2) I need to be able to stop myself quickly, since I have the occasional tendency to run into bushes, or head off the sides of the sidewalk. When I first started to learn, I had my seat down almost as far as it would go; yes, I know this is a bad thing to do, but I needed (and to some extent still need) to be able to put my foot down to stop myself. Iíve read Sheldon Brownís articles on starting/stopping a bike, but Iím having a hard time following his recommendations of coming off the bike seat to put a foot on the ground. Every time I do this, itís very awkward and I feel like Iím going to fall over. My commute has a lot of stop signs along the way, so doing this multiple times is a problem! So basically, my question is what I should do for the time being: leave my seat a little low (to touch a toe to the ground), or try to stop the other way? I should also say that I donít have the worldís best balance, which doesnít help
3) Any advice for learning how to climb hills? I kind of suck at theseÖthereís a fairly steep one on my commute that I can (if Iím lucky) make it 2/3rds of the way up before my legs and lungs give out.
4) How do you guys take a sharp turn when you have to? Like for instance, changing from a sidewalk to a bike lane that runs at a 90 degree angle to the sidewalk? Iím really bad at this, and this is the main reason I end up in the bushes What do you guys do when you donít have the room to move to the center of the lane before your turn?
5) And finally, since I am a true newbie, what advice do you folks have for me on how I can improve my skills?
Thanks for putting up with my long post