How to Learn to Ride a Bicycle If You Have Never Done It Before

Young woman riding a bike in the city

The ability to confidently stay on two wheels opens up completely new opportunities for active and exciting recreation, travel, and outdoor rides. Regular cycling is very beneficial for health and greatly improves mood. But what should a person do who, for whatever reason, never learned to ride a bike as a child? There is no need to despair – with the right approach, this useful skill can be learned at any age. Let’s take a close look at the step-by-step instructions for teaching adults to ride a two-wheeler.

Choosing a Suitable Bicycle for Learning

For teaching an adult, it is best to use a special bicycle with a low step-through frame, wide tires, and small supporting wheels in the back. The optimal parameters for such a bicycle are: 18-20 inch frame height, 26-28 inch wheel diameter, gears, reliable brakes, and mandatory supporting wheels. It is much easier to maintain balance and fully control the process on such a two-wheeled “helper”. If you dream of a bike for daily rides, choose a model that will support you during training and become a reliable companion for everyday trips.

Choosing a Suitable Place for Learning

The ideal place for first steps (or rather pedal revolutions) will be a flat, smooth area without cars, cyclists, pedestrians or other distracting factors. For example, this could be a deserted parking lot near the house, a stadium, a closed alley in a park, or another similar place. The main requirements are a minimum of extraneous stimuli, an even surface without stones, holes or steep slopes.

Proper Seating Position and Body Position on the Bicycle

Sit on the saddle so that when you put your feet on the ground, the soles are completely supported by the surface. If your feet do not reach the ground, adjust the saddle height to match your height. The back should be straight, elbows slightly bent, shoulders relaxed – this is the optimal position for good control of the bicycle.

The legs should be slightly bent at the knees, feet parallel to the ground. It is also important to adjust the handlebar so as not to overreach or hunch. This seating position makes it easiest to control the two-wheeled vehicle. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of cycling, pay attention to proper posture to avoid strain on the back and joints.

Starting Motion and Acceleration

To start moving, push off the ground with one foot to gain initial momentum. Then place the second foot on the corresponding pedal and start smoothly turning the pedals, gaining speed. Try to keep your upper body straight, look straight ahead in the direction of travel, arms slightly bent at the elbows. Do not try to dismount until fully stopped.

Stylish adult woman posing with eco friendly bike

Controlling Speed

To speed up and gain velocity, pedal faster and shift to higher gears. To reduce speed or stop, do the opposite – pedal slower and shift to lower gears. Always look ahead in the direction of travel, maintain balance. Use your hands to control direction.

Smooth Braking and Full Stop

To fully stop, gradually press both brakes without jerking, after ceasing pedal rotation beforehand. Try not to brake too sharply, otherwise you may lose balance and fall. Before braking, it is better to reduce speed in advance by shifting to a lower gear.

When stopping, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart in order to quickly reach support if necessary.

Maintaining Balance in Motion

To avoid losing balance while moving, always look at the road ahead, not down at your feet or wheels. Try to keep your body straight, with knees slightly bent – this will help better control the bike. When turning, slightly lean inward on the turn to maintain balance. At a decent speed, the bicycle maintains balance to a large extent on its own due to centrifugal forces. To add comfort and safety to your daily bike commute, consider a bike helmet and proper walking gear that will also work for rides.

Building Confidence and Practice

To acquire confident riding skills, regular practice is necessary. Repeat the exercises described above until you feel comfortable and have complete control of the two-wheeler.

At the initial stages, it can help to have someone present for insurance – let a friend or relative back you up, supporting you from behind.

As your skills develop, gradually increase speed, try gradually making the task more difficult – moving in a winding trajectory, passing obstacles. This will quickly give you the necessary reflexes and sense of complete control over the bike.

For practice, choose calm deserted areas at first, until you feel completely confident in the saddle. Be patient with yourself and don’t force things.


In summary, by following these simple tips, any adult can learn to ride a bicycle even without an instructor. The main principles of success are patience, gradual increases in difficulty, and regular practice. Over time, the new useful skill will become muscle memory and a natural part of life. And riding a bike will open up many new bright experiences and horizons for active, healthy and joyful pastime!

Share this article: