Extended Helmet Therapy

It’s 11:42PM, in Maitland NSW. Hugo is snoring like a freight train in the bed next to mine. Where the fuck are my ear plugs? Oh! wait.. I have a bottle 8% Ginger Joe’s Ginger Beer. ¬†That’ll satisfy the thirst and make me not care about the human chainsaw, and help me to forget about my sore muscles ūüôā ¬† Drinking it on my own because Dan and Ben are in the next room with the lights off. ¬†Me? I can’t sleep so, peck away at this keyboard by LCD light I shall!

Anyway.. ¬† 18 minutes until day 2 of our trip from Brisbane/Gold Coast QLD to Phillip Island for the 2017 MotoGP comes to a close. Day 3 starts tomorrow, when we wake up early (not as early as Hugo. ¬†Some of us are human and need more sleep that isn’t snore filled) ¬† We just had an epic day of riding and covered 450 some odd k’s, including heading down Thunderbolts way (part of the Australia’s New England High Country. ¬†https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbolts_Way). ¬†Of course, we obeyed the speed limit at all times, Officer Rod Updeinenarsch! ¬† How could you suggest otherwise! ¬†You and your brethren can give us all the dirty looks you like as we roll past. ¬†Really I know you are just jealous, even if you don’t understand it, or admit it to yourselves. ¬†No revenue for you! Not this time! sorry ūüôĀ

This 15 day trip has been brewing in the brain for at least 2 years. ¬†Yep, I’ve got the nomads blood in me! Sitting still for an extended length of time, really gets me antsy! ¬† I bet my ancestors were on horseback, hoofs thundering through the hills in search of the next adventure. ¬†Maybe that is just what I tell myself so that I can justify my addiction to motorcycles. ¬† Either way, the desire is there, and if I don’t give in, I become a very cranky and irritable bastard! ¬† Just ask my wife!

I do get away for 2 day escapes here and there to keep my insanity in check, but I’ve been feeling the call to throw a bunch of things into a bag, climb onto my bike and disappear into the hills on an extended trip; ¬†rolling into small towns, eating in places we’ll probably never visit again, and sleeping in a different bed every night; spending time winding the throttle of our bikes until the RPMs howl while hearing the exhaust note echo through the hills as we scream down the road (yes yes, at the speed limit, Officer Rod).

So finally this year, the motorcycle gods heard my silent calls and blessed me with the time to fuck off into the great wide open, and as it happens they also blessed my above mentioned nomadic compa√Īeros with the same. ¬†Originally it was 6 of us that wanted to go along, but 2 were robbed of the glory. ¬†So in the end 4 of us carefully planned our escape across 3 Australian states and one territory, in search of winding roads, petrol stations with 98 Octane and motorcycle racing glory that is the MotoGP. ¬† We left Saturday morning!

Ahh finally some time to get centred; to find some peace and tranquility! My bike, my helmet and my thoughts!

Some of you inherently get that, but others? You scratch your heads and ask: ‘how the fuck does anyone find relaxation and mindfulness by wrapping ones legs around a motor and 2 wheels while barrelling down the hill at adrenalin fuelled breakneck speed, with only leathers and a helmet, skirting certain death and infamy as an organ donor?’ ¬† Surely thats just some crazy shit, that can be diagnosed using the DSM manual and cured with medication right?

Nope! It’s true it can ACTUALLY reduce stress and make you happier in the long run. ¬† Don’t believe me? OK.. let me drop some science on you non-believers! ¬†According to the Ryuta Kawashima Laboratory of the Department of Functional Brain Imaging, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University.”Incorporating motorcycle riding into daily life improves various cognitive functions (particularly prefrontal cortex functions) and has positive effects on mental and emotional health such as stress reduction.”

Wait.. What? They make you smarter!? ¬†But but but it’s so dangerous! ¬†You could die! ¬†Ok…. sure, that is true. It’s dangerous! ¬†But so is walking across a busy street, smoking a cigarette, posting extremist political shit on Facebook, eating too much crap at your local cheap Chinese buffet or visiting McDonalds more than 3x a year!

Yep, improved cognitive function! ¬†AND!!!… get this. ¬†It can bring you tranquility and allow for some self exploration! ¬†Now this isn’t a novel idea. ¬†It’s been around for quite a while now. ¬†Seriously! Ever heard of the book by Persig (RIP) called ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’? ¬† Yes? ¬†Did you read it? If no to either of those questions then, shame on you! ¬†Download it here!¬†and relieve yourself of your risk averse misconceptions! ¬†You’ll thank me! ¬† ¬† If you don’t then WTF are you doing here reading this blog anyway? We are way to different, and anything I say will just sound like gibberish to you. ¬†Stop wasting your time and go crochet sometime would ya!? ¬†Don’t forget to pick up a big mac on the way home ok?

So.. Those that are still here…….. ¬† ¬†Science!…. Motorcycles might kill you, but riding them has been proven to make you smarter! ¬†They¬†will¬†make you happy! They will help you to better deal with stress, because yes life is stressful, that shit isn’t going to change! ¬†Not in our day and age! ¬†But think about it for a second. ¬†If you are happy and able to cope with stress better, then maybe you will be a nicer person to those around you!? hmmm? hmmm? See! ¬†a bit of altruism there! ¬†Anyway, google that stuff! ¬†Check out that cool rabbit hole! I’m not preaching anymore! If you are already converted, then go get on your bike, or buy one, borrow one! ¬†Hell get on a scooter! FFS! Go Zen out!

As for me, I know this to be true… ¬†riding clears my head, I can have the shittiest week ever! Go from one royal fuck around to the next but if I get on my bike and go for a ride, helmet on face, wind rushing past, my mind gets quiet! ¬†I’m in whats called the here and now! It’s momentary zen! ¬†My blood pressure actually goes down! ¬†Yeah… I’m in my 40’s and have to think about that shit! ¬† No doc is writing this guy a scrip for statins! Hell no!

Fuck! ¬†Lucky me! ¬†13 more days of this, and a world class motorcycle race parked right in the middle ūüôā Fuck yeah!

Anyway, its late! ¬†Ginger Joe has worked his magic, my battery is at 4%, and Hugo stopped snoring.. I better get some sleep before he starts again! ¬†Got another awesome day of riding! More mountain ranges, the thrum of my V4 Aprilia, while I quick shift through the gears, flying past amazing scenery, having good laughs and good times, and collecting stories to tell later! ¬†Gotta savour that shit! ūüôā

Until next time!  Keep your throttle hand strong and stay upright!