Motorbikes fight dementia?


My wife has been reading a lot of books about positive education and recently attended a teaching conference on the same subject.
You know the stuff: power of positive thinking, surround yourself with positive people, keep your mind active, stay healthy blah blah blah.
I’ve been a journalist all my working life, so I’m pretty cynical about everything.
However, I’m very positive about motorcycling and am always looking for positive things to say about it.
That’s difficult with news about outlaw bikies, hoons and crash statistics constantly bringing down our passion.
So I’m kind of looking for anything that will counter these negative images of motorbiking.
My wife has been telling me some of the things she has learnt from these books and conference and I’m starting to think they are correct – at least in reference to bikers.
Here are a few:
Apparently practising physical dexterity skills helps stave off dementia (what could be more physically dexterous than juggling clutch, braking, gearshifting, lining up corners, while balancing a 200kg machine on two wheels with a powerful engine?);
We need to get out in the fresh air and sunshine more often to get serotonin which is a wellbeing hormone (the best roads are in the country which, as you may have noticed, is full of serotonin);
The world is too busy and crowded and people don’t get enough quiet time to think (put your earplugs in, pull on your helmet and bingo! You have quiet time);
Positive thinking can stave off mental and physical illness (there can be no more positive group of people than bikers who grin when they see a nice corner or a shiny Ducati/Harley/Norton etc);
Practise mindfulness, a Buddhist awareness of the good things in life like a sunset or a nice landscape (have a look at a rider’s photo album or Facebook page and see how may photos they have of their bike in a picturesque setting – see my pic above);
Challenging mental skills such as sudoku and bridge keep the mind active and help stave off dementia (no one can ride a bike without full concentration, especially when you are riding fast); and
We need to have a strong community for support and “connectiveness” (bench racing at the local cafe provides a wonderful sense of community).
There are probably more examples of ways to keep yourself alert and healthy, and I’ll bet most of them can apply to motorbiking.
It’s a positive, active, healthy pursuit and we all need to tell more people about it.
What do you think? Please click on the “Leave a reply” link below.

  1. Good news! Makes sense, really – the more we are thinking and operating our hands (and feet) the more our brain is being exercised.

    For me there is extra good news, because I am a musician – a lot of thinking and dexterity there too! 🙂

  2. I couldn’t agree more about dementia and about depression. I would also add anxiety. The latter two I have experienced first hand and these experiences are debilitating. I once saw a doco about David Hicks (released Guantanamo detainee now living back home in Australia). Part of the footage included David riding his bike (close up camera shots of his face and eyes when riding). It was clear he was disengaging from his traumatic experiences associated with his stay at Guantanamo. Riding a bike sensibly and using all your senses is a great distractor of the stressors of everyday life – not to mention disengaging from mental trauma no matter how it may manifest itself.

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