Learning to Bike for Adults – Finding the Balance.

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

(ThyBlackMan.com) At 26, I can’t bike. So, I’m learning from the bottom. All my life it has felt impossible for me to learn to ride a bike. With Jason Horowitz’ help, I am finally trying to ride an electric bike for adults.

I am a contradiction, working at CityLAb where we are all biking enthusiasts. Though we write about how replacing the steering wheels with handlebars is beneficial for both the environment and the cyclist’s health, I am a person who has never set foot on a pedal. However, I know that I am not the only one – about 6 percent of Americans don’t know how to ride a bike. The remaining that do usually learn the skill in their childhood, a part I missed out on. 

Horowitz, a certified cycling coach who has been teaching riding electric bike for adults and children for four years, assures me that it is never too late to learn. Even though I doubt if I can learn to bike, there is a lingering sense of incompetence, jealousy, and embarrassment when I see others on the streets with their bikes.

As we duck into a garage to escape the heat, Horowitz takes off the pedals from the bike saying I’ll have to earn them. He instructs me to take my feet off the ground and glide across the garage on the pedal-less bike. Easy, but a little wobbly; I feel like the young me would have loved doing this. Currently, however, I feel glad that no one is around.

He claims that many cycling tutors use this method, attempting to eliminate their fear that prevents them from biking. He adds that the training wheel that kids begin with makes it harder for them to ride two-wheelers, as it doesn’t provide any confidence. So far, his method has been working.

After doing this for some time, I manage to earn both pedals, one after the other. Horowitz then asks me to push down with my right foot and locate the left pedal with my left foot. As I look down instinctively, the first attempt doesn’t go well. Horowitz reminds me to look straight every time I miss and sends me off again.

After about an hour and a half, I feel triumphant as I have conquered balancing, though some work is needed on the steering part. Soon a young girl and her father enter the garage. Though the girl is easily a better rider than me, I try my best to avoid any comparisons. Next, Horowitz raises the seat of the bike so that I am on my tiptoes. He begins to teach me the ‘tripod’ method of bike mounting. I find myself struggling to find balance once again and realize that this is the ultimate test. After several failed attempts, I finally pay attention to Horowitz’ instructions and manage to make circles around the garage.

I have always considered myself unable to bike because of my lack of balance. However, it appears that the right biking method and lots of patience can make it more exciting than fearful. What prevented me were self-doubt and my own belief that I was an exception to the cycling culture.

Even though am just starting, I can understand why cyclists find biking liberating. All I needed to do was to clear my internal thoughts and focus on what was standing in front of me.

Staff Writer; Tom Jackson