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Author Topic: Concentration
Posts: 9
Post Concentration
on: May 20, 2012, 09:52

Recounting a recent day trip into the Peak District to a fellow biker, we got chatting about concentration.

The heart of the Peaks is about a three-hour journey from the middle of Norfolk which having done twice now, I am able to perform in one hit. The “fellow biker” indicated that for him an hour to an hour and half is about the absolute maximum riding period before a stop is required to regenerate those powers of concentration. Whilst chatting, I inwardly wondered why he was only able to sustain concentration for what seems to me to be relatively short periods.

I later reflected on this conversation and considered these thoughts relative to the subject:

• Did my level of concentration remain constant during the aforementioned ride?

• How can we self monitor our levels of concentration?

• Do the types of bikes we ride have a bearing on our ability to concentrate over longer rides?

• How as motorcyclists do we individually cope with adverse or extreme weather conditions – cold, heat and rain?

• How as motorcyclists do we individually cope with traffic or road conditions? Can an incident or near miss throw you completely off your rhythm?

Indeed as I write I am just getting over a nagging sinus headache which means I will miss today’s morning ride out. Therein lies possibly an exhaustingly long list of reasons (mental and physical) why we might consider not to ride. Some obvious ones to think about might be:

• Pain.

• Anxiety.

• “Stress”.

• Recent argument.

• Medication.

Maybe you would like to recount a situation when one of the above might have been the cause of an incident or riding error?

To answer my own question on whether I remained concentrated – yes I firmly believe so. By being so completely zoned into what I was trying achieve (perfection) helped maintain (in my opinion and that of my pillion’s) concentration resilient to distractions.

Bullet point two is tricky. The most obvious answer might be to narrate out aloud everything that is happening around you. Unless I am yet unpracticed, I personally find this distracting and exhausting akin to using up valuable RAM or memory space on your computer. What do you do to self-monitor? Or do you just take regular stops as a matter of course?

Bullet point three is interesting in that the “fellow biker” mentioned at the start of this piece rides a sport bike. The physical challenges the sport bike riding position demands must surely have a strong influence in causing distractions to concentration. Moreover a high level of physical fitness might be required for lengthy rides where progression is the order of the day. Which bikes have you ridden – what’s your view? Have you ever-lost confidence in your bike for whatever reason – tip over, handling issue etc….

I would be happy to read your views on some of the thoughts and questions I have touched on.

Ending on a more light hearted note…

The mental emotion of guilt should be considered before riding but of course be completely ignored. For instance should I go for a ride or cut the grass? I’m sure you have all been there and made the right decision 🙂



Posts: 28
Post Re: Concentration
on: May 20, 2012, 19:58

such a lot to consider...personally I like to keep it short and sweet...1 1/2 to 2 hours max..not just for concentration but also for enjoyment. My arse normally needs a rest by then. If I'm on the Guzzi I wouldn't want to do much more than an hour max just because of the discomfort.

you wouldn't be human if having a "moment" didn't affect you, and probably rightly so..... Every accident or near miss should be seen as an opportunity to re-evalutae etc. Last time I had a big "moment" I rode like a a very unconfident scared thing for a good few days afterwards.

Going for a ride always wins unless the other option is going for a beer...and obviously the two don't mix.

Posts: 18
Post Re: Concentration
on: May 26, 2012, 20:19

Dan, all good thought provoking points, you must have too much time on your hands, lol.
I like to stop around every 100 miles which is roughly 90 minutes, give or take. I find that having a walk about freshens up the body and the mind. Stops me from becomming too uncomfortable which leads to lack of concentration as I start to think more about my muscle cramp than my riding.
As for guilt, I have never felt guilty about going for a ride, why would you!!!

The Vicar
Posts: 20
Post Re: Concentration
on: November 20, 2012, 14:01

Wow Dan, a lot to concentrate on there (I have to say my mind wandered a bit whilst reading your post ;-)).

I would have to agree with your 'fellow biker' and the other posters above that 1-2 hours at a stretch is an upper level for me - your list of factors that could adversely affect this is good - I'd add 'Age' to it as well.

The MotoGP professionals can only last 40 minutes at a push (and some, you know who you are Randy de Puneit) rarely last that long. Perhaps a more relevant comparator would be the Isle of Man TT racers, who can cover 75-odd miles / 40 minutes of the Greatest Roadracing Course in the World for only two laps before they need to pit. None of these sportspeople have to contend with the most dangerous hazards that you do on your Peaks run (junctions, homicidal car drivers, livestock etc.).

Thanks for your advice on 'Guilt', as a left-footer this always been a problem for me...I feel absolved! Allelulya!

The Vicar

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