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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

The Zen of Dirt Bikes

Apr 01, 2021 08:30AM ● By Cassie Gaub
I used to be way cooler than I am now. When I was in my 20s, I started riding dirt bikes. If you met me today, that might shock you. My husband at the time, now ex, had been riding
motorcycles since he was four years old. We lived in Southern California, which has some of the best weather and best tracks, and we’d spend nearly every weekend there.

One day, probably out of boredom, I declared that I needed my own dirt bike, and that’s how my journey to Zen started.

Riding dirt bikes isn’t as hard as it might seem. The truth is, if you can ride a bicycle, you can ride a dirt bike. There are some minor tweaks to make, and regular maintenance is needed, but riding a dirt bike itself is actually pretty simple. Anyone can do it.

As a natural over-thinker with an always-busy brain, riding dirt bikes on a track was perfect for me. You can’t be an over-thinker on a dirt bike; you have to be 100% present. Decisions have to be made in the “right now.” It is the art, practice and experience of living in the present moment. You have to be connected, aware and unattached.

Each and every second, you have to take account of and constantly stay focused on what is happening. Right now. Not on the last lap or the next lap—but in the now.

Each lap around a dirt bike track is a completely different, new experience and an opportunity to improve. The grooves get deeper. The lanes can change. A rock or clump of mud can be in a spot it wasn’t the last time around, and you have to adjust—quickly. Someone might have crashed, and you need to navigate around them or stop to help them. Or—often, in my case—you are the one who crashed, hoping someone stops to help. Someone always does.

The first time I ever experienced what good meditators call “a quieting of the mind” happened on a dirt bike. For the first time in my life, my brain chatter went radio silent. My mind stopped wandering. It was quiet, only noticing and reacting in the now. There is power there—in not worrying about the past or tripping over the future because the now is what is real.
For me, being on a dirt bike is a spiritual experience. Despite the inherent risk of injury and the constant chaos and noise around me, there are also moments of pure bliss. For me, riding dirt bikes is Zen.

It’s been a while since I’ve been on a dirt bike—or even owned one—but I often daydream about getting back on a track. I don’t even know for sure if I like the bike-riding as much as I love the experience it creates of being so aware of the now. Distraction is not an option. ❧


Cassie Gaub is an empowerment and mindset coach, energy worker, podcast host and speaker. Her work is rooted in the mind, body and spirit connection. Connect on social media @coachwithcassie and @bestuinstitute.
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