The Zen of Learning to Ride a Motorcycle Shares Liberating Life Lessons From the Open Road

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Her childhood was scarred by her mother’s schizophrenia. But she still had fuel in the tank.

Leslie Reyes says she felt like a prisoner of trauma. At the tender age of 10, Reyes prevented her mother from committing suicide. Panic attacks soon followed, and Reyes ultimately realized that her mother’s struggles with mental health had distracted her parents from teaching her the tools she needed to survive.

At age 50, Reyes decided to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Stunned by how many liberating life lessons lay within the open road, her years of living with stifling emotional pain gave way to the principle that broken things can invariably be fixed.

“I never thought a motorcycle would become the guru I needed in order to change my life habits, and learn to trust myself,” Reyes writes in her new book, The Zen of Learning to Ride a Motorcycle.

In this raw and poignant memoir, Reyes bares her highest highs and lowest lows on the long highway of humanity. And by applying the wisdom she gained in learning to ride a motorbike to her lifelong quest to conquer fear, she offers a guiding hand along the hills and valleys of an unpredictable life.

In The Zen of Learning to Ride a Motorcycle, readers will learn:

– The benefits of response over reaction

– How to respect your limitations so you can excel at your own pace

– Why breaking something is bad only if you don’t learn how to fix it

– Ways to overcome the tunnel vision of target fixation so you always end up at your destination

– The power of mindfulness, the impact of enjoying the moment, and much, much more!

With humor to balance out the sometimes heavy subject matter, The Zen of Learning to Ride a Motorcycle shares Reyes’ empowering, revved-up tale of overcoming her fears and learning to be “present” in her approach to everything in life.

“When I’m riding my motorcycle, I’m riding my motorcycle,” she writes. “Practicing mindfulness, and responding instead of reacting, leads to peace of mind.”

About the Author

Leslie Reyes, BSN, RN, is a psychiatric and chemical dependency nurse, yoga teacher and motorcycle enthusiast. She has seen mental illness up close, first as the daughter of a schizophrenic mother and later through her own personal mental health struggles. Reyes lives with her husband, their five motorcycles and two dogs in Northern California.

She is currently working on her second book, Drowning Under the Spectrum: How Women Can Save Themselves from Being Misdiagnosed, Overlooked, and Abandoned, and Learn to THRIVE, a book that opens a conversation about the lack of autism research involving females.

For more information, please visit or


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