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How to wheelie on a bicycle

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wheelie Alejandro Valverde

This is a skill that most people on a bike would love to have but that few master.  When we were young, the kid who could pedal wheelie  was king on our street.

It’s a skill that can take years to do consistently. However, popping a wheelie to briefly lift your front wheel is much easier to master, and might just become your go-to motion for conquering challenging obstacles.

Here’s How to Do It:

1. Lower your saddle. You’ll need to be seated for this skill and the lower your saddle, the lower your center of mass will be and the more stable you’ll be.

2. Put the bike into a medium or low gear and begin at rolling speed.

3. Crouch your upper body so your weight is over the handlebars.

4. Turn the cranks to the 11:00 position.

5. Pedal down and pull up on the handlebars simultaneously.

6. Immediately lean back – as if you were in a rocking chair – and continue pedaling. You need to trust your rear brake, otherwise you’ll flip over backward.

7. Outstretch your arms and sit on the tip of the seat.

8. Keep one finger on the rear brake while the others firmly hold the grip.

9. Feather the brake continually – this helps to control speed and can prevent you from falling on your butt.

10. Relax. The front tire should be pretty high in the air.

11. Begin controlling the two balances: vertical and sideways.

12. Adjust the vertical balance with the rear brake (if leaning too far back) or by pedaling (if your front wheel begins to drop).

13. Fight the sideways balance early; it’s impossible to recover if you wait too long.

14. Control the sideways balance by sticking out a knee or foot, or by turning the handlebars in the opposite direction. (Just make sure the handlebars are straight before you come down.)

15. Let the front wheel drop to come out of the move.