It's really a simple thing to (re)learn. Except for the combination of steering and balance, and the subtle little and instantaneous twitches, with their immediate and large effects, that impact balance from misaligned steering inputs.Which is what made learning to ride in the first place difficult. Either way, it's necessary to respond in real time, not think about it and then respond.Eric Hines
I took the point to be that the calculations involved are incredibly complex and subtle. Like catching a fly ball as an outfielder: it looks really simple, and it feels really simple, but when you break down the geometry involved it's a very complex operation. Fortunately we have brains that can do incredibly complex geometry in real time -- so long as we don't have to provide the written proof of it!
Smarter Every Day is probably the best thing on You Tube, but this was a step above his norm. Fascinating.I imagine that of all physical biases to overcome, left-right switch would be about the most difficult, due to the hemispheric separation of controls in our brains.My hunch is it would help to hold the handlebars very close to the stem to minimize the response of your reactions and possibly give you the time needed to correct your instinctual impulse. But then, thinking isn't doing, is it!
My hunch is it would help to hold the handlebars very close to the stem to minimize the response of your reactions....My "analysis" suggests this wouldn't work. Take the thing one step further and take your hands off the handlebars altogether--who hasn't ridden no-hands?--and eliminate that lever altogether. That would emphasize the essential interaction in play of balance and steering. What the guy did was take a complex system and reverse the effect of one simple part of it--not a very great increase in complexity at all.The brain handles complex calculations, like estimating the ballistic trajectory of a baseball, with the really quite simple arithmetic that describes the trajectory contaminated by the presence of air and the spin on the ball, or the balance-influenced steering of a two-wheeled contraption, through practice, conversion to an algorithm, and then execution of the algorithm automatically. Some of this stuff also borders on outright instinct.Which is why learning something slightly new is so much harder than learning anything wholly new.A war story: when the F-15 first went into operation, the F-4 was an established war horse. On the F-4's outside left-engine throttle surface was a switch operated by the little finger. This pinky switch selected nose wheel steering. Guys transitioning to the F-15 had to keep in mind that the F-15's pinky switch was the gun select switch. Or maybe it was the other way around; it's been awhile....Eric Hines
Ah, your point about small vs. large changes is well taken. I'll dispute your conjecture that riding no hands would be easier. I say that as one who has spent quite a bit of time on a bicycle (though much less since having kids) and even though you remove your hands from the handle bars, the twitches you make to 'steer' the bike are actually to use the weight of the handlebars to do the steering 'remotely'- this being related to the fact that you have to initiate use of gyroscopic precession by counter-steering (or counter-leaning if riding no hands). I'd contend you'd still want to twitch in the wrong direction. That's something that would still happen very quickly, and there is the problem. My hope was that if you hold the handlebars close to the center, even if your initial impulse is incorrect, you might still have time to correct and reverse that impulse. A long shot, but what the heck, it's fun to hypothesize!
Post a Comment