Tag Archives: bicycle safety

What Keeps a Moving Bicycle Upright

Other variations on the same question can be phrased as

•How Does a Bicycle Work?

•What scientific principles keep bikes upright?

•Why is it so easy to ride a bike once you have learned?

•Is there an invisible wall, as hinted by C. S. Lewis in Prelandra, (1944, p. 68) that prevents a bike from falling over?
The answers to these and varied questions can be either short or long. In China tourists are told a joke that a bike falls over “Because it is two-tired.”
A friend who is a retired professor of physics, University of Illinois, quipped that a bike works,
“Because you pedal it.”

These are some of the short versions. A somewhat longer version is provided by visiting the various sub-headings in this “Bicycle Science” section.

As a guide to this section, please be advised that it was written almost like a manuscript. Unless you are going for a specific result, our suggestion is that you start with “Intro” (introduction), and then move on down the line of sub-heading tabs from left to right.

The focus on this “Bicycle Science” section will be to present the almost three decades of bicycle related research (1983 to present) performed by Dr. Richard Klein at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Tips on teaching someone else to ride?

This may be a lot of material to remember, so we made it simple for you and summarized everything in “How We Train” right here. Simple and easy, just for you.

A Summary of Home Remedy Tips:
•It seems that the best place to start with home remedy is to get a bike that is user friendly. Avoid racing and BMX types.
•Have the seat sufficiently low so that the rider can comfortably reach the ground.
•You want a firm triangular seat, and not a banana seat.
•Either raise the handlebars to promote forward vision, or get an extender or a raised set of handlebars — see your friendly bike shop.
•Purchase an after-market bicycle training handle.
•Practice first with other people’s children.
•Read up as much as you can.
•Keep calm and cool.
•Find a level and open spacious parking lot or other flat surface.
•Be prepared to run, and consider recruiting a helper also capable of running.
•Schedule times when it is sufficiently cool so that the child can be wearing longer length trousers and long-sleeved shirt.
•Avoid floppy clothing, or at least tie up that right pants leg with elastic or a Velcro® strip.
•Zip your lip, as you shouldn’t be cheering all the time or barking commands.
•Forget trying to explain cognitive concepts like “right,” “left,” “steer,” and “turn.” These are abstractions and countless others are precisely that, abstractions that the learning child isn’t able to process while in the midst of balancing precariously on a two-wheeler.
•Remember to get the speed up, almost to the point that you are somewhere between a jog and a run. If you are walking, you are going too slow.

Learn to let go!
If your child hasn’t acquired the ability to ride by himself/herself after an hour or so, consider calling in the experts.