ONE MORE MILE
RIDING IS A WAY OF THINKING
June to August 2010 Year 11 - Issue 101
“We just entered virtual times and the affluent western bikers seem to enjoy this new dimension” was the opening of the last Bulletin and from there we moved in the last 60 days to new considerations. Not only we have now a virtual approach to biking (if is not on-line is not real) but the virtual media create a new way of reading. It would be infantile to think that our few readers could be able to go through a set of 5 pages while keeping interest and focus: virtual reading is fast, skimming the surface, changing direction via links, processing multi messages at the same time and remembering little. Not too bad: biking and reading are moving along parallel lines making “fast and furious” a way of thinking (or not thinking).
Then you can’t go there if you are not here now Yes, it is too hot for slow riding and, yes, that rider in front of you is too slow to be in the same group and, yes, your bike is overpowered for this kind of roads and, yes, my bike has not enough charisma to discuss about when stopping and, yes, this road is too straight for your leaning skills and, yes, this circuit is too short for my desire of speed and, yes, this trainer is too stupid to teach me anything and, yes, there are too many corners for a cold day and for my leaning skills (not to mention sexual deprivations, tires, brakes, electronic wizardry, seat softness and food on the road). I was listening to the after-ride chats of riders talking part in and after advanced training session for MC riding and I was, once more, considering how reality, really, does not exists. Impressions and Illusions are the makers of what we, really, call the real world. Most of the comments were clear signs of “I am not here because I do not know how to be here”. Example? The best one is the best
compliment received for the choice of road: “It is such a splendid place - told me one dreaming rider – such good combination of nature and corners, such an ideal biking itinerary that I want to come back here someday". I had to control myself not to force the rider to recognize that he was already HERE. "We're living in a world that contributes in a major way to mental fragmentation, disintegration, distraction, de-coherence" says B. Alan Wallace and, while riding, we must recognize that he got it right. And to be right Mr. Wallace repeatedly uses the suffixes “de/dis” used in Latin to signify separation, apartness, break of unity. If the ride is not smooth, not systematic, not fluent, not rapid it is because, we as riders, we are separated from the moment, from the now. Our mind always moves on a linear progressive and regressive
3 imaginative, not existent and hallucinating line of time, wandering between what we have done (past) and what we will do (future): meandering on what we would like to do instead of living the moment we are into. Splendid ride on the south of France, just miles from the coast on the curvy roads of the Alpes de Haute Provence: a riding day from Grasse to Serres. Here the major attraction (great corners and stunning scenery) are the Gorges du Verdon (see picture). As I stop on route D952, in one of the balconies suspended over the grandiose chasm I cannot avoid the companion’s comment “It looks like the Grand Canyon”. No, it does not and if he did it I would like to enjoy what I have now (Gorges du Verdon) and not think or dream about something on the past or on the future (Grand Canyon-Colorado River-ArizonaUSA. I would like to live this moment over the Verdon without losing the unity with this splendid nature but it is impossible to cut out the description that my friend started to make of the solemnity of the Grand USA. I exercise Aurelian restrain and I try to live in two parallel lives (Verdon Colorado). My friend cannot control what he says because he cannot control what he thinks and this goes on to the throttle, gear, brake
and handlebar. If you look carefully you can almost see it: the rider is not HERE. He (or she, or me) is lost in an ideal world (that happened yesterday or the will happen tomorrow) where the climate is temperate, the bike perfectly tuned, the tires new, the corner of constant radius, the asphalt billiard-gripping, and the style of riding is a mix Brad Pitt style and “Cairossi aggressiveness” (Antonio Cairoli motocross world champion and Valentino Rossi legend, served cold, shaken not stirred) Because we are not HERE & NOW we talk, forgetting that when we talk less, we see more. If we manage to control the mind and think about the NOW and the HERE all the references to past experiences and past knowledge will disappear: "Once you recognize that you don't know the things you've always taken for granted, you set out of the house quite differently. It becomes an adventure in noticing and the more you notice, the more you see." The list of tools that we can use for better riding and that come from being HERE and NOW starts being interesting: • Unity with the reality, better knowing of what is going on. • Clearer thinking and faster application of
