Well known fact: a drunk person can ride a bike well beyond the state when he is unable to walk. This is not, of course, the reason for cycling’s burgeoning worldwide popularity.
The same applies to heroic bike racers who must often be caught and carried away once they finish. There’s clearly more to bike stability than meets the eye. So goes the old story of an Indian yogi whose strategy for learning to ride began with balancing on the machine, motionless. Only then, he surmised, would riding be possible. Such is the illusion of bike stability.
The Public Spectacle
When cycling appeared in the 1870’s, huge crowds gathered to gawk. In England, 10,000 would show up to see someone cycle. So gravity-defying was the achievement. Nothing in our collective experience prepared humanity for the spectacle of two wheeled stability. Little did anyone know how easy the trick. Read more →