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A bike should neither appear nor disappear

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

A bike should neither appear nor disappear

Old 03-24-22, 05:00 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If I had a niggle for every time someone said that to me....
HA! I was going to post that! Good thing I decided to read through the thread before I posted.
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Old 03-24-22, 05:07 PM
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I don't think of the bike 'disappearing' under me. It's more a question of symbiosis, where I and the bike feel like a single entity. Ride one well set-up bike enough, and you can get this. I have one bike that I've always said, "shifts like thought", meaning I think about being in another gear and with the softest *click* I'm there. Another bike swings like a pendulum when I'm up out of the saddle, so perfectly in sync with the pedals there's I hardly have to use my arm muscles to do it. That same bike corners as if IT knows what it is doing, like it's choosing the lines through the curve, leaning the right amount, and righting itself as I come out of the turn.

But it doesn't cause me to zone out. Instead it sharpens the focus on the act of riding. It removes the mechanical distractions.
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Old 03-24-22, 06:53 PM
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For me riding a bike is mostly an unconscious effort and so it does indeed effectively disappear. I tend to be thinking about the ride rather than riding the bike. Same goes for skiing or driving. The riding or driving all happens on an unconscious level, leaving you to focus on where you are going and other stuff when the going is easy. I agree the bike tends to come into focus whenever it isn't working properly or making some strange abnormal noise. Can't say I've given it much thought beyond that!
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Old 03-24-22, 07:37 PM
  #29  
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I think I can get that vibe sometimes on my TCR - the daily driver. It's quite comfortable and smooth. Snappy too. Great bike.
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Old 03-24-22, 10:10 PM
  #30  
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My bike never disappears, no matter how long or familiar the ride. I'm always concentrating on everything around me, the machine under me, and my body propelling it. I suppose it's a type of Zen practice which has the huge benefit of keeping me alive and well.. Those three elements are plenty enough to hold my interest. "So much to learn, so little time."
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Old 03-25-22, 05:29 AM
  #31  
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I've seen this lady on TV who could make a bike or anything else dissappear or reappear just by blinking her eyes. I don't remember her being a cyclist, though.
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Old 03-25-22, 05:56 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
I've seen this lady on TV who could make a bike or anything else dissappear or reappear just by blinking her eyes. I don't remember her being a cyclist, though.
I was wrong. My bad.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001174/.../rm4168259584/

https://www.posterazzi.com/barbara-e...item-dap12194/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/502644008383688838/
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Old 03-25-22, 07:44 AM
  #33  
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A bike could appear - like if you buy it at the store and put it in your garage. However, it should never disappear unless when it's under your arse and being ridden.
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Old 03-25-22, 07:50 AM
  #34  
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I get the OP drift. I enjoy when the miles melt away and my brain is in a mode where it can take a break from the regular stuff.
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Old 03-25-22, 08:01 AM
  #35  
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I remember that feeling of riding and the next thing you are in the next county or state. Can't do that with a lousy bike
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Old 03-25-22, 09:44 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
I get the OP drift. I enjoy when the miles melt away and my brain is in a mode where it can take a break from the regular stuff.
I sometimes find I've figured out apparently intractable problems while riding, because they've been running in the background part of my brain while riding occupies the foreground.
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Old 03-25-22, 11:13 AM
  #37  
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I have many times been confused about which village I'm approaching.. I was certain I'd ridden through that one, but here it is ahead of me. Both the bike and the rider disappear for a period of time.
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Old 03-25-22, 11:24 AM
  #38  
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Old 03-25-22, 12:26 PM
  #39  
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Old 03-25-22, 10:21 PM
  #40  
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When the bike and I are one, I am in my happy place.
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Old 03-26-22, 04:48 AM
  #41  
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When my bike and I are one, I am heading for the emergency department.
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Old 03-26-22, 09:13 AM
  #42  
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OP is correct, being alert is the most important part of being safe on a bike. Even moreso than having safety equipment (helmet, radar mirrors) or a mechanically sound bike. This is part of the reason why some people prefer track bikes when riding in city traffic, you never zone out
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Old 03-26-22, 12:56 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
OP is correct, being alert is the most important part of being safe on a bike. Even moreso than having safety equipment (helmet, radar mirrors) or a mechanically sound bike. This is part of the reason why some people prefer track bikes when riding in city traffic, you never zone out
Listen to this guy. He knows. They don't call him that Ambassador of Safety for no reason.
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Old 03-26-22, 06:01 PM
  #44  
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If your bike has a TurboSpoke, you don't have to worry about being seen or not seen. You'll always be heard. It'll keep you from zoning out as well. Win win.

