While all this is happening, you want to get the front wheel stopping as forcefully as possible without locking up. Though the rear wheel is less critical, ideally it should also provide maximum stopping without locking. Although a locked-up rear is harder to avoid and less likely to lead to disaster, it can still cause problems. A locked-up rear wheel will probably slide out of line, perhaps quickly. You then lose most steering control, since your only option is to steer into the slide. Since the rear wheel sees a reduction in available traction as the brakes are first applied, you either must learn to apply it gently at first or, a greater challenge, release pressure after that initial application. Some folks advocate not using the rear brake at all. I'd debate this, especially since we are talking about cruisers, which have long wheelbases, carry more weight on their rear tires, and transfer less weight off their rear wheels in a stop than, say, sport bikes. Not only does the rear brake help stop you, but, by providing drag at the rear, it also serves to stabilize the bike. And with the long wheelbase of a typical rider, if it does set out of line, the change in the bike's attitude in minimal.