Motorbiking Is Mindfulness

Noticing everything.

How are the road conditions immediately in front of me? Is it wet? Is there sand on the road? Are there potholes or raised structures? Is there any trash or debris on the road? Are there any animals in the periphery that could do something unexpected?

What is the driver ahead of me doing? Behind me? The driver in the oncoming lane? Are they going to turn left in front of me, despite the fact that their turn signal is not on? If in doubt, slowing down and deferring.

Have I inadvertently left my turn signals on, falsely conveying my intent?

Are oncoming drivers looking down at their laps (i.e., mobile devices)? Can the driver behind me see over their dashboard? If in doubt, pulling in the clutch and giving a quick, sharp bark of the exhaust to provide an alert. Or the horn. Wishing I had a back-facing horn. Hoping that they can hear. Otherwise, being ready to evade as might be needed.

Recognizing that other drivers are not necessarily idiots or assholes (though sometimes both are true). Rather, they are people like you and me, who sometimes make mistakes. Smiling and riding on. Rising above. Breathing.

What is happening 100 feet ahead? 200 feet? Is traffic unexpectedly slowing down? If so, flashing my brake lights on and off a few times to alert drivers behind me.

How fast am I going? Is it fast enough? Is it too fast? Am I in the appropriate gear given the grade? Is there any engine strain from too many or too few RPMs?

Nope, this is just right.

How is my posture? Is my back straight? Am I clenching my body anywhere? Am I stressed or relaxed? Bringing my attention to my breath, and to the state of my body. Noticing that I am supremely balanced. Recognizing that this is a calculated risk. Being supremely confident and supremely humble in the same breath.

Being grateful for this gift of balance.

My, that is a beautiful farm scene. Lovely animals grazing. Beautiful clouds. Should I stop and take a picture? Nah, today I’ll just savor the moment.

Loving the feeling of the wind on my face.

Noticing everything.

Now bringing my attention back to the road conditions immediately in front of me.

Repeating.