Man riding a bike

How to Ride a Bike – Adult Classes

A new program designed to teach adults within our UC Davis Health community how to ride a bike.


UC Davis is well known for its strong cycling community, and we would like to strengthen that community at UC Davis Health too. We have found that many of our employees and students are among the 6% of the adult population who do not know how to ride a bike. By offering classes to teach adults how to ride a bike, our goal is to break down barriers that may prevent someone from choosing a more sustainable transportation option.

Not only will learning to ride a bike offer participants a life-changing new skill, but it will also provide participants a new way to engage in healthy behaviors and reduce impact on the environment. 

Riding a bike is good for your health! Studies have proven that physical activity like bike riding can help prevent and relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s one of the best ways to get exercise because it is low-impact and helps strengthen muscles. Cyclists gain better flexibility and improved balance. Riding a bike can increase blood flow to the whole body, especially the brain, which helps keep cognition strong as we age.

Replacing a car trip with a bike ride reduces air pollution, which is good for the environment and community health. Reducing the number of cars on campus and improving mobility options can help promote a culture of wellbeing—both on campus and throughout the larger community.  


We plan to host three sessions of bike-riding classes over 2 years (Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Fall 2024) with 6 participants per session. By the end of the program, we will have 18 new bike riders! 

We hope to mitigate the feelings of shame, fear, and embarrassment that adults often feel when not knowing how to ride a bike, especially in a community like UC Davis that is so bike-centric. Learning to ride a bike will provide participants with a new sense of inclusion within our UC Davis community, along with a new sense of empowerment and confidence with this new skill. 

But the impact does not stop there—we hope that awareness of this program will inspire others to get out and ride their bikes or teach their friends the joy of riding. Every single bike trip makes an impact on individual health, community health, and reducing our carbon footprint. 

Opportunities for Involvement: 

For anyone that is interested in taking the class, sign-ups for the first session will be available soon! If you are interested in taking the class or learning more information, feel free to reach out to the project leads, Sarah and Marissa (see below).

Recent Milestones:

The Adult Bike Riding Class saw three times the applications as there were space in the class. The need is so strong, the team chose to hire a second instructor to increase the class size! Our first class will have 12 students, instead of the expect 6.

Photos from our first sessions!

Bike class participants
Bike class session

Project Lead(s):

Sarah Janus
Sustainability Officer III/TDM
Green Commuter Program at UC Davis Health

Marissa Barber
TDM Assistant III
Green Commuter Program at UC Davis Health

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