Hey guys, we're turning non-drive now.

Hey guys, we're turning non-drive now.

Drive Side/Non-Drive Side

by / / 52 posts

I have a hard time with labels, which is why I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I remember the person and the conversation, but I rarely remember their name; the person had meaning, the label did not. I also can’t tell my left from my right which similarly feel like labels for “this way” or “that way”. For me to remember which is which, I generally have to imagine which hand I write with, and then I’m off to the races. Usually several hundred meters after the turn I was supposed to take.

With alarming frequency, some bright spark will remind me of the childhood trick to distinguish the directions: your left hand makes an ‘L’. I’m also dyslexic, so both hands look like an ‘L’. I just wind up standing about with my hands in front of me as though I’m trying to frame a photograph.

This problem is not uncommon, but it nevertheless presents a bit of a challenge on group rides, especially with new riding partners. The old sages have all been been issued the “Frank Manual” and are normally briefed on any revisions to the manual in case they hold an outdated edition. As a matter of necessity, newcomers are generally given the crash course on my directional challenges on-demand. “Crash” being used here more figuratively than literally, but I am compelled to report that the record is not perfect in this regard.

I’ve ridden with @Haldy several times, but only on Cogals where the dynamics of the group dictate something less than a 1:1 dependency on riders being able to perform this basic skill we typically master as a child. This weekend was different; @Haldy and I headed out for our first training ride together, a jaunty 4-5 hour spin about the northern Seattle suburbs and country roads. We had hardly left the house before my weakness was exposed.

Haldy: Left at the stop sign.

Frank: Oh, you should know I can’t tell my right from left, and I’m dyslexic, in case you have a clever childhood trick to suggest.

Haldy: [without missing a beat] Turn to the non-drive side.

And just like that, he solved the riddle.

Therapy by Cyclists should be a thing. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// Breaking The Rules // Defining Moments // La Vie Velominatus

  1. we all have our handicaps @frank. However, I know a pretty good tattoo artist out on the left coast if you want a permanent fix.

  2. Glad Haldy got you sorted!

    My VMH is smart as heck, but also has troubles with l/r.

    I’ve been coaching 3rd and 4th graders lately, almost every practice I’ll have to say…”Your other left.”

  3. And Frank 4-5 hours…any over sharing during the ride?

  4. WTF moments on KT15:

    William: “Left here”

    Alex goes straight

    Frank turns right

  5. Speaking of spring races, I’m just checking: When will the 2016 Super Prestige be opened? Thanks.

  6. @Ron

    And Frank 4-5 hours…any over sharing during the ride?

    Are you kidding? I couldn’t get @frank to shut up…

  7. @Ron

    And Frank 4-5 hours…any over sharing during the ride?

    Oh…alright…Just kidding…it was a fantastic thrash all day long. Much shared suffering side by side in harsh windy conditions.

  8. @frank

    Smart story @frank. Just before I entered high school I figured out how to cope with my dyslexia, but the struggle was real. When drilling in practice (the wrestling room), I would shadow wrestler in a mirror and then I would drill all of my moves in reverse – hours on end. It helped to rewire my central nervous system. It took several years, but now I have it beat. Now if I could only beat the ADHD, that would be brilliant.

  9. @Harminator

    WTF moments on KT15:

    William: “Left here”

    Alex goes straight

    Frank turns right

    Personally, I can’t see a problem with either of those options but I can’t imagine William giving any sort of direction/instruction without adding at least one “cunt”.

    @frank, I’ve never been diagnosed with dyslexia but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in there somewhere. There are no black and whites, just a broad spectrum.

    It does cause a healthy level of confusion when I’m leading a club run.

  10. You’re truly special, Frank.

  11. @Oli

    “Dirty” and “Clean” seem so much more appropriate……………..and simpler!

  12. @chris

    Yes. On reflection.

    Alex goes straight. (Rock solid. In the drops.)

    William: “What the FOOK! Left. LEFT YOU CUNTS!”

    Frank goes right.

  13. @Harminator

    @chris

    Yes. On reflection.

    Alex goes straight. (Rock solid. In the drops.)

