How to Learn to Ride a Bicycle Without an Instructor!

As a kid, there are two ways you treat cycling. You either pick it up immediately, or you fall off the bike and become too scared. Then when you’re an adult, you’ll be asking how to learn to ride a bicycle without an instructor. 

Naturally, as an adult, it can be embarrassing to ask someone to teach you cycling. However, after the implementation of lockdown measures, the overall popularity of cycling grew across the world. 

cycling with bike instructor

That’s why so many adults are not trying to figure out how to learn to ride a bicycle without an instructor. If you’re too shy or embarrassed to approach an instructor, don’t lose hope in learning how to cycle, we’re here to help guide you through every little step.

So keep reading to uncover how to learn to ride a bicycle without an instructor. 

What do you need to start learning how to ride a bicycle without an instructor?

Well, first and foremost, you’re going to need a bicycle. If you don’t have your bike yet, there’s no point in learning how to ride. Without your bicycle, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for you to put in the practice necessary to learn cycling. 

There are plenty of different types of bikes on the market, and it can be difficult for those new to cycling to determine which one will suit them the most. Generally, for beginner cyclists, we recommend buying a hybrid bike!

Hybrid bikes are a combination of road bikes and mountain bikes. They’re super comfortable, easy to ride, and can handle a variety of versatile terrains

After you get your bike, you’re going to need to find a wide-open space. You can choose between a local park or a minor road that doesn’t feature much traffic. When you start out learning, it’s best to stick with grassy surfaces. 

Even though riding a bicycle is more difficult on the grass in comparison to the road, the soft surface will help prevent any injuries when you take a fall. 

You can also prevent any potential injuries by getting the right cycling gear. It might seem silly or embarrassing but wearing knee and elbow pads while learning to cycle is essential for a beginner. 

Aside from these three things, the last thing that you need to get started with how to learn to ride a bicycle without an instructor is a good attitude. While an instructor can make things much easier, you can learn how to ride a bike without their help. 

Adopting the right attitude means that you’ll continue working no matter how many times you fail. Persistence is critical when you’re trying to learn something new!

After you manage to get these three essentials together, you can start with how to learn to ride a bicycle without an instructor. 

cycling without instructor

Step-by-Step Guide – How to learn to ride a bicycle without an Instructor

Step 1: Get your gear and find a safe place to ride

Before you jump on your cycle and start trying to pedal everywhere haphazardly, make sure that you’re in a safe open place. It’s a good idea to identify the location beforehand. That way, you don’t have to scout out areas when you want to start training. 

The gear you need to take along with you is your bicycle, a bag containing supplies, and a bottle of water. You can use the bag to hold all your cycling essentials, which brings us to step number two. 

Step 2: Wear your cycling gear

It can be easy to become complacent when you’re first trying to learn how to ride a bicycle without an instructor. Most people don’t use any cycling gear while riding their bike, but the right equipment can be the difference between an injury and a standard fall for beginners. 

When you’re learning how to ride a bicycle without an instructor, there’s a chance you might suffer one or two falls. It might look slightly silly, but you’ll be grateful for putting the gear on later!

Make sure that you wear a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. You can skip the elbow and knee pads if you feel like it’s too much, but wearing a helmet is essential!

Your helmet should also fit properly and feature straps so you can lock it in place!

Step 3: Check the saddle height

By this point, you should have your cycling gear on and must be raring to go! However, you can’t just start riding yet. Before you begin riding, ensure that the saddle is the correct height. Move the bike close to a wall and use the wall for support to get on the bike. 

Then using the wall, balance the bike and check your leg positioning. There should be a nice bend behind your knee even when the pedal is in the lower position. Basically, you should adjust the saddle height to the point where you feel most comfortable. 

Once you’re comfortable with the height of the saddle, you’re almost ready to set off. The last thing you need to do before starting your lessons is checking the brakes. 

Step 4: Check out the brakes 

One of the most important things when trying out how to learn to ride a bicycle without an instructor is identifying how the brakes of the bicycle work. You can do this by getting off the bike, grabbing the handles, and walking it next to you. 

