Tag Archives: meditation

Three ways to relax on a motorcycle

Many riders talk about how riding their motorcycle makes them relax and “blows out the cobwebs”, yet I see so many tense riders.

You can tell a tense rider immediately from their hunched shoulders and straight arms with locked elbows. It’s like they are shrugging or trying to strangle their bike.

It’s a dead giveaway that they are not confident nor relaxed with their riding.

Maybe they are going too fast for their skill level, or the road is wet or challenging and unknown to them.

In these situations you become tense and the first thing to tense up is your shoulders.

This straightens your arms which makes it more difficult to counter steer as your arms are now pushing down on the handlebars rather than forward.

Also the forces coming up through your front forks go up your arms which can be tiring and affect your riding ability.

How to relax

But there are ways to relax while riding that will improve your riding and increase your enjoyment. It may even make you faster, if that’s your goal.

We don’t suggest doing yoga on a moving motorcycle, although there are Guinness Book of Records mentions for the most consecutive yoga positions on a motorcycle.

In case you’re interested, the record is held by Hav Jabalpur who in 2013 did 50 yoga positions, including 10 demanding reverse positions, while riding 5km on a Royal Enfield.

Hav Ramesh Most consecutive yoga positions on a motorcycle relax
Hav practises moto-yoga

Instead, you can practise a type of meditation where you focus your mind on the activity of riding.

You need to clear your mind of other distractions which is pretty easy in the closed-off atmosphere of a helmet.

The second step is to lift your gaze.

Hunched shoulders also tend to make you drop your head and shorten your focus.

The shorter your focus, the less time you have to react to road conditions, sudden corners and other hazards.

So lift your head and make a conscious effort to look further down the road and around the corner.

The third step is to physically relax your arms.

2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster relax
Drop those shoulders

I recall a professional rally driver once showing me his technique for un-hunching his shoulders: He basically flapped his arms for a few seconds like he was doing a short chicken dance while he was driving.

You can do it on a motorcycle as well.

As your arms relax and your shoulders drop, your arms will naturally bend so you have more control and can more easily counter steer.

Try these steps the next time you feel your shoulders hunching up and your vision becoming fixated on where you might crash!

Click here to find out how to make target fixation work for you, not against you.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cold ride forces active meditation

As we sweat in an Aussie summer, Lithuanian motorcycle adventurer Karolis Mieliauskas will be riding 1000km across Siberia in temperatures down to -60C to research active meditation.

Aptly named The Coldest Ride, Karolis says the journey on a single-cylinder Yamaha Tenere across the Road of Bones will be a research exercise into what he calls “active meditation”.

Basically, it’s a way of forcing the mind to meditate by subjecting the body to harsh conditions; in this case, the cold.

Most riders have ridden in harsh conditions such as cold, heat, high winds or driving rain.

For some it’s an absolute pain.

But for others it is an enlightening experience. Some even refer to an out-of-body experience when the mind takes control of the pain and discomfort, divorcing the rider from their body.

Author Robert M Pirsig explored the theory in his famous 1974 book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Mind gamesKarolis Mieliauskas will be riding 1000km across Siberia in temperatures down to -60C to research active meditation.

The Coldest Ride is an exploration of the connection between the body and how the mind plays with the cold in these situations,” Karolis says.

“In tough conditions such as these, I have a number of devices to show me where are my theoretical limits and going beyond them is something I think that we should all do.”

He uses the example of swimming in icy water. He says the mind tells us it will hurt and we will get sick, but it doesn’t and the body copes.

“Each time in moments like these, the realisation that not everything the mind believes is necessarily true,” he says.

“I hope that The Coldest Ride will push all of us to challenge our own perceptions of things, whatever they may be.”

Epic ride

This is not his first or most epic ride in the cold.

In July 2016, he rode 11,000km from Vilnius to Vladivostok in 12 days and in March 2017 he rode 785km across the ice of Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, with our support, camping gear or a satphone.

Karolis Mieliauskas will be riding 1000km across Siberia in temperatures down to -60C to research active meditation.
Lake Baikal

Active mediation

“I basically call endurance riding ‘active meditation’ because from early morning to late evening on these trips, I am just riding a motorcycle which is not designed for trips as long as these,” he says.

“As a result, this makes the journey physically uncomfortable.

“However it is a form of self-discipline.”

He says the most interesting part of these trips is when he asks myself “who am I?”

“By continually asking this question and again rejecting all possible answers, I finally experience the truth,” he says.

Karolis begins his ride in Yakutsk on February 4, 2019, and hopes to reach Oymyakon around February 10.

The ride will be filmed and featured on the BBC Travel Show later in 2019.

Have you ever had a similar experience when riding in harsh conditions? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com