Written March, 2013, courtesy of Straw Dogs:
I’ve wanted to get a bike since I was old enough to drive, but my parents did backflips to put me in a car instead (probably wise at the time). Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m looking for something other than just thrills from riding a motorcycle.
What feels like a lifetime ago, I was living in Japan. A colleague and I came across a student who was into racing carts. He invited us out and it became a regular event. I’d always had an interest in motorsports and fancied myself a decent driver, it was nice to have the lap times prove it.
One of the most enjoyable side effects of ten tenths driving in a tiny shifter cart doing 100km/hr into a left hander was how focused your mind is. You are taking in all sorts of sensory inputs, your adrenaline is ticking, you can feel the tires on the edge of grip, the wind is thundering past your helmet, the engine is screaming behind you, and you are no where else but in that seat. You feel burned clean of any worries, plans, random thoughts or distractions. You feel like you’re dancing with the machine under you, it becomes an extension of yourself. It’s a wonderful feeling and I have never felt so exhausted and relaxed as I did after a day at Kiowa, deep in the mountains, tearing around that track.
I’m hoping that I can find that same quietness of mind on a motorbike. The personal space and focus needed will be therapeutic. The chance to disappear into my senses, to be entirely with the moment… the best kind of meditation.