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A question of direction...

February 22, 2019

 

It was a beautiful day for riding this week, so I rode my trike to the local velodrome. I can’t use a two-wheel bike yet because my balance is not the best after my stroke, so I use a trike instead. I bought my trike three years ago and - in this stage I was not driving - so the aim for the trike was to be more independent, travel to places quicker, as well it is good exercise. Ironically, I received my driving license after one month after my trike, so I use it to exercise primarily now. 

 

I rode for 45 minutes and I was pretty fatigued but I was happy for the workout especially because - aside the physical workout - I was working my affected (right) hand to hold on the handlebars also. After holding on for almost 45 minutes, my right hand was so loose and stretched - it is similar to holding in the pram, supermarket trolley or rowing machine - essentially is very good for my hand function. 

 

I was thinking about my right side disability while riding because the etiquette for riding on the velodrome is riding anti-clockwise direction. Other riders in the velodrome was riding anti-clockwise when I was there, so I followed suit to ride anti-clockwise also. After a while, the velodrome was empty, and before leaving, I decided to try to ride other way (eg. clockwise) because I thought It might be faster and easier to ride this way. Basically my hunch was vindicated because riding in anti-clockwise direction means I need more effort because I am working against my affected arm. It was an amazing ride...

 

 

Anyway - after my ride - I searched the internet to check the rules and regulations for riding on the velodromes and I was very curious for this question ‘why are all cycling events run counter-clockwise?’

 

 Obviously, I was only exercising, not racing but the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) - world governing body for the sport of cycling - website said ‘The most obvious reason is 'because the rules say they do... that is the way it is’ - but that doesn't actually explain the why. 

 

Turns out, there is no definitive answer, just lots of theories. The theories including right side dominance (eg. approximately 90% of the world population is right-side dominant), physiology, centrifugal forces, earth rotation, left to right movement for languages and even ancient roman times for chariot races! --- Read more---

 

So interesting I reckon, but unfortunately it is bad luck for me, and any lefties :)

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

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