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Well... I finally learned how to ride a bike (first post)

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Well... I finally learned how to ride a bike (first post)

Old 04-17-20, 07:47 AM
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33yearslate
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Well... I finally learned how to ride a bike (first post)

No joke, I'm 33 years old and never learned. I was bored in lockdown due to the pandemic so I decided "heck, why not take this time to learn?" So I bought a bike online, it was delivered pre-assembled, and I hopped on and just kept at it... and ended up learning in about 3 hours after a couple of embarrassing falls in a very remote road near my neighborhood.

It was HARD. It probably seems like second nature to everyone on this site but there's a lot happening when you get on a bike. Just getting the bicycle in motion and placing your feet on the pedals requires a ton of coordination when you've never done it before. And when I did start to get the hang of it for the first time... I rode it into a ditch of about 1 foot of water and nearly injured myself . I came home soaked, but triumphant! I learned.

Now, 3 days later, it feels good to have this dark cloud of a thing - not knowing how to ride a bike - no longer hanging over my head as a source of shame. I always made excuses whenever anyone asked me whether I wanted to go bike riding with them. And the feeling of someday knowing I'll be able to say "yes" (when we are no longer social distancing) is super exciting.

Riding, itself, is very freeing and enjoyable. I haven't actually gone anywhere yet though - I'm way too scared of riding outside my little neighborhood onto a main road or a sidewalk of a major street. But I can tell I'm going to get there if I keep practicing.

Right now, I still sort of swerve and lose control at times. And I have no sense of when to change gears at all - I just leave them both on the middle gear until I get the hang of things. But the progress is going well. I'm on day 3 right now and am gradually starting to feel more and more relaxed when riding.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my story with some bike enthusiasts. I love my new bike.

*hugs bike*

Cheers
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Old 04-17-20, 07:55 AM
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33yearslate
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P.S. I should probably mention, the bike I grabbed is a Trek FX1 with disc brakes. Although I have no frame of reference at all, I'm enjoying it a lot so far.
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Old 04-17-20, 08:16 AM
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Better late than never! Interesting to hear about learning to ride from a different perspective. Hard for me to remember when I didn't ride a bike. Sure you'll have lots of fun with it, congrats on staying with it, you'll have it mastered in no time at all.
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Old 04-17-20, 09:30 AM
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Congratulations for having the persistence to get it right. I had a kid in my Scout troop who still didn't know how to ride a bike when he aged out at 18. He was just afraid to try. That was in spite of the encouragement from several adult leaders who are cyclists. It's sad because cycling can be a lifelong way to keep fit and enjoy the out of doors.
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Old 04-17-20, 09:39 AM
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Enjoying it is the best part.

Wait til you begin to see some fitness benefits when you learn to ride faster & longer.

Stay safe.
Ride On!
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Old 04-17-20, 09:53 AM
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For those who are curious: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b.../fx-1/p/17446/

Good to hear you like cycling. It just keeps getting better.
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Old 04-17-20, 10:09 AM
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Good for you! I recall learning when I was 8, on a 24" Roadmaster that was too big for me. The other kids would push me down the sidewalk, let go, and I'd fall over. Maybe the second day, I flew free. Then it was my brothers turn. Push him til he didn't fall over.

With my kids, I started them on training wheels. My 7 year old grand daughter still does not know how to ride. She live in a place with steep hills, she'll have to be transported to a flat area to learn.
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Old 04-17-20, 10:12 AM
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Now you’ll never forget how!
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Old 04-17-20, 10:13 AM
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Good for you and welcome to the gang!
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Old 04-17-20, 10:24 AM
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Huh, Didn't know Trek delivered to your house. Pretty cool for such times. But even cooler you were brave enough to learn to cycle at 33. That is so awesome!
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Old 04-17-20, 10:33 AM
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Good job on learning to ride!

Never had a bike delivered pre-assembled. Do you know enough about bike mechanicals to give it a good check and make sure it was done correctly, and nothing came loose during shipping?
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Old 04-17-20, 10:38 AM
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Good for you mate! You almost missed out on it altogether. Some people never do, or if they did ride as kids, they forget how much fun it was as adults.

Hope to see you around on the forums. With a name like that, It'd be a shame to see you go.
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Old 04-17-20, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by hillyman View Post
Huh, Didn't know Trek delivered to your house. Pretty cool for such times. But even cooler you were brave enough to learn to cycle at 33. That is so awesome!
I don't know if they normally deliver to houses. But my current residence is literally walking distance from the nearest Trek. So we were able to arrange a socially distanced "handoff" where they left it at my door.

Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement. I can already tell I'm going to stick with this new hobby. It's a really fun way to get around.

As soon as I feel comfortable, I'm going to start biking out of the neighborhood and going places. I'm giving it another week of practice and learning how to change gears properly.
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Old 04-17-20, 10:48 AM
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That TREK is an excellent first bike, you choose well.
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Old 04-17-20, 10:52 AM
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What a great post! Welcome to the community!
These forums suck sometimes but cycling not so much.
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Old 04-17-20, 12:00 PM
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33yearslate
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Originally Posted by 55murray View Post
That TREK is an excellent first bike, you choose well.
Glad to hear it! It goes way faster than I imagined it would without much work. I imagine it will feel great to go full speed with it on an open road someday (when I work up the courage!).
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Old 04-17-20, 12:07 PM
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Congrats! Good for you for trying something outside of your comfort zone.
My sister who is 50, in good shape, athletic, has still never learned to ride a bike. It seems baffling from the outside to us riders!
Sounds like you already appreciate that unique feeling that riding a bike delivers - there's really nothing else like it. Enjoy!
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Old 04-17-20, 03:08 PM
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Congrats! It takes a lot of guts to learn something as an adult that most people learn as a kid.

Nice first bike.....Now go ride it like you stole it.
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Old 04-17-20, 03:22 PM
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Good for you.

One thing you will probably want to put together for your new ride is flat repair kit and maybe a few basic tools. The basics don't cost much.

A fact of life is that bicycle tires tend to puncture much more easily that auto tires and if you are miles from home with no way to repair the puncture, it sucks (don't ask me how I know). If you ride enough, sooner or later you will flat. Flats are pretty simple to repair and be on your way in no time.

It is good to familiarize yourself with the procedure in the comfort of your home so you aren't trying to learn to do it on the side of the road. There are lots of YouTube videos on how to change a flat and many threads here about putting together a basic flat and repair kit.

Good luck.
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Old 04-17-20, 03:34 PM
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Congratulations. I can imagine it's something that would not be easy to learn as an adult.

A couple of pointers for you. 1. A bike will tend to go where you look. Many times when people crash, it's because they see something like a curb or ditch and they can't take their eyes off it and run right into it. Motorcyclists call this target fixation. Look where you want the bike to go and don't fixate on obstacles.

2. When your moving on the bike and you start to turn the handlebars, the bike will turn in the opposite direction. This is referred to as counter steering. I suspect someone will follow up and say that doesn't happen on a bicycle but they are wrong. It does. Try it out for yourself and see.

Understanding these two things will help you feel more confident riding.
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Old 04-17-20, 03:47 PM
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Good for you! I worked one time with a woman who grew up living in an apartment building on a steep hill in San Francisco. The only place she could ride her little bike was in the garage downstairs. When I knew her much later she had eventually moved to a flat area and had really learned to ride. It gave her a lot of joy. Hope your new skill does too.
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Old 04-17-20, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Congratulations. I can imagine it's something that would not be easy to learn as an adult.

A couple of pointers for you. 1. A bike will tend to go where you look. Many times when people crash, it's because they see something like a curb or ditch and they can't take their eyes off it and run right into it. Motorcyclists call this target fixation. Look where you want the bike to go and don't fixate on obstacles. .
This sounded silly to me until I made it a regular thing (particularly off-road where squeezing between rocks and roots can be a safety issue.) One thing that helps is to look next to the obstacle---you have it in the periphery so your brain doesn't freak out, but you also don't crash right into it while staring at it.
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Old 04-17-20, 07:06 PM
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Glad to see you are putting your down time to accomplish learning to ride a bike. Now, when you hear the cliche "It's like riding a bike..." you'll understand. Enjoy your new found activity.
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Old 04-17-20, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
.Anyway, I just wanted to share my story with some bike enthusiasts. I love my new bike.

*hugs bike*

Cheers
That's so cool, thanks for posting about it. And you have so much to look fotward to. Way to go!
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Old 04-17-20, 08:33 PM
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Very cool!

You learned like probably most of us. Me? I was about 6 or 7 (around 1959 or so) and my older brother got his first bike. (we weren't allowd to have bikes until we were 8). I was very jealous, so being a good big brother he "taught" me how to ride. The bike was way too big for me. He and his buddy got me up on the seat and together pushed me as fast as they could and let go. Flat, grassy front yard, so the crash was just business as usual for me. I learned pretty quickly after that. I've never lost the sense of fun riding a bike.

The way most little kids learn nowadays is on a little bike without pedals. They sit on the seat and scoot along with foot power until they get proficient at balancing. Then they get the pedals and it's a relatively pain free process.
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