A bicycle is an incredibly simple visual form. You can doodle one in about five seconds. They're not rare or unusual objects and they're relatively homogenous. Nonetheless, most people have never actually seen a bicycle. They've looked, but they haven't understood its form, they haven't decomposed it into lines and shapes. They know that it has two wheels, a chain, a saddle and some handlebars, but they've never actually noticed the shapes that join them together.
I disagree, compared with most objects a human daily interacts with - doors, furniture, lifts, cars - a bicycle is one of the most complex visible forms. I'm talking about what can be seen from outside, since obviously a car is much more complex on the inside.
Most of the stuff we deal with is composed of square/boxes and circle/tubes. Triangular shapes are quite rare in human spaces (I don't have any in my house), and the bicycle critically has two triangles at it's core. Chains are also very rare. So I don't think it's a surprise that many struggle with the core - two triangles and a chain.
Go to your refrigerator and take out a lettuce leaf or a piece of broccoli. Look out of your window at a tree or a bush. Go to your bathroom and look at the toilet or the faucet. Look in the mirror and make a funny face.
A bicycle is more complicated than many rectilinear man-made objects, but it's a relatively straightforward collection of lines. Even the drawings in the linked article with their horribly mangled geometry are immediately recognisable as a bicycle. It's not a difficult thing to draw, relatively speaking.
* using "topology" to refer to the graph structure of the skeleton of the solid, not the typical mathematical meaning.
It's probably a good thing that this isn't what defines a drawing as good. A bicycle frame has a couple straight lines and that's about it. A hand, or broccoli, has complex compound curves all over the place.
Ask any artist to draw a bicycle and it'll probably end up pretty good. Ask any artist to draw a hand and there's a good chance it'll not end up good, even when using reference material.
There's a reason a lot of artists have problems drawing hands.
> Even the drawings in the linked article with their horribly mangled geometry are immediately recognisable as a bicycle. It's not a difficult thing to draw, relatively speaking.
I guess, the point is that a bike is easier to draw that natural objects.
I bet if people had been asked to draw a tree, 100% of the pictures would be recognisable as proper tree. Conversion from reality to visual representation is not only a function of object complexity it is much more complex (pun intended).
I suspect the author of the (wonderful) book linked above would suggest that 100% of the pictures would be recognizable as a _picture of a tree_ -- a form which we all learn by age 5 but which does not actually correspond to a physical tree much, if at all.
We falter when we try to draw something that we haven't learned the "correct" pictogram for, because our mental concept of the thing is completely divorced from the appearance of the thing. Most adults can just about draw a chair isometric projection, because they learned how to draw a cube. That crude model of perspective usually falls apart when they try to draw a dog - they know that it's supposed to have four legs, but they can't work out where to put them. You end up with a drawing like this:
That's because the idea is vague in most people's mind. The don't really care (and they shouldn't need to of course). Ask a bike engineering to draw it, and they will be pretty accurate. However, the people whose idea is vague doesn't know it's vague, which is interesting, and I guess that's the point of the article.
In fact, this translates to much more than drawings, but for all facets of any complexity. You often hear people claim that a particular problem is easy, "just" do X!
Drawling lettuce? Lettuce doesn't have obvious structural flaws if you get the veins wrong. A green blob with a few lines will pass the test a lot easier than these bicycles.
The bicycle is much more complex geometrically - wheels in tandem, triangular frame, relationship with seat, handlebars, tire forks, sprockets and chain, pedals, brakes & brake handles if you're picky...
A photorealistic hand is hard to draw/render because of the complexity of the materials and curves, fine texture like hairs, freckles, pores, fingernails, etc., but you wouldn't expect or get those asking your 30 people to take two minutes and draw a hand.
Triangles are essential in low-weight rigid structures. Look at any exposed steel construction around you (a bridge, perhaps) and you will see many triangles. The utility poles and streetlights in my neighbourhood use triangles. Unless your house has a flat root, the upper most floor is likely composed of triangles (called trusses) that you can't see because they are hidden. (They would be easy to spot in barn.) Even the desk I am sitting at now has triangles to ensure the legs don't collapse if the desk is shoved sideways. If you happen to live in a seismically active place, you would likely see triangular bracing on many buildings. And finally if you (or your kids) have even done one of those engineering challenges in school where you have to make a tall, load-bearing and light-weight structure on a budget you likely used triangles. Triangles are everywhere, if you learn to see them.
