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Download The Upper Half of the Motorcycle: On the Unity of Rider and Machine epub

by Bernt Spiegel

Due to the popularity of Bernt Spiegel's The Upper Half of the Motorcycle in its original German, leading to multiple editions and printings, the book has been translated into English to bring its provocative message to a wider audience. Spiegel's metaphor considers the rider and the motorcycle as a single unit, the rider being the upper half. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, Spiegel draws on anthropology, psychology, biology, physics, and other disciplines to analyze the theory and function of the man-machine unit. Motorcycle riding is seen as a serendipitous junction where people have created machines for personal transport and then become so adept at using them that the machine becomes like an artificial limb -- part of the rider himself. The ultimate goal for riders is the integration of the man-machine interface and skill development to the point of virtuosity. Spiegel considers the various aspects of motorcycle riding that must be understood, practiced, and mastered before virtuosity can be attained. Many anecdotes, supplementary material, and in-depth treatment of specialized topics is contained in sidebars and footnotes. Numerous diagrams and photographs illustrate the book's principles.
Download The Upper Half of the Motorcycle: On the Unity of Rider and Machine epub
ISBN: 1884313752
ISBN13: 978-1884313752
Category: Engineering
Subcategory: Automotive
Author: Bernt Spiegel
Language: English
Publisher: Whitehorse Press (August 1, 2010)
Pages: 160 pages
ePUB size: 1586 kb
FB2 size: 1296 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 365
Other Formats: mobi lrf azw mbr

A truly fascinating book; not only about riding, but as everything seems interconnected in our world, this book applies to pretty much any activity. I didn't "get it" until my second read; it's a deep dive into the processes that run our everyday routines, and how our mind programs have been influenced by evolution. Very well translated, great examples that I can relate to, and a must read for any rider; it is not an easy read at first, but hang in there, as with anything else worthwhile in life, the payoff is worth it. I have read many books on motorcycling, not that there are a ton of them out there, just that every book I've read has an idea that was presented here, but without the depth.
It is very telling that the two people who have given this book one star openly admit to not giving it a full read. The lesson is that if you are looking for a silver bullet, or an easy answer, don't buy this book. The author tackles the concept of we learn about the process of thinking. And he doesn't hand you fish, instead he hands you a fishing pole. Maybe that frustrates some types, but I think its great.

If you ever decide to become a pilot, you go through a lot of effort, study and practice in order to one day convince a certified examiner that you have learned how to fly. You sweat your way through your final flight test, and if you are lucky enough to pass, the examiner unceremoniously informs you that you have earned your license to learn. It dawns on you that something like flying can never be mastered, and you need to approach such an unnatural enterprise with a constant and focused spirit of self-review and reanalysis.

Spiegel examines the academic study of how people learn and process sensory-motor information and then makes it relevant to your riding. Instead of handing you one-off tips and pointers, he builds a framework from which you can identify, analyze and improve any weakness in your riding. The toolkit is universal.

We all know when something 'feels' right and things just click, whether that be a good run in the twistys or that one sweet shot on the back nine. For years, people have tried to write about that feeling but the results are often frustratingly vague or irritatingly new-agey. Spiegel writes about the science behind getting in the zone and staying there, and the real reasons for why trying too hard always backfires. In that respect, this book is a game changer. If you have ever done any kind of physical skill instruction, this book will crystallize all the advice and methodology you have heard about over the years. If you have ever hit a plateau or a mental block trying to learn a new sport, this book will help you get past it.

Its a translation of a book by a German academic, people. Have some patience and sally forth, its worth it. You can't order every solution in life off the dollar menu. Sometimes you've got to sit down with your Chinglish assembly manual and fire off some neurons in order to build yourself something good.
In the first chapter, I thought back to myself writing term papers and trying to squeeze in extra content to make a page content. I wasn't seeing the relevance. But, then the author makes the connection, and you're like oh ok, I see where your going. And then your like this is insightful. And then your staying up later to read more of it. And then by the end you're like this is one of the most insightful motorcycle books I've read.

I wouldn't start with this book as a new rider. I would read some of the other popular books first. But then once you have a few of those under belt, read this.

Note, this is a book to make you think. Not a book that you pick up to get a checklist. And not something to just skim by quickly. It is dense and for good reason, packed full of insight and theory. This book makes you think about what you are doing and why and what else you should be doing or thinking about.

I especially liked the mental practice advice. You can only practice so much and even then you can't practice some scenarios safely. He gives you the tools to do this and to think about what you should be practicing.

After I finished the book, I went out and road my motorcycle and felt connected in a new way. I was trying to feel the road through the motorcycle. Maybe I did that somewhat before, but this book made me aware of it and understand the feeling.