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Old 07-16-08, 09:59 AM   #1
tpelle
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OT (Sorta): Living In The Information Age

About a year ago, now, when I decided to get back into cycling (as a 54 year old overweight diabetic), the first thing I did was go to the 'net and immerse myself in bicycling information. I quickly found this site, Sheldon Brown's (R.I.P.) site, and many others, and was able to soak up a tremendous amount of information, opinions (some good, some bad), tips, information on gear, riding, etc. Essentially I was able to internalize years of experience - even if vicarious - into a very short time. I absolutely believe that it made me a better rider, and prevented me from making a lot of "newbie" mistakes, and possible even having some painful crashes. Had this same situation occurred, say, 20 years ago, there's no way this much information would have been available to a new rider.

Of course, the same thing is true for almost any endeavor that one would wish to become involved in today.

What brings this to mind was what I observed last evening on my drive home from work.

Just as I started to turn onto a road that descends a fairly steep hill, a gentleman on a bike turned just in front of me. He was riding a road bike, but was dressed in hiking shorts and a tee shirt, and was wearing a helmet. He appeared to be in his 50's, judging from the gray hir peeking from under his helmet. Since the road was steep enough that he would be able to coast at pretty much the legal speed limit, I decided to just hang back a safe distance behind him and just follow him down the hill. The road had several sweeping S-turns, and I noticed, as the rider carved the corners, he always kept his right leg straight with the right pedal at its lowest position. He was easily hitting 35 mph or so. As he rode through the right-hand turns his pedal was so close to scraping the pavement that I actually backed way off so that I would have time to stop when he crashed!

Luckily he made it all the way down with no problem. As we reached the stop sign at the intersection at the bottom of the hill, I thought about rolling my window down and saying something to him about being careful to not drag his pedal, but he pretty much rode through the stop sign and turned left, while my route took me to the right.

This really got me thinking about the information that I gleaned off of the internet, as that was where I read about cornering techniques - probably from Sheldon Brown - and how fortunate we are to have this resource available to us.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:09 AM   #2
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The internet has become a tremendous source of information.............so much so that its now becoming difficult to sort through it all to find the good stuff. The biggest advantage over books and previous stroage methods seems to be the almost immediate result from your search engine which allows you to refine the search and get another answer instantly...........etc.

However...............just because you can lead a horse to the internet.............you cannot make him use the information.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:22 PM   #3
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Ain't the net wonderful?

I live On-Line.
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Old 07-16-08, 06:23 PM   #4
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Ain't the Net Wonderful

I live on line.
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Old 07-16-08, 07:42 PM   #5
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Ain't the Net Wonderful

I live on line.
You seem to be spending two much time on line..................

You seem to be spending two much time on line..................

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Old 07-16-08, 11:13 PM   #6
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During my daughter's college commencement one of her professors told
the following tale. He presented three History questions to two
groups of people, Baby Boomers & High School Students. The Baby Boomers
got one of the easy questions wrong almost all the time, the next question
they almost always answered correctly and the third one was about some
obscur date in History that the Boomers all frowned at and shrugged
their shoulders in dispair. The Students didn't know any of the answers and
were not any more dismayed by one question than the other. However,
seated at a computer they answered all three questions correctly with
plenty of information in very short order. We live in a "Need to Know" world
and the computer savy people have the advantage.

Imagine Jay Leno's "Jay Walking" Routine if he provided the victims with a
laptop while asking them questions.....it would be the end of that Routine.
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Old 07-17-08, 01:19 AM   #7
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The inside-pedal-up routine id something I learned from reading John Forester's books on cycling. The internet is not the only resource out there.

Unfortunately, there are some who think the internet will provide *all* the answers in the world, when it won't. I had a poster in another forum ask me for a link after I made an assertion. I had to point out to out to this obvious arm-chair critic that there was no link, and that my assertion was based on (shock-horror) my experience as a cyclist!!!

Experience also is a great teacher. It's why I suggested to Tony (Michigan) that he get someone like a chiro to supervise any neck strengthening exercises at least initially to ensure he was doing them correctly -- like a weightlifting spotter. Spotting is a role the internet cannot undertake.
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Old 07-17-08, 01:56 AM   #8
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We live in a "Need to Know" world
and the computer savy people have the advantage.
Damn straight!

And any 'oldies' hiding behind the "young people have the advantage" nonsense perhaps need a swift kick up the posterior. Young people don't have the advantage. People who take the time to learn how to use search tools more effectively have the advantage. It's got nothing to do with age!


I had a young fella 'tother day bewailing the search tool on a gaming forum. Try to find the official thread about X3" he was wailing. X3 is a computer game, and the forum search tool there doesn't accept search terms of less than 3 characters. Took me less than a minute all up to google X3, find out that the full game name is actually 'X3:Reunion', and then dig the forum thread up using 'reunion' as the search term, then post to undermine the complaint including an explanation of how to find it.

My old Dad spends hours on end happily googling all sorts of stuff up and reading it. Does pretty well at it, regardless of him having passed his 80th birthday years back. He's not as good at picking search terms as I am, but then his education and literacy was never what I enjoy. He does well because he didn't take long to pick up on scanning the funny-looking links before clicking on them, for clues to what might be an advertisement, a news site item, a forum post, an educational archive document and so forth.



GG grey power!
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