Learning to ride a bicycle as an adult is no different than learning to ride as a kid. All you need is the desire and hunger, learning mindset, and an actual bicycle to get started.
Bicycling is a fantastic recreational activity. It is refreshing, enjoyable, and, more importantly, healthy.
I believe riding a bicycle as an adult has numerous benefits. A bike lets you unwind on your own while actually enjoying it.
My weekdays are jam-packed with work, household stuff, and socializing. So when I go for a spin around the hills on weekends, I feel relaxed, calm, and relaxed.
The six tips for learning to ride as an adult are finding a location, checking the bike, practicing getting on and off the bike, learning to balance, starting pedaling, and riding unaided.
Learning to ride a bike as an adult can sometimes be challenging. But hey, that is what I am here for today.
Come with me as I share some meaningful information regarding learning to ride as an adult. Not just the actual tips, but some of my other knowledge too.
Can Adults Learn to Ride a Bike?
The majority of the people think that if they did not learn to ride a bike as a kid, they would not learn to ride a bike as an adult. And this is entirely gibberish!
Like Nike’s slogan, nothing is impossible if you put your mind to something. So, just do it!
With that being said, no one can learn to ride a bike as an adult or a kid in one day. Rome wasn’t built in a day either, right?
It is a step-by-step process.
Three months back, I taught my 24 years old sister how to ride a bicycle. After the first day, she had a big wide smile on her face, and she was glowing brighter than the sun.
I remembered the first time I learned to ride—the thrill of moving against the wind and racing with other kids my age.
My sister now commutes via a bike and takes her bike everywhere. She possessed a crucial trait – sheer determination.
Almost all adults can learn to ride a bike regardless of their age. But one must have patience, be persistent, and have adequate encouragement and support in learning to ride a bike.
To get started, you will need a bike, of course, a safe and open space to practice, and, again, the desire and hunger.
How Long Does It Take for Adults to Learn Riding?
Let me reiterate what I mentioned earlier; no one can learn something in a day or two. It is a step-by-step process.
There is no definite answer as to how long it takes for adults to learn to ride. It ultimately depends on the one that is learning to ride a bike.
As mentioned above, in my sister’s case, she took a week to master learning to ride as an adult completely. But that might not be the case for you.
A truly dedicated adult, or people generally, can master riding a bicycle in a week, tops. Some might take two. You see the pattern here.
I would suggest practicing 2-3 hours every day riding a bike if you are truly dedicated to learning to ride as an adult.
Another recommendation or tip would be to do it in the morning. Mornings are refreshing, and what better way to start the day than to learn something.
I know I keep repeating this, but you need to be dedicated, focused, and consistent with achieving a rider’s status.
Is Self-Learning Possible As an Adult
A friend of mine wanted to learn to ride a bike as an adult and asked me if possible. And I will tell you the same thing I told her.
You can self-learn riding a bike as an adult. But there will be some falls along the journey, which will only make you stronger.
I took her to the empty parking lot near her place and watched as she started learning independently. I did not assist her in any way.
Yes, I saw her fail several times, but I controlled and stopped myself from helping her.
Two weeks later, she comes to work riding her very own bicycle.
Important Note: Ask a friend or a family member to give you company. They will not have to teach you, but it is best just to be present.
Self-learning Steps to Learn To Ride a Bike
With that being said, I will share some tips and pointers on how you can self-learn riding a bicycle as an adult. Remember to be patient and to never give up.
- Find a bike that fits you properly and feel comfortable in.
- Adjust the bike for learning. Put the height of the seat an inch lower than your crotch and your feet should firmly land on the ground.
- Go to an open space. An empty parking space works wonders.
- Get safety gears like a helmet and knee and elbow pad.
- Start moving the bike with your feet. As you move your bike, practice steering the handlebar. Do not go fast here! Slow and steady wins the race.
- After you start feeling more confident, move your feet a little bit faster and continue practicing steering.
- After about a day or two as you feel the confidence shooting up, insert pedals and start pedaling slowly. As days progress, you can start going a little faster.
So, learning to ride a bicycle by yourself is all about practice. Like my friend, I am sure you will be able to cruise independently in no time.
Learn to choose a bike that fits you perfectly.
Continue with the article to learn about some of the tips mentioned here in more depth.
6 Tips for Learning to Ride As an Adult
I hope I have shared some meaningful information in this article so far.
And now, the moment of truth.
The following are my top 6 tips for learning to ride as an adult.
1. Find Location
The first tip in learning to ride as an adult is finding the proper location.
