Riding as Therapy

This winter was an interesting season around here.  Between strange weather, children's schedules and my own health issues, I have only put about 1800 miles on the scooter from the end of October until now.  That is less than half of what I've ridden in the previous two years.  The effect has been quite interesting on my behavior around the house.

I have joked about the effects of riding upon my own behavior in the past, but this is the first time that I have had outsiders take note of it.  A new coworker of mine had decided that I was one of those people that just didn't like mornings (I don't).  She had only worked with me this winter, with most of my days spent in the car.  As the kids schedules have moderated such that I can ride to work most days again, the same coworker noticed that change and made a comment to me about it.  She did not make the association with the ride, but was curious as to why I was more 'perky' in the mornings.  

The only change was the ride, versus the drive.

But it brings to light something that I have suspected for a while.  Riding is a form of therapy.  In fact, it is many forms of therapy all at once.  There is a peace in being alone on the bike.  No radio, no cell phone, just you and the road (and a hundred bogeys moving to get you).  The complexity of riding becomes a mental and physical challenge that engages your foreground thought processes. In doing so, you free the subconscious mind to do it's thing while you focus on the task at hand.  Mix in the fresh air, the wind in your face, and the freedom of not being trapped in a cage and you get something special.  

You cannot bottle this stuff.  It is not available in pill form.  It is better than any drug.

This is life and pleasure.  It is, for me, the best way I have found of clearing the baffles between parts of my life.  Getting through the typical morning a major challenge for me, as I have never been a morning person.  I do not wake up well, or early.  But getting through the morning with the wife and kids is important, so I do it when I can.  Then I commute to work.  Driving, I spend the time dwelling on the morning, or worrying about the workday.  It is not time well spent. Riding however, is.  It is time spent completely focused on a complex task.  That of doing something that I enjoy, but also requires my complete attention. 

Riding, wether it is a 50cc moped or a 1500cc cruiser, is something that has to be a primary focus activity to be done safely.  That primary focus engages enough of the brain that I do not find that I have time to dwell or worry about anything but what I am doing, and what is threatening me right then.  This time and focus seems to act as a reset button.  By the time I get to work (and get home in the evenings), I have fully and completely switched gears.  The difference is that 'perky' behavior that was noted.  

Prozac is probably cheaper, but somehow, this seems like it is a whole lot more fun.

Content by dru_satori, edited on a Mac using SandVox (because I'm lazy)