Unwinding - Does this work for you?

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Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:32 pm

Damn - I really do like a long ride to unwind.

I am the wrong side of sixty but I still have a lot of days at work where I work at high intensity and people still seem to hunt me down for my particular abilities. I like it but it certainly leaves me a bit flat by weeks end.

I do an all day ride most weekends that spans around six or seven hours with five or six hours being in the saddle. Today I rode one of my regular weekenders - Mandurah/Halls Head an hour south of Perth.

Now, with west coast weather for eight months of the year I finish up at home with a mild case of sunburn - or at the least the skin starts feeling a little sight a few hours after. (Yes, I slip-slop-slap but six or seven hours is a long time.)

Well, I musta got it about right today. Five hours then dropped into the pool and five hours later I feel great. No desire to scratch, No tightening of the brow And three Shiraz later and I still feel great.

(Fellow Sandgropers - In Mandurah the number of properties for sale or with a "Sold" sicker outside is just as it is in Perth inner city - Get some more property in your portfolio.)

Does your weekender work for you too?
Last edited by ColinOldnCranky on Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:38 am

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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby TheBikeShed » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:38 am

Sometimes a long ride or run on the weekend feels like the only thing that gets me in the right frame of mind for the weekend. It can be tough to separate yourself from work, and family, and all of the other obligations that you have, whether they're work-week-only or all-the-time kinds of things, but getting out into the fresh air and doing something you love for a good chunk of the day really can't be beat! People often talk about the health benefits of cycling—and exercise in general—but the mental health part is often missed.

The day you described (five hours, dip in the pool, then wine) sounds about perfect.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby grimbo » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:27 am

Went for a ride to Kurnell with a buddy last week. I put my head down and took the lead the whole way there, hardly remember it. When we got to the half way and were having a banana break, he says "tough week at work, was it"? Only then did I realise the stress I was still carrying around. Had a relaxed ride home and a chilled-out remainder of the weekend.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby find_bruce » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:01 pm

In all that cycling, your legs are only going in one direction & that is what has you wound up. You need to cycle your legs in the opposite direction to unwind :lol:
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby CXCommuter » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:04 pm

Unwinding (not back pedaling :) ) is one of the reasons I like commuting to and from work on a bike, allows me to mentally prepare in the morning and get caught up in the immediacy of not becoming mince meat on a road, enjoying ride up the coast or a bit of CCR action. Without it I would be on public transport which would just wind me up even more..
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby lobstermash » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:12 pm

Yep, commuting by bike really helps me deal with stress, both at work and home. I also find it provides closure between work and home responsibilities.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby HappyHumber » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:33 pm

cars can be casserole pots for stress stews.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby moosterbounce » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:57 pm

I certainly find I am more relaxed on the days I can ride to work. I travel along the river which helps a great deal. Weekends, I try to do a long ride on a Sunday and a long paddle on a Saturday. Between the two of them, I'm pretty chilled :)
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby phineas » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:35 pm

After a really bad day, going for a ride is the quickest thing to get me back into a better place.


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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby embee8 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:28 pm

Great post, COC, as we can often forget the great *mental* benefits that cycling brings. I often see you on the Kwinana Fwy heading north to the CBD as I head south to my workplace (Hami Hill).
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:41 pm

Riding is a great way to unwind. I especially love MTB for it, because your entire focus is about the ride and not hitting stuff - very effective at driving other disturbances out of your mind.

Several years ago I suffered a nasty period of depression. Work generally helped give me some sense of focus (fortunately I love what I do), but there would be some times where something just wouldn't go right, and I'd get into a deepening cycle of frustration.... I'd get frustrated that what I was doing wasn't happening, then get frustrated at being frustrated and unable to focus on my work. The only way to break the spiral before I fell into a blubbering heap was to get the hell out & go for a ride.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby GAV!N » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:35 am

Yep, love riding to Unwind. I use to surf to relax & unwind, but a year or two ago became increasingly frustrated in the surf. Usually due to other 'wonderful people' in the surf, and showtime surf.

I was talking to a friend at work the other day about my MAMIL-ing (His term for cycling :p ). He can't believe I go for 4 to 5 hour solo rides, without head phones or anything. No one to talk to. Nothing to listen to. "That's an awful lot of time to yourself Gav! Just you and the MAMIL-ing. That's crazy. What do you think about all that time!?" He said.

