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Thread: Mindspace ... or the downside of Wind Therapy

  1. #1

    Mindspace ... or the downside of Wind Therapy

    A good friend of mine is an avid runner. When someone asked him how long does he run for, he shrugs and replies, 'about 2 hours'. That's followed by the obligatory, 'how many miles is that?' With another shrug he answered, 'it doesn't matter. I run for mindspace.'

    His answer got me thinking that a lot of riders do the same. Riding has been called wind therapy. A way to get away, to be just by yourself and disconnect from the world. I've done it tons of times, an even my wife, who just enjoys riding 2up with me, demands rides for the same reason.

    But, is there a down, if not dangerous side, to this? The past few weeks I've caught myself woolgathering as I ride -- deep in thought on what's going on in my life that I was almost unaware of riding. That's not good. I was told that the most dangerous years for riding are the 1st, and the 5th. The 1st because you're new, but the 5th because a rider has grown complacent. I'm on my 7th, and I'm realizing I'm falling into such a groove. I'm hoping by posting this thread I'll openly remind myself of such a dilemma.

    Anyone experience similar things?

    - Wolf

  2. #2
    Miles of smiles We've stopped counting... asp125's Avatar
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    On occasion, I've caught myself a few times. Most of my wind therapy is in the twisty canyons, so I'm pretty much forced to focus on the task at hand. I do find the times I let my mind wander is cruising on straight/meandering farm roads, where there isn't much demand to focus and you can watch the scenery. Other times that might happen is after a nice big lunch, when the body diverts energy to digesting and less to riding; which is why I tend to eat light snacks and more often when I'm out on a long ride or road trip.
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    Flirting With The Redline SaskRider's Avatar
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    Funny timing of your post. My best friend was down for a visit this weekend and we briefly chatted about my motorcycling.

    I told him the best thing about motorcycling is that it demands your full attention, so when I'm on the bike, everything else in my life just fades away. I also added that there are times when something is weighing so heavily on my mind, that I just can't clear it in which case I do not get on the bike. I'll take the car and crank the tunes to 11 - a different but also good form of therapy.

    For me, it's a matter of knowing which it is. If I get on the bike and I find my mind is on other things, I'm not afraid to turn the bike around and park it.
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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Sorg67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaskRider View Post
    the best thing about motorcycling is that it demands your full attention, so when I'm on the bike, everything else in my life just fades away.
    This is how it is for me

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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! Kootenanny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asp125 View Post
    Most of my wind therapy is in the twisty canyons, so I'm pretty much forced to focus on the task at hand.
    Yup. There's a term for this: Flow.

  6. #6
    I always thought it was 'In the Zone'? A friend of mine who's a painter says it's the moment when the walls fall away.

    - Wolf

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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooterwolf View Post
    I always thought it was 'In the Zone'? A friend of mine who's a painter says it's the moment when the walls fall away.

    - Wolf
    It is. Same thing:

    From the wikipedia entry linked above:

    In*positive psychology,*flow, also known as*the zone, is the*mental state*of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does and loses sense of space and time.

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    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
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    Hittin' The Twisties buzzyclone's Avatar
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    Good article on staying focused while riding that just came out a few hours ago...

    http://www.cycleworld.com/motorcycle...ips-ride-smart

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    Flirting With The Redline Mad Matt's Avatar
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    I'm suspicious of "The Zone". It feels good, but it's also when I'm most likely to find I'm accidentally 20 over the speed limit, or there's a vehicle right behind me and I don't know how it got there. Just because you're fully immersed doesn't mean you're immersed in all the right things.

  10. #10
    Good points.

    I find that as I look down the road, and aim for that area, my speed goes up. It's usually a surprise when I break off from 'the look' to gauge my speedometer that I'm surprised at how fast I'm going, especially since I wasn't aware I'd accelerated. Being in the Flow, or Zone can be good, but not for long durations. Awareness checks are needed as well. I check my clock and gas gauge on my dash from time to time, one reason is to make sure nothing has appeared like a check engine, or oil light.

    Sound is important too. I wear my computer bag over my back, and sometimes I'll hear the slapping of straps and buckels that have come lose and will need to be tighten up first chance I get, to even mystery sounds and squeaks on my bike. As odd as it sounds focus needs to be on the ride and on the bike as well.

    - Wolf

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