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State of mind

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by jphanna, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Being a cager for 28 years, while I was doing my course for my motorbike Licence, once we passed, the last thing the instructor told us was ‘

    ‘To never ride unless you are totally relaxed. Do NOT ride your motorbike, if you are upset about something.

    I was wondering how much is it going to affect riding the MB? I have driven the car and been upset and not much difference….maybe a bit more acceleration?

    Anyway after 4 months of riding I can see first hand that the state of mind makes a huge difference. I have a 20 km stretch of very windy roads (live at Adelaide hills – windy point) that I ride to my chicks house and back. The longest straight stretch is 1-2kms max. the rest is tight corners and a few open corners. Most of the time this road is not high in traffic, when I am riding it, so that is not a factor.

    What I have found doing the SAME loop is that depending on my mood/vibe/unknown factors, sometimes I am riding this loop and everything about the ‘bike’ feels more lively, my cornering feels better and my speed is 10kms over the limit, other times, the ‘bike’ seems sluggish and every corner required more concentration, and of course I am below the limits. I am not competitive when I ride, meaning that I am not aiming to get from A to B quicker every time I ride it. but sometimes, it just happens.

    Now I can see how that instructor warning makes so much sense..about your mood affecting your riding.
  2. Yes, my husbands lengthy stay in hospital is proof that riding while 'in a bad mood' is not the smartest thing to do. He still can't believe he went against everything he knew and he has many many years of riding experience under his belt.
  3. i concur riding in a bad or distracted mood is a bad idea, there have been a few times when I have had to ride to clear my head and gotten to a point and realised I shouldn't be on the bike.

    Everything comes unstuck and your muscles stiffen up, well thats my experiences. I often ride as a way to relieve stress and that's different but if I am in an unset mood its bad juju.
  4. Whilst I agree that state of mind makes (or can make) a big difference to one's riding, I tend to be sceptical of advice to "never ride when such and such is the case". It's all very well for purely recreational riders who have the option, but not really practical if a bike is your sole means of transport.
  5. my bike is for purely recreational purposes. in my case it may apply. in yours, its definately not applicable. i agree with you there.
  6. Completely agree, there is nothing worse than being 'forced' to ride home in a bad state of mind either (as I had to the other day after the worst day at work possible).

    It leaves you distracted and puts the actions of riding a motorcycle to the back of your brain meaning if you need to react quickly to a road hazard you aren't as aware as you otherwise would be.

    If I can help it, I only tend to ride when I'm in a good state of mind where I can focus on the road and it's dangers, it also helps you to be able to keep a cool head if moronic cager #56 starts road raging at you.
  7. As a new rider I see it as staple advice for recreational purposes (i.e. of everything, letting frustration out with a bike is a poor choice).

    However I still think it applies in part to commuters; as such that commuters need to be mindful of the mood they are riding in and try to adjust to it.

    I could be wrong, but at least being mindful of your own state should provide some assistance - in particular with being conscious of the risk analysis.
  8. Geez do some meditation and get in control of your emotions.
  9. Not for me sweeties no matter what my mood once I throw my leg over I'm in top form.
    Let face it, any ride at anytime to anywhere has the potential to create multiple mood swings both positive and not so.
  10. Yes, I agree entirely. Sometimes not riding is not an option and so it is necessary to develop techniques to cope safely, exactly as you would in other less than optimal riding conditions such as rain, heavy traffic, high winds, darkness etc., all of which I've also seen following the words "you should never ride in".

    However, I would qualify my comments by suggesting that newbies should be cautious about riding in any less than optimal circumstances, at least until the basic actions of riding become habitual rather than conscious. It's hard to process the extra information necessary when you are also needing to think about what to do with the clutch or which way the gearlever goes or concentrating to the exclusion of all else on how hard you're squeezing the brake lever.
  11. I generally find that if I'm in a bad/angry mood before I get on the bike it only takes a couple of K's for that mood to be gone.
  12. +1. I commute daily on my bike and although I can understand that we do stupid things when they are not in the right state of mind. Just looking at my bike and going through the motions putting on jacket/helmet/gloves (left one first?) puts me in a better frame of mind in most cases. By the first corner I'm focussed on riding and other concerns melt away.
  13. I love the state of mind that riding my brike brings me to!. I KNOW I have to be in a certain frame of mind to ride (or I don't go out!)... I have come home after just a short ride... for not being in the "zone".

