Why Do Veterans Ride Motorcycles?
The harmony between bike and rider on the open road awakens the senses and allows the rider freedom to enjoy a calm ride, or an adrenaline-filled adventure. The opportunity to explore the curiosities of the American continent, local and distant, has turned more veterans towards motorcycle ownership for the lifestyle benefits it can offer.
Aside from the obvious pleasures of riding a motorcycle, there are various lesser-known benefits of riding motorcycles that are commonly used as a method of rehabilitation for people recovering from physical injuries or psychological trauma, by building strength, coordination and awareness among others, as a reward from overcoming the challenge that makes motorcycle adventure so popular.
Read on to learn the main reasons so many U.S war vets choose to ride a motorcycle.
The focus and attention to detail that is required to ride a motorcycle in dynamic and unpredictable environments is tremendous, with a momentary distraction all that can be required for an accident or loss of control to take place. The constant concentration while riding often immerses riders into a calming state of being that can have the benefit of clearing the mind and helping to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety.
Once captivated by the act of riding the motorcycle, riding becomes almost second nature as the mind is unable to dwell on past or future events, thus provoking mental clarity and a period of relaxation for the mind. By gaining more riding experienced, the ability to focus and stay focused could be improved and benefitted from in other aspects of life.
Making new friendships
Be it a short ride to get gas, or a road trip through the back country, it’s common for riders from all walks of life to cross paths and serendipitously find themselves in conversation. During recent times, socializing with others has become tougher than most of us can remember. The fantastic freebie that comes with motorcycle ownership is automatic membership in the global community of riders who recognize and respect each other simply because they also chose to ride a motorcycle above any other type of vehicle.
Fellow riders could be friends you haven’t met yet, or they could be your savior in the unfortunate event in which you become stranded by the roadside. The camaraderie and sense of family between motorcycle riders adds another element to owning and riding a motorcycle that those who always ride alone don’t get to enjoy.
Learning new skills
Routine maintenance plays an integral role in motorcycle ownership, with hundreds of moving parts on the motorcycle that must be functioning perfectly to deliver a safe and effective riding experience to rider; with respect to this, close attention should be paid to the condition of the motorcycle, and a professional consulted if you are not comfortable completing the maintenance.
The great thing is, equipped with a workshop manual, a decent set of mechanic’s tools and a clean, dry place to work, almost anyone can commence learning the intricacies of motorcycle maintenance, progressing from the scheduled maintenance tasks to complex procedures if desired.
Even at a basic level, developing personal motorcycle mechanic skills is a fantastic way of to improve understanding of the motorcycle, build physical strength and flexibility – and it could save money that would otherwise be spent on garage bills.
Creating new challenge
Working to develop and master riding skills and techniques can open doors to the possibility or riding various types of motorcycle on different terrain. By building on the standard road riding skills to reach advanced levels of ability, riders can gain the skills and experience to ride any motorcycle, in almost any situation, without fear or hesitation.
The aforementioned is part of why long-distance motorcycle touring has become so popular with veterans in the last decade, the challenge of travelling through harsh terrain with troublesome weather and the occasional problem to solve in order to overcome tough challenges bears semblance for many veterans to relatable experiences in the Armed Forces.
Supporting your riding skill development path with training provided by a professional instructor can open the doors to more challenging and adrenaline-fueled areas of motorcycling, like riding on mixed surfaces which inherently presents a greater physical challenge, and is consequently used as a way for motorcycle racers to build and improve their physical fitness and conditioning.
Be part of the community
Located all around the U.S, and the rest of the world are cool, weird and interesting motorcycle clubs with active members that regularly meet up with each other to ride, socialize, and take part in activities that can allow new friendships (or healthy rivalries) to form and flourish.
Joining a motorcycle club could be the ultimate way to connect with other riders with specific interests by participating in club meetups, motorcycle rallies, meet and greets, festivals, track days and group ride events happening annually all over the country, giving you another reason to head further afield.