Being able to ride a bicycle is something that we normally take for granted. Most of us learn to ride a bicycle in our early youth days. As kids, we all had this incredible attraction towards bicycles. It somehow symbolised a sense of freedom and the ability to explore new horizons without anyone’s objection. But the interesting thing is that even if we hanged our bikes for a few years after those very entertaining childhood rides, and then later decide to take it for a spin, we can ride it easily without much thought. Well, the science behind all this is very simple. The process of riding a bicycle is facilitated by our memory, or more specifically called “sensory-motor memories” which are responsible for combining a set of memories of feelings and movements.
One of the key reasons why we can remember the skill involved in bike riding is because such memories are stored in a complex pattern of connection between brain cells. Like any other skill, the more you ride a bicycle the better you become because frequently used connections of brain cells are strengthened, and the opposite is also true. But the takeaway message here is that even if you’ve stopped cycling for a long time, ‘relearning’ it happens surprisingly fast. Much like walking, cycling as a skill can resurface pretty quickly.