“Oh Shit!” Moments: Motorcycling, “Thrownness,” and the Startle Effect

Owton, Helen (2022). “Oh Shit!” Moments: Motorcycling, “Thrownness,” and the Startle Effect. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 22(5) pp. 513–519.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/15327086221093952


Through a series of vignettes, this article offers an insight into the intense embodied and sensorial experiences of motorcycling via “sudden moments.” I reflect on the phenomenological interconnectedness of environment and the fragility of the motorcycling body–self via the exploration of “thrownness” and “sudden moments.” These intense embodied moments of “thrownness” can disrupt the feelings of pleasure and enjoyment from being “in the zone.” Surviving the threat, the body may experience a renewed positive heightened corporeal sense of “aliveness,” elation, and relief working at an intense level, with positive effects on one’s mental health.

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