    William: “What the FOOK! Left. LEFT YOU CUNTS!”

    Frank goes right.

    William: “Je deja explique you fooking eejit” was my favourite

  14. @the Engine

    My favorite was Brett yelling forward after hitting a hole:

    “HEY! POINT THAT SHIT OUT”.

    Best retro-grouch on the planet. End of.

  15. Directional challenges aside, was anyone else screaming at their television/computer during the final 10k of Strade Bianche? What a race. Brambilla rode like a mad dog.

  16. I’m afraid I am similarly challenged. My childhood trick goes back to second grade, standing in my parents’ living room practicing a Mexican folk dance for an upcoming concert at the school. The dance started with a step forward with the left foot, which happened to be the foot closest to the picture window in the living room. Needless to say, this mental cue, while rock solid, is rather cumbersome in tight situations – like when passing other riders, for example. The combination of being passed, plus being passed on the opposite side one is expecting, tends to make people a little cross. Perhaps my cheerful sombrero lessens the sting.

    The drive side vs. non-drive side method is so much simpler. Brilliant.

  17. @brett

    @Neil

    Or you could just remember what other tasks you do, other than writing, with each hand. You know, tasks that you would have performed with great frequency. And at formative ages…

    We’re dealing with a special case here…

    First rule of fight club

  18. @brett

    @Neil

    Or you could just remember what other tasks you do, other than writing, with each hand. You know, tasks that you would have performed with great frequency. And at formative ages…

    We’re dealing with a special case here…

    How’s it hangin?

    Drive side.

  19. @Harminator

    @brett

    @Neil

    Or you could just remember what other tasks you do, other than writing, with each hand. You know, tasks that you would have performed with great frequency. And at formative ages…

    We’re dealing with a special case here…

    How’s it hangin?

    Drive side.

    That’s it, thread over. Dogs are looking at me funny now.

  20. Therapy by Cyclists should be a thing.” Yes, well those would be quick sessions: mostly telling folks to HTFU.

  21. @Harminator

    WTF moments on KT15:

    William: “Left here”

    Alex goes straight

    Frank turns right

    Fuckin PURE Gold right here, Mate! PURE Gold.

  22. @Matt

    Directional challenges aside, was anyone else screaming at their television/computer during the final 10k of Strade Bianche? What a race. Brambilla rode like a mad dog.

    Don’t get me started. FUCK that was painful! I really love Stybar and the CX background he brings to the race, I have a special … almost dirty-Schleck love for Sagan and Brambilla was just carving his own guts out for his team that day like a Samurai maintaining the clan honour … and then there was Sparty. You can guess which ones I was cheering for.

    I’m lucky my VMH was able to get ahold of me right at the end or there would have been one less computer live-streaming the races in my house this Spring!

  23. @hudson

    we all have our handicaps @frank. However, I know a pretty good tattoo artist out on the left coast if you want a permanent fix.

    @Hudson,

    With the dyslexia, he could still end up on the wrong coast in NYC or Boston.

    I say mark the tops of their hoods and toes of their shoes. Maybe their gloves. … Garanamals for adults

  24. I love the idea of “therapy by cyclists”. I actually first became interested in our beautiful sport as a result of therapy (or the cause of it):

    1. I was seeing a therapist for chronic depression and anxiety (with which I still suffer, but thankfully not nearly as badly at the time), and both my therapist and my academic mentor (I was at university at the time) suggest I do some more sport/exercise.
    2. During a particularly bad couple of weeks in July 2013, I was lying prone on the floor, flicking through TV channels and thought I’d ‘see what all the fuss about that Tour de France thing was about’. Granted, it wasn’t the most exciting of races, and I’ve since watched footage dating back decades that are infinitely better to watch, but it was a gateway nonetheless.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

  25. @BaltoSteve

    First race is Milano–San Remo this Sunday, so probably Friday I’d imagine.

