I propose that most of us, predominantly:
a) use visual cues
b) use sensation from the part of our body that has the most weight on it.
I was corresponding with one of the bears (cantunamunch) about a biking topic, noseless saddles, specifically in regards to this paragraph from www.roadbikerider.com:
|We're occasionally asked about noseless bike seats, which are presumed to be "safer" because body weight is supported only on the sit bones. There's no narrow nose than can press into the crotch. Some riders are interested for health reasons, others are seeking more comfort. Noseless seats have been around for more than a decade without much acceptance. We've tried noseless seats in our role as product testers. When asked our opinion, we say it feels like pedaling a bike while sitting on a soccer ball. Noseless seats make a bike feel tipsy, particularly when you're reaching down for any reason, like to grab a water bottle or adjust a shoe strap. There's nothing between your thighs, nothing to slide forward on. When you turn your hips, the bike doesn't turn with you. You feel like you're on a perch, separate from the bike instead of one with the bike.
RBR's Ed Pavelka knew all that and still went riding last week on a noseless seat. It was a favor for a friend in the industry. The guy is thinking of importing the seat from Europe to market to American men worried about conventional saddles causing perineal problems. Ed was dubious but the first ride went okay. Then the next day, disaster. He lost control while riding at about 16 mph and signaling a left turn. The bike went out from under him as suddenly as if he'd hit a patch of ice. Fortunately, the truck right behind stopped in time. Other people ran up. "Are you okay?" Ed wasn't so sure. His helmet was cracked, he was bleeding from the usual places -- knee, hip and elbow -- and it felt as if a linebacker had speared him in the ribs. And he was really mystified. "What happened?" Ed asked the driver that saw the crash. "I don't know. You must have hit something." But the street was as clean as Martha Stewart's kitchen. Ed hadn't ridden over anything. He had simply angled into the left lane with one hand on the bar and the other signaling -- a move he'd made a thousand times without winding up in a heap. This time one thing was different. This time he was on a noseless seat.
- His feet are the same width apart
- They are still available for balance
- Same core strength
- Same disturbance to CoM
Applying Principle (b) above we would immediately notice that, whilst seated, the majority of his weight is on the saddle, not on the pedals. Not having a strong reference point, he couldn't find his CoM in order to correct mispositions.
I wonder if we can apply principle (b) to ski poles? As we never really have the majority of weight on them it would seem to state that the function of ski poles is adjustment after sensation, not sensation itself.
So, as a first experiment I suggest eyes-shut one-leg standing with both ski poles touching the ground. Corrections or sensations?
As a second experiment I suggest sitting on a Swiss ball, eyes shut. First with feet on ground then with ski poles. Corrections or sensations?
If a skier drops their gaze to the snow nearby during weight transfer drills are they having trouble finding CoM from the stance foot?