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  1. #1
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    How do you teach an adult to ride?

    Now that our second child has learned to ride, my wife would like to join the fun. She is in her thirties and in good health. However, she has never been on a bike.

    What is the best way for her to learn? Somehow, the thought of training wheels on an adult bike doesn't seem right. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Passing!
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    Take the pedals off the bike, and have her practice balancing before she even thinks about pedaling. A slight incline is perfect to get her moving slowly, practice balancing and putting her feet down should she start to fall. Once she gets some confidence and can balance, put the pedals back on!

  3. #3
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    I learned to ride at the age of 12. My Grandfather told me to steer into the way you are falling. After about an hour and a few altercations with the mailbox, the tree, the family car and a few other things....I was riding a bike!

  4. #4
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    Learning as an adult is totally different to learnning as a child.
    Use a simple bike, the right size. Small wheeled designes ,MTB style, are easier than large hybrids. Keep some plastic pedals on, and lower the seat. Make sure the gear is fairly low and the saddle is low.
    First show how the brakes work, how you need to brace against the bars.
    On a gentle grass slope, get rider to make big S-bends. This is much easier than trying to ride straight.Make sure the rider is wearing helmet, gloves and long sleeves/pants to provide some protection in a fall.

  5. #5
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    Interesting. Sorrying that I cant help. But I would like to know what worked. Keep us posted.

    I believe that I would agree with MichealW on this one.
    mrdoright0405
    howtobuyamerican.com

  6. #6
    contre nous de la tyranie
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    I taught a roomate in college to ride a bike, and it was one of the funniest things that I ever saw. He wobbled and fell onto the grass next to us a few times. When he finally got so that he could pedal and stay upright, he had trouble braking and turning, so that he'd ride as far as he could in a straight line, then bail when he wanted to stop. All of this was in front of the student union in the heart of the campus on a school day. Eventually he began biking short distances, to get to friends' houses and buy books and beer. He was never as enthusiastic about cycling as me, and I don't think that he'll ever be the type of of guy to haunt this forum. If I'm wrong, tell 'em the TRUE story, Rich!

  7. #7
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Tell your wife that my wife learned at 60 yo - some past experience with bikes, but very little. If my wife can, your wife can!

    Hardest part was how to start and stop, get off and on. It was so natural for me that I had a hard time telling her - I recognize that I probably have about 5 different ways to get a bike going, depending on the situation, and a number of ways to stop and dismount.
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  8. #8
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    I just learned how to ride a bike 6 months ago (I'm 31). My very patient boyfriend took me to a LBS, where someone from the shop and my bf taught me in about an hour. I would definitely recommend going to an LBS since they probably have experience teaching very afraid people to ride.

    I started on a MTB with a very low seat. First I just pushed myself along to get used to the bike, then coasted down a very gentle slope, and practiced braking. Eventually I started pedaling slowly with my bf holding onto the handlebars. When I was confident enough he stopped holding the bike and I began riding on my own.

    It took a few months for me to get used to traffic, but now I bike 100-150 miles a week!

  9. #9
    Road Warrior 700 litoespi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nilanjan
    Now that our second child has learned to ride, my wife would like to join the fun. She is in her thirties and in good health. However, she has never been on a bike.

    What is the best way for her to learn? Somehow, the thought of training wheels on an adult bike doesn't seem right. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Lower the saddle so he or she can put his or her feet flat on the ground when seated.

    Find a grassy field with a gentle downhill of 30 yards or so. Short grass is better because tall grass sucks momentum. The ideal area runs out to a slight uphill to slow down gradually.

    Strap on the helmet. Tuck in shoelaces.

    Midway up the hill, hold the bike while he or she gets on. Have him or her put both feet on the ground, then let go of the bike.

    Tell him or her to lift his or her feet about an inch and coast down the hill without pedaling. Try not to hold the bike to steady. Because he or she is coasting slowly, he or she can put his or her feet down if scared.

    Repeat until he or she feels comfortable coasting and doesn't put his or her feet down to stop. He or she might want you to run beside the bike the first few times; do so, but don't hold the bike. Let him or her feel the balance.

    Now have him or her put his or her feet on the pedals and coast down. After several runs, have him or her begin pedaling as he or she rolls.

    Repeat until he or she is feeling comfortable, confident, then move up the hill. After another run, raise the saddle and go to a flat part of the field or a cul-de-sac to ride loops and to practice turning, braking and starting from a standstill.

    (adopted from Bicycling Magazine)

  10. #10
    Road Warrior 700 litoespi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allison
    I just learned how to ride a bike 6 months ago (I'm 31). My very patient boyfriend took me to a LBS, where someone from the shop and my bf taught me in about an hour. I would definitely recommend going to an LBS since they probably have experience teaching very afraid people to ride.

    I started on a MTB with a very low seat. First I just pushed myself along to get used to the bike, then coasted down a very gentle slope, and practiced braking. Eventually I started pedaling slowly with my bf holding onto the handlebars. When I was confident enough he stopped holding the bike and I began riding on my own.

    It took a few months for me to get used to traffic, but now I bike 100-150 miles a week!
    100-150 miles a week- that's terrific!!
    Happy riding!!

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