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Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:14 pm
by Susie
This will sound daft :-(.

I have recently started cycling (just short local journeys at the moment). Before this I hadn't cycled in probably 25 years (God, I am so old...). I assumed I would just be able to pick up where I left off (I loved my bike when I was a kid and cycled everywhere), and I can still ride ok, but I am scared, and feel a bit unbalanced. I'm reasonably confident I'm not actually causing a danger to anyone, because I'm really careful where I cycle while I'm feeling like this, and I get off and wheel it if I get anywhere near a road with actual cars on, but... will I get better??? Or am I just rubbish? I don't want to give up because I really like it (in the bits where I'm not clinging to the handlebars thinking WHAT THE HELL IS HOLDING ME UP!!!) and also it's much more practical here than driving for most journeys in the city centre, and much quicker.

Any tips for improving? Does it just take time?

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:40 pm
by wabbit955
never got the hang of it
no much how much i tried always come off going round corners
but i spend all my time riding i motorbike

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:54 pm
by sarahkeast
Stick with it, after that long off anything will be difficult at first, especially with changes in traffic etc.

Make sure your bike is serviced, fits you and is running well, wear a helmet, join a friend. How about trying a ride on a rails to trails or some sort of cycle path ? no traffic to worry about, usually flat and hazard free.

Good luck, hang in there

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:12 pm
by Pumpkin&Piglet
If it was me I would be confident of getting better the more I practiced. Obviously it's easier to with less traffic/pedestrians so do as much as you can in quieter areas and then you'll get good enough and confident to cycle wherever you fancy!

I use to use the horse walks in Newmarket to cycle around, they were perfect as pedestrians avoid them and traffic can't get on them! The times I wanted to use them the horses had been out and gone back. They're wide and smooth too.

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:17 pm
by Zech
Susie wrote:Before this I hadn't cycled in probably 25 years (God, I am so old...). I assumed I would just be able to pick up where I left off (I loved my bike when I was a kid and cycled everywhere), and I can still ride ok, but I am scared, and feel a bit unbalanced.


This is me. That thing about never forgetting how to ride a bike? Load of rubbish if you ask me. I have to confess I didn't persevere long enough to answer your question, and now I've moved to Wales I'm not likely to, but I'd suggest treating it as if you're learning from scratch again. Think yourself ten years old and you'll be fine! :lol:

Um, probably younger than ten when you learnt. I can't count. Ignore me.

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:55 am
by Green Aura
Your cycling technique is bound to improve with a bit of practice. I think your main problem is adjusting to the greater volume of traffic, which must be pretty big in 25 years. And on top of that you don't have that "nothing can harm me" feeling you may have had then.

I'd concentrate on improving your cycling skills off busy roads until you feel ready to combat the traffic. Don't try to do it all at once.

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:13 pm
by MKG
It ain't a matter of getting better, Susie - it's a matter of your confidence improving. And that will come in short order.

Just remember where your brakes are, keep your head in gear, and you'll be fine (well, fine for one so old as you :lol: :lol: :lol: - c'mon - you're a mere sprog).

Mike

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:55 pm
by Potter's Farm
I fell off my bike 2 days ago when the neighbour's dog decided to run out and try to kill our dog who was happily trotting alongside me. I was just getting more confident as i hadn't ridden for 25 odd years too, and my 8 year old daughter had just taught me to pedal standing up which i had never mastered as a child.
I'll be back in the saddle again when my knee has healed...its a lovely mix of purple and green bruises dappled with scabs today........will be more wary of dangers outside my control now though!!! Good luck.

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:42 pm
by Susie
MKG wrote:It ain't a matter of getting better, Susie - it's a matter of your confidence improving.


True dat. (That was an attempt to sound like a young person). :lol:

Potter's Farm, ouch, that sounds nasty (I fell off mine a while ago as well and had a scab! ;-) ). I'm finding wildlife more of a hazard than cars at the moment, the other day I had a jack russell with a death wish and there was also a terrible cow incident (we clashed, it won :-( ). ++ the ever-present cats who amble out in front of me then stop in the middle of the road and stare me out.

Thank you everyone, I'm encouraged that other people don't find it automatic, either, that makes me feel better. I seem to keep seeing people here riding past doing amazing acrobatic tricks or with three children balanced on the back. I saw someone riding up our road actually standing up on the seat the other day and at that point I confess I felt a bit like giving up. I shall persevere a bit. I'm sure it's good for me :pale:

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:22 pm
by demi
i just got a new bike the other day and after not having ridden a bike in about......5 years or so, it has taken me a few days to get used to it.
iv been out on it multiple times every day since i got it. going out for night rides after the kids are in bed and nipping out to the shop for some milk ect. im still getting used to it but im getting more confident every time im on it, and its not been anywhere near as long for me without riding as you have. but keep at it, it gets easier as you get used to it. go out on it as much as possible, you'll be fine in a few weeks. :iconbiggrin:

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 4:49 pm
by kit-e-kate
Yes! You definitely will get better, happier, faster, more confident, fitter, slimmer and all of these things! How can I be so sure? Because I was exactly like you when I got my first grown-up bike about two years ago! I puffed and wobbled and got frightened when I saw a car, and now I whizz about the place like a wee kid again! Its SO much fun! Persevere, try something new every time you're out- a new route, a bigger hill, a busier road, and you'll get much better in a surprisingly short time. :iconbiggrin:

One thing i found that really helped was to getting to know which gear to be in when. Although it took ages for me to resist the urge to try gear-braking like I do in my car! :lol:

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 5:27 pm
by oldjerry
[quote="Susie"]

'' I saw someone riding up our road actually standing up on the seat the other day ''

They'd have been on the lookout for stray cattle..........

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:48 am
by the.fee.fairy
You'll definitely get better!

Get yourself a flourescent vest - that will help with your confidence around cars. It means that you know they can see you.

When I first got my ebike, i was worried about going faster than 2 (it goes up to 4...), and i wobbled everywhere! I'm still a bit worried about buses that get a bit close, but other than that, I'm whizzing along as speed 4 now :iconbiggrin:

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 1:24 pm
by Susie
oldjerry wrote:
Susie wrote:
'' I saw someone riding up our road actually standing up on the seat the other day ''


They'd have been on the lookout for stray cattle..........


I just find it odd that we have cows ambling about through the city centre here (I mean not exactly outside M&S but in the centre) but no-one else who lives here does! So clearly I am wrong. :shock:

I was much better on my bike yesterday. Then going home I tried to balance an enormous canvas and two pounds of potatoes in the basket and fell straight off it, so I think I might be better for a while not transporting quite as much about with me, because it seems to unbalance me a bit.

Kate, I haven't got a clue about gears, that's a good point, I might get someone to show me what I should be doing. God. There'll be no stopping me soon...

Re: Cycling. Will I get better at it?

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:03 pm
by Millymollymandy
Susie and Zech - I have forgotten how to ride a bike too. I am total rubbish, have little balance, can't ride with one hand, am petrified if a car goes by and hate the camber in the road cos I am scared I'm going to end up in a ditch. I bought a new bike with my supermarket points, I haven't used it for years and hardly ever did anyway. :( I prefer the exercise bike cos I can't fall off it! (not that I use that any more either :lol: ) Oh and I NEED to be able to put both feet flat on the ground so it makes it harder to pedal (apparently). :iconbiggrin: