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Learning to cycle for the first time and struggling.

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Learning to cycle for the first time and struggling.

Old 06-30-19, 04:28 PM
  #26  
CliffordK
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Soft grass may be more fun to fall on, but cement and hard packed dirt is easier to ride on, and easier to get up enough speed to keep upright.
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Old 06-30-19, 04:33 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Nope.

The cranks are connected by a steel rod. One side moves the other.

That is, barring something like bad bearings that might have asymmetric effects.

You do have to "unweight" the opposite pedal some. You can't pedal forward and back at the same time.

My nephew was having troubles learning to ride. I think he was over-analyzing everything.

I got him one of those tag-along bikes and hoped he would learn some of the skills independent of the steering.

You could ride an adult sized tandem bike with someone (rent one if you wish). However, another similar concept might be to find an upright exercise bicycle to help develop the mounting, dismounting, and pedaling skills without risk of falling.

For riding, there is what is called "counter-steering". The steering towards a fall helps push you back upright. Over-compensating can be used to push yourself one direction or the other. But, it rapidly becomes just natural to the point on doesn't realize what one is doing.

Never ask someone "how to ride a bike". We do it, but really don't understand how we do it.
This is true of a lot of things. If we articulate a description of what we think we're doing, we get it wrong. I have no idea how to turn a bike, I just do it.

If you ask to describe step by step how they shift lanes while driving, they invariably leave out a step that if they skipped irl would cause them to go off of the road.
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Old 07-01-19, 12:29 AM
  #28  
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Head and eyes up and level. Look down and you'll go down.
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Old 07-01-19, 04:25 AM
  #29  
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Wow, I am very heartened by all the reponse this post is getting. Thanks for all the encouragement guys and for the advice again as well.

Update so far: My brother tried to prop me up while I peddaled, we made a few runs of 10-15 seconds but given that I am grown up and fat, it got pretty tiring for him. I did learn however that after a one or two full revolutions the left peddle gets easier to turn as well.

I am now trying to go by another suggestion up thread about putting all my weight on one peddle to get some more momentum. It is helping and when I am able to keep balance it does last considerably longer than earlier.

I don't know if it is supposed to be like this(though reading a few of you all's insights is making me think it is) but progress doesn't seem to be roughly linear with this. Sometimes I manage to make a good glide twice in a row, only to have my balance fail quickly every time for the next 10 minutes straight. Though the frequency of better glides is increasing, bit slowly.

I will be honest, I have gotten pretty frustrated with myself and the bike, haha. But I intend to keep at it no matter what and you guys are a big part of the reason why!

Also, I practice in the housing complex I live in, it has pretty wide and long internal roads. I have found a few sections that seem to have a very slight slope but not very noticeable. A few people have wondered what exactly what kind of bike I am using and I will try to take a picture next time and upload it.

Sorry about the late updates, but I will keep you all in the loop as things go.

Cheers.
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Old 07-01-19, 05:17 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Priyank View Post
Wow, I am very heartened by all the reponse this post is getting. Thanks for all the encouragement guys and for the advice again as well.

Update so far: My brother tried to prop me up while I peddaled, we made a few runs of 10-15 seconds but given that I am grown up and fat, it got pretty tiring for him. I did learn however that after a one or two full revolutions the left peddle gets easier to turn as well.

I am now trying to go by another suggestion up thread about putting all my weight on one peddle to get some more momentum. It is helping and when I am able to keep balance it does last considerably longer than earlier.

I don't know if it is supposed to be like this(though reading a few of you all's insights is making me think it is) but progress doesn't seem to be roughly linear with this. Sometimes I manage to make a good glide twice in a row, only to have my balance fail quickly every time for the next 10 minutes straight. Though the frequency of better glides is increasing, bit slowly.

I will be honest, I have gotten pretty frustrated with myself and the bike, haha. But I intend to keep at it no matter what and you guys are a big part of the reason why!

Also, I practice in the housing complex I live in, it has pretty wide and long internal roads. I have found a few sections that seem to have a very slight slope but not very noticeable. A few people have wondered what exactly what kind of bike I am using and I will try to take a picture next time and upload it.

Sorry about the late updates, but I will keep you all in the loop as things go.

Cheers.
Step 1 is adjust seat so feet easily touch ground.

Step 2 is remove pedals.

Step 3 is---- in a parking lot that is empty mount bike and walk it along straight, turn, straight --- get the feel.

Step 4 is walk--build up speed and gain balance--raise feet and coast.

Step 5 is re-install pedals when comfort and confidence is present THEN RIDE!!!!

