Your Brain and Riding A Bike

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This is excellent.

He makes a remarkable declaration that has Biblical application and to all areas of truth.

He said, “Knowledge does not = understanding.”

I have long explained this. Knowledge = facts. Understanding = the proper application / interpretation of those facts.

Riding a bike requires far-more brain power than one realizes; but once learned it is imprinted upon the brain, permanently (unless one suffers traumatic or organic brain damage). So much of what we do is by habit, without even thinking, instinct; and that instinct is molded by time and experience into set ways. I am continually dumbfounded, if I lose power due to a storm, that even knowing the power is off, I walk into the bathroom or the basement and turn the light switch on—even if I have done it 6 times and felt like a fool (after initial brain pause, for a milli-second, “why is the light not working?”) and even though I know the power is out. It takes concerted effort (and a few days of no power) to relearn.

Thus, this issue of riding a bike as this engineer produced, is not as easy as it seems because the issue is not merely steering. Were steering the only issue it would be simple to invert the movements, though as he says, still require concentration—and even when he masters it (after 8 months!), his riding is not smooth, but wobbly, looking more like a car whose wheel is about to fall off. If this were a 3-wheel bike (tricycle) or 4-wheel bike (more like a cart), in which the person did not have to balance himself, and steering was the only issue, it would be easy.

However, the pathology of the issue is not merely that of having learned how to ride a bike, the issue actually goes back to the time that you learned to walk! In conjunction with walking is balance and in conjunction with balance is keeping yourself from falling. Thus, when you begin to feel yourself fall or lose balance, your body, nearly every muscle, will go through an instinctive—but also learned—specific, readjustment to attempt to keep from falling or to fall with the least amount of damage. So it is with riding a bike, and especially this bike... riding a bike is a continual adjustment of the uprightness of your body, minor compensations, by nearly every muscle in your body, and it is not merely a matter of retraining your brain and arms, but retraining every muscle in your body—and to work in that new manner in cooperation with every other muscle in your body, taking orders from a “confused brain” that is still trying to figure it all out while coordinate and order all the other muscles to “get with the new program”. So even though you try to steer the bike with your arms, oppositely, the greater hurtle to overcome is all of the coordinated minor adjustments of your head, shoulders, hips, legs, feet on the pedals, etc., all of which will work—by instinct—against your arms and your arms and brain will be “outvoted” by the rest of the body, without continual practice to, as the Bible says, “bring your body under subjection”.

Anyway, that’s my analysis.

The brain God created is beyond amazing... more powerful than any super-computer... imagine the downhill speed skiers, returning a tennis ball served at 130 miles an hour, hitting a baseball pitched 110 miles an hour, we are talking milli- or nano-seconds, sheer instinct that has been trained in a certain direction, with very little time to think, but the brain sends all those signals practically at the speed of sound

[* —and according to the Theory of Relatively, matter shrinks and time slows down—if understand that correctly—at the approach of the speed of light, and nothing can approach the speed of light. This makes more sense when you realize that the Creator, the One True God (as self-revealed in the Bible) is Light... He is Spirit / Pure Energy / Pure Thought / Omnipotent / Omniscient and as Scripture says, “It is in Him that we live and move and have our being” and that nothing exists except that He created it (and that no part of His creation simply “went bad”; He is NOT a crappy creator; He created all for His Own Purpose, even though His puny creatures foolishly disagree; those who disagree have a god-complex and want to be in charge, which is a rejection of Him) and “by Him all things consist”.]

I remember from decades ago a Moody Bible Institute scientist who used to perform all sorts of experiments and present the results to an audience (or on video tape). He invented a pair of goggles that you strapped onto your head that inverted your vision, so that when you looked down at your feet your toes were pointing back to you. This is like trying to do certain things while looking in a mirror, like trying to write backwards on a piece of paper, in cursive, right to left; it ties in also with the hands working independently of each other, taking orders from the opposite hemisphere of the brain, while at the same time, cooperating and coordinating—which is something that a pianist must learn. Truly, as Scripture says, “we are fearfully and wonderfully made”.