And as for the main point of this post - one reason to learn to draw is that it forces you to really see what you are drawing. Drawing from your imagination is no substitute.
As for what you actually meant, triangles (and other variations of 3) play a very import role in visual design. Admittedly, these might not be obvious to most. I know you really meant physical items. However, it might be a style of design of a more modern era. I have a glass coffee table that has a triangular raised extension, from the 50s I believe. I also have a round two tier table, built by my grandfather in the 50s as well. The top tier sits on an X shaped pier with 90 degree notches cut out of the verticals leaving a very distinct triangular shape, plus the gaps of the X shape as well. Just from memory, the cars from the 50s had lots of triangular shapes/markings, specifically thinking of the fins. I wonder why the triangle seems to have fallen out of favor?
I strongly disagree. Try drawing a large shape without using a template. If you move the pencil with your fingers, you quickly run out of range of motion, and have to reposition your hand and join the new line segment without visible discontinuity, which requires extreme accuracy. If you move it mostly with your arm then you have to learn the difficult and unnatural skill of fine motor control using large muscles. In practice the only good option is using a combination of both, which requires great coordination. The visual part is easy after you learn a few simple tricks like looking at negative space. The mechanical skills are the difficult part.
Teachers like Betty Edwards and Bert Dodson have proven that pretty much anyone can learn to draw to a high standard in a remarkably short space of time once they understand the visual principles of effective drawing. Mastering draftsmanship requires a lifetime of practice, but competence can be achieved in a matter of days with the right instruction.
I always felt this was an argument against what you are saying. Tracing doesn't require much fine motor control because you can rest your hand on the paper and go over the existing image with very small strokes.
For example, try drawing the simplest of all forms: a straight line. I always found that good drawers can draw an incredibly straight line, freehand. My "straight" lines look like I was standing on a boat in rough seas. Yet certainly visualizing the properties of a straight line seems very simple to me. Even, for example, drawing a straight line smoothly between two other lines on a piece of filler paper is something that a good drawer could do much better than I.
My high school algebra/geometry teacher, Fr. Arnold Perham, taught me this crucial skill almost 30 years ago and I use it frequently still and teach my own students how to do it. The trick: put your chalk/pencil/marker at the start of the segment; then look at the other end of the segment and keep your eyes there; and then draw the line. It's like magic.
The classic example is if you're riding a motorbike and you start worrying that you're going to run wide, or hit a tree, or whatever, so you start staring at the side of the road, or the tree... and that's where you go.
Drawing requires exactly the same motor skills as tracing, except that the thing you're tracing isn't there yet.
I know a lot of artists that talk about the importance of learning how to better draw longer lines in one go. Are you saying they're all wrong, and that skill isn't important?
Draftsmanship is quickly learned by young people. I sat next to a 20 year old at Boeing who was very competent at making engineering drawings (and Boeing had high standards - they didn't want any ambiguity for obvious reasons). Though perhaps you mean something else by draftsmanship.
1) the art or craft of a draftsman
2) the skill of drawing
Draftsmanship refers to both technical and artistic drawing skill.
RISD asks applicants to draw their bike as part of the application. It's tough because both originality and observational skills are needed (google "risd bike").
But OMG it is important to realise that being able to make measured, technical drawings is not the same as being a renaissance draftsman, capable of the most incredible evocations of the human body etc.
As someone with pretty much zero ability to draw, that caught my attention. What would be "a short space of time"? Are we talking days, months, years?
Go grab something as reference material, anything moderately complex will do. Now when you look at this thing, ignore what it is or even what three dimensional shape it has. Look for edges. The edge between the background and the object, The edges internal to the object. Look for the position of these features relative to the others. Keep doing this while you draw exactly what you see. Resist the temptation to draw without looking at what it actually looks like.
Of course once you've managed to look at things properly you'll still need tons of practice with drawing, but just doing this is going to stop you from drawing pictograms instead of pictures.
You need to keep the focus on it for a long time and build it in small steps. A telephone or somebody breaking in the room and your work could be permanently damaged and you will need a lot of effort to keep the focus again. Sometimes the image just "dies" in the way of being painted.
