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Old 06.07.2020, 17:55
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Almost 30 and never biked before

Hello guys,

So I'm soon reaching my 30st birthday and since long time I promised myself I would learn how to ride a bike. Have tried before but it didn't work out.
I can't be the only one, anyone else that needs to learn around here?
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Old 06.07.2020, 19:39
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Define bike... are we talking Harley or something with pedals ?
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Old 06.07.2020, 19:48
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

I'd be willing to offer to teach, as long as you don't mind being laughed at.
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Old 06.07.2020, 19:54
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Most start with training wheels.
Can also try here: http://velofahrkurs.ch/
Might stand out in the crowd though.
Here are the lessons for grown ups:
https://www.pro-velo.ch/de/angebote/...okurskalender/
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Old 06.07.2020, 19:59
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

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Most start with training wheels.
Can also try here: http://velofahrkurs.ch/
Might stand out in the crowd though.
No training wheels! Just try no pedals first and scoot along with your feet to find balance. Actually take the pedals off.
Training wheels* make the steering inputs more trike like and when you take them off you'll need to relearn steering inputs.

*Of course if you use them properly where they don't touch the ground they'd be of some use but then you'll never lean the bike.
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Old 06.07.2020, 20:00
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

You don't need a course. It's very simple, like riding a bike.
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Old 06.07.2020, 20:01
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

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You don't need a course. It's very simple, like riding a bike.
There's the other part to that, in that one needs to have learnt the skill first.
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Old 06.07.2020, 20:16
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Don't be afraid to fall.

That's 95% of learning to cycle.

The other 5% is:

Look in the direction you want to go and move the pedals.
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Old 06.07.2020, 20:31
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Surely at least 10 % of that is figuring out that you need a certain amount of speed in order to stay upright. Itís a lot less wobbly if you learn to go faster than you feel comfortable with at first.
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Old 06.07.2020, 21:34
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

I landed on the same website as robBob but got a page with more detailed advice - if you understand German that is.

I'd take Ato up on his offer, his system sounds right. And if you join in when he's laughing the whole thing gets a lot easier.
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Old 06.07.2020, 22:23
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Cycling, skiing or like with anything else. Where thereís a will thereís a way.
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Old 06.07.2020, 22:30
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

I learned to ride a bike at 32. No training wheels. Itís such a long time now, though, over 30 years. A lot of practice. You can do it.

Iíd advise a large flat place, like a parking lot.

Best I can remember was getting up to speed, balancing, looking straight ahead and then adding pedals.

Good luck!
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Old 07.07.2020, 02:03
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

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No training wheels! Just try no pedals first and scoot along with your feet to find balance. Actually take the pedals off.
Training wheels* make the steering inputs more trike like and when you take them off you'll need to relearn steering inputs.

*Of course if you use them properly where they don't touch the ground they'd be of some use but then you'll never lean the bike.
This.

For a bicycle, the correct saddle height is such that only one foot at a time can touch the ground (the other is on its pedal), and only if that foot is (mostly) outstretched, weight on the ball.

OP, you however, at least at the start, want have both feet on the ground. Start with both feet flat on the ground or heels slightly raised, whichever you're more comfortable with. Either way you need the saddle 10-20cm lower than usual(!). That will allow you to move at basically whichever speed you're comfortable with, including a very slow walking pace. Perhaps raise the saddle gradually as that'll shift your balance slightly.
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Old 07.07.2020, 09:14
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

If it makes you feel better, when I moved here, I hadn't been on a bike in 25+ years (since I was a small child). I'm now on a bike everyday.

Also recommend that you lower the seat as much as possible where both legs can quickly touch the ground. Wear a helmet, go to an empty parking lot with a friend or family member and you will learn quickly.
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Old 07.07.2020, 10:42
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Unless you have some kind of balance issue, you will learn no problem and I think that it is awesome that you want to start now! I just cycled to work this morning in the glorious sunshine and I feel much more alert and motivated that I do when I get chauffeured here by tram. Plus I don't have to worry about morons coughing everywhere or mask-refusers sat right next to me.

