“In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.” ― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
We all have our own reasons to swing our leg over the saddle. Some of us seek the thrill of a pure adrenaline rush as we shift through the gears. Some of us crave the feeling of wind on our faces. Some of us need the escape—we crave the freedom from the mundaneness of day-to-day. We drive towards things. We drive away from things. But, like Pirsig says, on a bike, we’re not passive. And some scientist even says that when we ride, we’re doing good things for our mental and physical health.
UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior conducted a neurobiological study to investigate the potential mental and physical benefits of riding motorcycles. Funded by Harley-Davidson, three researchers found that the act of being on a motorcycle increased a riders’ focus and attention and decreased relative levels of the stress hormone cortisol. You can read more about the study and results here : Harley Davidson Riding Study
Zen. Mental health. Feelings of freedom. Adrenaline rush. Stress release. Beautiful escape. There are endless reasons to ride. What’s yours?
Photo Credit: Drew Martin Photography