Painting is often done in imperative style and can be a painful, demanding and really tiresome work. Some people underestimate the effort needed to do it right. You need to "declare" all your tones in advance, fill the shadows and keep in mind a rigid frame to place it. If you do it in several sessions you will need to obtain the same exact tone again (or have a plan B in advance), so you'll need to make a lof ot comments and document your work.
And there are bugs. You will find a lot of bugs in the process and will need to fix it in a short time. Some mediums dry fast and crack easily. Different pigments spread in different ways. Some tones are notoriously complex to obtain also (realistic 3D gold for example) and you can't learn the right way in a week. The eyes of your public have evolved to detect abnormal tones for good reasons (would denote diseases or people faking emotions so is survival relevant). A skin too pale or with a greenish tone or a slight curve in the rictus and your picture can enter in autopilot mode or just sink.
Sometimes the painting turns in a such mess that you just trown the code away and start again.
Automatic drawing is drawing in functional style and is a totally different creature.
A million years ago in 7th grade a well-intentioned art teacher tried to lead us through DFTRSOTB and my classmates were having none of it. I remembered a few of the points from that, and then I took a drawing class in college as an elective where DFTRSOTB wasn't used directly but lots of the exercises were clearly derived from it. When I took up painting, I started drawing as a discipline to augment my painting and finally got myself a copy of the book.
I think the book would be of tremendous value to a UI designer, but in a sideways manner. You don't necessarily need to be able to draw and render realistically to do UI design, but the practices and exercises in the book build your ability to dig through layers of your own perception, assumption, and cognitive bias when you're _really_ looking at something. That's a big concept, but this bike project provides a pretty good "for instance" illustration. All the participants drew their mental conception of a bike instead of really looking at and studying a bike and all the components and how they fit together.
When I took my first drawing class, the teacher didn't use it, but I kind of went through the book in parallel (excuse me, concurrently :-) with the class. That helped SO MUCH when he was (wildly) inarticulate, and occasionally near-incompetent at explaining things. (I say near-incompetent based on the results of the other student's drawings... they did what he said, and failed utterly).
So if you're incredibly lucky, you can find a class that uses it. By all means, ask around and find out about teachers in your area. I recommend Art-League (i.e., artist-run groups) instead of community colleges (like my first class), but those can be good too.
And, yeah, do all the exercises in DotRSotB in order, and practice a lot, and you'll get somewhere.
So I quite agree with you - but it feels surprising that so many people just don't do any validation of their model in their head. _How_ the author was asking to draw the bicycle probably mattered. E.g. "immediately draw me a men’s bicycle, by heart" vs: "think about how a bicycle actually works and draw that".
BTW - In all honesty, it took me, too, a second to spot what was missing on the first picture.
You also don’t have to draw “free eye”. There are plenty of tools you can use like tracing paper, photographic references, coloring books with the lines already drawn, ...
None of my illustrator friends use french curves or compasses to do their sketching, and usually even skip using a straightedge, but through practice can make very nice straight lines, right angles, circles, other curved lines, etc.
Hand-eye coordination at the level that professionals have takes an incredible amount of training/practice. It’s hard to imagine how you would even disentangle their practice at mental visualization vs. practice at proprioception, etc.
Drafting tools might well be a crutch, but they were considered essential in the days when engineering drawings and technical illustrations were routinely done by hand. If you need to use a spline to draw smooth curves or construction lines to draw perspective, so what?
> Most people can accurately trace a line drawing, but can't accurately copy it by eye.
Yes, tracing a line drawing has much more direct feedback. The correct line is right there, and there is no need to synchronize imagination with hand movements. (Untrained people are still very slow and error-prone at tracing though, compared to professionals.)
In a similar way, people have an easier time playing a piano tune if you directly show them which notes to play on a physical piano a few at a time right before they press the keys themselves vs. if you let them hear a whole tune and then try to play it from memory a few minutes afterward.
That doesn’t make piano playing an “almost entirely audial skill, with almost trivial mechanical skills” involved.
I'd say it does. I have terrible hand-eye coordination but can play piano at a decent level (whereas I'm distinctly bad at e.g. tennis). Playing a piece I already know on the violin on the piano (or vice versa) is a much simpler exercise than learning a new piece from scratch.