CHEERS!!!!
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Old 07-01-19, 05:34 AM
  #31  
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Yo @Priyank -

Originally Posted by justslow View Post
Head and eyes up and level. Look down and you'll go down.
Take note of the above short sentence. It has to do with what is called "target fixation," meaning we go where we are looking.

Thinking back on it, this is where my younger daughter had the most trouble. Even after the balance piece of it had clicked for her, she kept looking at the front wheel and running off the path.

Your goal with balance is for your small muscles to intuitively take over while you keep your eyes on where you are going.

I admire your spunk. Hang in there, and soon you'll go riding through the neighborhood while those same neighbors are cheering for you.
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Old 07-01-19, 06:17 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Priyank View Post
Hello, everyone. I am 25 years old, 5'6" and, as the title says, learning to ride for the first time. Is there anything I can do to improve this and learn to balance better?

Thank you for taking time to read my post. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.EDIT: fixed typos.
A different approach: learning balance is the key and one way is not to use that bike. That bike is second to a scooter. The kind you see kids use, the Lazor. I think they call it "Kick Scooters"

Why is it better as a "first step"? Because the platform to the scooter is way low to the ground, the wheels are small and low to the ground, and the rider has one foot on the platform and one foot on the ground. The "pushing" is made easier with less weight (mass) to deal with than a bike. As a ride begins to push, there will be a natural tendency to keep the "coasting" going for longer periods of time. This means both feet will be off the ground.

Fear of falling: because of the "low-to-the ground" position of a scooter, it allows a rider to adjust to balance practically instantly; just put one foot back on the ground.

Where do you see this in practice? At college campuses where students scoot from one class to another and carry that thing inside the classroom so as to not get stolen.

Stolen: So if you have a scooter like this you can even go to the grocery store to pick up the milk, etc. without using a bike. And even throw that scooter in the trunk of the car for pedestrian type transportation; just carry a backpack like those college students.

Transition: once you develop the scooter handling, the natural transition is to the bike. This makes it much easier as the skill set would have been already learned. Now you have two things to ride. And the scooter is relatively simple and inexpensive.

https://www.razor.com/products/kick-scooters/
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Old 07-01-19, 06:46 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Priyank View Post
I am 25 years old...
Originally Posted by Priyank View Post
...when I am able to keep balance it does last considerably longer than earlier...I intend to keep at it no matter what
You are young and you have "gumption". You will succeed.

go, Go, GO!
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Old 07-01-19, 07:03 AM
  #34  
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I'm thinking the big difference from learning how to ride as a kid is that you have to generate enough momentum to propel a heavy adult, so getting the pedals moving is actually more difficult for the adult.

Two things come to mind--is this a multi-gear bike? Definitely have it in the lowest gear possible to start Second, I think the key to starting is getting on the pedals while immediately producing enough torque to get the bike going fast enough that balance isn't an issue. If you have access to a stationary bike, maybe practice pedaling against resistance for, let's say, 15 minutes a day for a few days. Also, the idea that you should start on a downhill slope is a good one.

Honestly, I don't think riding scooters is going to do anything for learning how to ride a bike--bike balance dynamics are more about not getting in the way of the machine's natural tendency to stay upright while rolling, and generating enough speed quickly to let that effect take over.
https://www.citylab.com/design/2015/...selves/392690/
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Old 07-01-19, 05:45 PM
  #35  
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Here's a video that may help give you a little more confidence.


The demonstration starts at 2:55.

There's another video somewhere showing and empty bike rolling all the way down a hill. It flopped over only when it lost forward momentum.

In another incidence, while I was mowing the lawn one day, I say a teenager riding a bicycle that was too small for him. He was riding no-hands and pedaling really slowly. So he was moving along really slowly while he was texting. Every time the bicycle looked like it was about to flop over one side, the front wheel naturally turned to that same side and the bike would roll in that direction instead of falling.

If you can keep your body on the bike while it's moving, you won't fall over. It's your nerves that's making you fall. See if you can get on a stationary bike at the gym and just sit there without holding the handlebars.

Last edited by Daniel4; 07-01-19 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 07-01-19, 06:13 PM
  #36  
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Wow! Good for you...I am in awe! Keep us updated on your progress!
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Old 07-03-19, 11:53 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
balance bike .. historically that was the first bike ... no pedals just 2 wheels, & a handle..
front one you steered by turning it and turned it to keep your balance on that bike

