General Cycling Discussion - Loss of love
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I have been cycling for about six years. I have done numerous tours across the country and logged thousands of miles. But, this year it has been a stuggle to even go for a 20 or so mile ride. Cycling has become a chore and real drag. I purchased a new bike in October and have ridden it a paltry 400 miles.
I am wondering if what I am experiencing is normal. If you have gone through this same thing, please repond and tell me what you have done to get your motivation back on track and get back into it.
So far, I have decided to hang it up for six months and see if I want to come back to it. Suggestions or comments would be great! Thanks!
04-25-02, 02:03 PM
Sorry to hear about your doldrums.
There are two possibilities: 1. you are burned out from cycling; 2. you are serious depressed...no I am not talking about simply being in the dumps mentally...I am talking about the real deal...you may have a serious chemical/hormonal imbalance in your brain that may only get worse...I am talking about clinical depression.
You need to go see a doctor and get tested/evaluated. It's one thing to be down for a few days...it seems your situation is far worse than that. Don't treat your problem as if it's some common cold or flu you can get yourself over by yourself...this sh*t is so serious, I would say it can be just as bad as something that would require invasive surgery.
Go see a doctor...take it from someone who has experienced this before.
Thanks for your reply. I really think I just am burned out on riding. I'm enjoying my girlfriend and my golf game, which keeps me in contact with my colleagues.
04-25-02, 02:46 PM
Did anything change significantly in your life to bring this on? Even a change in diet can affect how you feel physically and mentally. I know when for some reason I'm not eating properly I can get that bummed out feeling and lack of energy.
04-25-02, 02:53 PM
Gios, something similar happened to me at the end of the cycling season in 1998. I had ridden several thousands of miles for quite a few years before this. Then in 1998 I rode the most I had ever ridden. Mainly because I was training for RAGBRAI. Then after RAGBRAI which is in July I didn't even want to look at my bike, though I still rode it after about 2 weeks off of it. Thats when I noticed it started to feel like a chore.
When the season ended for me is about the time my wife and I bought our first house. So the following spring I busied myself with the house and did not ride at all. The same happened in the years 2000 and for most of 2001. I would actually find excuses to not go out and ride. Unfortunatly I gained a lot of weight as a result of not being as active. Then in Sept. of 2001 I started riding again. I traded in my road bike for a Vision recumbent and put a few miles on it until the season ended last year and I have ridden it a number of times this season already. I've started losing weight again and feel great now that I am back to cycling. As the weather improves I'll ride more and more.
Like you are experiencing I got burned out. If you stop cycling for a while, do something else that will keep you active or no matter what you eat you will gain weight. Even though I was working on my house it was not enough to keep the weight off. Good luck.
Yes, I have a new wonderful girlfriend who interests me more than my Ksyriums. Recently, I was appointed department chair at my school and that takes up a great deal of my time. I'm wondering if the success I'm feeling elsewhere is the cause of my loss? My diet hasn't changed that much at all. Thanks for your reply
04-26-02, 10:21 PM
If you love it (sounds like you may, since you are concerned) you will return to it.
04-26-02, 11:15 PM
Do you always ride with yourself or groups? Maybe try to ride in Europe. Or better yet, get into racing.
04-29-02, 06:43 PM
Well everyone gets into slumps from time to time. Eshelon has a valid point on depression. That is nothing to tread on lightly. As for the basic burn out, I found trying a different bike helped. **NOT trying to get religious, just a religious guy had insight that worked for me*** I was talking with this guy one day about my slump. He first said he knew nothing on bikes, but said " don't they make different types of bikes you can ride?" He then explained that he was a preacher and went on about the small picture(obstacles we let happen) vs big picture(our goals). That we stumble when we don't look at the big picture. I went and got a 24" bmx cruiser, and wow first time out the gate the trails were like an adventure again. Everyone walks their own journey, and so all I can really say is good luck on yours.
As for the basic burn out, I found trying a different bike helped
I agree with this statement. I had great years riding 94',95,96' and by the end of January 97' I was bored, I didn't ride for 18 months. I gained 12kilograms and was just sitting around on beautiful sunny days watching TV.
After much procrastinating I bought a FS MTB in mid 98' and rode that for the next year not touching my road bike, I even thought about selling the road bike. I have been riding all year round since mid 98' now and am enjoying it more than ever.
I am guessing that you used to race. The key to enjoying cycling again is to not go racing. Racing means training, HEAPS of miles and total dedication. Racing doesn't give you any chance to actually enjoy cycling. It's all about intervals, aerobic thresholds etc. If you want to enjoy cycling again find someone to ride with and take it easy for a year or so then see if you feel like racing.
Personally I think it is better to keep the distances down also. Don't go out and do centuries ever weekend or doubles, that takes real mental fitness to accomplish.
Keep the rides to under 4hrs, metric centrury/62miles this way you get a great work-out and have covered some good ground. I feel a lot of people are OBSESSED with going for long rides at every opportunity, this is a fastest way to get burnt out.
Cycling should be fun, it shouldn't be a torture test every ride.
Note: To people that do race, racing can be fun I just don't think it is the best thing for someone who is feeling burnt out, bored, unmotivated and is having difficulties riding at all.
05-02-02, 07:36 AM
I had a similar experience with losing the biking urge. I started riding back in 1990 to get exercise and lose weight, and really loved to ride. I went from nothing to riding a century in my first year. I rode for the next several years including a couple more centuries. Then job demands got the better of me and I drifted away from riding. I rode very little in 98 and 99 and then stopped altogether. My weight went back up and I started feeling lousy about myself. This year, I bought a new bike and started riding again. The passion is still there, I am down 20 pounds and looking toward a century this fall. So, it will come back if you really love it. Good luck.
If you actually are depressed, make sure you replace cycling with some other form of aerobic exercise, to avoid spiraling downward any further. A change of routine, a change of scenery, even rebuilding and riding a funky old bike from a yard sale, may also help.
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