On the Skill of Balancing while Riding a Bicycle

For something a little more light-hearted and fun, we will take time to look at the skill of riding a bicycle. Or rather, we will look at research done by others who have looked at the skill of balancing while riding a bicycle:

Humans have ridden bicycles for over 200 years, yet there are no continuous measures of how skill differs between novice and expert. To address this knowledge gap, we measured the dynamics of human bicycle riding in 14 subjects, half of whom were skilled and half were novice. Each subject rode an instrumented bicycle on training rollers at speeds ranging from 1 to 7 m/s. Steer angle and rate, steer torque, bicycle speed, and bicycle roll angle and rate were measured and steering power calculated.

This article discusses the methodology behind the study, the protocol and instruments used, and provides the math involved in the process of riding and balancing. Steering, leaning, and the differences between riders and non-riders are all examined.