learning...

Beirne> Now that I am arguing with two people, I should probably give up, since
Beirne> you are both better riders than I. But I am still not convinced about
Beirne> where to put the weight, and this list has been dead for a while, so I
Beirne> will continue.

I don’t think being better makes you better informed about learning. It’s easy
to forget a lot of things that were important insights when you realized them,
but which become second nature - to the point where you can no longer remember
them. I have often thought that the best how-to books might be written by
thoughtful people just after they had learned something, rather than by
experts looking back over years of experience…

Anyway, on with the show :slight_smile:

Beirne> Sure, but they aren’t going to want to keep their backs straight either.
Beirne> They may also want to mount with their first foot on the forward pedal
Beirne> rather than the back pedal. These are not good things either.

Agreed, but these are easier to correct - people seem more willing to abandon
these bad habits faster than that of putting too much weight on the pedals.
Things immediately feel a whole lot better when you correct either of these
faults. I think they feel better pretty quickly too when you get your weight
off the pedals, it’s just harder (in my experience anyway) to get people to do
that - it’s one of the first things that goes by the wayside when they actually
try to ride.

Well I don’t know what we’re arguing about now - nothing I suspect :slight_smile:

Beirne> Yes, but how do you move your upper body around with respect to the
Beirne> wheel? You speed up or slow down. The speed differences may not be
Beirne> drastic, but they are how you do most of the balancing.

But this isn’t true at all of people who coast. They have no contact with the
wheel whatsoever! One foot is (generally) on the frame and the other foot is
stuck out to the side (admittedly sometimes helping to balance). The wheel isn’t
touched at all.

I guess there is a continuum here. When you’re coasting you can’t alter the
speed of the wheel at all, when you’re riding normally, you have a lot of
control over it and can use changes in wheel speed to adjust your balance. In
between, there is gliding (one foot on frame, other foot is allowed to slow
the wheel), walking the wheel (where you definitely can use your feet to alter
the speed of the wheel), etc.

My only real experience is with walking the wheel (I can’t glide or coast), and
the balancing is necessarily more of a body thing than it is with riding when
your feet are comfortably on the pedals. You can’t learn to walk the wheel until
you’ve gotten pretty good at keeping your body very precisely over the axle etc.
Once you can do something about balance in that respect, you can begin to slowly
get the feel of having your feet do the job of helping to maintain that
positioning. Try sitting up (while still and holding onto something) and take
your feet (one by one!) off the pedals and put them on the wheel. Try moving the
wheel forward a few inches (don’t let go of what you’re holding). The feeling is
a very precarious one, even if you’re completely comfortable on a uni normally.

What am I saying? Oh yeah, a continuum. That sounds like a reasonable
compromise :slight_smile:

Anyway. What a friendly uni group this is! No flames to speak of here…
Probably because the mailing list spends 80% of its time dormant…

Terry.

Re: learning…

Terry (terry@santafe.edu) writes:

> I don’t think being better makes you better informed about learning. It’s easy
> to forget a lot of things that were important insights when you realized them,
> but which become second nature - to the point where you can no longer remember
> them. I have often thought that the best how-to books might be written by
> thoughtful people just after they had learned something, rather than by
> experts looking back over years of experience…

I agree. I think that besides remembering the important insights, someone who
learned <whatever> recently also remembers how hard it was to learn, whereas the
expert has forgotten ever not knowing. That’s also an argument in favor of
graduate student teaching assistants (I developed this insight when I was a grad
student :slight_smile: )

Dean Bandes deanb@ma.credence.com