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  1. #1
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    Touring with ADD/ADHD

    So I was just wondering if there are any people out there who take amphetamines like adderall or vyvanse while touring for a long time.

    Generally I dont want to bike when I take those pills because im scared im gonna bonk. For those of you that dont know, these pillls suppress any need you have for food or water. You have to force yourself to eat basically.

    But recently I was thinking of taking some on my next tour for those mornings that were just difficult to get going. Im probably using them for the wrong reason, which is not good. In general I dont need the meds to help me when I bike because i find biking works just as well for me to cure my problems.

    Anyone have anything to say about this whole topic? Do you tour on your meds?

  2. #2
    Larger Chainring Oregon Southpaw's Avatar
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    I am the most severely ADHD'd individual you'll ever meet, and have been down all of the many paths regarding this "disorder" and its biological, chemical, and cultural aspects. Like you hint at, exercise is all the medicine a person should need for this condition. If riding isn't curing/treating your ADHD, you aren't doing it right.
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    At times my crotch has thought the title to this thread.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    since there are extraordinarily more pharmaceutical solutions to sell pills in The US
    the individual gets diagnosed as suffering from being less able to cope with a deformed society.

    take a bike tour in another country, and see if you are not really the problem.

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    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    If your "biking works just as well for me to cure my problems" then why take the meds?

    It's common to find it hard to get going in the morning but pride and habit help, i.e. the more you do the easier it gets.

    As you may suspect I'm not on any meds. but would genuinely be interested in any insights you could share about your condition.
    History is the future

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    Quote Originally Posted by LostitoaBianchi View Post
    So I was just wondering if there are any people out there who take amphetamines like adderall or vyvanse while touring for a long time.
    I've heard there's some bicyclists who use amphetamines on an annual 3-week tour, over in France...

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    Lol.. I am sure adderall will give you a lot more oomph to get those miles in while on tour.

  7. #7
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    You don't need to take the drugs. Touring is the drug.

  8. #8
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    I've heard there's some bicyclists who use amphetamines on an annual 3-week tour, over in France...
    If they were you could be sure there'd be some on a one week tour in the U.S. taking them also.
    History is the future

  9. #9
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostitoaBianchi View Post
    So I was just wondering if there are any people out there who take amphetamines like adderall or vyvanse while touring for a long time.

    Generally I dont want to bike when I take those pills because im scared im gonna bonk. For those of you that dont know, these pillls suppress any need you have for food or water. You have to force yourself to eat basically.

    But recently I was thinking of taking some on my next tour for those mornings that were just difficult to get going. Im probably using them for the wrong reason, which is not good. In general I dont need the meds to help me when I bike because i find biking works just as well for me to cure my problems.

    Anyone have anything to say about this whole topic? Do you tour on your meds?
    I'm a little puzzled about just what you're asking here.

    I'm more than a little skeptical about the level of diagnosis of ADD/ADHD - it seems to me that children need a chance to run around and let off steam and also need to know when to sit down and shut up. It seems there are ever-more "disorders" that ultimately boil down to a lack of discipline. Unfortunately it also seems that a massive over-diagnosis of "disorders" also makes it harder to take a problem seriously when there really is a serious problem that isn't just down to knowing who's in charge.

    That said I'm not sure whether you're talking about taking prescribed medication to control a recognised medical problem or taking something to give you a boost in the morning when you feel lethargic (I feel lethargic most mornings, simply because I'm not a morning person). I'm also puzzled why you need to take medication at all if cycling is all you need - it makes me think your body has what it needs to solve the problem and the pills give you a partial solution while introducing another problem (i.e. the bit about not eating) where cycling would give you a complete solution. So again I'm unclear why you'd even want to take pills that don't offer you anything the riding doesn't.

    I'm not medically qualified so take what I've written as an opinion rather than a qualified medical opinion.
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  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostitoaBianchi View Post
    But recently I was thinking of taking some on my next tour for those mornings that were just difficult to get going. Im probably using them for the wrong reason, which is not good. In general I dont need the meds to help me when I bike because i find biking works just as well for me to cure my problems.

    I'm not a morning person ... it's difficult to get going every morning ... my "drug" of choice is coffee. A hot shower and brisk walk help as well ... as does a good night's sleep.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I'm not a morning person ... it's difficult to get going every morning ... my "drug" of choice is coffee. A hot shower and brisk walk help as well ... as does a good night's sleep.
    I do all that and I AM morning person!

    I am ADD but not medicated for it, I use a variety of coping mechanisms and have had no problem touring. By most counts mine is on the lower end of the scale and medication would be of limited value.

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    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon Southpaw View Post
    I am the most severely ADHD'd individual you'll ever meet, and have been down all of the many paths regarding this "disorder" and its biological, chemical, and cultural aspects. Like you hint at, exercise is all the medicine a person should need for this condition. If riding isn't curing/treating your ADHD, you aren't doing it right.
    This has been my experience, too... exercise helped me the most.

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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    since there are extraordinarily more pharmaceutical solutions to sell pills in The US
    the individual gets diagnosed as suffering from being less able to cope with a deformed society.

    take a bike tour in another country, and see if you are not really the problem.
    +1

    to: LostittoaBianchi, find a doctor who believes in exercise.
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    Senior Member Stannian's Avatar
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    Troll has some things to say about this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E78k...1&feature=plcp

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    There is obviously a lot of ignorance here about what AD(H)D is and isn't, as ever. Overdiagnosed in childhood though it may be there is far more depth to it than "spastic children with negligent parents." Regardless there seems to be two angles here and they're going to vary enough person-to-person that you should probably do what you may already know is right in your case. The two angles: 1) Is it medically advisable to suddenly change your medication regimen suddenly, and 2) how will a different regimen affect your touring ability? In both cases gradually transitioning as part of your training schedule (if you have one) is probably a good idea. I am not a doctor and for angle #1 you should probably consult yours.

