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Thread: The Tao of Driving.

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    Rookie VIVIAN C's Avatar
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    Cool The Tao of Driving.

    Well the last time I wrote the article "Confessions of a Biker" some xbhpians complained that they didn't get what I wanted to convey. My sincere apologies to the respected brethren. This time I want to delve more on biking and awareness- The mind and its relation to the way we drive.

    The human mind is broadly classified into 2 states- The Conscious and The Unconscious/Sub-Conscious.We are at the most using just 5-10 percent of our capacity of the mind. The rest remains unused - This unused is collectively known as the Sub-Conscious mind. By the faculty of our Conscious minds we do carry out our day to day activities.Our success in carrying out any task to perfection depends on how well we use the untapped potential of our own sub-conscious mind. The good news is Driving can be used as a device to improve the functioning of our sub-conscious mind and attain a healthy balance.


    A little rewind over here.
    Just note the many things you do in the day- regular activities like getting up from the bed,brushing teeth ,combing the hair - you will realize that all these have become robotic- accustomed habits - A pattern we are thinking something and doing something else.When we learned how to drive a motorcycle we did put effort at the moments of learning and during the period of learning the awareness levels were higher- This being due to the difficulty of the learning process we have to be constantly aware and focused .But as soon as we manage to drive satisfactorily we stop learning and when we stop learning whatever we have learned becomes a rigid ,robotic habit.This is the automaton part of us- A Habit/Pattern.I do understand that we are not like Rossi with superhuman reflexes but we can be much better than what we are currently - with a little patience and awareness.

    The next time when you are riding your bike try to be aware of every movement you make, and do some introspection based upon your observations - you will come to know many things which were unknown before. An example would be when you are performing a different task while driving.It creates a split awareness of your being.This split awareness is what results in mishaps.When the totality of the awareness if focused on one task - the chances of accident are really negligible.The point over here is how do we increase our awareness ?

    Some pointers to start with. You can add your own suggestions and pointers of which we can be aware of.

    1.How do you start the bike ?
    2.Shift gears.
    3.Take turns.
    4.Braking habits.
    5.Reaction to the traffic and tolerance level.
    6.Sudden REACTIONS.(Try to make note of how you react in emergency situations)
    7.Control over emotions and sudden urges to race.
    8.What things do you usually ignore while driving and considering them to be insignificant ?


    This thread is meant to discuss ,share and improve our driving skills thus realizing the mind's hidden potential and to do that being aware is one of the best tools.It will also make you more aware of the inputs the bike is giving to you in various ways.

    It's a great pleasure to practice biking with awareness as you will come to know.It does increase the satisfaction of the driving experience and reduces the risk of mishaps.
    Buddha on wheelz.

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    Rusted Aryan's Avatar
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    Topic Approved.
    ...in search of that perfect world - My Travel Blog :)

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    Rusted ken cool's Avatar
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    Lovely article there. Worthy of going into Hard Torque. But I am unable to understand the "Split awareness" part!
    The Wheel was a great invention; Two Wheels with a Motor in between was even better!


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    Rookie VIVIAN C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cool View Post
    Lovely article there. Worthy of going into Hard Torque. But I am unable to understand the "Split awareness" part!
    Thank you very much Sir.

    A split awareness is attention getting divided into doing multiple chores at once .It can be compared to multi-tasking in computers. But we are human and we can perform much better when our concentration levels are high in doing one particular activity.We do get habituated to multi-tasking in life and the quality of our performance goes on declining as a consequence.
    Buddha on wheelz.

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    Rusted NitinGirish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIVIAN C View Post
    It creates a split awareness of your being.This split awareness is what results in mishaps.When the totality of the awareness if focused on one task - the chances of accident are really negligible.The point over here is how do we increase our awareness ?
    This can happen when your mind is not challenged enough (oops! now that sounds a little different). Doing a 40kmph in a 70kmph traffic condition for example. Or riding through the same route. My solution-> Ride faster Seriously, atleast thats been my experience. I would look at a girl trying to cross the road or a new bike/car, only if I am riding slow. Else, my concentration would be entirely on riding. Totality of awareness is focussed on one task as you would phrase it.

    However, it is good certain things become mechanical. Else, we wont be able to learn or improve upon our skills. Imagine being as scared to ride as you were while learning!
    A lone amateur built the ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic...

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    Rookie VIVIAN C's Avatar
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    You made a good point over there regarding awareness. When we are driving fast there is nothing that takes our focus away.
    That's why the OBSESSION WITH SUPERBIKES
    When driving at 70 in a 40 kmph situation requires a heightened sense of awareness. Has anyone tried driving fast in a narrow lane ? It's the same feeling ,this narrowness means more concentration is required.

    The problem is that things do become mechanical before perfection is achieved. Once the mechanization is gone there is no need to relearn anything, but Only Improvise on the existing.

