Riding a motorcycle is good for you…

How Motorcycle Riding Improves Physical Health…

This blog post is dedicated to every rider who’s sick to death of those “motorcycles are so dangerous” conversations, to every mother who’s convinced her son or daughter is insane for riding, and for anyone who needs a really good excuse to go out and buy a bike. The bottom line is that riding a motorcycle is a form of low-impact exercise that improves muscle tone, can assist with weight loss, and has a multitude of health benefits. These health benefits include but are not limited to:

Healthier, stronger knees and thighs: A well-known orthopedic surgeon in Indy once told me that motorcycle riders have fewer knee problems because riding a bike strengthens key muscles used to hold the patella and other bones in the knee in place. He told me that riding a motorcycle may reverse knee pain and problems and can most definitely prevent them. Most of the key muscles used to hold knee bones in place reside in the thigh. Ever notice that chicks that ride bikes have nice thighs? There’s a reason! Additionally, backing a bike into a parking spot, especially uphill, is basically like doing leg presses with a 600 pound weight. It works!

Improved core strength: Again, all of the activities involved in steering a bike, moving it at slow speeds, etc., serve to strengthen muscles in the abdomen. It’s more fun that situps!!

Increased insulin sensitivity: Because riding a motorcycle is a low-impact form of exercise, people who ride have improved insulin sensitivity for up to eight hours after a ride. Improved insulin sensitivity has a profound impact on weight loss, because insulin is a fat storage hormone. Having improved insulin sensitivity means your body will produce less insulin to counteract carbohydrates or to lower blood sugars, which means your body will be signaled to store less fat. The improved insulin sensitivity is also of great importance to anyone with Type 2 diabetes. (See my post, Diabetes and the Art of Motorcycle Riding for info on how riding a bike significantly lowers blood glucose levels.)

Calorie burning: Riding a bike burns calories. Period. Getting everything ready for a ride takes time and burns calories, but there’s more. Think about it … it requires effort while riding to maintain balance, shift, brake, control the clutch, battle headwinds, etc., and that’s AFTER you burn calories backing the bike out of the garage! Riding into a headwind burns a significant amount of calories as your body tenses muscles to fight the wind and stay on the bike. This constant resistance exercise not only burns calories but serves to strengthens those muscles, which ultimately increases your metabolism. Additionally, the physical effort exerted while turning, especially at higher speeds, can be significant. Folks who ride motocross or race motorcycles can burn up to 600 calories per hour; the rest of us burn around 200-300 calories per hour. Not bad! (Note to passengers: You burn zero calories per hour while riding passenger on a cruiser, and potentially up to 50 calories per hour while riding passenger on a sport bike. Maybe it’s time to consider getting your own bike!)

Improved neck strength: This one is limited to those riders who wear helmets and those who have taken the time to properly fit themselves to their bike with the correct handle bars, seat, foot pegs, etc. Riding a bike that doesn’t “fit” well can actually cause back pain and destroy proper alignment. Make sure your bike fits you! Wearing a helmet for a few hours a day would strengthen your neck whether you ride or not. Wearing it while riding, especially if you don’t have a windshield to shelter you from the wind, requires significant strength. I’m happy to say, much to my chiropractor’s chagrin, I was able to reverse whiplash simply by riding my bike and wearing a helmet. (I never ride without one.) Strengthening my neck muscles served to pull my neck vertebrae back into alignment and back into the proper curvature. That is a therapy I can live with!!!

Mental outlook: Motorcycle riders usually report returning from a ride feeling energized and happy. Many riders refer to their motorcycle as their “therapist.” Riding a motorcycle has a wonderful way of releasing endorphins that serve to boost mood and improve outlook. The time spent on a bike also provides valuable sun exposure, known to increase Vitamin D levels which are known to be powerful mood enhancers. Additionally, the hours of alone time spent on the back of a bike either allows folks to completely escape from their problems or allows them to work through problems and consider issues from different perspectives. I know more than one rider who hops on their bike and takes a ride when they have an issue needing consideration. (This does not, of course, apply to issues causing great distress.)

That’s it! Riding a motorcycle has definite health advantages, both physical and emotional. As always, ride smart. Get thoroughly trained before starting to ride and then take time to practice on back roads before hitting main thoroughfares. Take your time and don’t try to beat lights or get in front of slow drivers. As always, NEVER drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even one beer can affect reaction time enough to impair shifting, clutch operation and turning ability. Just don’t do it.

More warm weather this week – but what’s in store for the summer?

Lets hope for an early and long summer..

Official blog of the Met Office news team

This week is set to see some unseasonably warm weather for parts of the UK – with temperatures expected to climb to the low to mid-20s Celsius in the south on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Warm air flowing up from the south west will combine with high pressure, bringing settled conditions and sunny spells for many.

Warmest days of the year so far

This week’s above average temperatures follow on from a similar spell last week, which saw temperatures top out at 21.9C at St James’s Park in London on Friday.

This was the ‘warmest day of the year so far’, but It looks like Tuesday and Wednesday will top that – which is to be expected as we head through spring and edge closer to the start of summer.

