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43

Nothing happened or changed. It's just your observational bias coupled with different demographics preferring different bike capabilities. Many children's bikes have relatively relaxed geometry, which makes them stable which has benefits for kids. Bikes built for adults usually aren't as stable, because stability and maneuverability are at odds with each ...


30

The simple, short answer is practice. Simply riding around at moderate to slow speeds, practicing starting off, braking, stopping and negotiating tight turns will help build balance, confidence and control of the bike. Do this in a quiet spot away from people and cars if you can. If you are worried about falling do it on grass. The most useful foundational ...


24

I happen to be one of those who attract new riders into the sport, and have given the basic training to many people. Here is a brief of what I try to teach them: Riding position Be ready to react Have your bike properly tuned/fitted Scan the terrain(Look forward) Use a proper braking technique Never get to the extremes Grow progressively The most important: ...


18

In rapidly descending order of importance ... (see Why I chose these priorities below) Practice track stands. See How to do a track stand? This teaches balance and slow bike handling skills. Also practice riding in confined spaces (the last time I fell off was trying to do a U turn on a path that was 4 ft (1.2m) wide :-) Learn to jump both wheels off the ...


15

I think there's a large element of selection bias, combined with changes to roads and traffic rather than bikes. When you were a kid you used to ride with kids who rode a lot, probably on fairly quiet roads. Kids probably ride less than they used to, especially on roads with traffic. Now you ride as an adult, you see fewer kids riding, and pay less ...


10

In the UK there is a national training scheme targeting child cyclists, often organized through schools. It claims to have trained about 2.5 million children to date. It has been running under different names for a long time - I took part in it back in the 1950s! Go to https://bikeability.org.uk/. "Level 1" is mainly about controlling the bike. Levels 2 and ...


9

I agree with the advice to practice. There's a book, Effective Cycling by John Forester, which covers everything--the physiology of cycling, bike maintenance, interacting with traffic, etc. Some of the advice on bike maintenance is outdated at this point, and I think some of what he wrote about physiology has been superseded by improved scientific ...


8

Off the bike many forms of exercise will help. Yoga and martial arts in particular will help with balance. On the bike consider mountain biking to help your road technique. A mountain bike with no shocks even better. Once you learn to negotiate rocks, roots, and drop offs then a lot of the low speed stuff that happens on the street seems easy. ...


7

The trick is to remember how pedals are designed to grip. Decent pedals should grip your foot from going forwards or backwards, as well as obviously holding your weight. The only direction they don't grip is upwards away from the pedal. The trick is to rotate the pedal so that it's allows you to grip in the direction you want. You rotate your feet ...


7

The biggest influence on how a bike steers is 'trail'. Trail is the distance that the contact area of the front tyre on the ground trails behind a line drawn through the steering axis to the ground. (see the Wikipedia on bike geometry) It would be interesting to find if 'trail' lengths have changed over time, and thus the ease of riding hands-free has ...


5

If you are having problems lifting the back wheel then you can try practising it on it's own, without lifting the front wheel: Start by riding at walking speed and getting into a low attack position (ie. standing on the pedals, knees bent, hips back, back flat, elbows out). Smoothly shift your weight backwards. Lunge forwards, pull with your arms and push ...


5

Lets get the social aspects out the way - you can lead a horse to water and all that stuff.....: Hows your relationship - will he listen to you and is he prepared to take clearly well intended advice. Also does he believe he has a problem and does he want to fix it. If any of these answers is no there little you can do except ruin you friendship. Till hes ...


5

Ride off-road. Riding a road bike on dirt is a great way to improve your skills. Get out on dirt roads or mild MTB trails (just be mindful that large rocks or tree roots can cause a flat or even a dented rim if you're not careful) Bonus points: you get some great looks when you pass people on full suspension MTBs! ;)


4

My personall suggestion is the classic 1990's book / Video "Mountain bike like a champion" by Ned Overend Or his Performance Mountain biking DVD Both have helped me more than i expected. Otherwise practice practice practice, and ride with people better than you anytime you can. Another alternative, but the most expensive, is go to a local pro's "skills ...


4

Just some other tips to add on... Have a buddy with you when attempting a significant descent in a remote area. Stay cool and try to mentally anticipate what is going to happen before you start reacting. Pick your line and think about contingencies if a car or obstacle shows up. Look far ahead, not just at your buddies in front. Don't get aggressive with ...


