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Does this translate to bikes too? Maybe all those rocks and ruts coming at you really are easier to handle the faster you go!

LiveScience.com
Thu May 5,10:26 AM ET


You're throwing a ball for a toddler to smack with a plastic bat. You toss it gently, slowly, to make it easier. He just can't hit it.


It's because you throw too slowly, a new study finds.

Kids' brains aren't wired for slow motion.

"When you throw something slowly to a child, you think you're doing them a favor by trying to be helpful," said Terri Lewis, professor of psychology at McMaster University. "Slow balls actually appear stationary to a child."

Add a little speed to the pitch, Lewis and her colleagues suggest, and the child is able to judge its speed more accurately.

"Our brain has very few neurons that deal specifically with slow motion and many neurons that deal with faster motion," Lewis said. "Even adults are worse at slow speeds than they are at faster speeds."

Kids' neurons are immature, making the task even more challenging for them.

The study will be detailed in the July issue of Vision Research.
 

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nobody
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imridingmybike said:
Does this translate to bikes too? Maybe all those rocks and ruts coming at you really are easier to handle the faster you go!
I think so. I've unintentionally gotten myself into some bad biking situations where speed (and suspension) have saved me from dying. Like the time I'm riding a nice section of single track that I hit regularly and I see this little off shoot that goes down the mountain...it looks pretty tame so I think "why not?"...it ended up turning into a hellish, rocky, steep path that barely resembled what I had started on...there was no choice but to keep up the speed, lean back and hold on. This was the steepest thing I've ever ridden and somehow I cleaned the roughest part but when I was about 3 feet from the bottom where it was leveling out to a fire road my I got all freaky with the brakes for some reason (hands shaking?) and pulled a nice endo. My pride was hurt a bit but I was so happy to be in one piece I didn't care.

My new motto for situations like this is "when in doubt, go fast". So far I'm still alive.
 

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i ride a FS, and i find having enough speed over really rough stuff gets me through easier than slowing down and picking it apart. when i rode a rigid, i couldnt do this so well, but with the suspension faster is better/easier on most stuff for me.
 

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I definitely agree that faster is easier. The faster your wheels are spinning, the more stability you will have. That's why SDG's name stands for "Speed Defies Gravity".

Of course, the downside is that the faster you're going, the more it's going to hurt if you crash anyway.
 

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art_vandelay said:
I think so. I've unintentionally gotten myself into some bad biking situations where speed (and suspension) have saved me from dying. Like the time I'm riding a nice section of single track that I hit regularly and I see this little off shoot that goes down the mountain...it looks pretty tame so I think "why not?"...it ended up turning into a hellish, rocky, steep path that barely resembled what I had started on...there was no choice but to keep up the speed, lean back and hold on. This was the steepest thing I've ever ridden and somehow I cleaned the roughest part but when I was about 3 feet from the bottom where it was leveling out to a fire road my I got all freaky with the brakes for some reason (hands shaking?) and pulled a nice endo. My pride was hurt a bit but I was so happy to be in one piece I didn't care.

My new motto for situations like this is "when in doubt, go fast". So far I'm still alive.
Depends what's at the end, doesn't it? If the trail turns into some trees, or there is some other obstacle that can bust you up, speed sometimes isn't the best option.
 

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"You're throwing a ball for a toddler to smack with a plastic bat. You toss it gently, slowly, to make it easier. He just can't hit it.


It's because you throw too slowly, a new study finds."

I have not read the actual study, but a rather obvious criticism that instantly come to mind is if the ball is thrown slowly its motion will be that of a large arc. If it is thrown quicker its trajectory will be flatter. This means the stupid kids dont have to think how much lower the ball will be if it is going quickly.
 

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Not sure how relevant this is for bikes....they're more stable when ridden fast due to gyroscopic effects. Of course, the faster you go, the less time you have to stress and panic about what's coming up.
 

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This theory saved me a time or two already., I was going on my first ride with a guy I know and his bro and I hadn't really "seen" any of the real trails on the island - he takes me down prob the worst hill on the island - it's paved "so to speak" but with parts washed away and gravel with loads of ruts and potholes the size of a pickup tray. Several times going down it just got way to technical to try to pick lines and I just let go the brakes, steered and held on for dear life - only had to bail once.
 

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It depends.

I don't believe that the pitched ball is a good analogy to MTB.

Regarding MTB, speed is a double edged sword. You're more likely to hit drops and jumps better....and make it through some rock gardens better if you carry more speed. The ony issue is that if you wipe out at a higher speed, your chance of a bad injury is increased.

So what do you want? to reduce the chance of crashing (carry more speed), but when you do get crash, it's worse.............or increase the chance of crashing / endo (slow speed), but reduce the chance of a serious injury.

Most of my injuries are from going too slow.
 

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That's why DH'ers are better riders..... JK!

There's gotta be a range and then you have physical attitude (muscle fibers, etc), training, etc... it might not work for everybody. That's why Anne Caro Chausson is so good at speed and I'm not.
 
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