Motorcycle mindfulness

Or how a silly ritual keeps me safe and sound for years

Scrumpy Dad
3 min readFeb 28, 2024
Visiting the Dutch Police for work.

I’ve been riding a motorbike for almost 17 years now. It all started when I got a new job at a place which was difficult to reach by public transport and going by car would mean endless traffic jams. Because I already had a motorcycle license, commuting by motorbike became very appealing.

Since then, I’ve been riding my motorbike to work daily. And I love it. It gives me great freedom, mainly because I can still progress in traffic jams. That’s because it is condoned that motorcyclists drive in between the two left lanes during traffic jams in the Netherlands. Even though I must slow down, I can still continue driving.

For me, commuting by motorcycle is a liberating experience. I have plenty of freedom to continue my journey when others are stuck. Next, being outdoors and experiencing the weather in all its variations provides a sense of freedom. Lastly, I enjoy a broader perspective of overseeing the traffic because I have a higher point of view.


One of the first questions people always ask me is about motorists in traffic jams opening their car doors unexpectedly. That has never happened to me. Even better, most motorists on the highway are considerate and leave sufficient space for bikers to drive by during traffic jams. So thank you, folks, you know who you are! Whenever possible, I wave as a thank-you gesture when I drive by at a modest speed.

Did you know bikers have two ways of greeting? Raising the left hand is the default gesture. The other option is to stick out the right foot. Why? Because raising the right hand would mean letting go of the gas throttle, and nobody wants to lose speed suddenly.

Under the weather

The only downside of riding a motorbike is the dependency on the weather. You can adjust the clothing to be well prepared. However, driving in the rain is never much fun and requires even more attention to the road and traffic. Eventually, you will discover that the protective motorcycle pants are not waterproof after all.

I drive all year long, even during winter. The only time when I give up biking is when it starts freezing. I fell once on an unexpected icy patch on the road, and since then, I’ve learned my lesson. No more motorbike ice skating for me.

Zen on a motorcycle

You learn to be extraordinarily careful as a motorcyclist because you are very vulnerable. I pay close attention to the vehicles around me, like a mindful exercise. Because I’m so trained in this, I can sometimes predict when a car will switch lanes even before it turns on its indicator. It’s too risky to rely on this intuition, but I find it very interesting to see that it works.

Let me also share a ritual I developed over time and execute every ride. I have this mantra: “We arrive safe and sound.” We refers to the bike and myself. I repeat the mantra a few times while rubbing the fuel tank as if it were Aladdin’s lamp. Sounds silly? Definitely! However, I’m doing very well so far, with only four minor accidents in total and minimal damage. Three of these were one-sided mishaps because I conducted a wrong maneuver.

So how about you? Do you practice any personal rituals? Or apply any mindfulness techniques? I look forward to hearing from you!

Take care and till next time!

Kind regards,

Herman / Scrumpy Dad

I help people find their purpose and stay loyal to their goals and values so they can create more happiness in their lives.

Please check out the Scrumpy Dad website for more information. Or join others and start immediately by getting your copy of A Scrum Master’s Guide to Happiness.



Scrumpy Dad

Scrum Master & Agile Coach, passionate about personal development, applying work practices at home to build a happy family life.