Trivial? Painting a single shape everybody knows got Giotto a job (http://theorbitbrown.com/site/the-perfect-circle/)
There are huge differences between humans in drawing ability and training.
But yes, in the case of these drawings, it seems the main difference is that many people apparently have never looked at a bicycle frame. I expect that to be somewhat different in countries where bicycles and people repairing their own bicycles are more common.
There are huge differences in drawing ability, but going from "I can't draw" to "I can draw quite well" takes days, not years. Becoming a confident and capable draftsman is a skill that anyone can learn to a surprisingly high degree of proficiency in a remarkably small amount of time. Most of us won't become Albrecht Dürer, but we all have the innate capacity to draw well if we simply understand the process.
Only if you consider a messy "chicken scratch" style good. I can draw things that look acceptable when you blur your eyes enough (which is indeed easy to learn), but I wouldn't claim to "draw quite well" unless I could do it with clean lines, which takes years of practice. When evaluating difficulty of a skill it's more usual to measure by difficulty of mastering it, not difficulty of getting beyond the very basics, and by that measure the mechanical side is much more difficult than the visual side.
1. grab a wooden pencil
2. hold it so that the broad side of the lead touches the paper, not the point - you'll get a broad, pale grey line
3. rough in your drawing this way
4. when you feel like you have a solid drawing, switch to the tip of the pencil (or to a pen) and trace the lines you made in step 3
This will make it a lot easier to have a nice, clean drawing done with bold, clean lines. You will also probably end up with a silver patch on the heel of your hand from dragging it across all those light lines, along with a gray haze - a delicate touch with a kneaded eraser can fix that, or just draw with a col-erase pencil, finish with graphite, and abuse the levels in Photoshop to drop out the color.
Being able to knock out a drawing with precise lines and no underdrawing does take years, but being able to simply create a drawing with precise lines can happen a lot earlier once you've picked up a few One Weird Tricks.
Maybe for some people, but not everyone.
I have developmental dyspraxia, a.k.a. developmental coordination disorder. I'm never going to be good at anything that requires fine motor control. Maybe at best I could get the first few strokes of a drawing to look good, but after that it's going to fall apart. I know this from my experience with seriously trying to improve my handwriting back when I was 24 because I was tired of writing chicken scratch all the time: I can now make the first few words of a paper—maybe if I'm lucky even the whole first line—look fantastic, but after that I just lose any sense of alignment and proportion and everything starts slanting in random directions and changing size all over the place. 
It is a medical condition, and there is no cure.
 This image on Wikipedia sums up my handwriting pretty well. It's specifically about motor dysgraphia , which is part of my dyspraxia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dysgraphia.jpg
 From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysgraphia
> Motor dysgraphia is due to deficient fine motor skills, poor dexterity, poor muscle tone, or unspecified motor clumsiness. Letter formation may be acceptable in very short samples of writing, but this requires extreme effort and an unreasonable amount of time to accomplish, and it cannot be sustained for a significant length of time, as it can cause arthritis-like tensing of the hand. Overall, their written work is poor to illegible even if copied by sight from another document, and drawing is difficult. Oral spelling for these individuals is normal, and their finger tapping speed is below normal. This shows that there are problems within the fine motor skills of these individuals. People with developmental coordination disorder may be dysgraphic. Writing is often slanted due to holding a pen or pencil incorrectly
It doesn't require any fine motor skills, as it's all done in a really janky scripting language called ASS. I can do all kinds of four-dimensional text transforms just by writing code, and I've been able to produce some wonderful-looking effects.
This is culture specific. In The Netherlands, kids see bicycles as they grow up. They see children going to elementary school on them, they see them after school, they're an important part of our culture and in large cities they're practically everywhere. Heck, I got brought to kindergarten on... a bicycle. You can be sure as hell any kid of age 4 or higher has seen a bicycle (4 is the age they enter elementary school). In the Catholic area of NL, its very much a tradition that after communion the child gets their own bicycle. IIRC that's around 7 or 8 years. Whether kids (from NL, of whatever age) can draw a bicycle is a different matter, I cannot judge on that one.
