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How you ride a bike

Old 11-29-21, 05:27 PM
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Korina
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How you ride a bike

It's more complicated than you think. Should our sense of balance perhaps be considered a sixth sense?

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Old 11-29-21, 06:13 PM
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I try not to think too much when I’m riding a bike.

John
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Old 11-29-21, 07:18 PM
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Korina
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I try not to think too much when Iím riding a bike.

John
Ditto; keep the mind on where your going and let the body do its job.
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Old 11-30-21, 07:19 AM
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Years ago to get a discount on motorcycle insurance (or maybe just to get the insurance at all) I had to take a motorcycling safety course. They spent a lot of time on countersteering on curves - a lot of motorcycling accidents that don't involve cars are when the motorcyclist enters a curve at too high a speed, panics and steers into the curve at too high a speed. They even said "Those of you who do a lot of bicycling on hills will have an easier time because you are already doing this on downhills even if you don't know it."
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Old 11-30-21, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I try not to think too much when Iím riding a bike.

John
I would most likely crash more often if I tried thinking about what I'm doing on a bike.
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Old 11-30-21, 08:24 AM
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Old 11-30-21, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Ditto; keep the mind on where your going and let the body do its job.

If anything, I think this video "proves" that is the right approach--the countersteer is automatic essentially, and damn near imperceptible. If you set out to consciously do it after a lifetime of doing it unconsciously, I think there's a huge risk of oversteering.

I've always contended we basically have no conscious knowledge of how we balance under any circumstances including just standing still.
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Old 11-30-21, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post

I steer dead people.
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Old 11-30-21, 08:38 AM
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I learned this way back while attending an ice skating camp as part of referee training. The eyes lead into the turn. The head follows the eyes. The shoulders follow the head, and the rest of the body follows the shoulders. This is equally true in bike riding. As another poster added on this forum, the eyes lead into the turn, identify the apex and then beyond.
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Old 11-30-21, 09:20 AM
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Should our sense of balance perhaps be considered a sixth sense?
no
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Old 11-30-21, 09:37 AM
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I don't think that counter steering is something we do consciously or unconsciously. We didn't learn it at all either. It's what the bike does naturally because of it's design as it is leaned into a turn.

Perhaps we were unconsciously conditioned by the bike for that and other things.
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Old 11-30-21, 10:46 AM
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In the video- I bet if he just puts all his weight on one pedal, he could lean the bicycle and initiate the turn without countersteering. You cannot do this on a motorcycle at all. That's why they emphasize it so much in motorcycling.
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Old 11-30-21, 07:23 PM
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I'm pretty certain I'm going to give more thought to why someone would make this video than I have ever gave to steering a bike.
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"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels." -- Heinz StŁcke

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Old 11-30-21, 08:34 PM
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If you ride alongside a tall curb and edge closer and closer until your tires just touch it, then try to turn or lean away from the curb, same result without all the tech. Fall down go boom.
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Old 11-30-21, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
In the video- I bet if he just puts all his weight on one pedal, he could lean the bicycle and initiate the turn without countersteering. You cannot do this on a motorcycle at all. That's why they emphasize it so much in motorcycling.
This is exactly what you do on a motorcycle; you shift your weight forward and to the inside of the turn "bite the inside mirror" was the phrase we used. That, and "push away" on the inside grip to initiate the turn. The physics that govern how a single-track vehicle negotiates a corner are the same, just the mass is different.
​​​​​​Because a moto weighs at least 2x what the rider does ( usually more like 3x~4x) It has to be a much more deliberate action than on a velo (bicycle) which is generally 20%-25% of the rider's weight.

Also worth considering is that Motos, when under application of throttle, tend to want to go in a straight line, when riding through a long turn (like an on-ramp) with any kind of intent; you actually have to continue to push away on the inside grip and shift your weight to hold the bike down to stay in the turn.