  26. @Andrea Tetrault

    I’m afraid I am similarly challenged. My childhood trick goes back to second grade, standing in my parents’ living room practicing a Mexican folk dance for an upcoming concert at the school. The dance started with a step forward with the left foot, which happened to be the foot closest to the picture window in the living room. Needless to say, this mental cue, while rock solid, is rather cumbersome in tight situations – like when passing other riders, for example. The combination of being passed, plus being passed on the opposite side one is expecting, tends to make people a little cross. Perhaps my cheerful sombrero lessens the sting.

    The drive side vs. non-drive side method is so much simpler. Brilliant.

    Welcome! Three questions: does the sombrero go over or under your helmet? Is it UCI approved? Does it match the rest of your kit? As Velominati, these are critical questions . . .

  27. @mulebeatsdrums

    I love the idea of “therapy by cyclists”. I actually first became interested in our beautiful sport as a result of therapy (or the cause of it):

    1. I was seeing a therapist for chronic depression and anxiety (with which I still suffer, but thankfully not nearly as badly at the time), and both my therapist and my academic mentor (I was at university at the time) suggest I do some more sport/exercise.
    2. During a particularly bad couple of weeks in July 2013, I was lying prone on the floor, flicking through TV channels and thought I’d ‘see what all the fuss about that Tour de France thing was about’. Granted, it wasn’t the most exciting of races, and I’ve since watched footage dating back decades that are infinitely better to watch, but it was a gateway nonetheless.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Thanks for sharing. I think you’ll find many Velominati spend $$$ on bikes and related stuff that might otherwise go for therapist bills. I know that when I had an insanely stressful 2012 and 2013 it was the bike that allowed me to cope.

  28. @Harminator

    WTF moments on KT15:

    William: “Left here”

    Alex goes straight

    Frank turns right

    Followed by William:

    “Oh you fooking konts! You’re useless, both of youse!”

  29. @BaltoSteve

    Speaking of spring races, I’m just checking: When will the 2016 Super Prestige be opened? Thanks.

    Today.

  30. @Barracuda

    @brett

    @Neil

    Or you could just remember what other tasks you do, other than writing, with each hand. You know, tasks that you would have performed with great frequency. And at formative ages…

    We’re dealing with a special case here…

    First rule of fight club

    If you call it fight club, you might be doing it wrong.

  31. @Andrea Tetrault

    I’m afraid I am similarly challenged. My childhood trick goes back to second grade, standing in my parents’ living room practicing a Mexican folk dance for an upcoming concert at the school. The dance started with a step forward with the left foot, which happened to be the foot closest to the picture window in the living room. Needless to say, this mental cue, while rock solid, is rather cumbersome in tight situations – like when passing other riders, for example. The combination of being passed, plus being passed on the opposite side one is expecting, tends to make people a little cross. Perhaps my cheerful sombrero lessens the sting.

    The drive side vs. non-drive side method is so much simpler. Brilliant.

    My brain broke after trying to imagine a Canadian girl trying to do a Mexican folk dance.

  32. @mike casselton

    @hudson

    we all have our handicaps @frank. However, I know a pretty good tattoo artist out on the left coast if you want a permanent fix.

    @Hudson,

    With the dyslexia, he could still end up on the wrong coast in NYC or Boston.

    I say mark the tops of their hoods and toes of their shoes. Maybe their gloves. … Garanamals for adults

    I totally had to think about that.

  33. @wiscot

    @mulebeatsdrums

    I love the idea of “therapy by cyclists”. I actually first became interested in our beautiful sport as a result of therapy (or the cause of it):

    1. I was seeing a therapist for chronic depression and anxiety (with which I still suffer, but thankfully not nearly as badly at the time), and both my therapist and my academic mentor (I was at university at the time) suggest I do some more sport/exercise.
    2. During a particularly bad couple of weeks in July 2013, I was lying prone on the floor, flicking through TV channels and thought I’d ‘see what all the fuss about that Tour de France thing was about’. Granted, it wasn’t the most exciting of races, and I’ve since watched footage dating back decades that are infinitely better to watch, but it was a gateway nonetheless.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Thanks for sharing. I think you’ll find many Velominati spend $$$ on bikes and related stuff that might otherwise go for therapist bills. I know that when I had an insanely stressful 2012 and 2013 it was the bike that allowed me to cope.

