Balance Wheels at Level One

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It has been an exciting week for cycling because I began riding my new bicycle with 2 wheels and it has been over a decade since I rode a two wheel bike (excluding my failed attempt in 2017). My failed attempt was short (a month) and sprinkled with several successful rides (mostly to the park where there was a pull up bar I’d use a few times every week). The failure was mechanical. I was tired of road rash from losing balance and falling once in a while, so I put the stabilizer wheels back on (although they did not fit the frame of my 29er mountain bike) and was thrown off during one of the side to side shifts breaking my hip. How many times you fall is not important; how many times you get up is. I usually get up, but unable to after that injury. After total hip replacement, I bought another adult tricycle to get my new hip working with my body. I rode 3,122 miles on that trike; part of over 16,000 miles on four trikes during the past 4 years. I still have one which is geared higher than my new bike. Better for grocery shopping and commuting, but the bicycle is a true beach cycle optimized for cruising the local beach in Surf City!

The training wheels have performed fantastic during the past week. I initially install them at level 2 because level one put the training wheels underground. Today I put them on level one to see what would happen; the training wheels didn’t go underground; rather, they raised the bicycle drive wheel off the ground (<1”). However, when I sit on the bike, all the wheels contact the ground. Not sure why but I suspect the frame and or mounts have flexible metal.

Level one allows self balance, and gives me the opportunity to concentrate on maintaining a higher cadence for the lower gearing (81 gear inches in 7th gear opposed to 111 gear inches in 7th on my trike). With the higher gear inches, I spin at a lower RPM for the same distance as lower gear inches with higher RPM. Faster RPM is achieved with lower gear inches, and slower cadence is achieved with higher gear inches, but more force (strength) is required. That is basic physics.

I’ll try level one for a month, then switch back to level two. That is where I’m at going into this next week. Today I kicked it off with a spin to Surf City State Beach; the self balance of level one was good at times and annoying at others. On level straights, I miss rolling on two wheels, but on crowns the bike rides on all four wheels instead of a major lean and three wheels. I can still feel the lean required and hope to naturally lean before I go back to level 2.