Stages of Learning

Become a confident bike rider

There’s more to learning to ride than “balance and pedal!” I see the process of becoming a confident bike rider in three stages of learning:

1.  Start, pedal and ride. Learn to control speed, to steer, and to slow, stop and dismount. This is the part that’s usually referred to as “learning to ride”. At the end of this stage, you’ve broken through and can now balance on a bike. Your ride may still be wobbly, turns uncertain, and you’ve only ridden at slow speeds for short periods of time. There’s lots more work to do!

2.  Your first gentle rides around others; joggers, moms, dogs, bikes. Make judgements and navigate your path through the environment. First experience of riding a bit faster and then slowing from that speed. Practice of fine steering in narrower paths. First exposure to using the gears.

3. With these fundamentals in hand, you begin to feel comfortable at faster speeds, for longer periods and distances, and you now have your first true exercise experience on the bike. Always learning new skills, you climb your first hill and remain in control while descending. You learn more safety techniques like how to safely stop from almost any speed, and how to anticipate and avoid hazards.

I try to create a comfortable mix of specific drills and relaxed, unguided riding experiences. My focus throughout the training is to slowly introduce new challenges so that you’re always working within your ability.

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Beginner's Pin - Stages of Learning to Ride a bike

When a VB student has demonstrated competence at each of these three stages, they may be awarded the Virtuous Bicycle BEGINNER’S PIN. It is both a celebration of their accomplishment, and, as they head out for rides with friends and family, a reminder that they are Beginners, and their skill and confidence will grow with experience.

Stages of Learning - Beginner's Pin Students


Book with VB for a lesson with founder Lance Jacobs
“Over ten years and hundreds of successful students, I’ve developed a unique approach for adults.”

Adult Learn to Ride students

Virtuous Bicycle