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The taste of Adrenaline....

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by 99CIBBER, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Hey All,

    Well it's been about 2 months since my off and I've been back on the bike for the last 4 weeks or so. Got in some nice long sunny rides over the holiday period and have been concentrating hard on my technique and vision etc. I've booked in for an Advanced Cornering and Braking course in a week or so out @ the Creek so perfect oportunity to get the confidence back and get feeback on my riding. What has really helped me get back into the zone is to do a running commentry of my ride. You know, talk through every visual clue as you ride, every rider input and pretty much anything which may come into play on the road.

    I was nervous for the first few days riding and slowly got the feel back. (fark i'm not bike-fit, :) )

    I revisited the corner where I binned it and took it like a nana in her nissan micra, what happen next took me by surprise...

    I got what I think was a massive adrenaline hit, the heart felt like it dropped, my throat choked up a tad and I was left with a strange taste in my mouth. A metallic taste which lasted about a minute.

    I think my nervous system was preparing my body for the fight or flight response when my brain sensed the nervousness/fear from the corner which had been my downfall previously.

    I am just amazed at the human body and the way it reacts automatically to situations of stress/fear/joy/panic etc....

    The Adrenaline rush is what makes motorcycling so damn addictive. :)

    Can anyone add to the physical effects of adrenaline to the body?? and can anyone shed any light of the taste of adrenaline, if infact such a phenomenon does exist? rubber down! CIBBER
  2. I'm not sure if it has a taste,but it's onset will dry the mouth leaving a coppery taste (for some people) as you noted already it sharpens the senses, increases muscle output and improves reaction time..but at a cost..it can make you very sleepy/dozy very quickly as it fades..thats where you'll make poor decisions and come unstuck. It can also leave you feeling restless and jittery.

    I did a driving course once,after each day we had to change the all tyres on the cars we were using..weather they needed it or not..that was to help get the adrenaline out of the system before facing real world traffic on the way home..that was the theory..for me it just meant that all four were done in pit-stop contending times.
    After a few trips past 'that spot' you'll find that the rush wont appear..unless you stack it there again!
  3. oh yep its real. produced in the suprarenal gland just above your kidneys. the signal to excrete it into the blood stream comes from the most primitive part of the brain. i get it everytime i see a hwy patrol car no jokes 8-[

    you may have noticed when you got it your fine motor skills would have deteriorated. caused by an increased HR.

    its something i try to stimulate when im training. its definately something i try to avoid on the bike. infact i find now if i get in a tight spot i dont feel the effects untill im well clear of the shit when im on two wheels. the last thing you want to loose is your fine motor control, especially when fractions of a millimeter are the difference between braking too soft and braking too hard in a corner.

    i used to able to recall all the pathways in the brain aswell as the table of sypathetic/parasympathetic triggers leading to systemic effects. the flight/fright circuit involve a number of different neural substructures, including the reticular formation which we still know very little about. buts its been two years since i did neurology, and like they say, if you dont use it you loose it...:nopity:
  4. Thanks for the replies guys, One in Lay-mans terms and the other scientific! Awesome!
    To be honest I didn't enjoy that particular rush....It DID leave me a bit shaky afterwards. (quite different to skydiving) I putterered along for the next 15 mins or so just to get rid of that feeling. I get it too when I see a HWP car!! If your concious brain could learn to control the flow of adrenaline as in slow release to the body the experience of riding would definately be enhanced......thanks again. CIBBER
  5. You were on a 600F4i right? If the bike's broken I'll buy it, been looking for a middy to fighter.
  6. You can and you have to. The way to control it is through mental discipline (what we tell ourselves in relation to what we see) and proper breathing exercises.

    The breathing helps regulate the heart rate, which in turn regulates the adrenaline.

    A controlled steady release of adrenaline is a good thing, an adrenaline 'dump' not so much. It's takes time and practice to exert willpower over your body but it can be done.
  7. "sans i" boy.racer

    And no sorry, it's not for sale..All fixed up and better than ever.
  8. Step up your game and crash harder! I need a rolling chassis and a good engine for a new build idea.
  9. Sorry to dissapoint dude, it was a bit of a soft crash (although I did have bone poking out of my finger afterwards and a broken rib) I'll try harder next time so you can have my wrecked bike. I'm working on an oil rig at the moment so send me your accnt. details in advance.
  10. Yeah right, onya. I'll send my shipping agent around and if you don't have paypal, it's easy to set up.
  11. Chef
    Correct anyone who does something exciting for a living..say like racing motorcycles,athletics or going into battle perhaps knows the benefits of a calm state of mind with controlled breathing..even though there is a rush happening. A heightened state of awareness with cat like reflex action induced by two wheels..tis a good place to be.
  12. That's exactly right Chef! For adrenaline to put to good use for your riding, where it enhance your abilities, reaction times, etc, a rider needs to take control of it. Indeed an adrenaline dump is more of an SR reaction (bad news).