4

I do two things. 1) I have some experience(very limited) in martial arts. Just several sessions of falling with rolling over the shoulder. Also keeping a guard. 2) I always carry a backpack. When shit hits the fan, I try to detach myself from the bike (all of my damaging falls were due to getting stuck with the frame or the handlebars). Then I assume a ...


4

Look into car's side-mirrors Very simple advice, but that it takes time to master. Gazing into parked cars mirrors will give you a warning sign of a possible open door or car that will incorporate into the traffic flow: no person reflected, great! You should be able of doing this quickly and from the reflection decide what to do: it is common that drivers ...


4

I learnt on a BMX but I can bunny hop on 24/26 inch wheels to, the skill is transferable one you get the feel for the lean back. A bunny hop is not a bouncing action... although you CAN get the bike off the floor in this method - I call that method hoppity hops, it's incorrect and will hurt your wrists. You can hop with suspension if your bike has it, not ...


4

In my opinion, what defines a master is how much he dominates his craft. If we consider riding bike as a craft or tool. A true master is one who, at any level of skill, is always below his limit. Just as an example, let's consider a professor, a math professor. If he only knows what he teaches his students, and cannot go off the beaten path, he's everyday ...


4

Particularly when you're learning to do a skid stop, you need to hop your back wheel off the ground momentarily and then lock your back leg while your wheel is not in contact with the road. Then when your wheel hits the road again, it will skid. You shouldn't need to jam it anywhere against your bike, I'd suggest this is probably a bit dangerous. It's good ...


4

As others have mentioned, practicing in a safe environment without traffic will help you improve your skills. I think learning the following skills is essential for riding around a city. Pedalling standing up for quick acceleration. Signalling left and right with your arm and only one hand on the handlebars. Observing behind you by looking over your ...


3

Don't shove your legs against the steering bar. Not only can this cause an injury, but it immobilizes you slightly and gives you a lot less control overall. For that moment your leg(s) are pinned you can't do very much and if you start to tumble it's going to be bad. The wet pavement advice is the best. Learn to hop it and get the skid started, but never ...


3

In my opinion this thread is a lot of elitist carp. There are plenty of perfectly competent bike commuters and tourists, eg, who can't do a track stand or a bunny hop, and many road bikes do not have the steering geometry for "no hands" riding. It's nice if you can do all this stuff, but to imply that a cyclist is incompetent (and should by implication ...


3

To answer this part of your question specifically: At what distance does drafting significantly reduce drag? I think a well accepted rule of thumb is that riding right on someone's wheel (within a couple feet) can save you about 40% drag. It depends on your speed, wind speed, wind direction, how aero the cyclist ahead of you is, etc. I compete in ...


3

One thing that can help is training on rollers. It's kind of dangerous at the begining, because the bike reacts a lot to little imbalances, but as you get more experience on them you will feel much more stable on the bike and this might help in feeling the bike better on the road. As for bike handling, ride it and ride it more, I don't think anything beats ...


3

I'm far from an expert here, but here are somethings that have helped me: Pay attention to how you feel on the bike and how the bike responds to you. Some of this you are probably doing naturally – like shifting your weight back as you brake. Read about cycling technique. Encourage yourself to think about and experiment with the dynamics of the bike – for ...


3

Yes, stick to it and keep doing it, each time will get you that much closer to your goal. It is very possible, start slow and stay dedicated.


3

I'm not certain what you are asking? Once you know how to ride your bike, it is just a question of getting more experienced. Ride and ride more, go around your neighborhood, learn how cars and pedestrians and other cyclists behave and react. Go to parking space when there are no cars and ride there practicing how to maneuver safely at different speed (...


3

For "moving about the city", nothing is as important as safety. Study something like, Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling -- especially the later pages, which explain how to interact with traffic. Note page 20 (and page 36), for example, which shows how to avoid getting trapped between the curb and vehicle turning right (or in the UK, turning left). It doesn't ...


2

Look up! The key for me (on a freewheel bike) was to overcome my reflex to look down on the ground. As soon as I started to look at the horizon, or maybe even a bit higher than that, it was super easy.


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