Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Relax the deathgrip on the handlebars

Lucky, a friend and reader from Kentucky sent me the following video.

I rarely watch videos due to the punitive pricing on overages.  Lucky gets extra consideration and the topic was interesting.

Riding a Bicycle

A couple of guys in the shop wanted to screw with one of the young engineers.   They welded a gear-set to the bottom of a set of bicycle's handlebars  and the top of the wheel stem.  The rider must turn the handlebars to the right to make the bike turn left, and so on.

This video documents the engineer's struggles to learn to ride this bike.

In case you have forgotten, one balances on a bike by turning.  We turn into the direction we are falling.  That is why it is so much easier to balance on a moving bike.  We can correct with our steering.  Furthermore, we must start leaning before initiating the turning.  Much of "learning" to ride a bike involves co-wiring our brain to automatically link "turn" and "tip".

While watching the video I could not help thinking, "Just ride it with 'no hands'".

There is a great deal of caster on that particular bike.  Riding a bike with "no hands" is a skill mastered by every eight year old.  It demands a slower pace.  It also demands that the rider be attentive to the bike and not be so consumed with their ego that they force the bike.  They have to follow the bike.

The astute reader might make some connections between riding a bike and leadership styles.

In the interest of science, I may remove the handlebars from a bike today and see if it influences how easily it is to ride "no hands".  I may be posting pictures of skinned knees tomorrow.  Be prepared for gore.

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