Know how -vs - Got what

I was just re-reading the 29er envy thread and noticed some of the conversation was about ‘just doing it’ instead of thinking about it and doing the sums. And for the avoidance of doubt or misunderstanding: I agree that just doing it is what unicycling’s all about. But the theory can be interesting in its own right, and the maths can sometimes help you to understand and predict how a unicycle might perform.

BUT, here’s a lesson I learned (again!) yesterday. I rode 21 miles on my 28 with a skinny road tyre, and 110mm cranks. The plan was to keep to the hard top and get some distance in without draining myself. I’ve had a busy few days.

But the devil on my shoulder steered me onto to the road less travelled, and probably 50% of the ride was what I would loosely call ‘cross country’. Some of it was muddy; some of it was quite steep - steep enough that a bicyclist might have had to select bottom gear and stand on the pedals (on the way UP, d’oh!).

And I remembered that some of those same hills and muddy tracks had stopped me last year on a knobbly-tyred 26 with 150mm cranks.

So it’s not the got what, it’s the know how. The got what just helps.

Know-how is for when got-what doesn’t have enough, but can’t figure out why. Know-how steps in, says, this is why, and so got-what can get more to get what he needs to get.

Foolish got-what despises know-how so when he gets stuck, he can’t get more.

Foolish know-how despises got-what and so doesn’t get the knowledge he needs to be able to know why.


My Brain - Arrgghhh

No how do I got what you guys are talking about. :thinking:

Please forgive the digression. Carry on.

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Re: My Brain - Arrgghhh

The got what you’ve not got is the know how to know what. It’s a must have to do much or know much. When you 've got the know how you’ll have the got what to understand. Gottit?

But perhaps we’ve digressed from the main thrust of my argument: having the right equipment will always help, but having the ability to use it makes more difference. So all my pontifications about crank length and ratios, whilst (generally valid) should be taken with a pinch of salt and a pot of practice.

“I was with you all the way up to ‘simply’…”*


  • sorry, terrible Red Dwarf reference