"Really, the only thing you have to worry about is not dying, right? So ... it allows an expanse of consciousness."
Clearly, Lisa Garber, a Los Angeles-based psychologist, enjoys her motorcycle rides. For the past 22 years, they've offered her time to reflect.
"Being on the road frees us in a certain way to [be] more authentic with our thoughts," she says.
As co-chair of this weekend's inaugural International Journal of Motorcycle Studies conference at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Garber will discuss this belief as one of a variety of presentations. "The Voice Inside My Helmet: The Commute" will detail her rides as therapy this past year, while she dealt with the suicide of her mother.
"On [my] commute, I have been processing and hearing from the unconscious concerns about the suicide," she says, "trying to answer some very big questions, which normally, during the course of my day, I don't sit around and think about."
UCCS professor K. Alex Ilyasova understands Garber's penchant for mentally unwinding on her machine.
"It's different, being out on the road, going 60 miles per hour and not having a metal cage around you," she says.
Ilyasova first began studying motorcycles because, she says, "it's something that makes me nervous ... it's kind of nice to figure out why." She says she's proud to be a co-chair and local coordinator for the conference of the academic, peer-reviewed, free online journal, and explains that Colorado Springs received hosting honors due to its central location in the country.
Aside from sharing her experiences, Garber is ecstatic for the "amazing synergistic energy because it's the first conference ... there are some really amazing thinkers and authors ... there's going to be a great social vibe because there are a lot of people coming from all over the world."
Ilyasova encourages non-riders to attend: "There's a whole range of issues that I think almost anybody can be interested in. Everything from films and fashion to history and psychology to gender and sexuality. It's all part of motorcycling."