    I’ve been playing sports for my entire life and still set my days/weeks to them. My life is pretty simple and repetitive, but as long as it involves cycling, hiking, and soccer, I’m a happy fella.

    Glad that you’ve managed to pull yourself out of that, or at least learn how to make things better. I’m repeatedly amazed at how even a short ride can totally transform your mindset and your day. It’s like traveling to another dimension for awhile.

  34. @Ron

    @wiscot

    @mulebeatsdrums

    I love the idea of “therapy by cyclists”. I actually first became interested in our beautiful sport as a result of therapy (or the cause of it):

    1. I was seeing a therapist for chronic depression and anxiety (with which I still suffer, but thankfully not nearly as badly at the time), and both my therapist and my academic mentor (I was at university at the time) suggest I do some more sport/exercise.
    2. During a particularly bad couple of weeks in July 2013, I was lying prone on the floor, flicking through TV channels and thought I’d ‘see what all the fuss about that Tour de France thing was about’. Granted, it wasn’t the most exciting of races, and I’ve since watched footage dating back decades that are infinitely better to watch, but it was a gateway nonetheless.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Thanks for sharing. I think you’ll find many Velominati spend $$$ on bikes and related stuff that might otherwise go for therapist bills. I know that when I had an insanely stressful 2012 and 2013 it was the bike that allowed me to cope.

    I’ve been playing sports for my entire life and still set my days/weeks to them. My life is pretty simple and repetitive, but as long as it involves cycling, hiking, and soccer, I’m a happy fella.

    Glad that you’ve managed to pull yourself out of that, or at least learn how to make things better. I’m repeatedly amazed at how even a short ride can totally transform your mindset and your day. It’s like traveling to another dimension for awhile.

    Totally! Since I graduated I’ve been working full-time in London, and even though the traffic, pollution, and general jeb-ends on the road make a commute far less enticing than going and pummelling the local climbs, even the bleakest morning is rectified by my 45-minute ride in (sub-30 at the weekends on the #1).

    I’m extremely fortunate to live in a country where healthcare is free for all, even for mental health (although it takes a bit more work to get what you need), so the money that I would spend on insurance/private therapy and medication if I lived in the U.S. instead goes towards the occupants of my Stable. (As of this week, n=3, because my wife is lovely and bought me a new frame to build around! I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but I’m excited about it so I’m telling everyone!)

  35. Yes!

    Riding is like meditation in that (in my experience, anyway) it can both treat the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety *and* re-wire the brain over the long term to make it more resilient to stress.

  36. Hi guys long time lurker. As it came up in the thread, can anyone suggest sites from which to stream cycling events?

    Criteria:

    • I am in the United States.
    • I don’t have cable TV, so I can’t use logins for NBCSports, Univision, etc.
    • I am willing to pay for the streams.

    Thanks

    Tom

  37. @mulebeatsdrums

    I love the idea of “therapy by cyclists”. I actually first became interested in our beautiful sport as a result of therapy (or the cause of it):

    1. I was seeing a therapist for chronic depression and anxiety (with which I still suffer, but thankfully not nearly as badly at the time), and both my therapist and my academic mentor (I was at university at the time) suggest I do some more sport/exercise.
    2. During a particularly bad couple of weeks in July 2013, I was lying prone on the floor, flicking through TV channels and thought I’d ‘see what all the fuss about that Tour de France thing was about’. Granted, it wasn’t the most exciting of races, and I’ve since watched footage dating back decades that are infinitely better to watch, but it was a gateway nonetheless.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

    Ha. Exactly! Cycling is the best medicine. I raced bikes through college and then for a few years after. Then I married and moved a few times for “our” careers. Finding the time to train and race was stupidly difficult and I walked away from cycling (worst mistake ever). We divorced a few years ago and I began to train and race again to fill the void. It has been my best therapy and has kept me focused and sane. I am happy you found cycling @mulebeatsdrums

  38. @VbyV

    Hi guys long time lurker. As it came up in the thread, can anyone suggest sites from which to stream cycling events?

    Criteria:

    • I am in the United States.
    • I don’t have cable TV, so I can’t use logins for NBCSports, Univision, etc.
    • I am willing to pay for the streams.