4 the skills (natural and\or learned) • Less talking: good for the environment but, more important good for focus and concentration on the action. • More seeing and “noticing” almost at the level of new adventure: like saying that we observe more, longer and deeper. Outside of our small circle of bikers everybody agree that “LIVING IN THE NOW” is the thing to do to reduce stress, to boost immune functioning, to reduce chronic pain, to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases. Living HERE and NOW makes people happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, more secure, with higher self-esteem; the panegyric goes as far as promising better sexual life and more money in the bank. Obviously all this is an exaggeration or an illusion or both. The new age sellers of “LIVING IN THE NOW” dreams are not themselves living HERE and NOW and necessarily project their minds to the future bank account statements after credulous sleepers buy pills, oils, incenses, lights, sounds and books designed to make all of us living HERE and NOW, tomorrow. We are bikers and we are down to ground connected to it just by two small patches:
we want to know “HOW” without going through 1.060.000.000 hits of the Google Yahoo university. My suggestion (free of pills, oils, incenses, lights, sounds and books) is grounded of what NOT-TO-DO or, if you prefer, on replacing bad habits with healthy ones. The first step is to exercise a living without illusion: in biking H.H. Dilthey call it “realistic self evaluation” and place it as first commandment for the advanced rider. What if… we extend this concept outside of biking and what if… we start operating a realistic self evaluation of all we do: are we really so good in riding, in parenting, in friendship, in expressing love and in making love, in commanding and obeying, in leading and following? Are we? Another exercise or game could be eliminating complains and exercising acceptance. Hot weather under the 41st parallel (the one of Istanbul, Peking, Salonika, Napoli, Madrid and New York) is to be expected in July and August… a BMW GS would be better suited off road than a Honda CBR 1000… without gravel on the side of the road life on two wheels would be less exciting. What if … we extend the acceptance of the veteran traveler to our personal life and what if… we start accepting our partner “as it is”, our job as a window open to creative
5 opportunities, the grey raining days as an invitation to look inside and enjoy it, the lack of material surplus as a space of simplicity, the person different as a teacher? Final exercise could be refusal of anticipation Dante’s invitation “state contenti umana gente al quia” ( Mortals, remain contented at what it is) so unusual in a society obliged to grow and fanatic in accumulating. What if… instead of admiring the plenty of riches & famous we start considering the joy of wellbeing, what if… instead of working for the new bike we learn to use the old one we have, what if… we stop considering life as a race and we start racing for real joy? Probably the diabalon, the separation between what we are and what we do will reduce and the economic crisis instead of a CNN show will finally get the real significance: imagining ourselves and our careers as a stock exchange gambling, a
forced economical growth at the expanses of others a way to accumulate what unfortunately defines us: the diabalon, the idol of labels, credit cards, cars and bikes, masters and number of LinkedIn. What if… instead of Bora Bora we start dreaming about our back garden? The opening cartoon from The New Yorker sums it up. Two monks are sitting side by side, meditating. The younger one is giving the older one a quizzical look, to which the older one responds, "Nothing happens next. This is it." Surely the same dialogue must happen between the two ladies racing at Lydden and totally immersed in the HERE and NOW.
The view from Orhan Pamuk's window in Istanbul as seen by Matteo Pericoli From The Observer, August 2010 Orhan Pamuk writes: “Most of my writing time is spent forming the next sentence in my imagination. When my mind is busy with words, all by itself my eye moves away from the page and the tip of the fountain pen. This is the landscape I have gazed upon through my Istanbul window for the last 15 years. On the left side is Asia and in the middle the Bosphorus and its opening to the Sea of Marmara, as well as the islands I have been going to each summer for 58 years. To the right is the entrance to the Golden Horn and the part of the city that Istanbul residents refer to as the Old Town, home of the Ottoman dynasty for four centuries, including Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. I sometimes proudly declare that I am a writer who wrote a historical novel, My Name Is Red, set in a location constantly before my eyes. To the popular question inquisitive guests and visiting journalists ask – "Doesn't this wonderful view distract you?" – my answer is no. But I know a part of me is always busy with some part of the landscape, following the movements of the seagulls, trees and
shadows, spotting boats and checking to see that the world is always there, always interesting and always a challenge to write about: an assurance that a writer needs to continue to write and a reader needs to continue to read” Paolo Volpara comments: Orhan Pamuk says it with the flair grace and dept of a Nobel prize: “The world is always there, always interesting and always a challenge to write about”. For Mr. Pamuk no problems in living the NOW as long as everybody knows what to do “A writer needs to continue to write and a reader needs to continue to read” Think about this permanent and, at the same time, changing window on the ”now” and the gift that the writer has? “contemplata aliis trader - to hand over to others what we've contemplated.
