We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s like riding a bicycle,” most often used to describe a skill that, once learned, is never forgotten. But what happens when experienced bike riders no longer find themselves capable of riding the mode of transportation they’ve always been comfortable operating? Does the saying no longer apply?
As part of a joke on the engineers at their work, a group of welders developed a bike that functioned like any other bicycle, except for one minor alteration: when the rider turns to the right, the wheel turns to the left, and vice versa. Not expecting this to create much of a difference in their ability to ride the bike, the engineers found themselves baffled not only by how difficult it was but by the fact that the modification seemed virtually impossible to overcome.
This simple joke rippled into a full-out study featured on the awesome YouTube channel SmarterEveryDay. The story is incredible and the reasoning behind it is pretty cool to hear, I encourage you to check out the full details in this video:
I’ve always heard that it is much easier to grasp skills and learn as a child, but seeing this with something as seemingly simple as riding a bike took that to an entirely new level. As part of a challenge to myself, I’m currently in the process of learning Italian through Rosetta Stone. Having started in January, I often find myself frustrated by how little I am able to communicate effectively, even after all these months. Aside from filling me with a bit of regret for not having learned the language as a child, which I had ample opportunities to do, this video also inspires me to keep pushing through it.
My learning capabilities may not be as strong as they once were, but I’m not going to let that stop me from expanding my skill set. I encourage you all to do the same. Don’t let a lack of time or belief in yourself stop you from pursuing or learning something that you are passionate about. We are life-long learners, and even if the process ends up being substantially longer than it could have been, it’s still a step in the right direction.
Do you think you’d be able to ride the altered bike? What are some activities you do to work on neuroplasticity? Let us know via the comment section below.
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