Should I take a lesson every time I ride?

BILL– Other than a few exceptions noted below, the answer is a resounding no! Back in the day when we had a live-in working student, I found that three lessons a week worked pretty well. It was okay if during another day or two, they were semi-supervised, but all riders need time to figure things out on their own, to experiment, to learn how to screw up, notice the problem, and engineer a fix for it. You can’t do this if you are never allowed to take a step on your own.

As I mentioned, there are notable exceptions—primarily if your confidence is at a low ebb or you’re feeling “way in over your head” with whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Normal riding should not require you to earn your merit badge in heroism. If that’s what you’re facing, then for a while you are wiser to ride only under supervision. If nothing else your instructor can dial 9-1- and stand by with her finger poised to finish placing the call if needed.

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