Monday, August 14, 2023

Wind Therapy on a Motorcycle

In the Florian Knights documentary they mentioned the term wind therapy. Evidently they didn't coin the phrase. When you Google the term a few memes and articles come up. Nevertheless, they mentione dit and they did an interesting study on it. The whole point of the documentary was to discuss the use of motorcycle riding to help firefighters del with PTSD from on the job trauma.

When I first heard them say that I laughed and thought if you want to benefit from wind therapy then you can't have a huge fairing in front of you blocking all the wind. Everyone has their own style and i'm not going to diss someone for their style. When I was young I knew a chef that rode a shovel head. I had a virago which was a cruiser built by Yamaha.

He used to quietly say to me go park that around back will ya so no one sees it. He was a really good guy and somewhat of a mentor for me growing up. I ran into him years later after the rode down to Sturgis. He said Sturgis was a real Sodom and Gomorrah but everyone there was very friendly and polite. I thought to myself, you rode all the way to Sturgis on an old shovel head. Of course they were polite to you. They respected what you did.

I commented on how all the new Harleys have big huge fairings and saddlebags now they look like Goldwings. Then he said Oh but they're very comfortable. I get it, they are especially in the rain but so is a car. Yet riding in car defeats the purpose of wind therapy.

I'm not saying riding in the rain on the freeway without a face shield is pleasant because it's not/. As soon as you get over 80 KM on a bike the rain on your face feels like needles. Some guys like full face helmets, I don't but in the rain I wear a face shield. That's way more comfortable.

I also recognize the touring Harleys are much more comfortable a high speeds on the freeway. Without a fairing at high speeds the wind bounces you all over the road. The big fairings are much more aerodynamic and the heavy Harleys are very stable but that's not my thing. Just like loud pipes aren't my thing. Everybody has their own style.

Some guys like sports bikes. I don't. I like cruisers. Yet I admit the sports bikes blow past me at high speeds on the sea to sky highway. Leaning over the bike with you knee out if a completely different feel. On a cruiser you steer with your hips. Some guys like two strokes. I don't. I like V twins. Two stokes are ind an irritating. They sound like lawn mowers. They are fat but they aren't soothing. Their power base is are high rpm. The top end is where their speed kicks in. V twins have torque. They're power is at lower rpm. It's a different sound and a different feel.

Robert Pirsig, the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, rode a 1966 Honda super Hawk. It didn't have a fairing. Ted Simon, the author of Jupiter's Travels rode a 500 cc Triumph Tiger on his first trip around the world. That didn't have a fairing either. His BMW R80 GS which he rode on his second trip around the world at age 69 had a very small fairing. A lot of guys ride BMWs. They're much more vertical and have very square steel saddlebags.

I met a guy from Bellingham in the campsite at Lac La Hache on a BMW who just came back from a road trip to Alaska and was on his way home. BMWs are great motorcycles. Everyone has their own style. The hard saddlebags are much more durable than the leather ones.

The thing I noticed about the wind therapy on my test run is that it's real. It has a physical effect on your body. In the Florian Knights documentary they hooked the guys up to ECGs and monitored their brain response as they rode their motorcycles. Not surprisingly, they discovered that as the rode outside distractions began to disappear as they started to focus on the road ahead. I see a lot of guys on the big Harleys that look like Gold wings have a radio bult into their dash inside their cave fairing and have the music cranked. That's their thing. That's not my thing. For me, music when you've riding is a distraction. When I ride I like to focus.

Riding motorcycles helps process trauma because the past is in the past. You leave it behind you in the dust and you focus on the road ahead. On my trip I really got used to the riding camping, riding camping cycle. I didn't want to come home yet. The long weekend kind of changed that but it totally worked out. I had two weeks off. I wanted to go when the weather was nice. Taking a short break in the middle allowed me to repair my motorcycle and resume after the crowds died down. It also resulted in better weather. I just wanted to relax and enjoy the sights. .


  1. Great post to read! I’ve been riding since i was 10 on my Honda mini trail. Im 60 now and have had just about all the different types of bikes. Didnt matter which one is was on at the time but all my worries were gone and nothing else mattered but the ride!

    1. Indeed. I'm starting to think an off road dirt bike might be fun for back country trail riding. There are all kinds of different bikes out there.


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