Saturday, October 24, 2015

Insights, Tips, Lessons and More

This is a map I developed based on my experience at the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival out of Staunton, Virginia. Beautiful countryside. It was my first experience with this type of group bicycling event and therefore a great learning opportunity.  As you'll see from the map, I started thinking about the difference between lessons, insights, recommendations, observations, and tips.

Click to enlarge.

A tip is a piece of practical advice.  Tips are great for the novices.

An observation is something worth noticing, a relevant piece of information, usually related to the context for key insights and recommendations. Observation is the first step in reflection.  It's the "what did I notice?"

An insight is a kind of "aha moment", often triggered by reflection and supported by observations.  It's the answer to "what did it mean?"

A lesson is what we tell ourselves we'll do differently next time.  Lessons occur to us most often when we realize we made a mistake that was avoidable and we could have done things differently. Note that even though riding mid-day instead of early morning to avoid the colder temperatures is common sense, I will most likely not learn that lesson.  I'm a morning person and waiting for mid-day to ride makes no sense to me whatsoever.   This is typical of lessons I'm afraid.  Just because we note the lesson does not guarantee we'll learn it and do things differently next time.

I didn't include any "best practice" on the map.  Perhaps a best practice would be something that avid bicyclists do out of habit and novices like myself need to be reminded of, something like "stay hydrated, drink before, during and after the ride."  How is that different from a tip?  Perhaps a best practice is something that applies to everyone whereas a tip is simply advice to address challenges you might encounter as a rider.

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