It’s the bike trick everyone needs in their arsenal: the wheelie.
1. Get in gear
Choose a gear that’s not so light that you’re going to spin your legs and not get anywhere, but not so heavy that you’re going to push on the cranks and snap your chain – a happy medium.
2. Pick a spot
A good place to start is on a gradual incline, so that you’ve got some natural resistance against you.
3. Cover the brake
To set up, have your finger covering your back brake in case you start going too far back. Pulling the back brake will bring the front wheel back down.
4. Pull up
Stand up on your pedals, making sure that they’re parallel to the ground, with your legs slightly bent. Push forward with your strongest leg on the crank, while simultaneously moving your bodyweight forward slightly, before pulling up with your arms. Keep your arms nice and straight.
5. Stay up
Once you’re up, don’t focus on your front wheel: keep looking forward into the distance. Feathering the back brake will bring the front wheel down. Keep getting that motion until you’re up and comfortable. It can take a while to master. Just keep practising.
by Captain Bruce Spilsbury
As Secretary of the Army Cross Country Cycling Team, Captain Spilsbury organises, supports and competes in Army cycling excursions around the world.