    If I was you, I would go through that corner a hundred times if necessary. Your brain will 'learn' that there is nothing to fear there, and stop mega-reacting.
    Face the corner down, tell it to Fark off as you go through it, and overpower that SR. if you don't, it will definitely haunt you.
  13. Quite interested in this topic...
    Raven and Chef, are you saying that practise/familiarity is the key to controlling it? Makes perfect sense with something like a corner that's taken a point off you.
    But I'm also wondering if there's a way to deal with those unexpected times, like a dog running out in front of you, for eg... Can I train myself not to react quite so much?
  14. Yup..expect the un expected..easy to say I know, but keep your eyes and head moving and scan.That way you'll notice that dog,those kids booting a footy or you'll see the tail/brake lights light up on that car parked in front of you..so you know he's going to move out.

    I guess the trick is to keep riding, scan and plan.
  15. To decrease the adrenaline burst from scares/frights/HWP Cars etc I reckon your body/brain needs to first experience the feeling not just once but many times and it will learn from the experience. And then know what to expect the next time you get yourself in a stressful situation. Like the MotoGP guys, how do they ride with confidence (without the scare factor/adrenaline dump) at such extreme speeds/lean angles?? They know the feeling of hanging off @ 60 degrees and of going 340kmph. Countless laps and body conditioning have trained not only the physical body but the brain and nervous system.
    Because the body has a memory it can predict the way forces (both physical and mental)are applied on ones self when riding. These riders know their bodys limits and the bikes intimately. Like anything in life i guess if you do it multiple times you get comfortable in the zone. It's when you put yourself outside your comfort zone, (like i did) when the bodys natural survival reactions kick in...
  16. Yeah maybe the dog running out was a bad example - been a long time since something like that has "surprised" me because I do scan and plan (always have an exit...).
    It's the "outside my comfort zone" bit I think - realising I'm too hot for a corner and won't be exiting as I'd like, and having to overcome the SR in a real hurry...
    (But please don't get the idea it's a regular thing! I just make mistakes sometimes, and suspect I always will...)
  17. Here's a little phsycobabble. Your brain stores millions of snap shots as you ride along. When for instance you approach a corner your brain goes back to that image library, searching for any previous snap shot that matches or closely resembles the corner you are approaching. If it finds a match, you as the rider get a sense that you know what to expect from all the visual clues on approach, and you quite confidently whizz the the corner.

    Right now, you brain has an awful set of reference snapshots in it's reference library of that corner you crashed on. ( with me)
    So by constantly running through that corner correctly you effectively replace the snap shots it is holding in that vast image library, with positive, successful snap shots.
    So now the brain gets a warm fuzzy feeling instead of an "omg I'm gonna crash" feeling.

    Definitely repeat confident cornering through that corner. And remember the brain uses such imagery for any other corner that looks the same.

    As for the cops etc, just continue on your merry way, and create new much more positive images on file for your brain access. If necessary tell the cops to "Fark off" under your breathe, so you keep focus on what YOU are doing - not them.

    Repartition on a bike is your ultimate friend.!! It's how we turn a thought process into one of instinct, which is a much faster process. Anytime you sense something wrong then you repetitiously effect it unto the reaction becomes the desired instinctive reaction.

    Experience is the key to all of these things. And you can't hurry it along, it takes time, and exposure to all manner of circumstances while riding.

    Hope this helps with your question now get and tackle that corner with confidence successfully. Replace the bad imagery on record with a set of shiny new ones, to help settle your brain. :))
  18. Yes definitely. That's the learning process and how you improve your riding.

    You have a given comfort zone, and you want to improve... Step up to the next level in your development. In order to do that you must step outside your current comfort zone. So you do that with smallish forays into the unknown, so that your comfort zone isn't too far behind you, and you can retreat to it.

