1Find a safe place to practice. Concrete is the easiest surface to bike on but is unforgiving if you fall. (With correct braking technique and a properly adjusted seat, however, this should not be an issue. See steps below for more details.) Short grass or even tidy gravel would be acceptable alternatives for anyone who feels panicky about falling, but be forewarned that these surfaces make balancing harder and offer more resistance to bike tires. Wherever you end up going, make sure it has both flat areas and gentle slopes (to help you build momentum) but no tight spaces, steep slopes, or traffic. Make sure you know how to ride a bike safely. If it is your first time riding, consider lowering the seat so that you can put most of your feet on the ground while seated. You should also check the tire pressure, brakes, and such. If you’re wearing long jeans or other long pants, be sure to roll up the right pant leg so it doesn’t get caught in the mechanisms on the right side of the bike. Avoid long skirts or baggy clothing (which could become caught in the gears or tires) and flimsy or open-toed shoes (which might prevent you from stopping yourself effectively should you opt not to use the brakes).
Make sure you know how to brake. While practicing, it’s a good idea to allow yourself a long distance over which to brake gently so that you feel prepared to dismount if necessary. If your bike has brakes on the handlebars, test to see which brake controls the rear tire and which the front, as it varies between countries and can be modified to suit a person’s handedness. To do this, lift the front end of the bike, spin the tire manually, and test both the left and right brake lever separately. The rear brake is normally used by beginners for simplicity. The front brake is much better at stopping the bike, but has the potential to cause a crash if used improperly. If the rear brakes fail then the front brakes should be gradually used until the bike is stopped. It is much...
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