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Old 03-26-22, 06:57 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
If your bike has a TurboSpoke, you don't have to worry about being seen or not seen. You'll always be heard. It'll keep you from zoning out as well. Win win.

https://youtu.be/lkor-DErceM
today I saw this kid with a crushed water bottle between his fork and wheel, it was pretty sweet. the mtb was probably thousands fo dollars haha
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Old 03-26-22, 07:53 PM
  #46  
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I think George Hincapie referred to the “No chain” phenomenon. I interpret that to mean those rides when the cyclist is at peak fitness, the weather is good, the machine is in great tune, the mind is on autopilot and the miles tick by seemingly effortlessly.
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Old 03-26-22, 08:17 PM
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I have a bike. I ride it.
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Old 03-28-22, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
My bike never disappears, no matter how long or familiar the ride. I'm always concentrating on everything around me, the machine under me, and my body propelling it. I suppose it's a type of Zen practice which has the huge benefit of keeping me alive and well.. Those three elements are plenty enough to hold my interest. "So much to learn, so little time."
I'm curious about what part of the machine you are concentrating on while riding? Obviously when there is a problem (puncture, strange mechanical noise) it would suddenly snap into focus. But otherwise?
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Old 03-28-22, 10:47 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I'm curious about what part of the machine you are concentrating on while riding? Obviously when there is a problem (puncture, strange mechanical noise) it would suddenly snap into focus. But otherwise?
Yeah, good question. It's not exactly like riding a horse, but there is a sort of conversation which takes place concerning how can we help each other to go faster and further. I probably notice crank inertial load more than anything because that effects how I pedal. I notice my tires' response to the road surface, trying always to be aware of tire pressure, having seen riders roll a low tire right off the rim, not good. As we go into a corner, I try to be aware of what the bike wants me to do to corner most effectively. Do I just drop my head into the corner, swivel my upper body, drop the bike into the corner or what? In a hard corner, I try to be aware of how the tires feel on the pavement. Are we near our limit? In a hill sprint, is my CG correct, both tires staying on the ground? What gear, cog and ring, am I in? If I shift both ends can I get a more effective cadence? Is my hand position the most effective for my current situation? How's my butt planted on the saddle and where? Is my pelvic roll how I want it to be right now? There's always something going on, always plotting and planning.
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Old 03-29-22, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yeah, good question. It's not exactly like riding a horse, but there is a sort of conversation which takes place concerning how can we help each other to go faster and further. I probably notice crank inertial load more than anything because that effects how I pedal. I notice my tires' response to the road surface, trying always to be aware of tire pressure, having seen riders roll a low tire right off the rim, not good. As we go into a corner, I try to be aware of what the bike wants me to do to corner most effectively. Do I just drop my head into the corner, swivel my upper body, drop the bike into the corner or what? In a hard corner, I try to be aware of how the tires feel on the pavement. Are we near our limit? In a hill sprint, is my CG correct, both tires staying on the ground? What gear, cog and ring, am I in? If I shift both ends can I get a more effective cadence? Is my hand position the most effective for my current situation? How's my butt planted on the saddle and where? Is my pelvic roll how I want it to be right now? There's always something going on, always plotting and planning.
Pretty much all that you mention above are mostly subconscious actions for me. I did a fairly challenging timed century ride on Sunday and the only thing that I consciously noticed about my bike was a little bit of excessive drivetrain noise in the lowest rear gear (like maybe the low limit screw was slightly too tight). Apart from that niggle, my bike was pretty much invisible in a positive way, like an extension of my body. Leaving me to concentrate on pacing, hydration, fuelling and the group dynamics. There was one guy flapping about erratically in the group I was riding with, that I consciously kept away from! Some of the road surfaces were very poor, so that was on my conscious mind at times too. But not really the bike itself.

I think a lot comes down to what is conscious thought vs subconscious auto pilot? Most of the bike interaction happens subconsciously as it does with driving. That's one of the reasons why learning to ride or drive is difficult from scratch as everything has to be learnt consciously, which is a much slower process. Once an action becomes subconscious it is effectively performed automatically with a much faster and precise reaction. Like your example of cornering on the bike. I would think all that happens subconsciously in the moment. Or are you really thinking about all those individual factors in real time? I would bet not.
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