post today on ecovelo, where Alan mentioned having "lived on his bike" as a kid, and in a sense it was similar for me. My friends and I did not race each other through wheatfields or pop wheelies, but we did use our bikes to get around our small town. Even once old enough to drive, most of us somehow still stuck with bicycles: It just seemed easier and even kept us off our parents' radar (for example, they could not look at the odometer to determine whether we had gone out when we were told not to).
I first discovered the concept of leaning on turns by reading about it, and after that it took months before I physically became aware of it enough to gain some control over the process. Of course when I did, I was ecstatic - to the amazement of the Co-Habitant who had not realised the extent to which I never learned these things.
videos of others doing it over and over has not helped. At least I am now finally able to pedal while standing: After months of riding fixed gear, I finally got it (at first I could do it only on the fixed gear, then the skill gradually transferred onto freewheel bikes). I have to say, that was not easy for me to "get". In my head I understood what to do, but my body refused to balance.
It seems absurd to me that I can ride a roadbike at 25 mph, handle long climbs and hilly descents, ride a fixed gear racing bike "for fun" - yet still lack some of the most rudimentary cycling skills after almost two years of trying to master them. Will I ever be able to handle a bike like a "real" cyclist? Who knows - maybe I can still learn. Or maybe I should just accept that my early years of "doing it wrong" ruined me for life. Is the way you cycle now different from how you did it as a child? And if you are a parent, at what age did you teach your children to ride a bike and how did they take to it? I wonder how many others there are who feel this way - as if they are riding a bike without knowing how.