How to Turn a Bicycle Properly?

Have you ever wanted to know how to ride a bike? Are you embarrassed that people might laugh at you because you don’t know how? Well, here is your chance to learn and impress everyone. Biking is not hard at all, and it takes the right balance and force to familiarize yourself with it quickly.


If you are really eager to learn and start riding as soon as you can, there are many ways to learn on your own. You need to be aware of the turning tricks that would save your life. These are techniques you can practice and use when on the road.

One advantage of riding a bicycle is its small size and quick steering which allow you to prepare yourself for situations that need some quick turns and hazard avoidance.


The Rock-Dodge Maneuver

Take this scenario: You are biking along a two-lane country road, with lanes that are wide enough for cars to pass you by. You are enjoying the scenery and then noticed that there is a rock right in front of you, and a car tailing behind.

It will be difficult and dangerous for you to swerve left into the traffic or swerve right into the dirt and gravel. How do you go about avoiding the rock?

The technique is to perform a rock-dodge maneuver by steering the handlebars quickly to one side and then correcting your balance by turning them back the other way.


This simply lets the wheels weave around the rock while still riding in a straight line. So, it’s either you steer quickly to your left, and then back to the right to bring back your balance, or vice-versa.

With this turning trick, your body doesn’t really weave along with the bike because you are able to regain balance in a snap. So, you just continue biking nearly in a straight line. You can use this technique when you encounter rocks and potholes on the road.


Making Quick Turns

Now, here is another scenario: You are about to approach an intersection as you ride along the street, and a car on your left suddenly makes a right turn. That sudden turn caught you off guard and you are close to hitting the side of the car.

Your next move is to make a quick turn alongside the vehicle to stay out of danger. To do a quick turn, you need to lean your bicycle really fast. So, how can you do that?

The way you balance a yardstick on the palm of your hand is the same way you balance your bicycle. To move the yardstick to the right, you move your hand to the left. When the yardstick starts to lean on the right, you follow the direction with your hand.


In the same way, maneuvering your bike out from behind you to the left for a brief moment lets you do a quick right turn. You have to steer briefly toward the car that you are trying to avoid.

If the car coming towards you makes a left turn, swerve right into the side street with the car. If the car suddenly pulls out from the right of the side street, turn into the direction of the side street.

It’s best to do a quick right turn behind the car, but if it’s too late to do it, just turn left with the car. In case of a crash, the impact is not as damaging if the nearer you are in the direction of the vehicle.


Speedy Downhill Curve

If you are on a bike trail and riding on a winding downhill path, you need to hit the brakes before entering the curves or road turns so that you maintain traction while turning.

Along the course of your bike trail, you may experience going around a downhill curve in a speedy pace. If there’s no more time to slow down, do a variation of the quick turn technique to save you from this kind of road hazard.

The normal, panicky reaction is to continue biking on straight and then brake. If you do this, you will most likely be thrown headfirst on the road before you can even stop.


The trick is to maneuver in the direction of the curve and don’t do a sudden brake. Straighten your handlebars briefly, as if to do a quick turn, to drop into a leaning position.

Usually, you can just make it around the downhill curve because your bike wheels have more traction than you normally use. If ever you skid out, you’ll most likely fall on your side instead of getting pitched over.


Jumping Your Bike

Now, in cases where you missed to notice a pothole or a road surface hazard that’s just straight ahead because you were busy scanning the traffic, it may be too late to do a rock-dodge maneuver. You can’t just jump out your bike and then injure yourself doing that, right?

When you are about to trash your wheels, your very last resort is to jump your bike. Yes, you can let it jump with your maneuver, of course. You just can’t let it fly though like that of the flying bike in the movie ET.

The normal, panicky reaction is to continue biking on straight and then brake. If you do this, you will most likely be thrown headfirst on the road before you can even stop.

bike jumping

Here’s how to do the jumping bike trick: squat down and pull up on the handlebars while holding the pedals horizontally. Then, jump up and pull your legs up behind you and you’ll be biking past the pothole in seconds without making a quick turn.

