It stimulates all your senses
When you ride a motorcycle, you feel alive and experience your environment with all your senses. You feel the wind of course, and the vibration of your engine. But you also notice the changes in temperature when you ride past a frozen lake, you notice the different smells and every single bump in the road. You don’t experience this cocktail of dopamine and adrenaline in a car, especially not when you commute. By the time you get to your destination, you feel alert and energized, the best state to be in to get your day going and there is no better way to go to a client meeting than on a motorcycle.
You’re in a constant stage of alertness and focus (dynamic meditation)
Riding a motorcycle is like dynamic meditation. You need to constantly be focused and alert: on the road, the traffic, the road conditions, your bike, etc., etc. In a car you can switch to auto-pilot, day dream or listen to music (or worse, check your phone and text) something you can’t do on a bike. And this state of constant focus and directed attention is like a form of meditation that clears your mind, helps you re-center and enables you to get rid of your stress.
You’re more considerate and attentive to others (if you want to live)
When you’re riding, it doesn’t matter if you have the right of way or not, and more generally if you are right or not. You may have the right of way but in a collision with a car you’ll be on the receiving end and at a disadvantage. Always. And I don’t think that you’d feel any sense of consolation or victory in the ambulance on your way to the hospital thinking that you were in the right. As a result, you tend to be more attentive and considerate of everyone else on the road, you try to anticipate what others will do or not do. You basically just become more in tune with those around you, a valuable skill to have in any professional environment.
You’ll learn to overcome your fears
Starting to ride a motorcycle is a great way to prove yourself that you can and that it is worth overcoming your initial fears. I got my motorcycle endorsement only a few years ago in my mid-40s. One of my clients at the time was Harley Davidson, so it made sense to take the Rider’s Edge course (Harley’s weekend class to get an endorsement). Then I bought my bike. It was scary and nerve wracking at first and the first week I only cruised around my neighborhood to get familiar with my rig. That was then. Now, when I look back, I am glad I overcame my initial fear and apprehension. The same applies to every situation at work or in life that is new, unfamiliar and maybe a little intimidating.
You’ll part of a larger community
Motorcyclists who cross path generally greet each other with a little hand gesture or head nod. It’s a tiny gesture but it makes you feel part of a larger community. Bikers who stop at the same gas station at the minimum greet each other, at best start a conversation and share stories. Most bikers would stop and try to help if they see another biker stranded on the side of the road. I have had motorcyclists who happen to be in their car stop and ask if they could help. When was the last time you pulled up into a gas station and greeted the driver of the car in front of you? Riding makes you feel connected, part of something bigger. Below, I had the opportunity to met Ninja_Natalie, an Instagram Influencer and American Ninja Warrior Ambassador who happen to rent my bike while in MN f or work.
It’s an open invitation to explore and discover the world
When you caught the riding bug, you want to ride. You want to explore and discover new places. You research new routes to new destinations. And you’ll start to look for the most scenic rides, not the shortest and fastest ones. I typically use the “avoid highways’ feature on my phone when I ride…yes there is such a feature). It puts you in the mindset of discovery and exploration and fuels a desire for new experiences. And it exposes you to people and their stories you wouldn’t meet or hear otherwise.
You’ll become a (better) problem solver
When you go on a road trip or longer ride, things will happen, problems will arise. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. It will start to pour, you’ll run out of gas far away from any gas station, you’ll blow a fuse that will shut down your bike, you’ll have a flat in the middle of nowhere, you’ll accidentally drain your battery or you’ll get stuck on a snowed-in ATV trail in the middle of a national forest in December. Yes, all that happened to me. But when you are on the road, alone, all you can do is try to fix the problem. You develop a natural problem-solving mindset, out of necessity, really. And you’ll be surprised how ultimately, you’ll be able to solve any and every problem. Even if that means waiting for 3 hours at dusk in the middle of the woods at – 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) for an off-duty police officer to come pull you out with his personal ATV. You can’t just complain and whine about the fact that this wasn’t part of the project, that it wasn’t agreed upon, something you get a lot when you work in a corporate environment and the project variables change. You just get over your momentary frustration and look for a solution. And you’ll always find one. Oh, and you’ll build the confidence to know that you can solve for anything (these snowy trails in the woods have nothing on me).
So here you have it, 7 reasons why riding a motorcycle will make you better at your job and in life. By the way, Harley Davidson together with UCLA recently released a study about this and the science behind it.
To conclude this article, allow me to share this little piece of advice: always make sure that you keep your distance when driving behind a motorcyclist. Even when waiting at a stop light. The braking distance of a motorcycle is much shorter than that of a car, meaning the biker in front of you will always stop much faster and on a shorter distance than you will in your car.
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