Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Motorcycle Book: The Upper Half of the Motorcycle

Press Release

Center Conway, NH, June, 2010—Whitehorse Press is pleased to announce the release of an English-language edition of Bernt Spiegel’s seminal work, The Upper Half of the Motorcycle. The original German edition, which has been hailed by European motorcyclists for more than a decade for its provocative approach to improving riding skills, is currently in its third edition and ninth printing.

Bernt Spiegel, a behavioral psychologist, brings a unique perspective to the subject of motorcycling, drawing on related topics in the fields of anthropology, biology, physics, and numerous other disciplines to tease out the underpinnings of an accomplished motorcyclist’s integration with his machine, a relationship that, when fully realized, approaches virtuosity. Spiegel imparts this insight with a wealth of interesting and often humorous illustrations and lessons from everyday human activities to keep the discussions lively and practical.

Skillful motorcycling involves a lot more than just balance, turning, and stopping; it requires a sophisticated self-awareness that can anticipate, monitor, and react to an everchanging set of potential hazards and variables. The Upper Half of the Motorcycle brings fresh understanding that will allow a rider to access the ideal states of mind that lead to instinctive reactions, in balance with the influences of conscious thought.

Spiegel begins first by exploring how the human brain was shaped by evolution to utilize built-in “programs” which optimize foresight, and explaining exactly how we learn and perceive the world around us. The second section builds upon how these programs interact with our consciousness, and how they relate to our use of tools (one of which is the motorcycle). Section three deals with the subsequent integration of man and tool (rider and motorcycle) that creates a singular unit with unique properties. Section four focuses on the techniques that allow a rider to train himself for higher levels of performance, and the fifth section offers many practical exercises to improve one’s riding.

In this book, motorcycling enthusiasts will discover new insights, unique perspectives, and many ways to challenge and improve their riding style, making it much more satisfying and enjoyable, and perhaps, with practice, even bringing it to the point of virtuosity.

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