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:
• Recent argument.
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 🙂