The Backwards Brain Bicycle - Smarter Every Day 133

  • Published: 25 April 2015
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    Here's the link from the Amsterdam meetup!
    (I usually make a localized facebook post before I visit a city to see if anyone wants to high five.)

    Comment threads on Reddit: (Bicycling)
    My Instagram account:
    Patreon Support Link:

    Slow Motion Sound Design by "A Shell In The Pit"
    The awesome music by "A Shell In The Pit" is called:
    "Bottles" which can be downloaded here.
    Album here:

    A special thanks to these guys for helping me make the bikes in Australia.
    Brian - @weezmgk
    Tom - @SydneyTom_
    Bib Bishop - Actually turned the gears down in his shop. Couldn't have done it without Bob!

    A quick clarification....
    It took me 8 months to learn how to do this, but I was only picking up the bike and running to the end of the driveway and back every day. I wasn't "ACTIVELY" trying to learn. Meaning... I wasn't struggling and trying to make my brain learn. I simply got on the bike every day, tried to operate it to the end of the driveway, turned around and tried to operate it back. The goal was to understand how my brain figured things out on its own, without trying to force it to. Many people have built bikes like this and figured it out in much less than 1 day by staying on the bike until they were able to master it. I had no timelines, and was using this as an exploratory activity to learn how I learn.

    Do not misinterpret this to mean that I struggled and tried very hard every day for 8 months. That's simply not true.

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    Warm Regards,

  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 19 650

  • B E
    B E  8 minutes back

    what a simple yet fascinating experiment, it is amazing to see the exact moment of understanding on camera too, great work

    • eeM Gee
      eeM Gee  4 hours back

      to whom do i owe the pleasure

      • Sebastian Tóth
        Sebastian Tóth  12 hours back

        Iem ride dis nike is the easi

        • Evan Kerkhof
          Evan Kerkhof  12 hours back

          There’s a carnie that comes to town every year that rides it. 😂😂😂

          • elbúho R
            elbúho R  12 hours back

            It's bikeception...

            • Whoeverhitme
              Whoeverhitme  13 hours back

              make it pedal backwards and steer backward too

              • Jubulburb Wuldrd
                Jubulburb Wuldrd  13 hours back

                this is freaking awesome work dude

                • Life Imitating Death
                  Life Imitating Death  14 hours back

                  I sincerely love this channel..

                  • GrimFilth
                    GrimFilth  16 hours back

                    just don't lean into the steering, so the mass won't move over the wrong side of the centre of mass

                    • Pradeep
                      Pradeep  17 hours back

                      For me, this is the best video on this channel.

                      • FatheredPuma81
                        FatheredPuma81  18 hours back

                        Now imagine if he had someone who didn't use his hands to ride a bike to do this lol.

                        • jceepf
                          jceepf  18 hours back

                          I get your analogy ..... many opinions are simply like bike riding : processed knowledge without thinking and thus are not real understanding. Certainly true.

                          But strictly speaking, I think you got it backwards as far as the bike is concerned. I understand how a bird flies and I understand how an insect flies. I do because I am a human and I understand physics.We can write computer programs that would mimic either the bird or the fly. (regular plane vs fighter jets control programs)

                          However the actual reflexive algorithm is not in my brain. The brain, unlike a computer, cannot translate simple understanding into practical knowledge fast.... For example, if you could slow the motion of the bike say 100 times your understanding would allow you to ride it immediately. On the other hand, a mentally retarded person would probably still fall at lower speed which you could handle as a smart person.

                          • Iblis
                            Iblis  24 hours back

                            inverted controls

                            • fallbrookian
                              fallbrookian  1 days back

                              It's about bike riding is automatic and you don't have to think about it. So we don't think when we ride a bike. It's in our muscle memory. Going through our thinking brain to do this doesn't work. Takes time to change muscle memory. Like driving in England.

                              • gaeb1811
                                gaeb1811  1 days back


                                i would change "understanding" for "skill"

                                • Gecko o
                                  Gecko o  1 days back

                                  This reminds me when at my job they brought a weird jigsaw with geometric forms that no one was able to assemble, one of the workers brought her child that day and the kid was able to solve it at the first attempt, Well I was the only other person to solve it, but it took me some time.

                                  • David Dupoise
                                    David Dupoise  1 days back

                                    Now can you learn and then unlearn a belief in a particular God?

                                    • Grozny Entertainment
                                      Grozny Entertainment  1 days back

                                      Why did he go to Amsterdam for the final test, unnecessary imo

                                      • Grozny Entertainment
                                        Grozny Entertainment  2 days back

                                        This is an eye opener

                                        • Alx Lk
                                          Alx Lk  2 days back

                                          You can technically do it but it's very hard.

                                          • GENIUS PERSON
                                            GENIUS PERSON  2 days back

                                            1:46 does anyone wants to talk about that girl fell down?..lmao pity for that man

                                            • Luis F. Acosta
                                              Luis F. Acosta  2 days back

                                              Knowledge = understanding. But a different knowledge = a different understanding.

                                              • John Millett
                                                John Millett  2 days back

                                                I know they have all of these bikes at an old place I used to work and they used it as a training tool to think differently. But they also had it set up so the coaster brakes were partially on and the peddles continued to move as bikes moves.I am a unicycle driver and I found after about three attempts the hardest part was the momentum not the actual steering.There is also more to it than just the steering when you steer to the left youYou cannot lean into the turn which is more than just counterintuitive it has to do with physics because you cannot lean into the corner

                                                • Andres Nadal
                                                  Andres Nadal  2 days back

                                                  What about counter steering on motorbikes?, what's your opinion?, and why does counter steering feels natural?

