Thursday, May 22, 2014

De-stressing on the open road: Tips for enhancing your next ride

By Guest Blogger Kiara Wilson

Motorcycling as a popular pursuit is already widely-celebrated for its abilities in clearing the mind and relaxing the soul. The internet is awash with a number of how-to’s, insight pieces and other-such articles on the subject. Before we get into things I’d like to inform you that this will not be yet another blog post on the subject of motorcycling and the ability to reset even the most stressed out. Instead, let us focus on a new topic; how to enhance the stress reducing procedure even further. 

Some feel pleasure in attaining the biker look. Panda motorcycle helmet covers, Chippewa motorcycle boots and tailed jackets are all good fun after all,  but do these skin-deep pleasures really capture the essence and freedom of a good old fashioned motorcycle ride? This topic may be suitable for different post altogether. So for now, I’ll get back on the topic of enhancing your experience.

For me, there a three methods for improving a motorcycle ride's potential to clear out the brain box and de-stress from your day. These are taken from personal experience and taste, you understand. Your experiences may be completely different. Feel free to make your own statement below.

#1 – Music
An absolute no-brainer, really. I’ve consistently discovered that all that’s needed for an extremely pleasant journey atop a motorcycle, regardless of weather, what you currently ride, or the amount of stress circulating in your brain at the time, is the right selection of musical accompaniment.  The reason for italicization of the word “right” in this instance is to imply that the choice of music is subjective. Only you know the kind of music likely to help you unwind and recharge your faith in this human circus we live in.

Although professional studies have shown that classical music is more beneficial in this capacity than any other genre in helping to de-stress, I’m not necessarily endorsing this for you. If heavy metal is what does it for you, then listen to some heavy metal. If you’re heart lays within the diverse world of funk, blast some James Brown as you belt around the countryside/city and unwind. Just make sure you choose a set of headphones that are going to fit inside that novelty skull motorcycle helmet, or was it panda?

#2 Let your mind wonder
There are many aspects to taking a long and pleasant motorcycle ride. For me, the thing that stands above most others is the way it can make you feel at one with your surroundings. Unlike travelling by car, motorcycling exposes you to the elements and provides you with 360 degree sensory experience. When in a car and looking out of a window, it’s as though you’re looking at a scene from outside- as you would a painting or movie; when atop a motorcycle however, you become a part of the painting.

With this perspective you will allow your mind to wonder at its own will. Though it certainly can’t be taught and may take some time to get there- once you do you’ll struggle to stay off your bike, even when you’re in good spirits!

#3 Choose your Locations wisely
In my experience the previous two snippets of advice for de-stressing work only if you incorporate this last piece into the mix. Choose your next ride carefully, taking into account your own personal tastes and preferences.

If you’re a city dweller and love nothing more than a blast around the slip roads and over the bridges of the particular concrete maze you’re proud to call home, then this is the setting you should probably shoot for. Similarly, if you’re a bit of a country bumpkin (come on, admit it) then you’re likely to be happiest, or at least able to attain your happiest state of mind when surrounding by, well, nothing! It’s worth noting that sometimes it’s a change of scenery that works the most wonders in mending an overworked psyche. So that’s about the long and short of it. Once again, if there’s anything you’d like to add then please feel free!

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