Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Riding... Conscious or Sub-Conscious

How many times have you seen a driver/rider allow themselves to be distracted and end up doing something stupid as a consequence?

You get angry and think what a damn fool... right?

But then you get all embarrassed because you do the same damn fool thing; You allow yourself to become distracted.

You know what happened to the Old Time mountain men... if they allowed themselves the luxury of distraction?... uh huh. Their hair ended up hangin' on some Warriors lance.

So... you think there's no defense... we're all fallible and there's nothing you can do... Right?


There -IS- a defense. It's a Biker Cowboy Zen kind of a thing.

Here's the deal... Only your CONSCIOUS mind can become distracted. Your subconscious is always in there... 24/7... even when you're asleep... watching, waiting... looking out for you - IF - you learn to employ it. If you sharpen your connection with it. IF you train yourself to listen to it.

It's that little voice whispering too you at times... Listen to it.

The key is to train yourself to respond to its subconscious cues. Those old mountain men rode safely through a hostile world seeming to pay no attention to the world around them. Yet the sound of a bird, the snap of a branch... or in-appropriate silence triggered a subtle reaction in them that caused them to turn off onto other trails... change what they were doing subtly and almost imperceptibly.

They didn't react to things with wild panic and excitement... they simply adjusted their behavior in subtle ways to circle around the "difficulties" that presented.

But the consequence was... they rode on safely.

Onlookers watching might have decided that there was never a problem to begin with... they were just lucky, or that the Mountain Men were some sort of magical omniscient beings.

The reality was, their very conscious and deliberate early attention and training to the world around them taught them to subconsciously and automatically react to tiny and almost invisible bits of information.

That might look like magic or a sixth sense to the casual observer, but it was simply that they had trained themselves to be finely attuned to their environment. That gave them the opportunity to take proactive actions that led them out of harms way...

...before "Harms way" had the opportunity to create the great difficulties that would need to be over come.

Nothing comes out of Nowhere. There are Always warning signs -IF- you have trained yourself to be attuned to their subtle existence.

There's an old saying; "You don't survive by winning gun fights. You survive by Avoiding them." They same idea holds with riding a motorcycle. You don't survive by riding out of trouble. You survive by not riding into it in the first place.

Over time, as you consciously work to hone your senses... they begin to function subconsciously... and you react automatically... and your riding seems to suddenly become very peaceful with fewer and fewer "close call" incidents... because your Never Distracted Subconscious perceived the threat early...

... and moved you out of the way before it could reach critical mass. It gets to the point where your conscious mind doesn't even hear the whispers any more... it starts to run on autopilot with that internal safety system always functioning... Un-Distractable.

As you ride, see an "issue" and consciously, deliberately visualize two things. 1. How do you get out of that situation. and 2. What were the "Warning Signs" that preceded the "Situation". Over time, those thoughts will become a muscle memory (subconscious) that will serve you well.

You're riding along day dreaming about something or other... the sort of thing those cagers/riders do that leads to stupidity...

...Only in your case, you've trained your conscious mind to surrender control at times to that other mind... It keeps your head swiveling, day dream or not. It sees that car approaching the red light at too high a rate of speed. The situation IS perceived.

... in mid day dream, a thousand miles away, your hand rolls off the throttle without thinking about it...

... and you watch the fool run the light, past you, in front of you. Honed to a fine edge.

But... You have to start that honing with deliberate, conscious alertness. It takes time and effort.

Grab Your Handles and Ride


Trobairitz said...

Great analogy with the mountain men.

Not only does being hyper aware of our surrounding help keep us alive, but repeating tasks so often they become muscle memory and we do them automatically.

Sash Johnson said...

Love it! Thank you!
I'm learning everyday. Every ride I feel a little more in touch with my motorcycle and the road, but never yet have I felt tuned out. I've too much to learn yet to let my mind wander. 4,500 miles under my belt is NOTHING compared to the years of riding that's necessary to daydream, even for a minute.
I'm still training my muscles and my subconscious.
Thanks for the serious insight,