Winter Park author spreads meditation by motorcycle
June 28, 2017
John Metzger is a biker, a writer and a philosopher. The Winter Park resident has found nirvana on a motorcycle, and he's looking to spread the word about his non-traditional style of meditation.
Metzger's new book, Meditation by Motorcycle: Ride Your Carbon Footprint to the Apex of Enlightenment, is about his experiences on a bike and how to center oneself through the rhythmic movements of motorcycling.
"It's kind of a funny, and somewhat ironic, dichotomy where you're riding this thing that makes noise, pollutes, and is fast and dangerous, and yet we're associating it with peace and meditation," said Metzger. "But that's where we find our nirvana moments, out there searching for those twisty roads."
Metzger has been a biker his entire life. He was inspired at an early age watching Dennis Hopper's East Rider and reading Hunter S. Thompson's portrayal of outlaw motorcycle gangs in Hell's Angels.
"I started to get drawn into that culture, and the concept of riding," said Metzger. "I started riding as soon as I could in my teens."
A couple years ago he moved to Winter Park, where he founded the Motomarathon Association, a vacation group in Colorado wherein motorcycle enthusiasts join together and travel around exploring roads all over the country.
"There's a great motorcycle culture in Winter Park," said Metzger. "There aren't many areas where you can find the types of twisty roads we have here. It's worth driving hundreds of miles, maybe thousands of miles to get to Grand County, Colorado to ride our roads."
Metzger says that motorcycling can by an incredibly therapeutic experience similar to transcendental mediation, or meditation by movement made popular by baby boomers with running and Frisbee.
He equates the rhythmic turning back and forth on Colorado's winding, mountain roads to a mantra, and says that motorcycling requires a concentration that allows him to live in the moment.
"You have to be on all the time," said Metzger. "That in itself starts to create a buzz. What you're trying to do when you meditate is live in the moment. When you're on a motorcycle there is no fear of the future. You aren't mad at something in your past. You're just living in the moment."
The book discusses everything from how to pack a motorcycle and how to pick apart turns, to approaching the activity in a more cerebral and spiritual way.
Meditation on a Motorcycle is Metzger's second book on the subject. In 2013 he published Motorcycling Through Midlife, a reflection on the growing interest in motorcycles, why the lifestyle is appealing to middle aged people and riding for the right reasons.
Meditation on a Motorcycle can be found on Amazon or preordered in paperback at motomarathon.com.