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Warding off Post Tour Depression

Old 01-25-13, 09:28 AM
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Machka 
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Warding off Post Tour Depression

After you've been on a long tour, what are some of the things you've done to ward off post-tour depression?

Post-tour depression is the same thing as post-University depression, or post anything-you've-put-a-lot-of-time-and-energy-into depression. You've devoted a lot of time and energy to touring, finishing a degree, finishing a project, and for a moment you're really happy and excited about accomplishing something. Maybe you're relieved to be done. But then there's a depression, or perhaps a form of grief, because that phase of your life is over.

The depression (or grief) can be lessened by having exciting new plans for the future. New things to accomplish and do. New ways to spend your time and energy.


So, as you are wrapping up a tour, what things do you plan to do to both ease back into a "normal" life and to ward off the depression?
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Old 01-25-13, 10:05 AM
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After returning from a tour, takes me 3-4 days to settle down and get back in the routine. Part of that 'routine' is finalizing plans for the next. Best cure for depression I've found.

Four on the burner for '13, first starts tomorrow with buds in Big Bend Texas. Next, the Salton Sea, then Niagara Falls to Boston, then SE Utah. Gonna be a great year if the politicians and bankers don't screw it up.
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Old 01-25-13, 11:24 AM
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I usually get "post tour depression" before the tour ends. The last couple of weeks I find myself soaking in every moment with the knowledge that it's soon to be over. By the time I get home there's usually quite a bit of "daily life" stuff that needs to be caught up with, which distracts. But I've also found that jumping on the bike and doing some rides at home really helps. For one thing, it's fun to do the usual ride feeling stronger than normal due to having just completed an arduous tour. For another, it makes me think of recent experiences on the tour and compare those experiences with the "usual" ones on the regular daily ride. That leads to wondering about the people I met along the way, and a general feeling of appreciation for having had those experiences at all.
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Old 01-25-13, 12:18 PM
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I moved to a place bike tours go to or through, as it's called ..

"a nice little Drinking town with a Fishing problem"..

I hope they got the summer forest fires supressed in Tasmania, ...

.. do they call themselves Tasmaniacs?
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Old 01-25-13, 03:11 PM
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+You are ending your trip in the PNW winter that is less cheery, than seeing the Pacific Coast in its Dryer season.
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Old 01-25-13, 03:30 PM
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I don't have any good answers other than to hang in there until it passes. I got it pretty bad after my first tour (Trans America), but since then, not so much. I guess it helps that I know I have other trips coming up.
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Old 01-25-13, 03:55 PM
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Well I didn't have the quite the normal trip. First I had a car trip that until a month before I left for it was unplanned and I figured I would never get the chance to go there, at least not during the event that I ended up going there for. I got back and within a few days I was working to try to get painting project completed before leaving for the bike trip close...in relative terms, to where I had just been while driving someone elses car. I thought it was going to be a 1-1.5 day long project. When I started the project, for someone else, he kept saying things that had me questioning whether I misunderstood or what. Turns out he had chagned his mind and now this 1-1.5 day turned into a monster. I spent the next 7-8 days working 8-10 hours each day and all I had done was one small part of it being scraped and primed. I left for the bike trip to the midwest and when I got back I knew it was mid September and fall/winter was fast approaching. I knew I had to get as much of it done as possible before winter sit in or I was still going to be working on the project come this summer. Yes, I will still be working on the project come spring. I still stayed out on the bike. I had taken my concept of trying to ride 1500 miles a month for 12 consecutive months Aug '11-July '12 and turned it into trying to ride 1500 miles for a calendar year and trying to ride at least one double metric each month for 12 consecutive July '11-June '12 into trying to do it for a calendar year.

Think big, don't think small. Have your trip only be a small trip of your overall year long plans. That's the easiest way to avoid post trip depression. I'm already planning trips for each of the next three to four years right now. This years may get eliminated, serious research into next years plans are in the works already...I need to study the weather BIG TIME. Each of the next three to four years the trip will get longer and bigger each year. This years trip will be nothing less than 6000 miles, as long as it goes according to current plan. If I drop that idea in favor of next years trip than it jumps to close to an 8000 mile long trip and will be the first of three years in a row of riding through all the lower 48 states. Each year does nothing but preps me for the following year. I don't think about one thing and one thing only. When you put all your eggs in one basket is when you drop that basket and your left with nothing more than slop. Spread yourself around and you won't be able to get the blues.
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Old 01-25-13, 05:02 PM
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I'm a creature of hobbies for any sort of depression or feeling of boredom, so I work on projects. For me: Chess and the study of chess, classical piano, modeling plank-on-frame wooden ships, reading, writing, painting and drawing, walks with my iPod. As long as it's interactive it will usually work. Lots of things are. Passive entertainment I'm not so crazy about, so I gave up the TV many years ago.
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Old 01-25-13, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
+You are ending your trip in the PNW winter that is less cheery, than seeing the Pacific Coast in its Dryer season.
Actually, we're gradually coming to the end of our trip in bright, sunny, warm Western Australia ... or maybe Victoria ... depending when the tour ends.
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Old 01-25-13, 08:18 PM
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Just to clarify, we're not actually suffering from Post-Tour Depression at the moment. We're enjoying the beaches of Western Australia.

But I go back to work (at least temporarily) in a couple weeks, and I know from past experience that there is a distinct possibility of feeling down as we try to merge back into "normal" life.

One of the things I'm doing to ward it off is re-creating a certain list. Many years ago, I read an article entitled, "50 Things to Do Before I Die" ... it appeared well before the "Bucket List" movie and the subsequent wave of popularity for creating "bucket lists". Back then I created a list of 50 things I'd like to do before I die, and I accomplished many of them. I got into racing, I rode long distance events, I did a long cycling tour, I finished another degree, etc. etc.

So now, I've recreated the list ... only this time there are a lot more than 50 things ... I'm up around 80. My list is divided into categories: Cycling, Sports, Arts, Education, Travel, and a miscellaneous category called "Fun". Some of the things on my list are small things which might involve a couple evening classes. Some are larger and more time consuming.

And next ... I need to start doing some of those things.
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Old 01-25-13, 10:47 PM
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Never got post-bike tour depression but it was a bit depressing a couple times returning on the plane from car tours of Germany/Netherlands. No more 225 kph AutoBahn fun, back to USA where cyclists regarded as trouble-makers.
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