Wired Up Backwards

Backward BikeSomeone posted this video on my Facebook page and I believe it holds a fundamental truth about habits and instincts.

As I posted a while back, we all have a lot to learn about the way we learn to ride a bicycle. Today’s experts will all tell you that taking off the pedals will accelerate the learning dramatically … most can learn to ride in just a few minutes when you do that.

However, watch this video and realize that once you learn, your brain is wired up backwards to ride this bike. It is almost impossible to unlearn and relearn. Click here to view the video.

How many of today’s challenges are made worse because our brains are wired up from previous points of view?

I am not sure, but I would suspect we have a lot to learn from Millennials who seem to see things very differently than we do.

In fact, this election cycle is likely to reveal a lot about the way they are wired.

They seem to walk to the beat of a different drummer.

I just hope it is not a Pied Piper.

Now that will be the subject of another blog for sure.

Thanks for being part of my journey through all this.



One thought on “Wired Up Backwards”

  1. Yes, yes, yes! This is absolutely true, but we found it out with a car, not a bicycle.

    Many moons ago, mid 1946 to be precise, the traffic pattern in my native Argentina changed dramatically. No, they didn’t reverse the steering wheel action as the bike in Joel’s video; they just converted all road traffic flow from left hand lanes to right hand lanes.

    In other words, we had been “back to front”, just as British traffic is today and we converted to right hand drive as we are here in the US.

    With American-built cars the conversion was relatively easy since the car was already designed to have the steering column mounted on the left or right side of the car (Ford’s idea, perhaps?). But there were other cars that required completely new parts in the steering linkage for the changeover to work properly.

    At the time I was working on restoring my Model T Ford. I had some borrowed space in a “friendly” auto garage so, in a practical sense, I was one of the crew.

    Tito, the owner, asked me to move the car he had just finished converting. He wanted me to move the car very slowly while he listened for a strange noise. The more I turned the wheel to the left, the more the car moved to the right! It was a very strange sensation indeed and, even knowing that it was all back to front, it was incredibly difficult to control that vehicle and get it to go where you wanted it to go.

    Needless to say, we did not take it out onto the street.

    Years later I emigrated to England and, yes, they were still driving on the wrong side of the road. Stubborn people!

    More years along Life’s Pathway, and my learning took yet another giant leap forward. I was on a business trip in Europe in the company of an American rally driver. As we drove around northern Italy and the Swiss Alps at high speed, I marveled at how this guy came out of curves, always perfectly positioned on the correct side of the road. Yet in England he drove just as well. How did he do it, I asked. “Simple”, he replied, “Just keep your steering wheel on the proper side of the road, to the left or right of the crown or center line.”

    So, Joel, I guess I owe you one. Thanks for the memories!

    Alan Belcher.

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