Being able to ride hands-free on a bicycle is a spectacular skill that also has practical value. First, it looks really spectacular, and second, you can safely talk on the phone while pedaling or buttoning your jacket as you go. Ambition aside, riding a bike hands-free helps you get a better feel for the bike and keep your balance.
How to ride hands-free on a bicycle
Before you start the practical part of the course, take care of protection: helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads are definitely not superfluous. Also try to understand the principle of cycling without hands. And he consists in the following points:
- There is no specific training methodology.
- The bike keeps its balance and does not fall, thanks to the constant steering and deviation of the cyclist in one direction or another.
- When we let go of the handlebars, the balance of the bike changes (the driver was leaning completely on the handlebars and now on the saddle).
- It is possible to steer and maintain the balance of the bike by balancing.
By replacing the turn of the handlebars with the deviation of the torso, we get standard bicycle control without hands. And now let’s move on from theory to practice.
How to ride a bicycle without hands: practical tips
Once again, please note that there is no specific training methodology: you have to maintain your own balance by controlling the bike without hands. Falls are possible, so at least in the first stages wear a helmet and protection for the knees and elbows. Back to the trick: Nothing should interfere with your balance. If the bike’s handlebar is too tight or has not yet been run-in, the handlebar will have difficulty responding to torso movements, which means that the trick will not work. For training, choose a flat area, without potholes and obstacles. The plan of action is as follows:
- Get on your bike and ride in a straight line a few times. Repeat the exercise, holding the handlebars alternately with your left and right hand. As soon as you are able to steer the bike with one hand, you can move on to the next step.
- The next step is to try to let go of the handlebars completely. Note that you must remove your hands at the same time. If you first let go of the left hand and then the right hand or vice versa, there will be imbalance, as a result, you can fall off the bike. This is why you should let go of your hands at the same time.
- Do not take your hands away from the handlebars, keep your hands above them so that you can react quickly if you lose your balance.
- Choose a comfortable driving speed. It is clear that you should not go too fast. But you should not go too slow either.
Useful advice: learn how to pedal correctly. Sometimes it is not necessary to keep your torso in balance. Careful rotation of the pedals on a perfect circle allows you to feel confidently a bicycle and not to make additional efforts to hold it.
The main caveat: According to the rules of the road, it is forbidden to ride a bicycle without hands. It is fraught with unplanned financial costs. There are other times when riding a bike while letting go of the handlebars is undesirable:
- A road with obstacles and other people on it. First, you could simply fall over, failing to keep control. Second, there may be children on walkways and sidewalks, the direction of which can be unpredictable.
- It is not necessary to ride without hands on a bicycle near other cyclist, who also decided to repeat this trick: it is fraught with the risk of falling.
- Pay attention to the weather conditions: wet asphalt and strong gusts of wind are not the most favorable conditions for performing a spectacular trick.
Before you start learning to ride a bike hands-free, inspect your vehicle for malfunctions. Pay attention to the condition of the bearings in the steering column, check the stroke of the wheels (there should be no “eight” and “balls”).
Once again we shall remind you of safety: learn to ride on a level road, where there are no obstacles, and only in protection. The received traumas may absolutely discourage you not only to ride without hands, but also to sit on the bike at all. Practical advice from experienced stuntmen can help you quickly master the spectacular riding:
- Pay attention to your posture: it is easiest to control the bike without hands when the leg is fully straightened in the lower pedal position.
- While balancing, try to squeeze the frame with your knees – this way you will feel the bike better.
- The higher the handlebars are relative to the saddle, the easier it is to control the bike.
- On heavy bikes and bikes with twin-crowns the controllability is noticeably lower. These models are not suitable for training. Moreover, they also cost more, and you are likely to fall off them.
- Try to keep your knees close together when you pedal – this will help maintain balance.
And most importantly – do not panic. Only a fighting spirit and a good mood will help you learn to ride a bicycle more quickly without hands.
When mastering the skills of spectacular cycling, keep in mind your safety and be confident in your abilities. In fact, learning how to ride a bike without hands is not difficult and you can do it literally in one day. The main thing is to choose the right place and find the position of your torso, in which you can easily control your bike.