ZEN or the art of riding a motorcycle Seven principles for changing your perception by P.L.Tierney Patrick Lennox Tierney (a recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun in 2007) writes about the aesthetics of Zen and below is just seven design-related principles that, according to him, govern the aesthetics of the Japanese garden and other art forms in Japan. I kept a print of this articles in my room since I believe that the seven points are as well good exercises of truth (the beauty – aesthetic is the splendid manifestation of truth – ethic) Perhaps we could also take these principles as guides for good riding – applying the system and looking good. Hope that some of you will go out, as I did, trying to apply. Kanso (簡素) Simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner. Reminds us to think not in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity, a kind of clarity that may be achieved through omission or exclusion of the non-essential. Fukinsei (不均) Asymmetry or irregularity. The idea of controlling balance in a composition via irregularity and
asymmetry is a central tenet of the Zen aesthetic. The enso ("Zen circle") in brush painting, for example, is often drawn as an incomplete circle, symbolizing the imperfection that is part of existence. In graphic design too asymmetrical balance is a dynamic, beautiful thing. Try looking for (or creating) beauty in balanced asymmetry. Nature itself is full of beauty and harmonious relationships that are asymmetrical yet balanced. This is a dynamic beauty that attracts and engages. Shibui/Shibumi (渋味) Beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon. Direct and simple way, without being flashy. Elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. The term is sometimes used today to describe something cool but beautifully minimalist, including technology and some consumer products. (Shibui literally means bitter tasting). Shizen (自然) Naturalness. Absence of pretense or artificiality, full creative intent unforced. Ironically, the spontaneous nature of the Japanese garden that the viewer perceives is not accidental. This is a
8 reminder that design is not an accident, even when we are trying to create a naturalfeeling environment. It is not a raw nature as such but one with more purpose and intention. Yugen (幽玄) Profundity or suggestion rather than revelation. A Japanese garden, for example, can be said to be a collection of subtleties and symbolic elements. Photographers and designers can surely think of many ways to visually imply more by not showing the whole that is, showing more by showing less. Datsuzoku (脱俗) Freedom from habit or formula. Escape from daily routine or the ordinary. Unworldly. Transcending the conventional. This principle describes the feeling of surprise and a bit of amazement when one realizes they can have freedom from the conventional. Seijaku (静寂) Tranquility or an energized calm (quite), stillness, solitude. This is related to the feeling you may have when in a Japanese garden. The opposite feeling to one expressed by seijaku would be noise and disturbance. How might we bring a feeling of "active calm" and stillness to ephemeral designs outside the Zen arts.
BRAKING IN A CURVE: AN A.R.A. EXERCISE This exercise teaches you how to compensate for the outward drifting that arises when you have to brake in a curve, by use of anchored push and correct use of your eyes (suggested from UK and therefore with picture for right hand riding) Set up the exercise with a 3m wide ”lane” with border lines. Use chalk, cones or plastic bottles. Room for acceleration and starting point as in exercise 1. After the starting point the ”lane” goes into a curve with a radius of 25 m. (Measure it out with a 25-m length of string). The two cones at the starting point represent the steering point. 10 m further down you place a gate to mark the braking point. Still 15m further you place a gate to mark where you stop braking. And finally, 10m
after that the end point is marked with a single cone in the middle of the ”lane” (see illustration). Accelerate to 40/50 km/h. Between the cones in gate 1 you start the curve by the anchored push technique. In gate 2, you start braking down to walking pace by applying the front brake. You should not stop the bike completely, as this easily leads to a fall. When you pass gate three, the bike shall point to the last cone in the middle of the lane. The exercise is correctly performed when the speed is maintained until you enter gate 2 (the braking point), when you brake in complete control down to walking pace and the bike follows the exact middle of the lane. When passing gate 3 the bike should point directly at the last cone. The exercise is not correctly performed when the speed reduction after the braking point is not considerable or when the bike at the approach to gate 3 is drifting out of the lane towards left or right. The exercise is a complete failure if the motorcycle at any point crosses the border line. You can also “turn” the exercise and practice braking in a left-hand curve.
TEN YEAR RULE,
FROM NOW ON KNOWN AS THE “TYR” Randrew Longshaw is a long standing friend of OMM and one of the Senior Observers that we “import” from England to support our search for perfect training. Andrew reacted to the last Bulletin “10 years rule for excellence” and he sent us this true and extravagant article.
during the week. When I got on the bike my riding was CRAP. Seemed it took me ages to get back in the ‘groove’. But I couldn’t get much practice. When I did go riding a lot of it was teaching beginners. So not much of a challenge. Changed jobs again and this is where the TYR comes in.
“10 Year Rule? I would say it’s true, BUT! Why is there always a BUT?