    But if you persist wit it, what was once above your comfort zone actually becomes your new level of comfort. You ride at that new pace until it is completely familiar, an repeat the whole process over again.

    You can apply that to specific aspects of riding or riding overall.
  19. Cheers Raven, the psychology of sport inparticular sport riding facinates me. Thanks for your input. (y)
  20. aaaah, the million dollar question :) How to stop a corner scoring a point off us in the first place.

    Overcoming a corner that's beaten us has already been adequately answered,. Just go back out there and rerun the corner until the internal message is rewritten. Also notice how we become irrational and illogical towards a stimulus, there's a clue in there.

    After all, it's just a fvcking corner. A corner like any other, but because it's bitten us we fear it more than the others. It's not the corner that's the problem, it's us. We caused the mistake in the first place, so the solution is in our hands.

    Adrenaline is mostly associated with the 'flight or fight' response but there's one more that needs to be taken into account, the 'freeze' response. They're all bad when used at the wrong time, but the freeze response is the deal breaker so let's address it first.

    Having spoken to a number a crashees the most common cause of crashing was getting into a situation where they didn't know what to do next so they froze. The last thought entering their mind was 'oh shit I'm going to crash', and rather than do something they did nothing and boom. Crashed.

    There is the time between identifying the impending crash and having the crash where we have a chance to change the outcome. That's when the adrenaline kicks in and it's designed to make us respond with some fighting or some flighting. An adrenaline dump at this point can cause the brain to go into meltdown and stop thinking until an escape route is identified, and we're frozen*. Not good.

    *note. There is a difference between doing 'nothing' and being 'frozen'. Doing nothing is still doing something. e.g. A head shake or tank slapper requires us to relax and have minimal input into the bike and ride it out. If we freeze on the bike and stiffen up we're having input, when we really need to be relaxing. Hard to do if the adrenaline starts pumping, which brings us neatly to fighting.

    The urge to fight is adrenaline's greatest asset, because we can use it to fight ourselves and overcome our primal instincts. Fighting the desire to panic is the way to overcome the freeze response. Refusing to accept our perceived fate and fighting till the end to change it is what will indeed change it. But without the bag of tricks to fight with, it can be a moot point. The lesson is though, never give up.

    Flight is simply escape, and escaping is where it's at. Who doesn't want to escape an accident? High up on the list of crashing is target fixation, and we're taught it's the boogy monster of riding. But target fixation is our friend if we master it and control it. Because to escape, we need to target fixate on an exit ;)

    To find an exit we need to find space. So we should always be looking at space. Always and all ways, can't stress that enough, there's space all around us, we just need to look at it. When we start out riding we have the mind of a cager and we look at objects, it's the neanderthal mind at work. Objects are threatening so we look at them. But as we evolve into riders we soon learn that it's the lack of space that's threatening, not the objects. So we begin to train ourselves to look at the spaces in between the objects to find our escape paths.

    If while we're riding and we can't see the space, or we don't have at least two exit strategies mapped out at all times, we're simply riding too fast. If something pops up at this stage and gives us an adrenaline shot we'll most likely freeze. No plan B means no more thinking, no more thinking means no more fighting, no more fighting means freezing, and there's the deal breaker. No escape *crickets* crash.

    Now here's the thing, we start out with two tricks in our bag to escape with, and they're not very good ones in my opinion. When we're n00bs they teach us braking or turning, turning or braking or braking or turning. But the best trick in the bag is the one they don't teach, it's braking and turning.

    Being able to brake and turn at the same time opens up a lot more escape paths than just doing one or the other. In fact doing either one or the other can actually close off the escape paths and trap us. Which is why I don't like them or depend on them on there own.

    If there is one glaring omission in the training of noobs, it's braking and turning at the same time.

    If you have it in your bag of tricks, the next part is deciding on the combination of how you're going to use them, and to do that you need to think your way through to your exit. Having escape paths pre-planned and mapped out allows you the option to choose them when the adrenaline is pumping.

    So that brings us to fear. I don't fear gravel, cars, wombats, diesel, the 'all the gear and no idea' wanker coming the other way. I fear not knowing what to do or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time to escape. Those things will always be with us on the road, which is why the onus is on us to deal with it. Increasing our bag of tricks is all we have control over, so that's where our answers come from.

    Adrenaline can help us think with clarity if we have something to think about, or it can cloud our judgement if we don't. And because riding is a thinking man's sport, we have no choice but to master it and control it.