Cool, now draw a picture of a hand wielding a pencil. :-)
At first I thought he had actually built out the physical bicycles from the sketches, but it turns out they are just computer renderings. Nonetheless it shows the power of "mistake" driven design, to generate novel ideas.
While the exact 2wd system shown in the rendering would have some real issues, 2wd mountain bike systems do exist. They can rely on impressively strange chain routing, a system of gears and internal shafts, or just an electric hub (which is admittedly, not really the same thing).
As far as the one-sided frame goes, Canondale makes a one-sided fork called the Lefty, that's in mass production and reasonably popular. One-sided rear triangles only seem to exist on motorcycles, and there's an interesting discussion here on why that's the case, with an example of a one-off "righty" bicycle.
Our local trail association currently uses a Rokon: https://www.rokon.com/ - for trail maintenance, and it's just about perfect for that application. I could imagine them replacing it with a 2WD eBike at some point.
Chains are pretty efficient (otherwise we wouldn't use them in the first place) and the weight difference would be tiny for a normal-weight person. If you've ever skidded in rain or ice 2wd seems like it could make sense.
The Lefty design also looks very interesting, do you have practical experience with it?
What an amazing comment full of new eye-opening information for me, thanks
Here's an article that looks at it a bit more in depth: https://factoryjackson.com/2016/02/18/cannondale-lefty-the-s...
I haven't tried a 2WD, but everything I've read suggests that the added weight and friction delivers pretty limited utility, at least in non-electric versions.
The difference wasn't really noticeable (bike-share bikes are already hefty enough that this is a minor difference).
But I loved it.
But then seeing these detailed, realistic takes on the drawings suddenly made it so absurd. I lost it at a couple of them and I'm wondering how the author was doing while making them.
I assume most people that drew bicycles have ridden one, but there are a few basic common mistakes. The location of the pedals (closer to rear wheel, very near to floor), the way the chain operate, and the triangle frame are some examples. I did not notice anyone drawing details around the gear mechanisms nor the breaks. Many people demonstrated acceptable drawing technique while getting mechanical details of the bicycle incorrect.
I think this exercise highlights a great amount of ignorance around bicycles. I purpose society would benefit from better bicycle education. Better bicycle education might encourage bicycle adoption (needs testing to verify), and bicycle ridership improves climate change, obesity, traffic, and heart disease. In addition to increased adoption, bicycle education would improve bicycle safety.
Bicycle education as a semester long optional course in high school is a great reach goal. It could mirror driver education where teenagers learn traffic rules and laws, and also basic bicycle maintenance. Perhaps with enough active bicycle riding time it could count as a Physical Education credit.
A good first step would be more high quality videos and pamphlets on the topic of bicycle education.
Really, the primary reason for the high adoption here is proper, safe infrastructure. (Being flat helps, but there are plenty of flat cities around the world that are not seeing as much adoption.)
I also don't think you'd need a whole semester of bicycle education. Most children here get a few lessons at primary school and do an informal exam, and that's it. The primary reason for that being enough is, again, safe infrastructure.
I don't know why they let mopeds/gas scooters cruise in bike lanes right next to the sidewalk. I imagine the vast majority of accidents are some combo of bike/moped/tourist, and with the speed some mopeds are going it could be very ugly
A lot of people here are saying that drawing is part of the challenge. I very much doubt it.
My drawing skills, including technical drawing skills, are terrible. You should have seen me yesterday when I was looking at an apartment where the owner didn't have a floor plan and I tried to sketch one without a ruler.
However, I tried and can draw a bike that works just fine. Maybe it's because I'm Dutch or because I used to be into BMX biking (when I was 9-14 years old) so I looked at more bikes than the average person on planet earth, but I was surprised when friends also couldn't draw one properly. I guess I am just one of a few who ever paid enough attention to the construction to get it right?
In any case, my drawing is absolutely awful. Out of a class of 30 in high school, I was the only one who the teacher just gave a passing grade out of pity. Most others couldn't draw amazingly either, but it was passable. Mine wasn't. But I got a passing grade because the teacher clearly saw that I tried and paid attention to his instructions.
I do not think that drawing skills have anything to do with connecting the lines to the right places. Even if it's misshapen and out of proportions, the lines that make up the bike should still connect to the right points.