It took 2 weeks for this scientist (if I remember correctly) of wearing these goggles nonstop—and the brain then inverted everything to the point that his vision was now normal (or at least his brain fooled him into thinking that his vision was normal; I don’t know if the professor ever brought that point up or not, but I believe that is a reality and there is no way to prove the one from the other: whether his vision was actually corrected or his brain merely fooled him into thinking it was corrected).

However, the problem then was (which was a real and actual danger, similar now to this engineer or his son possibly not being able to ride a normal bike ever again without relearning—and who knows, some people who try this may be permanently handicapped from riding any type of bike if they learn how to ride the backward bike and then tried to ride a real bike again;* it might be like a computer having 2 operating systems installed on a single computer and each operating system being turned on at the same time, competing with each other to a stalemate)...

[* However, this engineer in the above video did demonstrate that he could ride a normal bike again—though it did take him a little time and looking foolish** and he still looked wobbly, and of course, he did not really give it the acid test by riding a bike in among a lot of other people riding bikes. Those watching him trying to ride a bike and then his brain finally clicking (which does not mean that everyone’s brain would click and revert) to where he was able to ride the bike, they thought that he was lying and faking not being able to ride the bike, and he was frustrated with their not believing him.....

This was his only flaw. ALL THAT HE NEEDED TO DO was whip out his backward bike and challenge all the Amsterdamians who thought he was lying / faking to try to ride his bike a mere 5 feet. What a shame he did not have that foresight and bring his backward bike to Holland with him.

** I used to bowl since childhood, even in leagues, at the age of 8 or so, and later in life, in my later 20s taught myself to bowl with a hook, and I had bowled in the mid 200s. However, I had not bowled for several decades and tried it again and for some reason I was thinking backward and I was twisting my wrist forward from the right side of the ball instead of twisting it forward from under the ball, at a sleight angle to the left; but like a stubborn terrier, I don’t give up, no matter how foolish I look. I bowled an entire game, 2 gutter balls of 10 frames (or however many there are in bowling)—20 balls that went STRAIGHT into the right gutter. I can only imagine all the people around watching thinking, “What is wrong with this guy? Is he retarded?” Then, for some reason, it clicked, and I began a new game and bowled strike after strike. I also can bowl left handed, and that also takes a bit of practice doing things opposite, especially with a hook. So I know a little of the frustration of this engineer in trying to learn how to ride a normal bike again; though my only problem was having not bowled for 2 decades and then for some reason having stuck in my mind turning my wrist in the wrong direction, and then in my density, taking so long to figure it out.]

The problem for the Moody scientist with the reverse goggles, that I mentioned was that once he took the goggles off everything again was reversed in his vision. Imagine the danger of driving a car or motorcycle or even jogging if the goggles had fallen off while he had been wearing them! It took (if I remember correctly) 2 full weeks for his brain to correct his vision back to normal.

That sounds worse to me than the mother-of-all hangovers, which you cannot merely “sleep off”. It is something with which you need to “get down and dirty” and “be in the trenches”, daily, with your mind and body battling against each other in every thing that you do, with every movement, in order for your brain in a sense, “to write new code” to correct the problem, and every movement you make is a form of diagnostic which is then re-sampled and over-sampled and tested and reintroduced to every single movement by all other muscles, and every thought, and every bit of visual data, every millisecond, and all programmed continually back into the whole until all the bugs are worked out.

Whew!  I am exhausted and my head is spinning just thinking about it. I think I prefer “normal” (whether bikes, vision, or anything else)—which itself is a whole other issue: for as society is corrupted and permeated in that corruption with the majority of those who are abnormal, abnormal becomes the new “normal” and those who were normal are then considered “abnormal”. But God declared,

“20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5)

Here we see in this passage that all violation (corruption, even inversion) of what is “normal” and “morality” (which was established every time that God said, “Thou shalt not!” and “This shalt thou do!”, which NEVER changes) is rebellion and an assault against God; and God’s declaration in this passage is a denouncement of humanism.