Then you can alternatively use each brake lever to identify which side coordinates with which tire. By performing this small exercise, you’ll become more familiar with the braking mechanisms of the bike. 

As a rule of thumb, you should predominantly use the brakes that work with the rear tires. Only use the front brakes in case of an emergency. By becoming familiar with the braking mechanism beforehand, you won’t encounter potentially unpleasant situations while riding. 

Step 5: Get ready to ride

Now that you’ve gone through a complete assessment of the bike and have all your gear ready, you’re ready to start riding the bike. 

Kick away the kickstand and mount the bicycle by leaning it towards you while applying the brakes. Using the brakes while mounting will ensure that your bike doesn’t wobble or roll, and you should use them while getting off the bike as well. 

After you successfully mount the bike, it’s time to start moving forwards. Push whatever foot’s in the upper position towards the ground to produce the energy necessary to start the bicycle. As you push one pedal downwards, the other will rise upwards, and you need to push this down. 

Essentially, you want to enter a pedaling rhythm in the clockwise direction. The harder you pedal, the faster the bicycle will become. While it might be challenging to maintain your balance at the start, it’s easier to maintain when moving. 

The most challenging step is getting the initial balance right. Use both your legs to provide balance to the cycle and distribute your weight around accordingly.

If you’re struggling with balance, you can invest in training wheels. However, we feel like training wheels can significantly extend the time it takes for an individual to learn how to ride a bike.  

Even if you’re struggling with the balance, stay persistent and keep trying. You’ll be able to pick it up soon enough. It might mean a few hard falls, but that’s what the protective gear is there for!

Step 6: Keep practicing 

You know how some people like to say that riding a bike is as easy as breathing, and once you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never forget it? They say these things because most people learn how to ride a bike as a kid, then get years’ worth of practice.

Practice is the most important thing necessary for improving your skills as a cyclist. Even if you manage to pick up the technique early, there’s no point if you don’t practice regularly. 

Make sure that you stick to practicing in open areas first. An empty ground or a parking lot is a great place where you can practice. Once you feel comfortable in these areas, you can start riding around your neighborhood. 

The more you practice, the quicker you’ll be able to progress. With regular riding practice, pretty soon, you’ll be ready to take on the streets with your bicycle!

best bike to learn riding without instructor

Essential Cycling tips for Learning to Ride a Bike 

  • Start slowly so you don’t get tired too quickly 
  • Avoid riding with headphones on as it significantly reduces your awareness 
  • Get a bicycle that fits you properly and doesn’t cause any unnecessary issues
  • Make sure that your seat is the right height
  • Always wear your helmet while you’re riding 
  • Check the brakes and tires before you set off on a ride
  • Instead of keeping your essentials in your pockets, buy a bag to ensure that all your things are much safer

Wrapping Up 

Riding a bicycle is not only a lot of fun, but it’s also a great low impact exercise for all ages. Most adults that never learn how to ride a bicycle as a kid tend to not understand the pure joy cycling can bring. 

As you get better at cycling, you’ll start to enjoy riding more and will automatically want to learn more about the sport. Now that you have a step-by-step guide on how to learn to ride a bicycle without an instructor, don’t let anything hold you back!

FAQs – How to Learn to Ride a Bicycle without an Instructor

Q1. What’s the best type of bike for beginners?

Ans. With so many different types of bikes on the market, the choice can become overwhelming. Generally, hybrid bikes are the best for beginners!

Q2. How long does it take to learn how to ride a bike?

Ans. The answer depends on the individual, seem people might pick it up immediately and others will struggle for hours.

Q3. How can I keep track of my progress?

Ans. In the start, don’t worry about the speed or anything. Track your progress by measuring the amount of distance you manage to cover in a single session. A bike computer can be a great help in these situations.

Q4. Do I need a license to ride my bike on the road?

Ans. Generally, you don’t need any license to ride the bike on the road. However, some states may require you to get a license in the case you’re riding a motorized bicycle.

James Dawson

After learning how to ride a bicycle much later than all the other kids, James Dawson hasn't looked back. The author now actively rides a bicycle as a part of the community cycling group and competes regularly in local competitions. Aside from that, he loves technology and always keeps up to date with the latest cycling tech.