Saturday, July 11, 2009

Motorbikes are Life Enhancing

[WARNING: contains adult content, so do NOT read if you are under 18 or easily offended]

I was once asked many years ago, why I love motorbikes so much, and I answered flippantly, 'cause they are life enhancing devices' :)

When I heard myself say that, I thought "yes, what a cool concept, LED - Life Enhancing Devices" and that started me down the track of thinking about and exploring the whole notion of Life Enhancing and what its structure and process is, and how we can add value to our lives and enhance them beyond living a mere mundane, mediocre, 'normal' life.

I'm also totally serious about motorbikes being LED's. They truly are!

Subjective LED

Of course, let me acknowledge that motorbikes are a subjective LED, rather than an objective LED (see my earlier blog about this distinction).

They're not for everyone. You have to have a gutsy and adventurous spirit to own and ride one.

You have to love acceleration and wind in your face, and being in the flow and connected more immediately with your environment. On a motorbike, you smell and feel the air in ways you just don't get in a car. Though I will say, that driving a sports car like (say) a Mazda MX5, which is like an open top, sport-driving focused go-cart, is as close as you can get to having a motorbike-like experience, while being tethered to the ground via four wheels rather than two. So count open top sports cars and similar into the category of motorbike-like devices.

Taking you to special places

Motorbikes can also take you places you just can't easily get to on other forms of transport. If you own or ride a trail-bike, then you can cover amazing distances into the forests and bush, flying along the most rugged of tracks, skimming across logs, rocks, ruts and gulleys, jumping high over bumps and sliding delightfully through the berms. The bike becomes an extension of your self. You flow through the land. And you can get from river to mountain top and back again in minutes, compared to hiking or trekking the same tracks in time periods of days. You'd have to do it to know just what I'm talking about. It's a truly amazing and life enhancing experience.

Road-bikes are just as exhilarating and life enhancing. There's a freedom of spirit. An ability to change direction, to stop, start and flow so quickly and effortlessly. At one with your bike, centered in a moving universe of flow. I'm waxing lyrical here I know... but those who have ridden enough to build unconscious competence and to form that fluid connection with their machine, will know what I'm talking about. And for those of you who have never ridden, I'm trying to evoke a sense of the experience, so you can see why I claimed all those years ago that bikes are Life Enhancing Devices.

And even more...

There's so much more I could say about motorbikes and how they add value to your life. I could tell you for example, a somewhat entertaining story about the connection of bikes and fast cars to sexuality. I was doing some consulting for a major Oil company that was a client of mine, when in one of those large corporate open space offices, I noticed one of the Managers had large glossy photos of some really hot cars pinned around his cubicle.

I wandered over, introduced myself and said "Hey, cool cars! Are they yours or just photos of cars you like?"

He responded with, "Yeah, they are cool. They're all mine! I own and drive every one of them."

"Awesome", I replied, "So you are a petrol-head too, just like me?"

"Oh, please" he exclaimed, "I'm no 'petrol-head', I'm a Petro-Sexual!"

Wow, what a concept, what a distinction! A Petro-Sexual!

Now, I have to explain... my friend Garry and I have for years playfully commented to each other that riding trail-bikes is almost a sexual experience, we call it 'surrogate-sex' and reckon that having a bike between your legs, moving gracefully and powerfully, connected as one, in the flow and with all the fun and adrenalin that comes from a great ride, is pretty much 'almost' as good as sex. Now I apologise if this has gotten into 'too much detail' for you and transgressed into personal adult land :) But what the hey, I'm trying to tell it like it is, and share honestly and from the heart, how great motorbikes can be.

So when I heard that guy, working in an Oil Company of all places (what a surprise hey), say the word 'Petro-Sexual', I knew right away that he had encapsulated what Garry and I had been talking about. Bikes, sports cars and similar fast machines are petro-sexual life enhancing devices :)

Over to you

Well, that's a window into my views on how and why I believe motorbikes et al. are LED's and can bring a wondrous refreshment to your life. Riding a bike puts a smile on your dial and an immediate and refreshing attitude adjustment to your life. After a ride, stress just melts away. The need for total focus (in order to survive) and the experience of flow produce what research in Positive Psychology calls the 'broaden and build effect'. It creates emotional, physical and intellectual balance, capital and buffering.