Look for a location that is quiet and does not have a lot of people or traffic. As a human being, it is normal to get distracted by even the smallest of things.
You should find a paved area that is large and flat. A Tennis court, basketball court, or an empty parking lot are the best places to learn, although the first two might be tricky to find empty.
Be sure to avoid grassy areas because the grass can be slippery. Also, the mud in grassy areas can bring your moving bike to a premature stop.
2. Check the Bike
The second tip for learning to ride as an adult would be to find a bike that compliments you and, of course, check it.
You might see a bike and like it, but that might not be the best suit for you. Such was the case when I first started and regretted it immediately.
The following is a checklist you should look out for when getting a bike to learn. You can ask your friend or a family member to help you select the bike.
- Check that the bike is of the right size.
- Make sure that both the brakes work and tires are pumped up.
- The saddle and the headset should not be loose or wobbly.
- The rims of the bike are not worn out or no visible cracks are present in the frame.
- Pedal the pedals and make sure that the chain is well lubricated and oiled up.
- Ensure the saddle is comfortable to sit in with the feet touching and staying firmly on the ground. I would advise to set the saddle an inch lower than normal while learning.
- Being seated, you should reach the brake levers easily.
3. Practice Getting On and Off The bike
It is always best to practice something before getting started. And there is no exception here.
Stand on one side of the bike, lean in toward yourself to ease the process of straddling, and practice getting on and off of it.
It is advisable to practice several times until you are comfortable doing so.
4. Learn to Balance
An important step that most beginner riders miss out on more often than not is balancing.
I have seen in many adults that they start pedaling away and often fall as soon as they are seated. This is wrong.
Begin your learning journey by moving the bike with your feet. Yes, feet. Do not pedal away. You need to understand the base of balance before pedaling.
If you have someone accompanying you, ask them to grab ahold of the saddle and the handlebar. After some tries, it is time to move on when you can balance for a short time.
Learn to balance the bike by moving with your feet and taking them off of the ground gently. Try baby steps. Try to take your feet off for 2 seconds, then 4 seconds, then 8 seconds, then 20 seconds, and so forth.
It takes time to master the art of balance, and I would advise continuing to learn to balance before jumping to other tips.
After you are confident that you can now balance the bike, the next step would be to steer.
Move to bike with your feet and simultaneously start steering right and left. Do not make sharp turns, as you might end up falling.
Again, if you feel like you need assistance, ask away.
5. Start Pedaling
Now that you are confident that you can balance the bike without assistance, it is time to learn to pedal.
Grab ahold of the brakes before you mistakenly pedal without realizing and fall.
You should set the pedal at a 2 o’clock position by setting your left or right foot under it. Putting the pedal in this position gives you enough room to start.
Your friend might have to help you set the paddle initially, but after 3 – 4, you should get a hold of it.
Remember that you must have one foot on the ground and one on the pedal before pedaling. Most beginners make the mistake of pedaling both at the same time.
It is physically impossible because as one side of the pedal goes down, the other comes up.
Now that the feet are set in position, gently release the brake and push down the pedal while keeping your head straight.
As one side of the pedal goes down pedal down the opposite side and continue the momentum.
If you have difficulty gathering momentum, ask your friend to push you from the back to gather momentum. After that, pedaling will do the trick.
When you are coming to a stop, do not pull the brake levers fully. This will bring the bike to a sudden stop, and you might fall.
Instead, softly pull the brakes of the bike and get your feet down. And completely stop when your feet are on the ground and not at high speed.
Practice this several times in open ground before riding anywhere else.
6. Ride Unaided
And now for the final tip. If you have followed all the steps mentioned properly, it is time for you to learn to fly, like the Foo Fighters song.
You might have some aid in previous steps, but now, it is time to be on your own.
If you are confident enough that you do not need any assistance in keeping steady, you should practice riding independently.
Although you may be riding without any help, ask your friend to stay close as a precaution.
As you start riding unaided, your journey of learning to ride as an adult is complete.
You need to surround yourself with people that push you. So, bring a friend that pushes you along for this learning journey.
A simple ‘you got this’ can help boost the rider’s confidence as they embark on this journey.
And finally, go step by step. Never skip a process.
Riding a bike is just like drinking water from a bottle. You cannot drink it unless you take the cap off. Well, unless you poke holes on the cap.
I hope I was able to push you and give you some meaningful insight on learning to ride as an adult. It can be daunting, but once you take the first leap, everything gets in place.