September 15, 2012

Don't Over Think

Deep in the twisties of the San Jacinto Mountains, Highways Honda ST, lovingly named Blackbird, screams deftly in Highway's grip. We roll from side to side, leaning into the turns, gaining momentum with every bend.

We had taken a short overnighter to Palm Desert just as soon as our wedding guests went home. The drive into the desert was miserable in the excruciating 103 degree heat, crawling behind inept motorists who traveled mountain roads down to the desert floor. Now leaving the next morning, it was a biker-couple-honeymooner's dream come true. Nearly 1 hour of mountain roads virtually car-free.

I marveled at the gift of open roads prime for a good shredding. Back and forth, gripping with my legs, my light touch gracing Highway's hips, leaning forward slightly brushing my torso to his with no weight or pressure, I forced my center of gravity into the seat of the bike. My goal is to mimic his movements, exactly, without leaning into him for support. I worked my core to meet his specifications, copy every movement without draining him of any strength, as I want him to pour all he has into the ride.

DOT. The back of his helmet stares me in the face. I focus on the helmet in the tighter turns, the ones that need me to relax, feel the bike, feel the man, be the bike, be the man, don't think. We are one thing, one unit. The energy vibrates through all of us, equally, the man, the woman, the machine. DOT. Don't Over Think. Be, feel, ride.

Often times my head works on me from the backseat. I worry about things I can't change, people who I can't help, problems I'd like to solve. I catch the glance of my reminder, DOT, and remember, Don't Over Think. I'm riding! Be in the moment. Live now, not later. Put my mind here and now, feeling the wind, the sun, the ride.

During lane splitting, I lean back in the seat, sitting as still as possible. DOT. I don't think. I focus on Highway as he glides Blackbird between the semis and mindless motorists. Knowing that thinking could get us both killed, I just don't think.

I wish I could take the lesson through life, stepping off the bike and back into reality. Don't Over Think. Just live. Be myself. Don't Over Think. Don't worry. Don't fret. Don't Over Think. Enjoy the day. Just ride.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard folks say it is impossible to not think on a bike.

    It is my belief that not thinking on a bike is why I am still alive and riding after 42 years. Thinking leads to making mistakes....I ride by reaction...I see, I react....I sense, I does something odd, I react.

    There are many who will claim this can't be true, but if an experienced rider sits and thinks about near misses in their life and wonders how they didn't get nailed I would offer because they didn't have time to think and were saved only by their reactions. Reactionary riding is the only form of riding I ever do.

    Here is a link to a post that covers my not thinking


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