So what are your thoughts on this? Anyone reading this want to add a comment on the affirmative or otherwise? Have you got some examples you'd like to share of how bikes have enhanced your life?

Ride Carefully

I guess I'd like to finish with an important warning from the sponsor: Riding motorbikes is an inherently risky and potentially dangerous activity. Always ride safely and within the speed limit for the conditions. Done properly, riding a motorbike can be a life enhancing experience. Done poorly, it can not only be a life limiting experience, it can kill you!

So ride safe and ride to ride another day!

wishing you much Living In Full Enhancing!,


  1. And here's some research to back up just why riding motorbikes is so life enhancing:

    "Tool use alters brain's map of body"

    "Researchers claim to have the first direct evidence of a century-old idea that using tools changes the way the human brain perceives the size and configuration of our body parts..."

    So once you become one with your bike, you are literaly extending and expanding your map of your body to include your bike. And the bikes enhanced capabilities, fuse into your mind.

    Of course this is true of all tools and devices that you gain unconscious mastery over.

    And the more amazing the tool or device capabilities, the more enhanced and amazing your own mind maps become.

    Cool piece of knowledge hey!

  2. Won't surprise you to know that if you take the zoom-zoom out of it, Grant, you're talking the same kind of extension of physicality some people get out of skis, blades etc. Yeah, there's another dimension in your description -- virbration, a relative boost in the sensation of transit and acceleration, perhaps a mesmerizing full-sensory press going through you, etc -- but then there's a separate dimension for the non-motorized enhancements as well. I.e. solemnity, serenity, a pace that permits reading of all the minutia and daily gossip that occurs in nature, and a connectivity with the universe that's like listening to a seashell in that it requires one to be as unobtrusive an observer as possible. Speed, I think, is usually weighed against control. And if you've ever gotten up to 35 miles an hour on blades, or 50 on a bike, you probably get all the sensation you can handle coming into a curve or down a sudden drop. Sexuality comes with all those intense highs, doesn't it? I think a good case can be made for even something as sedate as golf to be a male sexual metaphor considering the object of the game, the remote control extension of power, and the nature of the equipment. Thanks again for a sterling article.


  3. Yes!! Motorbike riding can give you so much and allow you to share fantastic experiences with others! Ride on....

  4. Dirt bike riding, with its controlled adrenaline charge, quantified by throttle position, is a popular recreation, however, its mediation by risk management processes is what is required in order that such an activity to truly become life enhancing, as per the safety message. For without the (complex) risk management then the potential heath compromises step it away from being an overall life enhancing experience. Most experienced dirt and road bike riders have a sufficiently impactful history of personal injury to know that sustainability of life enhancing bike riding lies in expertise with risk management… and how critical has this become with the power of modern bikes, possibly the final incarnations of exclusively fossil-fuel powered two wheelers.

    None-the-less, it seems that stepping over this edge is possible at any life position, as detailed halfway through this blog…

  5. At the young age of 50 I decided it was time to learn how to ride a motorbike, cycle racing having been my earlier exhilaration provider. A trip to the motorcycling complex at St Ives in Sydney sowed some seeds of doubt when one of the instructors showed me the accident stats for someone of my vintage (and youngish kids). After nearly 8 years I finally decided to look at 4 wheel options. A Lotus Super 7 had always impressed, but then I discovered the Mazda MX5. A true petro-sexual in the Vic MX5 club described them as a go-cart with a CD player. I've had one for 20 months now and it is simply brilliant. Its my work car, my heart starting cobweb blaster, my escape from all that attempts to weigh you down and, importantly, its my entry ticket to a club of like-minded individuals of diverse tastes that's provided me with the opportunity to meet more people in the last 20 months, whom I want to know better, than I have met in the last 20 years. Put my beautiful wife in the co-pilot's seat, pull the roof down and give me some twisting bitumen and I have my two wheeled version of a LED.


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