Because the weight difference is skewed so far the other way, on a velo, the riders inputs are the same, but much more subtle, since a bicycle has roughly 1/25 the mass of a motorcycle, and a tiny fraction of the horsepower.
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Old 11-30-21, 11:28 PM
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My mantra is: Trust my bike and look where I want to go
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Old 12-01-21, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Also worth considering is that Motos, when under application of throttle, tend to want to go in a straight line, when riding through a long turn (like an on-ramp) with any kind of intent; you actually have to continue to push away on the inside grip and shift your weight to hold the bike down to stay in the turn.
It, admittedly has been many, many, years since I last threw a leg over the top tube of a Moto but I seem to remember feeling like once set up in the turn it just kept going round with no further input necessary until it was time to ... unturn. Literally like riding on rails. I loved that locked in feeling of being 'planted' in the turn. No bicycle has ever given me that kind of security in turns.
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Old 12-01-21, 01:43 AM
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It would be interesting to try and ride that bike no handed.
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Old 12-01-21, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
This is exactly what you do on a motorcycle; you shift your weight forward and to the inside of the turn "bite the inside mirror" was the phrase we used. That, and "push away" on the inside grip to initiate the turn. The physics that govern how a single-track vehicle negotiates a corner are the same, just the mass is different.
​​​​​​Because a moto weighs at least 2x what the rider does ( usually more like 3x~4x) It has to be a much more deliberate action than on a velo (bicycle) which is generally 20%-25% of the rider's weight.

Also worth considering is that Motos, when under application of throttle, tend to want to go in a straight line, when riding through a long turn (like an on-ramp) with any kind of intent; you actually have to continue to push away on the inside grip and shift your weight to hold the bike down to stay in the turn.

Because the weight difference is skewed so far the other way, on a velo, the riders inputs are the same, but much more subtle, since a bicycle has roughly 1/25 the mass of a motorcycle, and a tiny fraction of the horsepower.
It's precisely the weight difference that accounts for the fact (obvious to all but motorcyclists, apparently) that a bicyclist can, quote, "push away" on the inside grip to initiate the turn but need not do so. That bicyclists can turn a bike while riding no hands, without touching the grip, should suffice as a counter-argument to the supposed necessity of counter-steering bicycles.

Yes, I can lean to the right and then to the left to make a no-hands left turn. But if I begin by leaning right and continue to do so, I'll turn right.

"You're counter-steering, but you don't know it" is a faith-based argument.
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Old 12-01-21, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
If you ride alongside a tall curb and edge closer and closer until your tires just touch it, then try to turn or lean away from the curb, same result without all the tech. Fall down go boom.

In that scenario, you can't turn the wheel left or right, so that proves absolutely nothing other than you need to turn your wheel some way to execute a turn.
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Old 12-01-21, 01:05 PM
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Maybe it's true. Sometimes I just lean on one grip to start the turn.
Riding so simple a 3 yo can bmx. Ask him to explain. LOL.
youtube.com/watch?v=rYN1atWhIUU
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Old 12-01-21, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
It's more complicated than you think. Should our sense of balance perhaps be considered a sixth sense?
Both proprioception and balance are no doubt involved. So 6th and 7th?
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Old 12-01-21, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Both proprioception and balance are no doubt involved. So 6th and 7th?
I had to look that one up. Possibly.
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Old 12-01-21, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
I had to look that one up. Possibly.

I've taught a few kids how to ride a bike. I never had to explain to any of them how to turn, and couldn't have if I'd had to. There's got to be some relationship to the skills we need to walk upright that make this instinctive. You definitely don't tell a child how to walk before they start just doing it.
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Old 12-01-21, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
It's precisely the weight difference that accounts for the fact (obvious to all but motorcyclists, apparently) that a bicyclist can, quote, "push away" on the inside grip to initiate the turn but need not do so. That bicyclists can turn a bike while riding no hands, without touching the grip, should suffice as a counter-argument to the supposed necessity of counter-steering bicycles.
.
Right. What the wheels have to do in order to make a two wheeled, single-track vehicle initiate and negotiate a turn doesn't change. The weight (mass) and the distribution of that mass are what determines the amount of control input needed to make the bike do that.

Undisturbed, the rake and trail of a bike (moto or velo) fork will keep it going forward in a straight line.
To make it turn, you have to change the angle of the front wheel, relative to the vehicle heading AND move the center of 'gravity' to the inside, of the turn, to keep the bike from toppling over.
On a bicycle, the rider makes up roughly 80% of the mass of the bike-rider system, so the systems' CG is pretty close to the CG of the human body (roughly the bellybutton) So all the little weight shifts and self-corrections happen at level and location very close to what you naturally do to keep yourself balanced and upright when standing or walking, so it quickly fades into the subconscious for most people.
This is why some people can ride 'no hands' using only their sense of balance to keep the bike on course.

Now, on a motorcycle, the rider makes up only about 25%-30% of the total mass, and the CG is somewhere near or forward of the rider's knees. Also given the longer wheelbase and higher speed (greater momentum) the riders' control input has to much more deliberate and of a greater magnitude to affect the system. That is why you see MotoGP riders hanging off like monkeys, and criterium riders (the velo equivalent) rarely swinging out more than a knee or elbow.
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