When I thought about, I thought yeah, it is a bit weird. Just you, the bike, and bitumen for 5 hours, but there's something about it calms me and clears my mind. I don't really even know what I think about for those 5 hours. Maybe that's the secret. Wouldn't have it any other way at the moment!
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby PapaJohn » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:25 pm

I'm a great believer in the cycle commute (45 minutes one way) as a means of unwinding and to start the day. That's enough time to defuse, get over it, get distracted and be in a completely different frame of mine once home, OR, in the morning, sorta the reverse. It's the ride at the start and an action plan for the day in the last 1/4 of the ride.

Riding seems harder somehow now, I've retired. It's more about the ride, not a drift through "psychic zones" as it was. There is no imperative to start in the morning, no "escape" being made at the end of the day. No real relief in a ride, more about the occasional personal best or better time or a slow "smell the flowers" experience.

The 45 minutes extra travel time each day, I always saw as an investment in mental health, fitness, and of course saved a lot of money by not driving the 200km weekly.

The 42 kays in the ride for the ride sake (now) seems a more substantial investment for less return. Watch for it, when you stop working for a living; riding can seem to get harder to do. I get picky about the conditions, but not the distance for a week. The game to be played occasionally becomes making up a day missed. (85 kay day), or just taking off for a day and doing much more.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby g-boaf » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:57 pm

I have a different way to unwind - since I don't do bicycle commuting.

I travel on the train and put music on - generally two or three types. Chorale (the greatest ever piece of music), or perhaps Rustic Chivalry (another famous one).

In my area, the commute would not be a way to unwind. That said, when I get home I love to get out on the bike and do 100km. I generally do between 350-500km a week that way along with some specific training. So apart from that, music is my escape.

I don't need to be pushed to ride a bike, it's something I do as much as I'm able to do. Occasionally my colleagues do see me come back from training in cycling gear, I don't get any comments about it. Perhaps it's because they can see how much more fit I've become compared to the way I was.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:03 pm

I just like the simplicity of it.

When you are riding you can't think of anything else except - the correct gear, cadence, approaching hills/turns/obstacles. All you think about is how your body works together to move. It's nice to give the brain a break and some easy stuff to solve.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby Lizzy » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:24 pm

Uh huh. My commute sometimes seems like all that stands between me and rage-blackout. I find it either a really good circuit-breaker, or on worse days, a meditation to unpack & file away the day's vexations. I have been busted singing to myself on occasion. ... Yup, perfectly normal ...

I have a colleague with a management job (ergo, a conga line of petty grievances through her office all day) and two young kids at home, her bike commute is literally the only time she gets to and for herself, at any time, ever. Perhaps unsurprisingly I've never known her to miss a day.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby Parker » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:33 pm

Swim, run or ride; one of them or both of them or all of them.

I work with different people, it can be a challenge at times, I'm not a calm person, I'm mostly highly strung but I have a lot of my list for work. Right now I'm not going to kill anyone or smack my head violently against my desk repeatedly. Today is a good day.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby PapaJohn » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:51 pm

Lizzy wrote:I have a colleague with a management job (ergo, a conga line of petty grievances through her office all day) and two young kids at home, her bike commute is literally the only time she gets to and for herself, at any time, ever. Perhaps unsurprisingly I've never known her to miss a day.


Definitely unsurprising. It's quality "me time". Not to be missed, and no-one would accuse that person of selfishness over it, unlike so many other recreational things she could do, which might not "fit" into her busy life.
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby queequeg » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:08 pm

PapaJohn wrote:
Lizzy wrote:I have a colleague with a management job (ergo, a conga line of petty grievances through her office all day) and two young kids at home, her bike commute is literally the only time she gets to and for herself, at any time, ever. Perhaps unsurprisingly I've never known her to miss a day.


Definitely unsurprising. It's quality "me time". Not to be missed, and no-one would accuse that person of selfishness over it, unlike so many other recreational things she could do, which might not "fit" into her busy life.


+1

two preschool age kids at home. up at 5am to go to work fir a 7am start. Finish at 4pm to get some time with the terror monkeys when I get home.

I find myself taking slightly longer ways to and from work to Stretch it out a bit, even if only by an extra km, or a few extra hills.

I suffer badly when forced to use the bus, which is why there has to be soccer ball sized hail before I consider it "too bad" to ride in :-)
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Re: Unwinding - Does this work for you?

Postby BoardRider » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:06 am

Love commuting in to work from the Adelaide Hills ,I even add few extra Km and climbs in .Get a great kick out of seeing the wildlife bouncing around. It clears my head of all the stress,relaxes me and balances my day ready for the city life.
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