    Thanks

    Tom

    Welcome. Try steephill.tv Awesome coverage and most things stream live. You might have to watch in French, German, Dutch or even English, but you should be able to get something so long as you have internet.

  39. As a child I struggled to tell left from right (and right from wrong but that is another story). Then I broke my arm playing football (proper football, where you actually use your foot to propel the ball).

    From that day on; left = broken arm, right = non broken arm.

    Easy peasy.

    Not that I recommend breaking a major bone just to simplify the left/right thing, but it certainly helped me.

    Side question – why is the drive side on the right side, anyway? Has is always been this way? Or are there bikes out there that are driven “da sinistra”.

  40. @wiscot

    Thank you, sir! Critical questions indeed.
    1) Over, always.
    2) Not a chance.
    3) Always. We are, after all, not savages.

  41. @VbyV

    Hi guys long time lurker. As it came up in the thread, can anyone suggest sites from which to stream cycling events?

    Criteria:

    • I am in the United States.
    • I don’t have cable TV, so I can’t use logins for NBCSports, Univision, etc.
    • I am willing to pay for the streams.

    Thanks

    Tom

    Have a look at paying for a decent VPN service that will relocate your internet connection to Australia, then check out the Cycling Central site. They provide a live stream that’s a carbon copy of the telecast that goes out Australia wide on free to air TV (yeah, we’ve got it pretty good).

  42. @VbyV

    Maybe you find something here: five ways to watch pro cycling

  43. My god that was bloody brilliant. I love (as in truly enjoy in a deep and profound way) stories about shifting perspective or a change in context opening up a whole new solution to an old problem.

    Also, this furthers the general V-theory that cycling fixes everything.

  44. @Winnipeg CycleChick

    @wiscot

    Thank you, sir! Critical questions indeed.
    1) Over, always.
    2) Not a chance.
    3) Always. We are, after all, not savages.

    You, ma’am, are a lady and a scholar.

  45. @dinosaurJR

    As a child I struggled to tell left from right (and right from wrong but that is another story). Then I broke my arm playing football (proper football, where you actually use your foot to propel the ball).

    From that day on; left = broken arm, right = non broken arm.

    Easy peasy.

    Not that I recommend breaking a major bone just to simplify the left/right thing, but it certainly helped me.

    Side question – why is the drive side on the right side, anyway? Has is always been this way? Or are there bikes out there that are driven “da sinistra”.

    I’ve seen fixies around town with the drive side on the left, but I think it’s only because the twunt that built it didn’t know any better and was too busy chopping the handlebars down.

  46. @frank

    A cursory google search has shown me things… Horrible and wonderful things…

    Bikes with double drive (?) Who the fuck needs two chainrings, chains and cogs?

    Twunts indeed with their super narrow bars, facial hair and capri pants…

  47. @dinosaurJR

    They probably thought they were going to build a 2 wheel drive, built the cranks and then just before fitting the chain to the front wheel thought ….ah…….or maybe they did not realise why these were really made……though it would be amusing if someone assembled with 2 chains but different cogs………

  48. @Winnipeg CycleChick

    @wiscot

    Thank you, sir! Critical questions indeed.
    1) Over, always.
    2) Not a chance.
    3) Always. We are, after all, not savages.

    Mind putting together a helpful visual guide on sombrero rim width? I can’t seem to ever get it right.

  49. @Teocalli

    @dinosaurJR

    They probably thought they were going to build a 2 wheel drive, built the cranks and then just before fitting the chain to the front wheel thought ….ah…….or maybe they did not realise why these were really made……though it would be amusing if someone assembled with 2 chains but different cogs………

    When my brother and I played in a band, one night we were working on a song; we both had a cool riff and we thought they worked together but as we played it we felt our guts churning. Turned out one was in 3/4 time and one in 4/4 time (we can’t all be geniuses) and they worked for a while but invariable just fell apart.

    I imagine riding with two independent cranks attached to two fixed cogs in a flip-flop hub would be much the same experience!

  50. @Mikael Liddy

    Thanks all for the TV recommendations!

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