This technique has to be practiced until you can perform it with mastery. Of course, this is only a last resort and not really recommended that you use the trick in every road surface hazard situation.

Tricks for Turning Your Bike

For a beginner, the first hurdle that you would usually have to conquer is balancing yourself on your bike. Make sure that you attempt to turn your bike; you have already mastered balancing on it first. Turning will not come easy without balance.

Turning your bike will come easy once you have mastered how to sit properly and balance your weight. When making a turn, it is important that you do it carefully.

Start by riding in straight lines and then stop at the end and turning your bike the other way. Once you get the feel of things, you can now attempt turning.


If you turn to the right on your bike, you must lean your bike to the right, centrifugal forces will normally cause you to crash and fall to your left side, if you do it the opposite way you have more chances of succeeding in a turn that you would have with your left.

The technique is to counter steer. If you turn your bike to the left, then your bike will most likely lean to the right, if you turn to the right, then chances are your bike will lean to the left.

If you keep those in mind and you have already developed your balance, then it should be easy to pull of a successful turn.

Make Safety Your Priority

Safety should always be a priority when you are riding a bike, especially if it is your first time riding. If you are not comfortable, try lowering your seat to ensure that you can put your feet on the pedals and the ground.

Make sure that when you ride your bike, you are comfortable with the level, and also make sure that it is not too high for you.

Always check your tire pressure, brakes and other functions on your bike, before you start learning, as this may cause more accidents. Also make sure to wear comfortable clothing so that it does not get caught on the gears or the pedal.


If you are wearing clothing like pants or leggings, make sure that it is not too tight and you can roll it up so that you can ride your bike with ease. Avoid wearing baggy clothing because these have a tendency to get caught in the mechanism of your bike.

Advisable clothing would be: shorts, and tight fitted clothing that will ensure that it does not get caught on the pedal. Make sure that you are also wearing the appropriate shoes, so that you do not get hurt while placing your feet on the pedal.

The tendency for open toed shoes is the possibility of falling. You can end up gashing your feet when you encounter an accident. Make sure to wear rubber shoes or anything that is closed to make sure that your feet do not get scratched.

Find the Safest Place to Practice

For a beginner, it is always important to make sure that you find a safe place that is safe for you to practice your biking. Usually concrete is the easiest surface but the only downfall is, it could cause serious scratches to your skin when you fall.

But if you make sure to adjust the seat and the brakes, this should not be an issue. Do not bike on rough surfaces or roads with gravel. This is a very hard place for you to fall because there can be sharp rocks that can scratch your skin.

Find places with soft grass or even tidy gravel, so that when you fall you do not have to panic so much. Wherever you end up practicing, always make sure that you steer clear of traffic.

Riding on the sidewalks or roads that have cars that frequently pass, is not a good place for you to be practicing your riding. it can be very dangerous and unsafe.


Riding on sidewalks in some parts of the world is illegal, which means that you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. There are many cars that will end up hitting you if you are not careful.

Also make sure that you are wearing the proper protective headgear to ensure that you do not get any damages on your head when you fall off your bike. Paddings are important and will prevent any damages that the concrete will cause on your skin.

Know How to Use Your Breaks

For anything that moves, it is always important to know how to use your breaks. For beginners, this will be quite hard because you are still getting used to the idea of riding a bike. But do not feel ashamed if you end up making mistakes, because this is very normal.

Keep your hands on the handlebars, and fingers on the brake clip, so that when you end up colliding with something you can lessen the pain by using your brakes. If your bike has brakes on the handlebars, always check if they are working properly.


You can check this through the back tire; you will see a mechanism here that prevents the tire from moving. Press on the brake clip to see if it is moving properly.

For beginners, it is recommended that you first get used to using the breaks on the handlebars instead of the pedals. Using breaks on the pedals will be harder on you, since you need balance and quick reflexes to activate the brakes on the pedals.

Final Words

When riding a bike, it is okay to make mistakes, and it’s perfectly normal to fall off your bike. But keep practicing, so that the next time you ride your bike, it won’t be so hard for you.

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