While Zen masters will insist “Meditation is meditation, and riding a motorcycle is riding a motorcycle,” riding your bike is a great way to bring yourself totally into the present – which is one of the primary benefits of meditation. Motorcycling requires a single-minded focus without the other distractions of modern life. Most meditation instructors emphasize that in order to get the best results, it must be practiced daily – at the same time of day if possible.
Motorcycling is no different. The neural pathways involved in the operation of a motorcycle strengthen with repetition. Motorcycling, itself, becomes a practice: “cultivating is what we mean when we speak of practice. The key role in any cultivation is tending that which has been planted … Tending means attending, which comes from attention. These words all carry in them the quality of being present, wakeful, stretched toward, in readiness, conscious.” (from Everyday Blessings by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn) With practice, I’ve noticed that, as when I sit down to meditate, my pulse rate drop and my tension lessens just by putting on my riding gear.