Why we never forget how to ride a bike

There's scientific truth to the saying that you never forget how to ride a bike. Even if you can't remember phone numbers, birthdays, or where the hell you parked your car, it's likely that even if you haven't been on a bicycle in decades, you can climb on and ride away just fine. Why? Neuropsychologist Boris Suchan of Germany's Ruhr University Bochum lays it out as best we know in Scientific American:

As it turns out, different types of memories are stored in distinct regions of our brains. Long-term memory is divided into two types: declarative and procedural.

There are two types of declarative memory: Recollections of experiences such as the day we started school and our first kiss are called episodic memory. This type of recall is our interpretation of an episode or event that occurred. Factual knowledge, on the other hand, such as the capital of France, is part of semantic memory. These two types of declarative memory content have one thing in common—you are aware of the knowledge and can communicate the memories to others.

Skills such as playing an instrument or riding a bicycle are, however, anchored in a separate system, called procedural memory. As its name implies, this type of memory is responsible for performance...

According to one idea, in the regions where movement patterns are anchored fewer new nerve cells may be formed in adults. Without this neurogenesis, or continuous remodeling in those regions, it’s less likely for those memories to get erased.

"Why Don’t We Forget How to Ride a Bike? Read the rest

Watch this unusual way to teach bus drivers to be careful around bicyclists

In this video from Cariacica, Brazil, bus drivers sit on stationary bikes as a bus whizzes past. Why? To give the drivers a visceral sense of what it feels like when a 30,000 pound metal behemoth flies by less than two meters from your exposed body. The goal is to educate the drivers on why they should respect the mandatory 1.5 meter gap.

(Bicycling via Weird Universe) Read the rest

A working bicycle made of wood

YouTuber The Q spent 200 hours crafting a rideable bicycle out of wood, the glue that holds it together, and a handful of metal pieces like washers.

Why? I don't know, but it's pretty cool.

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

Watch how this chain-free bike operates

CeramicSpeed makes bikes that use a drive shaft instead of a chain. Shane Miller got a close look at Eurobike 2018. Read the rest

Self-driving cars face a huge challenge in detecting bicycles

Self-driving cars have a hard time predicting bicycle movement, and workarounds that require cyclists to buy transmitters are running into resistance from some. Read the rest

When Cyclists clash

Exhibit A: When American cyclists get in one another's way.

Exhibit B: When British cyclists get in one another's way.

Exhibit C: When Canadian cyclists get in one another's way.

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Headbadges: the lost, gorgeous bicycle hood ornaments of yesteryear

Collectors Weekly's feature on "headbages" tells the story of the 1000+ badge collection of bike-mechanic-turned-evolutionary-biologist Jeffrey Conner, who published a book on the subject, featuring an alphabetic index of photos from his collection. Read the rest

Child almost wins balance bike race but is having too much fun to care

Win? Nah, it's more fun just to keep playing.

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Look at the public bike purgatory in Hangzhou,China

The city of Hangzhou, China has more than 86,000 public bicycles. Unfortunately, when many people are done using them, they don't put them in the designated docking center but just drop them wherever. According to Wired, "police have rounded up 23,000 bikes so far this year and hauled them to 16 corrals around the city" like the one seen above. And that's not even the whole lot of 'em. Read the rest

Easy to use bicycle chain tool

Guess how I'm spending Saturday morning? This bicycle chain tool works for both my road bike and my mountain bike that loves to break its chain.

Oumers Universal Bike Chain Tool With Chain Hook via Amazon Read the rest

Air-free non-pneumatic tires are coming to a bicycle near you

Few things are more annoying for cyclists than changing a flat, especially on a back tire. Non-pneumatic tires that have proven workable for off-roading and other vehicle prototypes are now getting tested for bicycles. Read the rest

Wind so intense that these cyclists can't pedal into it

Strong winds in Cape Town, South Africa disrupted the recent Cape Town Cycle Tour. If the cyclists had just turned around, the following would be their theme song:

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Watch cyclists try to retrieve a bike ensnared in an electric fence

Big DT writes: "Whilst pedalling today my mate Paul went to put his bike over a fence. Half way though he realised that it was electric! So he dropped it on the fence. This is a video of him and my mate Al trying to get it off! Please excuse the swearing and oh yes by the way the clicking sound is the electric pulsing!!"

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Naughty BMX rider schooled by skate park security guard

"Don't bmx in the middle of skateboarding runs or estonian security guards will show you how it's done!" writes Einius Žiūkas.

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One Got Fat: deeply weird bicycle safety film with kids in monkey masks

"One Got Fat" is a surreal bicycle safety film from 1963 where the gang of freewheeling bicycling kids in monkey masks suffer brutal fates, one by one. (Thanks, UPSO!)

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Amazingly weird results when people draw a bicycle from memory

For his project Velocipedia, artist/designer Gianluca Gimini asked friends and strangers to draw a men's bicycle from memory. Then he digitally mocked up the designs. Read the rest

Crowdfunding OMATA, a gorgeous analog GPS Speedometer for bicycling

My artist/serial entrepreneur friend Julian Bleecker's new labor of love is OMATA. The company and gadget that he and co-founder Rhys Newman have been working on intensely for the last year or so today officially launched on Kickstarter. Read the rest

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