You don't have to understand or remember technical details to ride a bike: you just hop on and go (once you learn to ride). It's not like you have to rebuild one every time you hop on: they pretty much stay as they are. Let's not invent problems that are not real problems.
Sure, it's good to know how to lubricate, maintain, and inspect a bicycle, but even such an education won't necessarily make one remember the physical location of all the parts from raw memory.
I suppose in an extreme case the bar between the peddles and the back tire could just fall off, and a typical rider wouldn't notice it's missing until something bad happens. But this is probably a one in a million event such that it's not worth hours of education to prevent. It's like meteor insurance. People tend to skip inspections out of laziness anyhow, even if trained.
Even that is quite rare; that bar is an integral (usually welded) part of the frame. More common failure modes for frames are cracks (the tube comes loose in one point, usually close to a weld, and starts flopping around) or bottom bracket failure (pedal getting stuck or breaking loose).
The more important skill for dealing with those is not memorizing the geometric structure of the frame, but knowing how to recognize early signs of wear (creaking in the frame, visible spreading hairline cracks, clicking when turning the pedals, etc.) Sidenote: This is a big drawback of carbon fiber composite bicycle parts - they're stronger per weight than metal, but they don't give a lot of warning before failing and said failures are usually more catastrophic (shattering rather than bending - see  for a video, and  for a more general discussion of the market for lemons that this creates).
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxfJ-upYUXQ - note that this is a cheap part, so snapped under relatively low amounts of wear and force, but it was harder for the rider to realize this through inspection and riding before catastrophic failure
How a bike fits together it's kind of irrelevant for most people, even if you ride one or if you must dodge one.
A caricature is one thing, and might be doable by an average person, but knowing how to do a caricature is a skill all by itself. A portrait is extremely art skill intensive.
This also raises the question of what you'd get if you asked drivers to draw what they see when they're sitting in the driver's seat.
The other commenters, however, have responded to it in earnest.
I am curious as to the original intent?
The "2WD" ones are particularly perplexing.
On the other hand, I bet if you asked people to draw a car, 99% of them would draw something realistic --- it's the arrangement of the frame tubes on a bike that most people just haven't looked at in detail or remembered.
I think the only reason I could draw a bike with any accuracy is because my dad taught me how to fix it. Otherwise it would be a complete black box.
This (probably?) says a lot about the way men and women think...
Getting into the weeds a bit we see this more obviously with drawings of tanks, ships and planes that aren't drawn with a reference to a real one - guns too big to fit inside the turret, the turrets themselves being way too big, no consideration for where the engine must be etc.
I guess there is such a thing: http://christinibicycles.com/ – sounds pretty complicated: 'A handlebar-mounted switch controls the AWD “shift on the fly” clutch. When the clutch is engaged, the rear spiral gear interlocks with the rear hub and power is transferred via internal shafts to the forward spiral gear set, which drives the CHRISTINI freehub. Due to a slight gearing differential, the front wheel is not actively powered on smooth level ground. However, the moment the rear wheel slips, power is instantaneously transferred to the front wheel. Similarly, the moment that the front wheel decelerates, as in hitting a rock or starting to wash out in a corner, power and traction are transferred to the front wheel.'
Makes me wonder if you could make an electric-assist bike where the assist was on the front wheel, thus saving all the complicated mechanical power transfer. I also suspect driving the front wheel feels crazy on a bike and I just don't realize it.
And why in the first place, there is no benefit.
AWD (electric front drive + pedaling) is actually quite common among hobbyists in areas that often have snow (say, Scandinavia). It's as useful as it is for cars.
If you're riding uphill rear wheel drive on a bike is great because that's where you're weight is. The front wheel doens't have much. Put power into the front wheel and it might spin.
Put power through the front wheel while going downhill...well there was not need to because you don't need to have a power boost because you're going downhill.
I'm unconvinced except maybe deep snow with big fatty tires.
This exists, it's called the GeoOrbital Wheel. It converts your bike to electric just by swapping out the front wheel. Pedaling is optional, so it's actually more than just an assist, it can operate in a fully electric mode. http://www.geoo.com
I own one and I'm very pleased with it.
There are also a bunch of front wheel e-bike conversion kits on Amazon, last I looked.
This is how people have remembered a bike.
