We’re so glad to have you here. Below is our favorite learning plan. This approach is supported by the collective experience of hundreds of Cruzbike cyclists and our years of teaching. Credit and a very special thank you goes to Bob Pankratz for developing and posting these on our forum. They work.
Take it slow.
Enjoy this early part of your Cruzbike journey. Taking your time is not just okay, it’s best. This learning should be done with lots of small breaks and your first 25 miles should be spread out over 5 days with just a few miles each day. We have a vested interest in you loving your bike, after all, so trust us.
Note: Be sure your bike is adjusted correctly before you begin. Head over to our Fit page to learn more about getting a good initial fit.
Walk your Cruzbike to the high end of a gently sloping parking lot. We prefer large open parking lots and have great luck with schools on the weekends. Squeeze both brake levers to lock and step over the frame. Take your seat. With both brakes still locked, settle in. Get the feel of your body in the seat and your feet on the ground. Lean back, sit up. Lean back again. Get comfortable.
Release the brakes and begin to walk yourself and the bike forward while comfortably seated, a la Fred Flintstone. This simple skill helps you get the feel for weight distribution and your own position relative to the bike and the ground. Keep rolling until you feel comfortable lifting your feet just off the ground. Walk, roll and coast like this for a few minutes.
Return to the high end of your learning area and position the bike downhill. Seat yourself on the bike with your feet on the ground. Gently push off and coast down the slope and lift your feet up in the air spread eagle. Get them as high as you can. We never said you were gonna look cool while learning, we just said you'd learn. When you reach the bottom of the slope, walk the bike back up and do it again. Repeat this five times.
Beginning again at the high end of your learning area, gently push off and coast. This time, put your feet on the pedals but do not pedal. You'll want to pedal, but don't do it. Keep the bike as steady and straight as you can. Do this twice. On the third repetition, steer just a touch using only your foot pressure. This is harder than it sounds but you need to learn what it feels like. Again, resist the urge to pedal. The best students wait. Repeat the pedal tease steering skill three times.
Beginning again at the high end of your learning area, gently push off and put your feet on the pedals. Now pedal. Pedal at least five revolutions during each descent and ascent in your learning area. Go straight, avoid turning. When you reach the bottom of your slope, stop, turn the bike and then start again with a gentle push off going up the slope.
Start adding shallow turns. Lean out (away from the direction you are turning) ever so slightly during the turn, as you would on a racing motorcycle or snowmobile. This is the opposite of what you’d do on a standard road bike.
After you’re comfortable with shallow turns, pedal through some figure eights. Start big and work smaller. Go both directions. One will be easier, that’s your dominant side. Practice both. Pedal through the turns if you feel unsteady. This is the first bike you’ve had that you can pedal through any turn. Remember you can always drop a foot down to steady yourself if needed.
The 25 Mile Challenge
After you’ve mastered skills 1-7, you are ready to start logging mileage. Make it your goal to cycle 25 miles in the first five days you learn your Cruzbike. These can be short neighborhood rides or longer adventures. Stay safe, have fun and remember you can always put your feet down if you feel unsteady. Get out there! And as always, we’re here to help you with any questions you may have. We love to hear from you.