Throughout my 20+ years of teaching clinical molecular imaging, the reference point I referred my students to most often was, “Remember your basics.” Well yes, riding a bicycle is not molecular science, but the basics are still a great place to start for learning the appropriate science of gravity and motion. Balance is the essence of riding a bicycle.
Beginning cyclists, Newbies, frequently find themselves stressing-out with processing the dynamics of riding with cars and other cyclists, shifting gears, and navigating hills and curves. While riding seems complicated at first, as our skills increase we focus less on the many details of driving a bike and have increasing time for actually enjoying the scenery and the ride.
#1 on the list of ‘basics’ is that balancing is really the essence of riding a bike.
#2 on my list of basics is steering.
#3 on my list of basics is the art of making a U-turn.
Our brains think both consciously and subconsciously. For skills to become automatic the subconscious aspects of our brains must develop the proper habits of bike control. Cycling safety increases when our minds are not focused on details of balance and steering so we may be in the moment regarding what is happening around the corner or over the hill. Our skills are either improving or degrading. If you want to improve, practice whatever you find difficult. While you are warmed up at the end of a ride, practice a few U-turns. Remember, a smile always helps the wheels turn.