I'm just relearning to ride after a 30 year hiatus. I am physically in very good shape so I have good muscle tone but my balance is sketchy. Am okay on the straightaway but when I slow down I get very wobbly. Any advice on how to handle my hybrid bike better in narrow spaces or when I have to slow down? Many thanks.
There are three common causes for erratic steering at low speed.
A possible cause, but the least likely, is that the head stem is too tight. When not on the bike try turning the handlebars. If the movement feels "lumpy" then it needs adjustment.
Riding a bike that has more aggressive geometry than we're used to. You could try borrowing a shopping bike (the kind with an upright riding position and a basket on the front) to see if it's easier to control. If this is the case, then more practice on your own bike should solve it. Meanwhile, as Criggie said, try stopping more quickly so that you spend less time at low speed.
Being out of practice. If the first two suggestions don't help then the solution is just more practice.
I'm 68 - a few years younger. I picked up cycling 6 months ago after a near 50 year break. I have mild MS and a balance problem. As Andy and others have mentioned - practice, practice. The balance issue will go away - it will seem automatic and you will never think about it.
When I first started again it was fortunate to stumble upon a large hybrid comfort bike - Specialized Crossroads Elite circa 2010. This cost me all of $40.00. It has large hybrid tyres 700c x 40. This is a relatively heavy bike, but very stable. It has front suspension so going over bumps does not get transmitted through to your balance system. After 6 months I'm now at the stage where it's actually too slow. So I bought another hybrid - a Shogun Metro. It has no suspension. It took me a while to get used to no suspension - I still prefer the Specialized.
However I'm at the stage of selling the Shogun and getting a flatbar road bike. (To go faster)
I'll will not sell the specialized though - I enjoy riding it - it's so comfortable and stable.
I just enjoy the cycling. Plus I've lost 15 kilo's (30 pounds) since starting cycling so doctor is a happy chappy.
In addition to the excellent answer from andy. Both the eyes and ears can affect balance. If you have any deterioration in these then this is a possible cause. Balance is a complex mostly involuntary system, any deterioration in any part of it can cause problems, but vision and your inner ear are the main controllers.
While practice can mitigate to some extent, this isn't something that is fixable, in fact it usually gets worse.
I'm NOT a doctor of any sort.