    One simple analogy would be the way we chew food.It's a mechanical habit,we are in some process like maybe watching TV,chatting with someone etc.. but our attention is usually on something else other than the activity we are doing.I am not accusing anyone, but it's been said that we need to chew the food for 25-30 times before ingesting it , and i am pretty much sure many people aren't doing it.
    Buddha on wheelz.

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    Rookie VIVIAN C's Avatar
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    http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/hard-tor...orcycling.html

    This wonderful article by Sundeep Sir is also to be read along to facilitate more clarity.
    Buddha on wheelz.

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    Super Moderator Old Fox's Avatar
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    Well put there Viv...and yes on the surface our paths seem similar.

    Where we differ is visible on delving a trifle deeper. True, the mechanical movements of riding a bike are the first to be mastered. They are the most obvious of our 'learning' needs. And as those mastered movements become second-nature for us, we tend to let our mind drift to things not relevant to riding while we ride. This is because we now apparently have 'idle' brain capacity as the riding 'motor' skills are almost a part of our muscle memory.

    The point here is to give the mind 'enough' work all the time. Situational awareness is one such endless chore..and a true life/skin-saver at that. The 'second nature' skills remain relevant only if the rider uses them at the needed moment. Thats where my Dharma concept comes in. Total honesty towards the work at hand...which entails staying totally focused on the ride. The ways and means of achieving this 'point-focus' can be many but first the mind needs to be convinced of its dire need. Only when the mind is receptive to this need will it strive to remain in sync. If the rider feels he can easily multi-task while riding...i.e. mixing tasks having no relevance to the riding (like watching that chick or thinking of what to do this coming weekend), then his mind shall never turn with total honesty towards his riding. He shall never fulfill his Dharma as a rider.

    Doing this is pretty simple when thought of....just ride. Don't do anything else while riding.

    Going fast does give the impression of becoming more focused because the mind has 'more and more' work to do as the speed increases. But thats like treating the symptoms rather that curing the disease. There will still be things that can take your focus away unless 'you' take the onus and 'decide' to stay focused. So there lies the difference...taking the onus in its entirety is what I have professed. Focus is not incidental..it just does not happen...it is the result of a positive conscious decision.

    OF
    I don't let my motorcycles interfere with my motorcycling...

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    Rusted Raccoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fox View Post
    Going fast does give the impression of becoming more focused because the mind has 'more and more' work to do as the speed increases. But thats like treating the symptoms rather that curing the disease. There will still be things that can take your focus away unless 'you' take the onus and 'decide' to stay focused.
    OF
    Absolutely, one can be as aware at a real slow g'pa like pottering speed if you are "only riding". But I believe what Vivian tried to illustrate is that its easier to reach that state at higher speeds, which is also true... esp. for people who cannot easily "attend", otherwise. Herein lies the lure for the thrill obtained in sports like bungee jumping, racing, etc. Going fast gives that hightened feeling of alertness... esp. since you known your life depends (more) on it. It is this state rather than the mind having more work to do that, that brings this about.
    Last edited by Raccoon; 06-13-2009 at 08:32 PM.

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    Rookie VIVIAN C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fox View Post
    Well put there Viv...and yes on the surface our paths seem similar.

    Where we differ is visible on delving a trifle deeper. True, the mechanical movements of riding a bike are the first to be mastered. They are the most obvious of our 'learning' needs. And as those mastered movements become second-nature for us, we tend to let our mind drift to things not relevant to riding while we ride. This is because we now apparently have 'idle' brain capacity as the riding 'motor' skills are almost a part of our muscle memory.

    The point here is to give the mind 'enough' work all the time. Situational awareness is one such endless chore..and a true life/skin-saver at that. The 'second nature' skills remain relevant only if the rider uses them at the needed moment. Thats where my Dharma concept comes in. Total honesty towards the work at hand...which entails staying totally focused on the ride. The ways and means of achieving this 'point-focus' can be many but first the mind needs to be convinced of its dire need. Only when the mind is receptive to this need will it strive to remain in sync. If the rider feels he can easily multi-task while riding...i.e. mixing tasks having no relevance to the riding (like watching that chick or thinking of what to do this coming weekend), then his mind shall never turn with total honesty towards his riding. He shall never fulfill his Dharma as a rider.

    Doing this is pretty simple when thought of....just ride. Don't do anything else while riding.

    Going fast does give the impression of becoming more focused because the mind has 'more and more' work to do as the speed increases. But thats like treating the symptoms rather that curing the disease. There will still be things that can take your focus away unless 'you' take the onus and 'decide' to stay focused. So there lies the difference...taking the onus in its entirety is what I have professed. Focus is not incidental..it just does not happen...it is the result of a positive conscious decision.

    OF

    Bravo!


    The dire need of staying focused. I should have made an emphasis on that.
    But thanks for adding that part.

    Love the dharma part btw. The essential duty of a man and yes even superbiking can become a habit- like muscle memory. It's good at the beginning but We do GET ADJUSTED to that also.

    So the whole point is BEING AWARE while riding. It does never get monotonous and boring that way.
    Buddha on wheelz.

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