    Personally I am on a non-stimulant med and as it has an impact on blood pressure stopping suddenly is not a good idea from me, especially with intense exercise added. Exercise is a critical part of the overall "coping" strategy though so it could be that less or no meds are the way to go. Commuting every day has been a significant boon for me. (Diet matters too.)

    One part of my specific situation: when unmedicated I have a noticeable decrease in impulse-control. This has often led to dangerous/aggressive decisions whether riding or driving. Stimulant meds may well have the opposite effect but keep that in mind!

    1st post!

  16. #16
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I'm not a morning person ... it's difficult to get going every morning ... my "drug" of choice is coffee. A hot shower and brisk walk help as well ... as does a good night's sleep.
    That's how this ADD patient self-medicates, as an adult. It's largely successful.
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  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveandLetDrive View Post
    There is obviously a lot of ignorance here about what AD(H)D is and isn't, as ever. Overdiagnosed in childhood though it may be there is far more depth to it than "spastic children with negligent parents." Regardless there seems to be two angles here and they're going to vary enough person-to-person that you should probably do what you may already know is right in your case. The two angles: 1) Is it medically advisable to suddenly change your medication regimen suddenly, and 2) how will a different regimen affect your touring ability? In both cases gradually transitioning as part of your training schedule (if you have one) is probably a good idea. I am not a doctor and for angle #1 you should probably consult yours.

    Personally I am on a non-stimulant med and as it has an impact on blood pressure stopping suddenly is not a good idea from me, especially with intense exercise added. Exercise is a critical part of the overall "coping" strategy though so it could be that less or no meds are the way to go. Commuting every day has been a significant boon for me. (Diet matters too.)

    One part of my specific situation: when unmedicated I have a noticeable decrease in impulse-control. This has often led to dangerous/aggressive decisions whether riding or driving. Stimulant meds may well have the opposite effect but keep that in mind!

    1st post!
    That's a great first post, welcome to BikeForums!
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    If it's just the morning, I'd think about requesting a lower dose pill and using a non-extended release formula for adderall/amphetamine based medications. Talk to your doctor.

  19. #19
    Member aprilstarchild's Avatar
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    I have ADHD and I take Adderall while touring. For those of you who don't have ADHD: It doesn't work on me the same way amphetamines work on you. I don't suddenly have this burst of energy or anything. I've been taking it for almost seven years, so there's a tolerance issue of course. It's just glasses for my brain--it brings things into better focus, and I have more control over my attention.

    Too many of the other comments are the usual "no such thing as ADHD/riding should cure it" bull****. Yeah, my bicycle has been one of the biggest boosts to my mental health--but it's easily third place, behind the love of my family and friends and my Adderall.

    Why I take my Adderall on tour: Because it helps me get organized/fed/packed up in the morning and not be distracted (I am also NOT a morning person, ugh). Because it allows me to pay attention while riding, which is not a small thing. It means I do less stupid things: I'm less likely to swerve into traffic. I'm less likely to ride right into my boyfriend's back because I wasn't paying attention. It means I can be "in the moment" and actually enjoy the ride and the scenery instead of following the endless bunnies in my head. It means I have the patience to ride long days. It means I am less likely to lose stuff every time we stop (I do sometimes lose things, but it's MUCH less often).

    I take the short-acting version of Adderall, and I time my doses carefully. I've been on it long enough that I *can* eat while I'm on it, just not as much. And so I eat a big breakfast before my first dose takes effect, and then I nibble something (a couple cookies, a handful of trial mix) and drink some water at least once an hour. And then when my first dose wears off totally four or five hours after I take it, I sit down for a real lunch before taking my next dose. And then it's back to nibbles until dinner! You get the idea. I end up taking two or three doses a day.

    Touring has some advantages for the person with ADHD, though, compared to day-to-day life...the biggest thing, for me? It's so easy to put everything away! There's only so many places to put your things, and once you get so that everything has a place, it's so much easier to pack up in the morning.

    Try to get into the habit of looking around before leaving EVERY SINGLE TIME you stop. I realize this is hard and I am certainly not perfect, but I swear that every time I forgot to look around before getting back on my bike, I lost something. There was once I ended up adding ten miles to the day because I'd dropped my hoodie and went back for it, there was another time I left sunglasses at a lunch stop....yeah.
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  20. #20
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    This is question you probably really need to be asking your doctor, and not relying on us. When you tour, your body's chemistry is going to completely change. Example: You will eat twice as many calories, you will burn twice as many calories, you will drink far more fluids, and all other kinds of physical changes including possible weight loss... ADD/ADHD is also a physical disease based on chemicals in the brain so while the medicines you take now may work, they may work differently while on a tour. But certainly, ask your doctor about this for a good answer.

    Best wishes.

  21. #21
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    where can I get some of those pills to make me not want to eat anything?

  22. #22
    Doesn't ride enough Lamabb's Avatar
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    I have ADHD and take Vyvanse. But this summer I did a 2 month tour of the Trans-am bike route. I did not take medication for the whole trip and had no problem at all. Then again, I don't typically have any trouble waking up.

    Do what feels right, but I don't see the need for it. I didn't have any need.

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