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Just Plain Stupid - An Old Fella's Opinion...

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Just Plain Stupid - An Old Fella's Opinion...

Old 10-24-19, 04:05 AM
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randyjawa 
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Just Plain Stupid - An Old Fella's Opinion...

Why the heck would anyone build, or perhaps modify, a bike to steer backwards? If stupid were for sale...




Perhaps I should start a collection of stupid cycles...
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Old 10-24-19, 04:10 AM
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To make money.

You take it to a popular pedestrian area, let’s say a boulevard or something. You mark out 3 lines 5 metres apart.

You challenge people to ride the bike from the first to the last line. $5 for three attempts. If they manage to do it they win $50.

Nobody will be able to do it.
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Old 10-24-19, 04:14 AM
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There’s actually a really interesting video somewhere about a dude who taught himself to ride one. Took him ages - months. Then he jumped back on a normal bike and couldn’t ride it, but, it only took him a few minutes to learn how to do it again.

The only bit that was missing was if he could get to a point that he could ride either bike comfortably.
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Old 10-24-19, 05:20 AM
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I was not expecting to see another one, but the "why" of this one (undoubtedly the video @P!N20 is referencing) is anything but stupid:


As Dustin says - our brains see things with an inherent [learned] bias, whether we want to or not.

-Kurt
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Old 10-24-19, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Why the heck would anyone build, or perhaps modify, a bike to steer backwards? If stupid were for sale...




Perhaps I should start a collection of stupid cycles...
Someone with dyslexia ?

Last edited by nomadmax; 10-24-19 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 10-24-19, 06:54 AM
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I have seen the second photo a lot .. there are quite a few people who think it is a good idea to rotate their drops upside down. Which patently proves to me that just because people do or think something , does not make it right.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:02 AM
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Everyone should watch that Smarter Every Day video-- it takes him weeks, if not months to re-train his brain to ride the backwards bike, after which his brain forgets how to ride a normal bike. Brains, man.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:20 AM
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Bicycles are the favorite platform for individuality. How many variations have we seen?? Not all of them.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
I have seen the second photo a lot .. there are quite a few people who think it is a good idea to rotate their drops upside down. Which patently proves to me that just because people do or think something , does not make it right.
I think the more interesting point in the second photo is the rearranged seat cluster. It’s been cut out to allow the seat to go even lower, and all sorts of welded hacks are holding the bike together. For some reason, that was cheaper or easier than just finding a smaller frame?
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Old 10-24-19, 11:30 AM
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I saw that video a few years ago. I just enjoyed it again. Randy, does it answer your question?
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Old 10-24-19, 11:40 AM
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Anyone that is used to steering a boat with a tiller could easily ride that bike .
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Old 10-24-19, 01:20 PM
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I don’t want one, but I wouldn’t call it stupid. I like that people do so many variations with bikes. Tall bikes, super fat bikes, backwards bikes, left hand drive fixed gear, it’s all entertaining. Reminds me of Sheldon.

For not a lot of money you can have something completely unique. That’s hard to do with cars and motorcycles.
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Old 10-24-19, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
Anyone that is used to steering a boat with a tiller could easily ride that bike .
I doubt it. On a bike you are constantly micro steering (for lack of a better term) to maintain balance. That’s the part of riding a bike that is reflexive once you learn to do it, and it needs to be done quickly to stay upright. There isn’t enough time to think consciously about which direction to turn and how much. If this were a trike, it would be fairly easy. You might not go in a really straight line, but you’d go, because you don’t need to balance.
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Old 10-24-19, 01:53 PM
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I suspect it is as hard to ride as the guy in the video claims. You don't just turn the handlebars, you lean the bike at the same time, and the movements merge as one movement.
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Old 10-24-19, 01:55 PM
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Well some people like to tinker, and if you can weld and have an inquiring mind the sky is the limit.

I am sure people thought the first guy to put pedals on a Hobby Horse was crazy too
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Old 10-24-19, 03:20 PM
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Check out Laura Kampf's YouTube channel. It's filled with bike projects that are fun, goofy and occasionally practical.

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Old 10-24-19, 03:23 PM
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BTW, I still say the premise is flawed for that Smarter Every Day episode on the backward bike.

It isn't harder to ride because of anything to do with our brains or learned skills. It's harder to ride because it defies physics and human ergonomics. Nobody would design a bike like that and ride it for long. A dumb design has nothing to do with unlearning or relearning, other than to make a pedantic point about acquiring a useless skill.
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Old 10-24-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
BTW, I still say the premise is flawed for that Smarter Every Day episode on the backward bike.

It isn't harder to ride because of anything to do with our brains or learned skills. It's harder to ride because it defies physics and human ergonomics....
One could argue the same point about the design of a bicycle in the first place. Why is the human rider and center of gravity placed so high on a balancing vehicle? Why aren't the wheels large enough to place the axles are above the rider's center of gravity, and the rider slung below the axles?

It's all about how you perceive it, which tends to justify his point that our brains interpret things with an inherent (learned?) bias.

-Kurt
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Old 10-24-19, 04:07 PM
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If he can somehow get a stack of different-toothed cogs on one stem and rig up some sliding Cambiogear-type setup on the other, you could fine-tune the dangerousness.
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Old 10-24-19, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
One could argue the same point about the design of a bicycle in the first place. Why is the human rider and center of gravity placed so high on a balancing vehicle? Why aren't the wheels large enough to place the axles are above the rider's center of gravity, and the rider slung below the axles?

It's all about how you perceive it, which tends to justify his point that our brains interpret things with an inherent (learned?) bias.

-Kurt
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Old 10-24-19, 04:51 PM
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Because its fun.
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Old 10-24-19, 05:05 PM
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Wanba get messed up? Add that steering to a swing bike. hehe

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Old 10-24-19, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Why the heck would anyone build, or perhaps modify, a bike to steer backwards? If stupid were for sale...
Leave it laying about, unlocked, in a neighborhood known for bike thefts?
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Old 10-24-19, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
(undoubtedly the video @P!N20 is referencing)
That's the one, thanks Kurt.

I tried to ride one in a 'busker' type scenario as I described above ($5 for three attempts.) I had a theory if I kept the bike dead straight I wouldn't need to steer. Nope. All the tiny micro adjustments just compound until you fall off.
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Old 10-24-19, 05:26 PM
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reverse steering, swing bike, and a double decker frame for the win !

the chapter on steering geometry from "Bicycling Science" by Chester Kyle and David Gordon Wilson is worth reading. In that chapter they built unrideable bicycles, with small wheels, negative trail etc.

Mark Petry
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