                                                  • Harish Thakur
                                                    Harish Thakur  3 days back

                                                    I think a person who don't know how to ride a bicycle can learn riding this bicycle. Can you please do this experiment? Please like this comment so that he can see it.

                                                    • Edgar Barcelona
                                                      Edgar Barcelona  3 days back

                                                      MAGA HAT SUPPORTER !

                                                      • Will Swift
                                                        Will Swift  3 days back

                                                        Can one learn both and theb have two modes of riding a bicycle that you master when you sit on either type of bicycle? And not condfuse things?

                                                        • Falconing
                                                          Falconing  3 days back

                                                          This is like learning mechanics in rocket league well almost as hard lol

                                                          • American Nobody
                                                            American Nobody  3 days back

                                                            I've seen this bike before, and it's supposedly really hard to ride. It's very hard to undo years of thinking one way. At first though, I thought it was going to be a bike that goes backwards when you peddle. As far not being able to ride, that's not true, it's just like everything else, it takes practice. It is messed though that he tells his child that he could meet an astro-not. Science fiction has nothing to do with reality brother.

                                                            • Slight Schultz
                                                              Slight Schultz  4 days back

                                                              I know this is an old video, but dude should seriously read up on embodied cognition to understand whats really going on here (in b4 confused comments, embodied cognition is a widely accepted and used concept in psychology/neuroscience). You and your actions aren't just brain-based, they are body-based. Movement isn't just regulated within the brain, it is wholly embodied. To simplify, you can "know" with your brain and not "know" with your body and vice versa. This algorithm of bike riding is largely unconscious, and therefore not easily and instantly augmented, because it is embodied - encoded not just within the brain, within your body, your muscles, the nervous system that is outside of the brain. This isn't a matter of biases or something clicking in your brain, it is a matter of teaching your body how to do a thing that is differently and deeply entrenched in its patterns. You could actually go further and read about extended cognition and what kind of a role the bike plays in your body trying to learn this thing.

                                                              • Jérémy Quentin
                                                                Jérémy Quentin  4 days back

                                                                Temporary controls inversion is a classic gimmick in platformer video games. It usually takes 5-10min to get it. I wonder why it doesn't take us 8 months...

                                                                • Brandon Feng
                                                                  Brandon Feng  4 days back

                                                                  Who else thought you had to pedal backwards lol

                                                                  • sKar
                                                                    sKar  4 days back

                                                                    Jokes on you, I can ride a backwards backwards bike.

                                                                    • megamelonman
                                                                      megamelonman  5 days back

                                                                      What if you ride with no hands?

                                                                      • Muhammad Rahman
                                                                        Muhammad Rahman  5 days back

                                                                        1:45 woman falls

                                                                        • epoi adkin
                                                                          epoi adkin  5 days back

                                                                          Me when in exam hall

                                                                          • Connedo
                                                                            Connedo  5 days back

                                                                            Hi Destin! To make a 30 year story short: 

                                                                            In the analog times – of our predecessors – documents (forms, lists, schemes, floor plans, etc.) show objects (buildings, technical plants, processes, organizations, etc.).

                                                                            Beyond digital transformation – in the times of our descendants – objects will show themselves, in apps! They appear very much the same as the documents. Still it's a total figure-ground-shift.

                                                                            Your experiences with the bike show so exemplary, why communicating it is so challenging.  – What a moving video! Thanks.

                                                                            • Nicolas Cage Cat
                                                                              Nicolas Cage Cat  6 days back

                                                                              Mike Boyd beat you,*haaaaaha sound effect*

                                                                              • Mine My Thoughts
                                                                                Mine My Thoughts  6 days back

                                                                                If a child's brain has more plasticity than an adult brain allowing for easier language development and learning, then why do schools teach students a second language in 7th/8th grade instead of during elementary.

                                                                                • het game kanaal niek
                                                                                  het game kanaal niek  6 days back

                                                                                  is he dutch?

                                                                                  • Laurenz Weiss
                                                                                    Laurenz Weiss  7 days back


                                                                                    • Thomas
                                                                                      Thomas  1 weeks back

                                                                                      Make a really fancy bike like this and let people try to steal it looool

                                                                                      • Last Name First
                                                                                        Last Name First  1 weeks back

                                                                                        This is the perfect example of all Sjw's Lefties and Trump Haters... They cannot free their mind of the cognitive bias...

                                                                                        • Kaydle
                                                                                          Kaydle  1 weeks back

                                                                                          The lid also hadn't rode a bike and long which probably ads to it

                                                                                          • Dino Cenci
                                                                                            Dino Cenci  1 weeks back

                                                                                            is he the what's inside guy help me

                                                                                            • Seth G
                                                                                              Seth G  1 weeks back

                                                                                              Imagine a bait prank, where this bikes on the ground and someone steals it and tries to ride it

                                                                                              • crazy gamer
                                                                                                crazy gamer  1 weeks back

                                                                                                If you are gamer then it will easy for you

                                                                                                • Roman Sin
                                                                                                  Roman Sin  1 weeks back

                                                                                                  Even films the part where the biker hits the girl