2 wheels, spaced apart
Pedal in the middle
Seat on top
Handlebars connected to the front wheel.
The details of how it's connected, where, spacing, etc. Isn't really noted by our brains unless they see/use them often.
I wonder if this exercise could help use fine tune ML patterns.
What would happen if the author said after the first drawing: "this bicycle is terrible and this bike would never work. Take this seriously, think about the mechanics of it, and I will pay you 1000 dollars if you get it correct"
As in, these pictures are just raw memory dumps, with minimal cognitive filtering. When stakes are higher, cognition should kick in and fix lower level errors.
It may also have much to do with 'who' was asked. As an Engineer, I immediately noticed the missing frame member on the first rendering image at the very top of the web page. But, most people one would meet 'on the street' are not Engineers, and they very likely do not even look at a bike with a 'how does this work' eye. And if one does not even try to 'analyze' the bike mechanism, even a little, one surely will never remember the constituent parts.
edit: a better way to phrase it would probably be: Of the drawings where the chain was attached to the front wheel, I wonder why such a large majority were done by females
Also the number of bikes that were just structurally unsound, such as just the seat-stay attached to the rear wheel. Quite likely first bump you hit, things would not end well (if it even took that long). I'm not a mechanical engineer, but I did take a single class on statics in college, and that's enough for me to see that things would not end well (at least with current materials I'm aware of).
of course the stays are beefed up in these cases.
Edit: And age. Did all of the front attachers cluster in a particular age range as well?
Reminds me of the company that creates dolls how you design them: https://www.childsown.com/
I wonder how many of those people would insist that their sketch is correct, even when confronted with the evidence of an actual bicycle for comparison...
The experimental process is flawed on so many levels I'm amazed anyone is jumping to a conclusion besides "That's some funny looking bikes here!". Something the author reckons by refraining to conclude anything himself.
It also sort of reminds me a bit of a minor collection I've been making of children's book illustrations of kites, which started out of a morbid fascination with how, despite how very simple an object a basic diamond kite is, very few of them get all the details right.
I also wonder how I would have done in the blind.
But yeah, after giving it a good, long look, along with his mention that it would break when someone sat on it, I guessed that there should have been a bar between the back wheel and where the pedals are.
It might not break right when someone sat on it, but after stresses accumulate from riding over bumps, the front portion is going to break off and pitch the rider forward into the pavement.
Like any number of puzzle books that include a "find the missing X!" and friends.
eg they have "Rake", but no offset, so the amount of "Trail" or "Castor" will be incorrect.
It would be more interesting to know what percentage of drawings had the chain attached incorrectly, first- then how many of them were by female participants. If it was just a couple of drawings, there's not much "gender driven diversity" to speak of. Equally for the overcomplicated frames drawn by males, of course.
(Edit: I'm sorry to pick on such an irrelevant detail of this beautiful posting, but at this point anything that seems to allude to stereotypes about females not being comfortable with the function of complex mechanisms, grates; especially if it's using numbers to make a point).
Another interesting thing would be to see if there's any reason why people draw bikes facing left or right. I feel like for me it's natural to draw vehicles facing right, so they'd drive in the direction that you read in. It seems that most of the drawings here are in the opposite direction. The cycle lane signs in New Zealand also face to the left .
If you like watching any of the popular Gym Fail video channels on Youtube -- many people also have poor, or counter- intuitive notions of things like purpose built machines and the physical body mechanics/physics that marry up to them.
Recall is hard, but so is.. deciphering.
Obviously, we all used reference material to make sure our depiction was accurate. But it is nonetheless interesting to see what people come up with when trying to impress an art school admissions team.
This seems like a leap, or at least an oversimplification of what the author is referring to in psychology. I’m convinced that my attempt to draw a bicycle would be quite terrible, but I’m also convinced that I would be able to look at my drawing and judge it as terrible.
Where DO the legs go?
I mean, so would attaching a bicycle chain to the front wheel.
After all, why shouldn't an ant have one pair attached to its tail segment? 6 is a lot of legs to cram into the tiny middle segment.
I first partook in this exercise in a small group of STEM graduate students preparing for a youth teaching program. Maybe 2/3 of us got it wrong (myself included).
So I guess...
Samsung > Iphone