The most common sentence bike riders have uttered over the past few weeks has been “I just need to go for a ride!”. In the midst of a global Coronavirus pandemic, this unforeseen event that restricts our movements more than most of us have ever experienced, motorcyclists feel a compelling need to ride.
They just want to get on their bikes and forget about the world. Feel the wind rush past, punch through the cool morning air or marvel at the colourful sunset. We want to feel the g-forces of leaning into corners and accelerating on the straights.
What is it about riding that makes us long for it so much? It has little to do with the rather boring fact that a bike can take you from one place to the other. Most of us go for rides for no other purpose than to go for a ride. We often end up right where we started, maybe with a coffee somewhere halfway, but still…. We end up where we started. If transport isn’t the purpose, what is?
When we get back home, park the bike in the garage and take off our helmets, something has changed. We feel a little different than we did before the ride. More relaxed, we have more clarity, we’re calmer. Somehow, while the wheels were turning, the engine revving and the wind whizzing past, something changed inside our helmets.
While we were riding, our minds found their way from the worries of everyday, to the beauty of the present moment. And that process, is the magic which elevates a form of transport to an act of selfcare.
When we ride, we clear our heads. The physical sensations of being on the bike, the mental focus on the road, the heightened awareness of our environment… We are one with where we are and what we are doing. Here and now.
It is our adrenaline spiced form of meditation.
At the moment, many of us can’t go for rides, can’t go outside to spend time in nature, can’t even go and connect with others in person… Now more than ever, we need a different approach to meet our self-care needs.
It is the perfect time to reflect on life, read books, plan upcoming trips, finally edit those GoPro videos… And in a different form, incorporate some of that magic that riding brings you. Among all the worry and fear, we need that present moment focus now more than ever before.
So, do yoga in your living room, try mindfulness exercises or guided meditations, use YouTube videos instead of Google Maps to take your mind to a place of relaxation, clarity and calmness.
Look after yourself in a different way. Until we can twist that throttle again!
About the author: Chantal Simons travelled solo on her Yamaha XT250 from Australia to the Netherlands. She now uses her professional and adventuring experience as a life coach.
She also wrote the book: “She’ll be right! Tales and thoughts of a woman’s motorcycle adventure Down Under” about her ride around Australia.