Unfortunately, the weather we get in April doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about the kind of summer we can expect. We’re…

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Easter Mystery Tour

After a quick post up on Facebook to see who was doing what over Easter we decided it might be fun to organise a mystery tour with an overnight stop, fortunately we’ve been away with our friends on a few occasions and I think they have a little faith in booking hotels etc. for them.

It was decided, just in case someone did get lost, held up at the lights or missed a turning to put various way points on a piece of paper in a sealed envelope, only to be open as a last resort.

So early on Sunday (Easter Day) first Mike & Jane rolled up on their Bonnie, Justin left his Tiger 800 in the garage and went retro on his Bonnie so when Allan turned up on his BMW it just didn’t seem right so we parked it up and wheeled out my Bonnie, a quick fuel up and she was good to go, Paula and I were on our Thunderbird…..Great to see all the Triumphs out.

All the Triumphs !
All the Triumphs !

With absolutely no idea where they were going we set off, through Chippenham and Marlborough before out fist stop of the day at Cobbs Farm Shop, sounds and odd place to stop but they do serve fantastic food and I think everyone agreed the sausages were exceptional !

Bellys full of tea and sausage baps we headed off through Hungerford a quick blast down the A34 to Winchester where we headed off down one of the better roads for motorcycles, the A272

After reaching the traffic lights at West Meon we turned right and pulled into Loomies Cafe, a really well known bikers cafe, a place we’ve been before, its had a few tough times in recent years but seems to be back on its feet again and was rammed full of bikes.

Loomies
Loomies

After a quick cuppa and a re fuel at the handily place garage 50 yards down the road that interestingly even with the number of bikes that fill up there had no problem with you keeping your helmet on !

Carrying on down the A272 and into Chichester we headed for our lunch stop in Bosham, pronounced Bozum, here an interesting situation arose, after rounding a corner we found the road flooded, it seems at high tide the the sea covers the road, so it was either go back around or ride though it……well, as someone once said ‘ It’s an adventure’ so we went though it, with the video camera running of course….

Bosham

Didn't expect to be cleaning seaweed off the bike !
Didn’t expect to be cleaning seaweed off the bike !

After a spot of lunch at Anchor Bleu in Bosham we headed off to Bognor Regis, Paula’s home town, and a brief visit to her see her dad and then heading to our overnight stop at the Fontwell Park Travelodge which rather conveniently had a Pub next door…

.The Stables

Never leave your camera unattended
Never leave your camera unattended

Monday started with an unexpected frost and everyone moving their bikes to the other side of the car park to thaw out in the sunshine before we went to find some breakfast, and what a fantastic breakfast it was too !

Breakfast in the tropics
Breakfast in the tropics
Breakfast !
Breakfast !
Cracking View..
Cracking View..

Once fed and watered it was off to Arundel and its castle…

Bikes and Castles
Bikes and Castles

Starting to wind our way back towards home and a lunch stop to meet up with Linda, our Italian travelling companion from last year but on route we manage some stunning views and a trip to Goodwood Racing Circuit where we stumbled across a track day in progress..

More views..
More views..
Mike and his little book
Mike and his little book
Lunch
Lunch
Goodwood Racing Circuit
Goodwood Racing Circuit

Back up along the A272 to Winchester then up through Stockbridge with a final coffee stop in Marlborough.

A great weekend, great weather, great company…Fantastic !

The Route..

Weather Stats for March and the past year.

Here are March’s weather stats from my weather station in Chipping Sodbury, along with the previous months for comparison.

March…
Total rainfall…49.9mm, wettest day on the 26th with 5.5mm
Highest temp..14.8 C on the 7th
Coldest temp…-1.1 C on the 25th

February…
Total rainfall…66.1mm, wettest day on the 19th with 15.4mm
Highest temp..12.6 C on the 25th
Coldest temp…-3.7 C on the 9th

January…
Total rainfall…100.3mm, wettest day on the 12th with 14.0mm
Highest temp..12.5 C on the 9th
Coldest temp…-3.5 C on the 23th

December…
Total rainfall…88.3mm, wettest day on the 12th with 14.1mm
Highest temp..12.9 C on the 7th
Coldest temp…-4.2 C on the 29th

November…
Total rainfall…112.4mm, wettest day on the 7th with 18.5mm
Highest temp..16.6 C on the 1st
Coldest temp…-0.7 C on the 24th

October…
Total rainfall…115.9mm, wettest day on the 6th with 23.3mm
Highest temp..21.1 C on the 2nd
Coldest temp…5.1 C on the 12th

September…
Total rainfall…36.6mm, wettest day on the 19th with 23.8mm
Highest temp..25.6 C on the 18th
Coldest temp…5.7 C on the 22nd

August.
Total rainfall…155.7mm, wettest day on the 11th with 26.4mm
Highest temp..27.9 C on the 8th
Coldest temp…6.4 C on the 20th

July.
Total rainfall…72.2mm, wettest day on the 19th with 55.9mm
Highest temp..31.9 C on the 26th
Coldest temp…10.0 C on the 14th