This past weekend was organizational development time for Bikeskills NorCal group. That’s a fancy way of saying we simply got together, rode, talked about ways of refining what we do, tossed around ideas, and had fun riding mountain bikes. One of the things we talked about the most were ideas we got from an “assigned reading project” that being Daniel Ariely’s new book, “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.”
While MIT professor and behavioral economist Daniel Ariely’s book deals primarily with research and applications relating to economic issues, his broad range of examples and layman’s explanation of complex experiments he’s conducted, make extrapolating and applying his ideas to an even broader range of day to day life issues – and in our case, riding mountain bikes – almost automatic. And while we highly recommend Airely’s book, we also recommend taking a Bikeskills class (if you are a mountain biker) and we hope that Dr. Ariely would not only agree, but endorse our rationale as well!
The picture above is not just an artistically rendered photo of an artistic rider and Bikeskills instructor, Jiro Nakamura, but an example of our own observations of “Predictable Irrationality.” As it turns out, this root-infested, tight turn, knock-your-block-off drop, is one of the trail challenges that very, very few people even attempt – and even fewer pull off. However, Jiro was able not only to demonstrate it to countless “watchers” many times, and flawlessly so, his doing so sure seem to impress (maybe even anger) lots of nnvious mountain bikers on this well known, Marin (Tenderfoot) trail.
But here’s the irrational part: when we made it clear that we could help those watching do the same, it was as if we brought along am amplified nails and blackboard, had just broken foul air: instantaneous humanoid vaporation, gone, vanished.
In the past we did not understand this… Here were people that had two, three, even six thousand dollar mountain bikes; some sporting thousand dollar wheel sets; riders with three hundred dollar shoes, but for whatever reason(s), something was keeping them actually getting better. Here we were, right in front of them, demonstrating an example of a Bikeskills clinic’s one-to-one relationship to them: we can teach you something that we’re pretty certain you could use, want to be able to do, etc. Right there… on their trail… And while we have been scratching our collective heads for years regarding this paradox, now we know: we humans are irrational. Predictably so.
Be Rational. Get Better and Take a Clinic!
Fortunately for us all-too human humans, Airley offers up some sage advice to improve our lives in areas as diverse as investing to choosing coffee and or our mates: examine our decisions and the processes that led to them in the first place. We agree. So we are challenging you to examine what it was that was so compelling about buying that bike, those wheels, those shoes and then asking yourself about taking a clinic. Were as certain that you want to get better, to have more fun out there as we are that we can and will help you. So check out our clinic schedule page and sign up. You’ll be glad you did!
To order Dr. Ariely’s Predictably Irrational, click on this link: The Best Book Ever