1818




Did that bike come with Magura hydraulic rim brakes?
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Old 07-03-19, 12:16 PM
  #38  
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Foot brakes, 2 of them.. , on the bottom end of the rider's legs... Very Fred Flintstones..
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Old 07-03-19, 12:40 PM
  #39  
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Can't ride a bike? You'll find kindred spirits in the C&V subforum, in case you're looking for a welcoming bike forum home.
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Old 07-03-19, 01:03 PM
  #40  
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I gather from your initial post that this is a borrowed bike. Are you sure the owner will not let you remove the pedals? It's not rocket science. Both pedals unscrew counterclockwise and install clockwise. Most have an "R" and an "L" stamped in the end of the threaded portion (axle) so you can't mix them up. You can buy a pedal wrench for $10 that makes it easier to remove and later reinstall the pedal. It's longer and thinner than most 15mm wrenches. You just have to be sure to tighten the pedals well when you reinstall them.
Example seller on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lumintrail-Pedal-Wrench-17-16-15-mm-Double-Sided-Bike-Spanner/142738554295?epid=9031295393&hash=item213be17db7&enc=AQADAAAC4FjVrDbVsZ8oH%2F8PNHtt9VX4%2Fw7FZcmMuqs X8uaFEduV3F7s6hvczd5CTg8pc6qTVsPwreDGonEpps%2BNzYHXhFhkAdsbVu502geW4kyj34S6eRU6erVNCP4%2Fccy9uwlWlVd Vj5843ANCsJlqdJc5UMmZfjAS27FNVeSCzB0S3P%2BBdDG0J%2FouoRv1AyOKrGmitvdWf%2BDqtRLD37asnUt%2FumO6BpvCVJx qDOX8ALAU7kCkVzhmo8QxnOq4Tpf7IcMVdBBsb4LyGcOCrKxbH1%2Fk6LWaCQqLPXBlh4kXGDThFLd386GOWvDYGoSodSmuvfXkP uD1v5c7ECT%2Bonh9jvEv8iG6OvyiGfSrdc2ZsOwk1EdIf%2FHFi3i5akhdNk1FHDgvEnBLDIyrcQbu%2BoLgnXSNNUYI6N36CYl 0TGa%2Buud9JeGh4qKOzStw3%2Ba1oDEjIRRCPSGKsv4bpfV72aM%2Fe4%2BCeHaXMT1AapARiHtH06hfcgXeE2N6xr%2FfXhetK YACeSQMl3lh9NBl0XidSbjQWIi7dZNuVEzALbUO5gJ%2FCM5VU%2FpxYU1%2F9iuf951wfTrBvriYHEUXnlbBdteEoSWrZMJPLZz 3%2BG5GlRyl%2FI7sEUk3J68LG8usytjZYYcKsVn3rd%2BG9QYrSGhAnLqtOePF5lkQZwJt8rN03Mu9RLXmUNCF976Mw6teSj3VJ HAQbS27URiu2qETuTNBsCGXsWQA5ZPGeOlPs%2FvYvVJxCQZ55p4rBQIdjwjuM70x89Ay%2FVEdkEnbRddVFLJkufYvMN3XrNQ%2 BxhtMR2EAeuJz0M9lDdTMjBShWHfApYAmxi1k7DK5%2BiSH0Inn5fx6iW0C%2FME08nGUwQxfOgV3X%2FDIo832Yj0gPnVB88HWP KBOe1uWBVZuCQcykv%2FCYY4yMqbK5RrcY6QugGNTaipoiSvBIZUsISwiScCafbLqXOqGOy7bK1CI7LxOnIWABCXmPWv8xLK4h4a GZtc%3D&checksum=142738554295b81c0e3e8a6f48c3bc489f15c8dfa0a3
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Old 07-03-19, 04:16 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Both pedals unscrew counterclockwise and install clockwise.
Wrong, non drive side is reverse threaded.
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Old 07-05-19, 07:41 AM
  #42  
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Riding a bike is simple. Children are developmentally ready to ride at 3 years. Some 2 year olds can ride. Only reason this is not encouraged is children that young do not have sufficient judgment. Children who start late - late like 5 or 6 or 7 - frequently figure out everything the very first ride.

Adults are very capable of riding. What stands in the way is usually fear. Expectations not grounded in reality get in the way too. It is just not hard. Don't make it hard. It will come to you.

Bicycles are inherently stable. Extremely stable. Yes, you might fall before you discover how stable your bike is. Falling is not required. Falling is not a rite of passage. Falls are very infrequent for adults not racing. Myself it has been twenty years and over 100,000 miles since the last fall.

Is this a new bike? New does not mean it works. Have someone else ride the bike. Just to confirm it is rideable as is.
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Old 07-05-19, 08:28 AM
  #43  
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thread patterns mix

Originally Posted by katsup View Post
..., non drive side is reverse threaded.
BB shell drive side (British /Swiss )* is left hand thread, pedal on non drive side crank is left hand thread..

Drive side crank pedal thread is right hand ..

