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Physics of Bikes




One of my friends is absolutely terrified of riding bikes because she says she feels like she’s going to fall off. However, falling off a bike is pretty hard, not “as easy as riding a bike,” and the reason is because of physics. Initially I thought the physics behind riding a bike was easy also. I thought that the reason bikes are so stable is because of the forward momentum that comes from the velocity of the bike, which makes sense why it's hard to stay upright at a slower velocity. Before writing about it though, I wanted to check my understanding. I found this video that showed me that it’s actually much more complicated. I learned that a bike could stay upright even if there is not one riding it, because of physics. When a bike is moving and it begins to lean to one side, it also automatically steers to one side so the wheels end up moving back underneath the center of mass keeping it stable and upright and that this is due to specific structural aspects. So really, my friend has nothing to worry about because physics is on her side!



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