    But the concentration and focus required places me in a certain zone that I just can't get any other way!! :-s

    I have ridden when upset..and immediately I was in the zone!... I know what my "zone" is, and I know I have to be in it to ride. I guess it all depends on whether or not the distractions impact that zone.
  14. That's the thing with anger/being upset, it will increase your focus immediately - generally a byproduct of increased testosterone from what I can gather, however this has added side effects with the decision making process and people tend to take more risks.

    Same as sportsmen hype themselves up before sport - but on the road it generally isn't the best state to be in for anyone because of how it impacts the decision making process.
  15. I try and ride as if I'm in a different world.. one of the great things about riding a bike is you can put your entire life aside for a while and just relax and enjoy yourself.

    If I start to get the red mist, just remind yourself of what could happen and could to 20 in your head... usually stops anything stupid from happening :p
  16. Disregard my immature and irresponsible post and read raven's instead. :)
  17. I have set off for rides in a bad mood, or with something troubling me. But when I get back from my ride I always realise I completely forgot about what was bothering me in the first place.
  18. State of mind, composure etc plays a big role in everything we do. It is particularly important when riding a bike, due to the ease with which it can be affected by our actions, manifested from our state of mind.

    When angry, our mind tends to get tunnel vision, to the extent that it can and will to varying degrees, shut out or blockinput from the things around us. If you are very angry, it will pretty much block out everything.
    We become overly focussed on the things that are pissing us off, ride with untempered aggression, with vastly distorted judgement.

    Since riding is as much of a head game as it is physical, you are in grave danger of doing idiotic and stupid things, due the impairments you suffer when very angry.(for instance). The same more or less applies in times of great stress, sorrow, depression etc.

    Given the choice, you should avoid riding. The problem is...the same impairment of judgment also affects your decision to get on the bike or not, in the first place!!

    So...how do you combat this danger.?
    Well, you have to train yourself to make sure you are fully focussed on the ride. In other words, and as I have stated many times in various threads...

    I speak here, from long time personal experience, so it is not simply a matter of opinion

    What "I" do to facilitate the quietening of my mind and emotions is to go through a a complete routine or a shortened version of it, that reigns in my focus to THE RIDE.

    It begins as I get dressed into my gear, as that is my "cue".
    ...it coninues as I give the bike the once over and once I slip the helmet on, I am cocooned in my riding world- just me and the bike, from that moment on.
    ...that's my morning pattern.
    At rest stops during the day, it's reduced to my helmet going on, because I am already pretty focussed by that point, and easily switch to my "game face"

    Commuting or a weekend ride...it's the same thing.

    I believe I can safely say that all experienced riders, do much the same thing, because whether you accept it or not, riding a bike is serious business.
    And the sooner you can develope your own methods to attain your focus on the ride, the better.

    It becomes paramount at times of extreme discomfort, otherwise the rain, freezing cold day, blasting hot day will have you riding poorly, because they are strong enough to consume nearly all of your attention, distracting you perilously. So beware, and get your game face on, every time you ride.

  19. It's not good to drive or ride when you are cranky. But cops do it all the time as they are always cranky. Never had a happy one pull me over lol.
    As for the riding, if you are mad you are tense. If you are tense then the bike is not going to turn in easily. Your not on your best game. And a crash is going to happen. Its not an if but when.
    But as others have stated. I have gotten on my bike absolutely irrate. Wrung its neck as hard as I could. And I must say felt much better after it. Just glad I can say that I guess. Better feeling better than not feeling at all
  20. I have, back in the UK. I think he was pleased to have an excuse to give his new Sierra Cosworth a bit of a workout :D. Bloody quick it was, too.