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Unconsciously Incompetent

Old 04-23-15, 08:02 PM
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DBrown9383
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Unconsciously Incompetent

Being new here to this forum and not having been on a bike since about 1973 I have realized I am unconsciously incompetent about all things bike and bike riding related. This is actually a pretty good place to be. It's better than being consciously incompetent which would tend to impede progress (and keep me from asking dumb questions). I notice there are a lot of people here who have vast knowledge about all things bicycle related but there tends to be two of these groups.There are the consciously competent people who know what they're doing. This group can answer most any question and are up on all the new trends and technical stuff. Then there is the unconsciously competent group. This group tends to answer questions with few words (if at all). They just ride and don't think about it or waste their time arguing about the finer points of being fast or what the best bike is. etc. I hope to some day be in this last group but it could take years. Please bear with me as I progress along the path of better fitness, being outside and learning to be a good rider. Your patience is appreciated. I'm really having fun reading through all the forums here and soaking up knowledge.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:10 PM
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Don't underestimate yourself.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:12 PM
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Ride a lot, learn to do your own maintenance, and you'll be there in no time.

I'm firmly in the second group, if for no other reason, I try not to intellectualize my recreational activities more than necessary since I retired from ski instructing.

Last edited by Wileyrat; 04-23-15 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:12 PM
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Sounds like a Donald Rumsfeld approach to competence. The Rumsfeld once had this to say about knowledge, "But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.[" As opposed to the known unknowns: things that we know we don't know.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:20 PM
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Ha.. agreed.. I taught in Vail for 8 years during the late 70's-early 80's.. The whole ski school system actually hindered my skiing ability. Too many clinics and technical mumbo jumbo got me thinking about what I was doing too much. The best skiers never actually think about what they are doing (if you have to think about what you're going to do in a turn, it's already too late) I would think the same would apply for cyclists.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DBrown9383 View Post
Ha.. agreed.. I taught in Vail for 8 years during the late 70's-early 80's.. The whole ski school system actually hindered my skiing ability. Too many clinics and technical mumbo jumbo got me thinking about what I was doing too much. The best skiers never actually think about what they are doing (if you have to think about what you're going to do in a turn, it's already too late) I would think the same would apply for cyclists.
I taught at a local area 1 1/2 hrs outside of Seattle (late 80's to mid 90's), and 8 yrs must be the fish or cut bait point, since that's how long I lasted.
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Old 04-23-15, 08:45 PM
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The Vail ski school was like the Gestapo back then. You had to teach in a very prescribed way. It took a lot of fun out of it for us AND the students. Oh well, that was a long time ago, hopefully things are different now. I prefer to ride my new bike unencumbered by thinking about it .

Last edited by DBrown9383; 04-23-15 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 04-23-15, 10:37 PM
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DBrown9383 if you happened to know the cross country Olympiad and coach Tom Besh he was inducted into our hall of fame tonight. Here's a link to my local paper. 13 to be enshrined Thursday in Alaska cross country ski hall of fame | Alaska Dispatch News.
Cheers,
David in Alaska
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Old 04-23-15, 10:49 PM
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Sorry, I didn't know him. I was strictly alpine
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Old 04-23-15, 11:28 PM
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I think it is a lot like flying or skiing ; you have to practice being consciously competent a lot to become unconsciously competent. As my Judo sensei said, "do a move correctly 1000 times and it is yours". Of course, you can do it wrong enough times and it will also be yours.

Last edited by Doug64; 04-23-15 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 04-24-15, 05:05 AM
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Cyclists love to make things more complicated than they are.
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Old 04-24-15, 05:58 AM
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I've read many of your first few posts, I didn't see any "stupid" questions in them. If you are afraid to ask about what you don't know, or think that you know everything, trouble is headed straight at you. Most of the folks here are helpful and very supportive as well as encouraging. When I have had some problems the members of the 50+ group have mainly tried to offer me good advice, and kind thoughts. Every group has the few that want to show just how smart they think that they are, usually those guys end up showing us how dumb, and thoughtless they are.

Glad to have you join in here in the 50+ asylum, you'll find that your ski experience, and instructor skills, are transferable to cycling in many ways. understanding that there is a learning curve to each sport helps you out. Enjoy the rides and all the smiles that they generate.

