Only 15 minutes spent and I'm surprised to realised that, even without significant improvement on my bike balancing, I still broke a lot of sweat under a cool rainy weather today in Annandale. It felt like quite a work out even though I haven't managed to successfully ride it yet.

I'm still having trouble maintaining a straight line - I kept steering to one side without meaning to, and then lose my balance. The car park under my apartment has a light slope that I practiced to slide down and just keeping a straight line, and I did pretty good with that, but as soon as I raise a foot to the pedal, my entire body just weight to one side.

I also braved the tiny lane that the car park leads out to. May be it was because the lane was curved up - I kept steering to one side there even when I was just sliding down (which I was pretty good at when I did it on the flat ground in the car park). I managed to pedal with both feet for 10 cm here and there before I crumble (not literally - I built an instinct to brake and land on my foot), but not often enough.

Will try again tomorrow morning, might even push to the nearby park and try it there with the fresh morning air instead of the stiffy car park.

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Comment by Kim on October 14, 2011 at 11:25pm

Hi Tina, it's awesome that you are teaching yourself to ride. Lane ways aren't a good place to learn to ride. Soft grass is a best and don't panic about getting your feet on the pedals, just learn to balance first.

I am pretty sure that there are learn to ride courses for absolute beginners somewhere in the inner west. I'll see if I can found out where they are for you.

Welcome to the world of bikes!!

Comment by Tina Ng on October 15, 2011 at 9:21am
Hi Kim, thanks for the tips! So it is a better idea to ride in the park then. I've sent an email to one of the AustCycle trainers Donna in Marrickville about learning to ride, but if there are other trainers near Annandale please let me know
Comment by Neil Alexander on October 15, 2011 at 9:40am

Well done, Tina, and keep it up.

Find somewhere with (soft) grass and a gentle slope.

If you are having trouble getting your feet on the pedals and overbalancing as you do it, you may have the saddle set too low.

Get someone to help you set the saddle height so that you can put at least your toes on the ground on each side of the bike while sitting on the saddle. Don't have the saddle so low that both feet can be put flat on the ground when you are seated.

Make sure you know how to use the brakes and try to relax. Good luck!

Comment by herzog on October 17, 2011 at 8:11am

Good on you Tina for giving it a crack.

 

As you mentioned you're having trouble balancing and keeping the bike straight, there's a very important technique to fix this. It is critical to raise your line of vision and look further ahead with your eyes level. This will correct the balance issues.

 

If you find yourself looking down at the road immediately in front of your front wheel (which is very common when learning) your balance will be compromised.

 

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