For the next 16 years I commuted to work by bike. Another BUT here. I have seen riders who have commuted for decades and you wonder how they ever survived. But my job involved shifts so a lot of the time I was riding to/from work at 04.00 or 23.00 so almost no traffic. Had a selection of routes and the minimum distance was 28 miles [45KM] each way. So lots of Progressive [on occasions very] riding in all conditions. This I think is the reason why my riding has improved so much over the years. BUT [again] without any form of external observation how do I know if my riding is any good ? While I may think I’m the “dog’s bollocks” [English slang for being very good], in fact I’m the donkey’s arse. I became involved in the Advanced Riding world. This means that at least once a year a professional critic is looking at my ride to see how it is and
• Dear Mr. Longshaw you have just won the National Nigerian Lottery, BUT! • Hello Andrew and welcome to Paradise, BUT first let’s check your file [end of my stay in Paradise]. • Andy I love you, BUT! Well with the TYR I have 1 BUT and 1 ‘You May Want to Consider’. First a history lesson. I started riding at 16 which is now 28 years ago .This is a bit of a surprise as I never thought much past the age of 30. From the ages of 16-19 I rode all the time. From 19-23 I was travelling a lot and my riding was intermittent. Then I moved to Florida and rode almost every day for 4 years. When I moved back to England I got a job which gave me a company car so I didn’t ride
11 pass comment on it. I also started to teach others which meant I had to maintain my standards. So the commute to work was my basic material and the Advanced riding was the polish. There are lots of different ways to maintain your standard of riding, for example track days, off roading or club
racing. But you have to FOCUS not just float. The bloke on the piano put it well, ‘if I don’t train the world soon knows”. Now for the CONSIDER bit. Are you fit enough to ride? A hero of mine is John Deacon who raced the Dakar on a BMW R900GS and died during the Master Rally in August 2001. When he was asked about his training he said ‘’ I don’t do much stuff in the gym but I do a lot of miles on the bike. I’m RIDE FIT.” BUT as the years pass [plus 40 as a rough guide] the excess and damage of previous years start to catch up with you. Because of my job change I had to make sure I was fit enough to pass tests in order to get the job. Other friends had to look at their ‘fitness’ for various reasons from work, to health, to not fitting into their leathers. We don’t all have to be super athletes but you should CONSIDER how your diet, fitness and general health affect your riding. You can’t be a great rider if you are out of breath getting the bike off its side stand! THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I WAS or THE OLDER I GET THE BETTER I AM? Your choice..
From Turkey to UK, A.R.A.: rider face to face with Porsche in a Robert Khodadad The last leaflet of IAM dedicated to time on the track shows as well a bike and some of the readers will recognize the rider, while most of you know that Robert took the picture during an A.R.A. OMM event. Go to motofoto.uk.com and see the full collection.
NOW FOR CREDITS and LEGAL WARNINGS The OMM web site is now timely updated and so is the Calendar presented in it. Nor we present here all the rich content of the web site. Before asking, please take a look at the “Read and Ride” section, at the “Riding in Turkey” section.
Manuscripts and pictures sent to the bulletin will be kept and treasured if good and trashed if bad: we will return only what we do not understand. If you want pictures of yourself (vanitas) and your friends (vanitas vanitatis et omnia vanitas) go to Motofoto at www.motofoto.uk.com
Go as well to web site for incoming events and for participation forms. In desperate case visit two friendly web sites: arariders.com and ironbuttturkey.com (please do what considerate riders tell you: do not ride any of Iron Butt rides in Countries south of Rome and east of Wien)
FORGET GOOGLE! ASK US We must tell you something that you maybe know already: biking is dangerous and you do it, if you do it, under your own volition and responsibility. It means that if you crash it is not an accident… it is your fault and you pay for it.
If you want to share the Bulletin with a friend feel free to do it: just mention to her/him that the subscription is free at www.ommriders.com
Spending too much time in front of a screen is dangerous as well, not only for your body but also for your brain.
If you do not want to share we will not get offended: take note that you can use everything written in the bulletin as your own ideas and get the credit for it. Give good example or be a terrible warning. Decency obliges us to tell you that NOT all OMM LEGAL MEMBERS – THE PILLARS OF ONE MORE MILE GROUP – SUBSCRIBE TO OMM BULLETIN. Decency obliges us not to mention names but, being warned, NEXT ISSUE we will profile some of them. The Bulletin is compiled monthly or occasionally by Levent Vardar (Turkish edition) and Paolo Volpara (International edition) with contributions from friends. The opinions and ideas reported here do not represent OMM official position… but they are very near since OMM has not “official position” outside of leaning in cornering as much as we can, with the tires that we can afford. ALL MAIL – QUESTIONS- IDEAS - COMPLIMENTS – INSULTS AND DOUBTS MUST BE FORWARDED TO firstname.lastname@example.org
Riding while reading mail on screen is extremely dangerous and in some country (Turkey included) highly illegal. Finally remember that all that is good is dangerous, forbidden or fattening but biking may reduce the cholesterol level and eliminate dandruff. OMM bikers are riding in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Bursa and all over Turkey. We are a Horizons Unlimited community
Do not ride fast, do not ride hard, and do not ride for long time or distance. Do not use the horsepower of your bike (it is there just for fun and conversation) nor tell your mother, fiancé’ and/or wife that you have a two-wheeler in garage. Always wear protection does not matter what you are doing. And try to enjoy life as well, in between.