Like others have said, a large flat surface is best and start with learning to balance using your legs as stabilisers when needed.

Pro Velo used to offer courses for adult immigrants who had never learned to cycle before but they don't seem to have anything scheduled right now. They have a range of other courses where you learn basic road safety and I wish more cyclist would maybe get a refresher... We did have a "cycling exam" in secondary school back in the 90ies but I'm not sure those still take place.

If you don't drive in Switzerland, it is definitely something to consider, sadly, they only offer them in German but maybe if they had a few requests from English speakers, they would put on something in English.
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Old 07.07.2020, 11:00
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Two excellent videos for adults learning to ride a bicycle:
https://youtu.be/wqmzwVrkTU4
This one focuses on confidence, and the instructor's role.

https://youtu.be/GyLlw1CgXf8
This one has a nice bit of info about the names of the parts of a bicycle, to help a newby understand what's happening, and on finding balance, and on being able to turn.
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Old 07.07.2020, 11:17
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

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For a bicycle, the correct saddle height is such that only one foot at a time can touch the ground (the other is on its pedal), and only if that foot is (mostly) outstretched, weight on the ball.
This may not be bad advice for a beginner, but it's not generally correct. The ideal saddle height, defined to be the most efficient, is one where the leg is _almost_ straight when fully extended at the bottom of the pedalling stroke.

Whether you can touch the ground or not is secondary, and dependent on crank height, foot size and ankle angle. Many cyclists can't reach the floor except with their toes (or not at all) so rely on leaning the bike over or dismounting from the saddle if they need to stay still for any period of time.
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Old 07.07.2020, 11:29
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Quote:

Whether you can touch the ground or not is secondary, and dependent on crank height, foot size and ankle angle. Many cyclists can't reach the floor except with their toes (or not at all) so rely on leaning the bike over or dismounting from the saddle if they need to stay still for any period of time.
I had to teach one of my children the correct way to start off on his bike the other day. He had his own 'way' but it was rubbish and it took some taking to convince him off the correct way so he could start off both on hills, and with the saddle at the correct (and higher) height.

Once he actually tried it, he realised it was so much easier.

For the OP, it's something worth learning (getting someone to show you is best) as it's not intuitive.

But basically:

Find your leading foot, before getting on the bike - stand still, feet together and get someone to push you gently from behind. The foot you put forward first is your leading foot.

Stand astride the bike, in front of the saddle (not on the saddle).

With your leading foot on the pedal, with the pedal crank at about 10'O'clock, The other foot should be on the ground.

When you are ready to go, push down with the foot on the pedal, and at the same time push forward with the foot which is on on the ground.

The bike should start moving forward.
Put the foot that was pushing off on the ground onto it's pedal and start pedalling.

I appreciate this is obvious and you do it without thinking as a cyclist, it's amazing how wrong beginners get it.
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Old 07.07.2020, 11:36
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

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This may not be bad advice for a beginner, but it's not generally correct. The ideal saddle height, defined to be the most efficient, is one where the leg is _almost_ straight when fully extended at the bottom of the pedalling stroke.
Mine are normally set like that UNLESS I am going down a very steep road, in which case I drop the seat temporarily.

Tom
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Old 07.07.2020, 15:15
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Re: Almost 30 and never biked before

Quote:
This may not be bad advice for a beginner, but it's not generally correct. The ideal saddle height, defined to be the most efficient, is one where the leg is _almost_ straight when fully extended at the bottom of the pedalling stroke.

Whether you can touch the ground or not is secondary, and dependent on crank height, foot size and ankle angle. Many cyclists can't reach the floor except with their toes (or not at all) so rely on leaning the bike over or dismounting from the saddle if they need to stay still for any period of time.
Especially, when one often goes up the hill in Switzerland. I have a problem with patellar tenditis and cycling with not fully extended leg is quite bad for your knees.
 

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