Sunday mornings are for riding, and I like to joke that the saddle’s my church. Moreso, it turns out, than I realized.
In the Jan. 28 New Scientist, evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar has an essay about the physiological dimensions of religion. She discusses the physical side, from singing and dancing to the intensity of serious meditation to the extremes of self-flagellation:
Religions bond societies because they exploit a whole suite of rituals that are extremely good at triggering the release of endorphins.
And there is a a group component:
In particular, it makes you feel very positive towards other group members. It creates a sense of brotherhood and communality.
I don’t wanna get all squishy about this, but if you ride (or hike or run with groups), you know what I mean. There’s a special bond among riding buddies.