[so tandem, crossover drive, captain's crank is RH Thread ,( no spider ) and both drive left cranks , are left hand threaded..]

* (French /Italian both sides are right hand threaded BB)
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Old 07-07-19, 02:12 PM
  #44  
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I've had the joy of teaching two adults to ride. In both cases they were riding in less than an hour. The technique you're using is essentially what I've done. The pedals are a bother initially, but I don't think removal is critical.

What you are doing is teaching your brain how to balance a moving bike. Your job is to persist, your brain does the rest. Don't over think it.

Learning to stop with handbrakes inspires confidence to keep persisting. Do figure eights while Fred Flinstoning. Continue until comfortable. Then move to gliding as far as possible. Slight downhill is great. Challenge yourself to glide further. The point of frustration is a critical learning moment - push through it. Keep using brakes to stop. If frustration turns to anger, take a break. When you can glide ten or twenty feet, try pedaling a bit. Persist.

Cheers!
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Old 07-07-19, 03:40 PM
  #45  
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Hang in there buddy! If it helps, there's a random guy in Minnesota who's pulling for ya
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Old 07-07-19, 06:00 PM
  #46  
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You can do it!

Learning to ride is an Amazing Adventure that becomes a life long activity. I donít remember learning to ride, but I recall my dad taking the training wheels off my early childhood bike when I was 4, and started riding a 2.5 HP mini bike when I was 5. I must have started with a childrenís tricycle; my older sister said we had them when we were young.

But the mini bike lead to a dirt bike followed by a few street motorcycles. In 1991, I was hit by a car - 55 MPH impact, flew 100 feet through the air landing on my unprotected head. I was 23 and in a coma 90 days. I got my class C licence back in 1994 (100 hours supervised driving) and in 1995 considered a motorcycle licence. I began by purchasing an 18 speed mountain bike, I was 25 then and just rode knowing I was going to crash. The bike balances itself at 5 MPH, so going fast enough is an excellent starting point. Knowing I was going to crash on asphalt, I wore a leather jacket for protection. That was a me thing, I live with a brain injury, but donít understand it; rather, play the hand Iím dealt. Donít look down; rather look in the direction you want to travel. I got speed wobbles in the handlebars before the crashes, so my head would be shaking to either side, confusing my brain, resulting in a crash. After a couple weeks of that, improving every day, riding got smooth, in heavy traffic too.

Well, in 1996 I graduated to motorcycles again, and after a year riding with a permit, got a motorcycle endorsement on my driverís licence. Rode 36,000 miles in a couple years, and then crashed a softail in the mountains. I was riding too fast, and broke my neck and pelvis in that 1999 crash. But in 2016, wanted to start riding again. I tried an adult tricycle, and still ride one today.

For me, it began with a bike, childís tricycle I think, and today an adult tricycle, with two wheel cycling in between. Bikes are indescribably wonderful, but they require momentum to get goingÖ
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Old 07-09-19, 12:22 PM
  #47  
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I remember when I finally got the knack of riding a bike. I rode ~25m across the grassy park to my mom. I'm excited for you to feel the same joy that I felt. Age doesn't matter, the fun is still there, waiting to be had. Good luck!
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Old 07-09-19, 02:57 PM
  #48  
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I also don't have a problem with the idea of scooting. I remember the terror I felt at something like 5 when my dad ran next to me pushing and shouting "PEDAL" and letting me go, only to crash into a wall, mailbox, parked car or passerby :-(

Without the pedals on to get in the way, I think learning to balance and braking with hand brakes would be a breeze scooting with foot power only. Having pedals to provide motion, dealing with handlebars, and brakes I think is a bit much all at once.

Fred Flintstoning? I like that! I've used the "Chicken Run" term (Rocky Rhodes) the same :-)

On a similar vein, when I teach a person to drive a manual transmission, I step up the idle to around 2k rpm, tell them to use ONLY the brake and just get the feel of the clutch to get the car rolling. They stall the car very few times, and in no time I have them driving.
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Old 07-09-19, 03:11 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
A different approach: learning balance is the key and one way is not to use that bike. That bike is second to a scooter. The kind you see kids use, the Lazor. I think they call it "Kick Scooters"
I like it! Chapeau.
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Old 07-09-19, 03:18 PM
  #50  
Leisesturm
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Originally Posted by gnappi View Post
On a similar vein, when I teach a person to drive a manual transmission, I step up the idle to around 2k rpm, tell them to use ONLY the brake and just get the feel of the clutch to get the car rolling. They stall the car very few times, and in no time I have them driving.
My 1999 Passat had so much grunt off idle that all you had to do was lift the clutch to start moving. Even on a hill, it didn't matter, just lift and go. I don't remember the idle being more than 750 rpm.
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