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  1. #1
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    Riding an inverted (steering) bike. An engineer's perspective.



    Thought this was interesting. Think you could ride it? (While actually attempting to USE the handlebars? Riding with no hands doesn't count.)

    I thought it was cool how his son picked it up so quickly.

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    There's a guy at one of my local beaches (L.A.) that brings a bike like that to the beach on the weekends.He gives 10-1 odds that you can't ride it 10 feet without putting your feet down.....Great fun to watch...

    He charges $10 a shot and should be able to retire by next year.There are HUGE crowds around to watch and try.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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    Yeah my kid sunk a bunch o bucks into failing at that at the county fair a few years ago.

    SA

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    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I am amazed at the time taken to reconfigure the mind to ride that bike. I would have thought that it would only take a few minutes, or an hour at most.

    It is also fascinating that once accustomed to the inverse, riding a normal bike is difficult... although one can relearn riding a normal bike pretty quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    I am amazed at the time taken to reconfigure the mind to ride that bike. I would have thought that it would only take a few minutes, or an hour at most.

    It is also fascinating that once accustomed to the inverse, riding a normal bike is difficult... although one can relearn riding a normal bike pretty quickly.
    It's not a mental issue, it is more an automatic reflex issue. They have discovered that many "reflex" movements are actually handled within the spinal cord, without making the full trip to the brain.

    Spinal Reflexes and Descending Motor Pathways (Section 3, Chapter 2) Neuroscience Online: An Electronic Textbook for the Neurosciences | Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy - The University of Texas Medical School at Houston

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikepro View Post
    It's not a mental issue, it is more an automatic reflex issue. They have discovered that many "reflex" movements are actually handled within the spinal cord, without making the full trip to the brain.

    Spinal Reflexes and Descending Motor Pathways (Section 3, Chapter 2) Neuroscience Online: An Electronic Textbook for the Neurosciences | Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy - The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
    makes sense.

    they say that wearing a pair of eyeglasses that invert everything takes the brain a day or two to completely reverse the image such that everything looks to be right side up again. until you take off the glasses.... then it takes a couple days to reverse the process again.

    i think if i was the subject of that experiment, i would have been a little nervous for a day or two.

    searching...............................................

    found it! i thought i had read something about this years ago. found it in Wiki:

    In the 1890s, psychologist George M. Stratton conducted experiments in which he tested the theory of perceptual adaptation.[2] In one experiment, he wore a reversing glasses for 21 hours over three days, with no change in his vision. After removing the glasses, "normal vision was restored instantaneously and without any disturbance in the natural appearance or position of objects."[2]
    Modern version of inverting mirrors with harness.


    On a later experiment, Stratton wore the glasses for eight whole days. By day four, the images seen through the instrument were still upside down. However, on day five, images appeared upright until he concentrated on them; then they became inverted again. By having to concentrate on his vision to turn it upside down again, especially when he knew images were hitting his retinas in the opposite orientation as normal, Stratton deduced his brain had reprocessed his vision and adapted to the changes in vision.


    makes me wonder if riding a bike is less of a balance skill and more of a visual skill than i thought.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 04-30-15 at 09:15 AM.

  7. #7
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    I taught myself to ride forward, while sitting on the handlebars facing backwards. (BMX bike) It took a while to get since the natural feeling was to turn opposite and I'd immediately lose balance, just like the people in the video. Even after "getting it" my brain would sometimes revert back in the middle of a ride and I'd have to put a foot down.

    Riding the inverted steering bike would likely be even more difficult, but I'd love to try it. Even if it cost me $10.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Take the handle bar off and steer from the saddle by shifting your weight.

    Reverse the fork to increase the Trail and it will go straight without a rider at all ..

    David Gordon Wilson demo'd that years ago .. MIT PhD Professor, author of Bicycling Science.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-30-15 at 10:49 AM.

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    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    When I rode motorcycles, I'd sometimes put my left hand on the throttle to take a break and stretch the right hand.

    It's weird.
    Genesis 49:17

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Take the handle bar off and steer from the saddle by shifting your weight.

    Reverse the fork to increase the Trail and it will go straight without a rider at all ..

    David Gordon Wilson demo'd that years ago .. MIT PhD Professor, author of Bicycling Science.
    Yeah, but that's CHEATING!

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    Interesting video. Though he isn't using the right terms. When based on the rasmussen SRK model, he is saying knowledge when he actually means skills but he is right on 1 thing knowledge doesn't equal skills.
    Last edited by erig007; 04-30-15 at 01:20 PM.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Kobayashi Maru solution ..

  13. #13
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    When I rode motorcycles, I'd sometimes put my left hand on the throttle to take a break and stretch the right hand.

    It's weird.
    Weirder,my friend has a KTM with the kicker on the left. He's never been able to kick it;fortunately,it also has a starter. I tried once and it seriously messed with me. Something was just wrong about it.

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  14. #14
    blah blah blah milkbaby's Avatar
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    Why don't people take up the challenge by just riding no handed?

  15. #15
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    It would make a sweet "bike lock". You wouldn't have to worry about anybody hopping on your bike and riding off. Although, one might have to recover it from the middle of the store parking lot a few times

    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    There's a guy at one of my local beaches (L.A.) that brings a bike like that to the beach on the weekends.He gives 10-1 odds that you can't ride it 10 feet without putting your feet down.....Great fun to watch...

    He charges $10 a shot and should be able to retire by next year.There are HUGE crowds around to watch and try.
    That might inspire me to go home and make one... then come back to the beach & perhaps play a double or nothing game with the guy.

    Watch out...
    The next Schwinn I find may end up as a backwards Schwinn.

    As far as the no-hands trick... it might work. I can walk my bike by the seat relatively easily, but I'm not sure if I could take off from a standing start with no hands.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I will say that I've taught a few kids to ride "normal" bikes.

    It is most interesting. First of all, it is hard to explain how to "ride a bike".
    Then teaching them how to ride a bike isn't as much "teaching" as facilitating the kid's learning.

    They can try and try and try... then suddenly something "clicks"... and they're off riding.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    It's not like no hands. It's more like using your right hand on the left grip. Try it and tell me I'm wrong.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    When I was a kid, I once got the bright idea of crossing my arms and taking opposite grips on the bars.
    Within seconds I was on the ground with road rash.

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    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

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