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It’s Like Riding a Bike

Long-term memory plays a role

No doubt you’ve heard the saying, “It's like riding a bike” implying that even if you haven’t ridden in years, you’ll pick it right up again the minute you grab the handlebars.

It’s a function of memory. Different memories are stored in distinct regions of our brains. Long-term memory is divided into declarative and procedural, explains neuropsychologist Boris Suchan in Skills such as riding a bicycle are anchored in procedural memory, a type of memory responsible for performance, simple sequences of movements we internalize and retain.

Even traumatic brain injury rarely impacts procedural memory.

The low-impact exercise is preferred by active seniors who wish to avoid injuries and resulting surgery. The activity inherently involves balancing, an exercise essential to aging well. It can be done alone or with groups, outside or even inside on a stationary bike when weather or other conditions prevent being outdoors.

Ebikes are favored by seniors because it makes going uphill easier. Also the pace of the ride is more even.