Bodies in Motion: Evolution and Experience in Motorcycling
Motorcycling's sensations are easy to experience, but harder to explain. How can riding be so exciting and yet relaxing at the same time - and why does this combination make us feel so good? Rather than question it, most motorcyclers and scooterists simply settle into the saddle, turn the key, grab the handlebars, and enjoy the magically uplifting experience. Here, Steven L. Thompson carefully examines some of the most nuanced aspects of the rider/machine relationship. His research and analytics help disentangle our psycho-biological connection with the kinesthetics of riding from a complex mix of cultural elements surrounding motorcycling. Here are new ideas that can help point us toward a better understanding of how and why motorcycling is important, and why riding has such a powerful influence on us. In the author's own words, Bodies in Motion "...is written both for motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists, and thus longtime riders will inevitably find some material familiar, though I have tried to ensure that, when covering conceptual ground common to all riders, the context is analyzed to highlight aspects of the commonalities that are usually overlooked or misunderstood.... Bodies in Motion thus explores what evolutionary science, psychology, human-factors research and engineering research can tell us about why some people seek certain kinds of automotive activity experiences and others do not. The reason to be concerned about this is more important than just what it might mean to a motorcyclist trying to figure out which bike to choose or trying to explain to someone why he or she chose to ride instead of, or in addition to, driving a car. The overwhelming importance of automobility to our way of life means that human nature, as science can show it to be, is vital to our continuing attempts to cope with the costs that automobility has thrust upon us, along with its benefits."
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