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Old 04-24-15, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Cyclists love to make things more complicated than they are.
The simplicity of the bicycle and bicycle riding means there really isn't that much to talk about, so that leaves nuance.
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Old 04-24-15, 06:34 AM
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That was somehow Zen-like. I think maybe unconsciously-incompetent may not be something to strive against, at least while biking.
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Old 04-24-15, 08:05 AM
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I ride alone and on the fogline to deliberately lose my mind. But, somehow I find it near the curb at home.
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Old 04-24-15, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DBrown9383 View Post
Being new here to this forum and not having been on a bike since about 1973 I have realized I am unconsciously incompetent about all things bike and bike riding related. This is actually a pretty good place to be. It's better than being consciously incompetent which would tend to impede progress (and keep me from asking dumb questions). I notice there are a lot of people here who have vast knowledge about all things bicycle related but there tends to be two of these groups.There are the consciously competent people who know what they're doing. This group can answer most any question and are up on all the new trends and technical stuff. Then there is the unconsciously competent group. This group tends to answer questions with few words (if at all). They just ride and don't think about it or waste their time arguing about the finer points of being fast or what the best bike is. etc. I hope to some day be in this last group but it could take years. Please bear with me as I progress along the path of better fitness, being outside and learning to be a good rider. Your patience is appreciated. I'm really having fun reading through all the forums here and soaking up knowledge.
Your thorough understanding of the mindsets within the forum/cycling world leads me to believe it won't take long for you to be firmly entrenched in the last group. That is a good thing.
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Old 04-24-15, 09:32 AM
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I was like you when I first found this site. It is priceless! Thank you all!
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Old 04-24-15, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tg16 View Post
Don't underestimate yourself.
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Cyclists love to make things more complicated than they are.
I'm right there with you. Only started this a year ago. I've come SO far yet still could go so much farther. Just keep pedaling.

Thinking about the cyclist I was in 1975, and then when I took it up again in 1989: I thought that I knew a lot of stuff back then, and I thought that I was good, but I've discovered only recently that I knew nothing.

I didn't have the internet to teach me how to adjust derailleurs, or properly identify and lube trouble spots.

There was no YouTube to teach me how to stretch after a ride, so a lot of times I just laid around until I stopped hurting.

Bikeforums.net didn't exist, either. I had no place to ask stupid questions, get a handful of snarky answers, an occasional good-natured ribbing, and several sincerely helpful, thoughtful replies.

At age 50, I have become twice the cyclist I was at 25. At 51 I might even become twice the cyclist I was at 50. You can too.
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Old 04-26-15, 07:43 AM
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Being a cyclist involves riding a bicycle. Once you can do that, you're a member of the club.
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Old 04-26-15, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Cyclists love to make things more complicated than they are.
Your just smarting because my steel bike is stronger, better, etc. than the carbon fiber frames or TI frames or AL frames or Bamboo frames although AL w/CF fork and rear is pretty good but TI w/CF might not be bad and then there's........but on to the best saddles or pedals or .........then there's bibs vs. shorts......but none of it really matters because I found a way to lose weight while gaining power if you just use this training program.......
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Old 04-26-15, 09:13 AM
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We must be related - as I'm consciously incompetent...................
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Old 04-26-15, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Your just smarting because my steel bike is stronger, better, etc. than the carbon fiber frames or TI frames or AL frames or Bamboo frames although AL w/CF fork and rear is pretty good but TI w/CF might not be bad and then there's........but on to the best saddles or pedals or .........then there's bibs vs. shorts......but none of it really matters because I found a way to lose weight while gaining power if you just use this training program.......
No, it's because I use wax on my chains....
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Old 04-26-15, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DBrown9383 View Post
I have realized I am unconsciously incompetent about all things bike and bike riding related. This is actually a pretty good place to be. It's better than being consciously incompetent
Unskilled and unaware of it.
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Old 04-26-15, 02:54 PM
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If I don't have a competent answer to a question, I can always make something up.

I attended a 2-day workshop on safe and effective cycling (CyclingSavvy). They cover a lot of things to be "street smart" as a cyclist that I didn't find intuitive.

Last edited by nkfrench; 04-30-15 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 04-26-15, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
The simplicity of the bicycle and bicycle riding means there really isn't that much to talk about, so that leaves nuance.
This is bicycling in a nutshell.
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