By Talya Adams
There are a lot of people who don’t realize how much energy physically, mentally, and emotionally goes into operating a motorcycle. In order to remain safe at all times you have to be present on all accounts. One of the biggest things I’ve recently experienced taking away from my riding safety has been bouts of fatigue.
I work a lot. I always have, and I plan on doing so while I’m still able to put the hours in. For me, being tired is kind of a way of life, broken down into degrees of exhaustion. Writing this, I realize how messed up that sentiment probably is. However, working hard is all I know, and I have a hard time resting. I suspect I’m not the only workaholic in the world with a love of bikes, I hope at least.
Last month, I was spending a lot of time at the coast working on a project. It required me to be there at or before sunrise almost every Sunday. Of course, I thought no big deal. What’s a thirty to forty-five-minute drive once a week? An incomplete question given I didn’t factor in the rest of the long hours I’d been putting in prior to executing this commute by Sunday morning.
More often than not, when I got on the seat of my ride, I was incredibly sleepy, and my body just didn’t feel up to the task of reacting as fast as I know I’m capable of. The deeper I got into the month, the worse I felt on these rides. By the time I got to the last Sunday of the month I was relieved to be done and already looking ahead to sleeping in again moving forward.
Unfortunately, while riding home from the coast I made a huge mistake which I won’t go into detail about. However, it was the kind of mishap which could have truly cost me more than I was willing to give: my life. I collected myself enough to pull over at a gas station and take a few deep breaths to reflect on what I’d just done.
I was tired. I was beyond tired, I was exhausted and running on fumes. Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t have the comfort of caffeine to push me through because I have zero tolerance for the stimulant. I realized in this moment I needed to start taking better care of my body and making rest a priority in my life.
What I’ve come to realize is that if my body is tired, my mind moves slower, and my spirits are lower. If I’m unable to ride with a clear head I’m in jeopardy. If I’m too tired to lean into my turns, I’m also in danger. And if my emotions are negative or all over the place I won’t feel like making the right choices.
The best rides I’ve ever gone on have always been while I’m fully rested and firing on all cylinders. I encourage every motorcyclist to take their recovery seriously every day and really listen to your body when it shows you it’s reached its limits.
Stay safe in these streets!