I have been learning to ride a backwards brain bicycle now for 4 weeks. I try to ride it two laps (about 400 feet per lap) in the morning before school, again at noon and sometimes after school. At this time it is mentally exhausting to make it the two laps. I am also out of breath after about 100 feet. Someone pointed out to me that I was holding my breath the entire time, but I didn’t notice. Now that I try to breath, it has been a little easier to concentrate on balancing.
I have the bike parked just outside my classroom door, so that many students see it daily. The comments have been very amazing and lots of students are very encouraging in my struggle. I also allow any students that wish to try it, ride when the halls are not crowed. That usually happens early morning or after school.
I think students are afraid that others might see them fail, but they are really very curious. I have not gotten many teachers to spend much time on it, YET. One of my next goals is to get more teachers to experience the struggle of learning.
I had parent Open House this week and quickly explained what I was doing with the bike. There was a real high interest about the bike and how the learning was progressing. I think they understood why I was learning to ride the backwards brain bike.
I am gaining each day/week and will continue to update videos on my progress. The odd thing is that some days are worse than the day before, and that is discouraging. BOY THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR. I am trying to relate the discouraging days to a reason why. I suspect that it has something to do with the rest I had the night before or maybe the time of day. I have noticed the past several years that when I don’t stay hydrated I don’t think as clearly, and that may be affecting me on the bike. How can I use this information with my students?
I really understand the learning process better since this journey began!
Week 4 Video – This was my best distance, not my average distance.
Update: Both bikes developed cracks on the welding, so we had to redo the welds. On the blue bike we welded (brazed) the full length of the metal plates (thanks Fred!). On the green/black bike we welded additional metal straps (thanks Kirk!). For those of you thinking of making a backwards brain bicycle, here is a picture of the new green/black bike weld. This is four 1/8 inch straps bent to fit and welded to the bike.