As motorcyclists ourselves, we know that the open road can be a path to better mental health and improved well-being. Getting out on our bikes helps us maintain a calm, positive outlook, due to the feeling of freedom and a sense of adventure. It's a great way to relax and reduce stress. Motorcycling can be enjoyed alone, with just a bike for company, or with others. Many motorcyclists find their mental health boosted by being part of a friendly and mutually supportive biking community. There's no right or wrong, and you can do both or one or none.
In addition, being outdoors is scientifically proven to have positive effects on your mental health, reducing stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. It's no surprise that time and again, the 'best road trips' lists comprise routes in stunning natural landscapes, including national parks, spectacular coastlines and quiet, remote corners of the country. Being outside on the bike allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature without barriers, with a front-row seat to the ever-changing views. (If you need some inspiration, we've got some great Roadskin-recommended rides here.) All these elements create an environment where you can feel safe, peaceful and less anxious about life's everyday worries, and have fun too. Whether it’s taking a short ride around your local area or exploring somewhere new - getting out on your bike could be just what you need for improved mental health.
Motorcycling and living in the moment
Motorcyclists have to pay attention to their surroundings while remaining calm in potentially dangerous situations. This puts your mind at ease and helps focus on the moment - something which may be hard to do in everyday life. As Dean Lambert, better known as Monkey Dix Adventures, puts it: 'When you're on your bike, you're not thinking of the things that trouble you. It's like therapy. Going out on the bike eases your thoughts. It's hard to put into words, but riding is very therapeutic for your mental health.'
How does motorcycling make you feel?
The mental health benefits of riding a motorbike are a conversation that comes up time and again within our biker circles. It was motorcycling that kept Michelle Chamberlain, better known as digital creator Lady Harley, going through a tough time in her personal life. She explains: 'To get out on my bike, that was my time. That's how I felt in control. That's how I felt free. And being able to get up and just go is one of the most liberating things you can do.'
Michelle took up motorcycling when her father, himself a motorcyclist, passed away. She bought herself a Harley-Davidson to honour him. She didn't know any other motorcyclists and started to chronicle her biking life on Instagram. Even though Michelle rides '98% alone', she has met a whole new community of people through motorcycling. She says, 'I didn't tell anybody about going on Instagram. I just built up my following from bike enthusiasts - people who did the same thing that I did, just for me. I've got more friends and more connections than I ever had before I joined Instagram.'
One of these friends was Classic Bike Girl, aka Zoe Caines. Zoe embraces biking alone in nature. She says, 'I love being social and meeting up with other bikers, but for me, motorcycling has always been about just getting out there without technology and without being hooked up. It's about being in your head and having that mental health break. Like a time-out. When people ask me if I listen to music, I say, "No, I can't think of anything worse!"'
How can wearing Roadskin motorcycle kit help?
At Roadskin, we love motorcycling and we understand the positive impact that motorcycle riding can have on mental health. It's not only our business, but our way of life. As a family company, we take the well-being of our customers incredibly seriously. We provide high-quality, protective motorcycle clothing and accessories for men and women riders to help them be - and feel - safe and comfortable on the road. Our abrasion-resistant and tear-resistant armoured Kevlar bike jeans are among the best in the business, with the Taranis and Paranoid jeans carrying the highest possible safety rating (AAA). We also make ladies' motorcycle leggings and unisex armoured motorcycle hoodies. Wearing good quality motorcycle gear gives you peace of mind.
Interested in getting involved in motorcycling and mental health?
Roadskin helped Dean's Man Down project by providing graphic design services. Man Down's mission is to make a positive difference to raise awareness of men’s mental health, and the fact that it is OK to talk. Man Down stands for 'Manage Anxiety Now. Dialogue Opens "What Next"'. Dean is embarking on a Honda Monkey Garden Hopping Tour around the UK on 5 August. You can follow his progress online or even join him in real life. Find out more about Man Down here.
Do you have a story about motorcycling being good for your mental health? Please drop us a line at email@example.com or chat with us on our socials. We'll be bringing more news on Man Down and the Garden Hopping Tour in August '23.