May 15, 2013 View Comments by

StressI recently took a class in stress management, which was broken down into four categories: physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral. Believe me when I say I don’t take this lightly. I have been on the receiving end of stress throughout most of my adulthood; it comes with the territory. I also know it can really screw up your life and make simply getting out of bed a major accomplishment. Many people don’t beat it completely, while others only find relief in medications. But that’s not what this is about.

This is about stress “management” and how and where to find it. I dare say it’s different for everyone, but with “us” as a dedicated group of riders, we are so very lucky to be able to find that all important “release valve” on the throttle of a motorcycle. I can’t think of anything more “releasing” than a long ride down country roads—the weaving in and out, the play of light and shadow, the leaves scattering from your wheels, and the birds darting before you. Is there anything better than the smell of a newly mown field, or someone cooking bacon? I think not. Many a time I have unwound my main spring on a curvy backroad. It’s hard to remain stressed out when presented with Mother Nature’s beauty, and your small place within it. Call it my drug of choice, and as with other drugs, it can be habit-forming. Good. Ride on.

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About the author

A Wisconsin farm boy, I learned how to ride a cow, before a horse and way before a motorcycle. I first started riding on my 16th birthday and I took my first real ride at my party: I pulled a wheelie and dug a trench in the lawn, which sent the bike in one direction and me in another. I was irrevocably hooked!