Where can I learn how to ride a bike as an adult?
January 17, 2006 9:02 PM   Subscribe

Where can I learn to ride a bike as an adult in the NYC area?

I grew up in an ultra-religious household and missed out a lot of "normal" childhood experiences. Riding a bike was one of them.

Now as an adult, I'd really, really like to learn how to ride one. Are there any good secluded spots around NYC to learn how to ride or even any coaches/trainers who, err, specialize in this perdicament?
posted by anonymous to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know about NYC, but I just learned how to ride a bike a year & a half ago (I'm 31), and the bike that I was finally able to learn on was the electra townie.

Super-comfortable, and I don't freak out about losing my balance.

I'd recommend finding a good friendly bike shop and talking to the staff. The people at my local shop were fantastic, even though I was totally embarrassed about it.

(I had really bad balance as a kid, and about the same time I was -- slowly! -- learning to ride, my father died.)
posted by epersonae at 9:23 PM on January 17, 2006 [2 favorites]

Yeah, ask at a nice bike store. I like Bicycle Habitat on Lafayette Street in SoHo.

Also, whether or not you get a Townie, single-speed bikes are easy to learn on and excellent fun in nice flat NYC.
posted by nicwolff at 9:28 PM on January 17, 2006

Similar questions have been asked before, especially learning to ride a bicycle at the age of 30, but there are a few others - yahoo search.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that I like this answer.
posted by Chuckles at 9:52 PM on January 17, 2006

You don't need a coach or a trainer to learn to ride a bike. Get a friend to help you. I don't know if you can bring bikes on the ferry, but I'd think Staten Island would be the easiest place to practice; there are fairly suburban areas without much traffic. (The place has got to be good for something, right?)
posted by IshmaelGraves at 10:08 PM on January 17, 2006

I like the link to Chuckles' method 'cause mine is right below. Seriously, that is a good thread and this question has been asked several times before. Best of luck in learning to ride. Not sure why the question needs to be anonymous, though.
posted by fixedgear at 1:48 AM on January 18, 2006

I know a couple people who don't know how to ride a bike, and they are VERY embarrassed to let anyone know this fact. I think it's a silly thing to be embarrassed about, but then I don't embarrass easily. That's my guess as to why it's anonymous.

I'd have to second the methods in Chuckles' link though.
posted by antifuse at 2:08 AM on January 18, 2006

Chuckle's link is excellent and I will be trying that on my 7 uear-old daughter who is strongly resisting learing to ride a bike without training wheels (I think we let her get too used to them).

The most important thing is to not think too much about what you are doing - overthinking stops your brain from doing its job. You already have the skills to ride a bike, your brain just needs to put the skill into context. Let it do what it does best.
posted by dg at 2:49 AM on January 18, 2006

I've seen adults learning how to ride bikes in Riverside Park on the weekends in the summer, just north of the 105th street dog run, I think. I don't know who the instructor is, but maybe you could post an ad somewhere on NY Craigslist to find out?

I've always thought it was really cool to see the classes! They look so cute, all wobbly in their helmets. Don't worry about being embarassed -- I'm sure that most passersby, like me, just think it's neat that you're taking the chance to learn as an adult. And biking is so much fun, you won't regret it.
posted by footnote at 6:09 AM on January 18, 2006

So, I posted your query on the NYC Burning Man list, since many of them are bike activist, participating in Critical Mass and helping the general cycling community in the city. Needless, to say, all of them being New Yorkers, they're a loud, oppinionated bunch (24 replies!) but for the most part very generous.

One of them told me if you got in touch w/ him, he'd be willing to teach you. I know it's wierd, but he's older, very nice, non-threatening and patient. In addition, he can help you find a cheap bike to learn on. Let me know if you'd like his contact info.
posted by lannanh at 9:32 PM on January 18, 2006

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