Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Calvin27
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:09 am

Kronos wrote:I find if I can get out and go somewhere where I don't have to think it does a lot to clear my head.


The flipside is when you are injured and you can't get on the bike. I'm banged up at the moment and pretty sad :(.
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g-boaf
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby g-boaf » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:14 am

Calvin27 wrote:
Kronos wrote:I find if I can get out and go somewhere where I don't have to think it does a lot to clear my head.


The flipside is when you are injured and you can't get on the bike. I'm banged up at the moment and pretty sad :(.


What can work, provided you are physically able, would be to to just do trainer rides. I know someone who was seriously injured in a racing accident and that's what he did once he was cleared to do it. It was physical activity but without the risks of riding a real bike (which would have had very serious implications at that stage).

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby fergy1987 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:28 am

As a sufferer I can say that I wouldn't call it a cure...but there is definitely something to be said about getting home from a crappy day and just jumping on the bike and cruising around. It really does just take you away from it all and clears your headspace of those thoughts. I mean Vin Diesel had it right in Fast and the Furious when talking about driving the quarter-mile where "for those 10 seconds, I'm Free"..........I hope that's the only time I quote Vin Diesel....

Although yes as mentioned above, once the ride is over, it all comes back. But it definitely is a management technique, along with some light meditation and just changing your lifestyle - Pushing away all of that garbage the world throws at you and just filling your life with good people and amazing experiences.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby P!N20 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:43 am


Kronos
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Kronos » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:25 pm

Calvin27 wrote:
Kronos wrote:I find if I can get out and go somewhere where I don't have to think it does a lot to clear my head.


The flipside is when you are injured and you can't get on the bike. I'm banged up at the moment and pretty sad :(.


Sorry to hear you're banged up right now. I'm sure you'll be back on the bike soon. Fitness and recovery is a big thing, but without knowing which way you've injured yourself its hard to say what the best way is to get fit and healthy again is. I also have a gym membership, a trainer might work, but that's if you can still pedal a bike.
Last edited by Kronos on Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Calvin27
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:31 pm

g-boaf wrote:What can work, provided you are physically able, would be to to just do trainer rides.


At the moment it's broken ribs so can't breath too well. But that is the plan once it clears. Don't mean to hijack the thread but just noting it cuts boths ways. My online purchasing activity has gone up though - that is still bicycle related therapy, no? :P
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Kronos » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:35 pm

Calvin27 wrote:
g-boaf wrote:What can work, provided you are physically able, would be to to just do trainer rides.


At the moment it's broken ribs so can't breath too well. But that is the plan once it clears. Don't mean to hijack the thread but just noting it cuts boths ways. My online purchasing activity has gone up though - that is still bicycle related therapy, no? :P


Whatever makes you feel good at the end of the day is what its about, buying new bikes, and bike parts makes me happy also. A big thing with depression is positive distractions and making sure that you are doing things to keep your mind occupied. It's when you are sitting around doing nothing that depression is generally at its worst. For me its decidedly when I feel like I don't have a sense of purpose. Right now riding my bike and getting my base level up so I can do some longer rides again later this year is one of my senses of purpose. It's not much, but it stops you from giving in.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby g-boaf » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:08 pm

Calvin27 wrote:
g-boaf wrote:What can work, provided you are physically able, would be to to just do trainer rides.


At the moment it's broken ribs so can't breath too well. But that is the plan once it clears. Don't mean to hijack the thread but just noting it cuts boths ways. My online purchasing activity has gone up though - that is still bicycle related therapy, no? :P


Absolutely - that would hurt. Hope you mend quickly.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby fergy1987 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:11 pm

Kronos wrote:Whatever makes you feel good at the end of the day is what its about, buying new bikes, and bike parts makes me happy also..


I would be very happy if you bought ME a new bike :P - That would make both of us happy, you get to buy a new bike and I get a new one :P

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Kronos » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:00 pm

fergy1987 wrote:
Kronos wrote:Whatever makes you feel good at the end of the day is what its about, buying new bikes, and bike parts makes me happy also..


I would be very happy if you bought ME a new bike :P - That would make both of us happy, you get to buy a new bike and I get a new one :P


Nice try :lol: Seriously though my last bike cost me $300. There are so many people on the internet who either don't know enough, or sell bikes because they're "old." I bought a Trek 1500 made out of SLR Aluminum (6011 alloy) for a price anyone could afford with less than 10000km on the frame. Can't complain with that, its the same thing they make the latest CAAD, SLR, ALR aluminum bikes out of these days and I honestly prefer a 10 speed gruppo (easier to sense what gear you're working in).

You don't even need to spend a truck load of cash to be happy... "Oh why would you ride a crappy 07 frame..." maybe because you think its crap and I bought it for $300... But someone else who has been through hell and back out the other side appreciates nice things. Especially if they're cheap.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:57 pm

Kronos wrote:You don't even need to spend a truck load of cash to be happy... "Oh why would you ride a crappy 07 frame..." maybe because you think its crap and I bought it for $300... But someone else who has been through hell and back out the other side appreciates nice things. Especially if they're cheap.


My last bike was also $300. Don't ask me how much i threw at it though lol. Building a bike is also a nice rewarding process that clear your mind despite the occasional swearing at BB standards !
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:02 pm

Thoglette wrote:....

This won't come as much surprise to anyone who rides regularly.


This thread is golden, because it is extremely relevant and holds true for so many.

Cycling in and of itself is not a cure, but can help an individual develop the tools to deal with wellness issues, especially Anxiety / Depression, and just the process of cycling has so many benefits to any person dealing with Anxiety/Depression that I believe it should be one of the go-to elements of therapeutic intervention.

Cycling will help dissipate nervous energy (lack of a better term in this context) which often seems to accompany Anxiety and the associated emotional over-engagement (which is exhausting), or the other extreme, emotional avoidance (which can only occur for so long).

The beneficial aspect of cycling can be enhanced even further with one or two strategies, just to start with.

During a ride, focus on something internal, preferably a sensation within or occurring to, your body. Whether it be the stretch and warmth in your calves, or the sensation of 40km/h air passing over your face (or in my case 14km/h) and make a habit of experiencing the minute detail of cycling.
Try to concentrate on technique and smoothness, I mean really concentrate, and strive for perfect form and technique, along the lines of Kata (Japanese term for the repetition of a series of movements in order to perfect the whole).
Part of this will result in a focus on the sensation and detail of the present, real-time experience. The here and now, to the exclusion of everything else.
This is mindfulness, an extremely powerful and effective weapon to deal with Anxiety/Depression.

Someone once described their depression as mashed potato, and that everything was like bland, packet mashed potato. No joy in anything, no motivation to do anything, no need or desire to interact with anyone because it was all mashed potato, and she knew it would be mashed potato, so why bother?

This is not therapeutic advice or counseling, please do not accept this as a substitute for any form of psychological intervention.

If you are feeling down or flat, or anxious and wound up, just be aware that Anxiety/Depression can affect anyone, anytime.
Please speak to someone, your GP should be your first point of contact, and GP's nowadays are far more equipped to assist with mental health and wellness issues than ever before.

https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:08 pm

Calvin27 wrote:
At the moment it's broken ribs so can't breath too well. But that is the plan once it clears. Don't mean to hijack the thread but just noting it cuts boths ways. My online purchasing activity has gone up though - that is still bicycle related therapy, no? :P


Ahhhahaha. Have you been checking my online activity? I have literally today bought some NOS Shimano 105 calipers just because I liked the finish on them and thought they would look good on my Shogun. I have no real need for these, and the FSA calipers on there work just fine, but all in the name of therapy, right?
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby baabaa » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:39 pm

fergy1987 wrote:I mean Vin Diesel had it right in Fast and the Furious when talking about driving the quarter-mile where "for those 10 seconds, I'm Free"..........I hope that's the only time I quote Vin Diesel....


always space for more VD quotes, besides he makes some fancy bikes with relevant names...
Image
https://www.vandesselcycles.com/product ... o-foxtrot/
Back on topic, worth noting that if you do bike a lot on-road riding in any major city, once you have had more than a few close calls it is not so good for ones wellbeing, you like to ride, want to ride, but you know that sometimes you can feel that you have ticked off most of your cat lives so really should stop or limited saddle time. Sitting back behind the wheel of a car then makes it worse so bring on the public transport?

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Kronos » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:59 pm

Calvin27 wrote:
Kronos wrote:You don't even need to spend a truck load of cash to be happy... "Oh why would you ride a crappy 07 frame..." maybe because you think its crap and I bought it for $300... But someone else who has been through hell and back out the other side appreciates nice things. Especially if they're cheap.


My last bike was also $300. Don't ask me how much i threw at it though lol. Building a bike is also a nice rewarding process that clear your mind despite the occasional swearing at BB standards !


Yep :D It's great to give life to bikes that other people ignore. I haven't even begun throwing money at it yet, but its definitely a rewarding and distracting process. It's something I need in the evenings with tinkering, as it keeps my mind distracted and away from depression. I haven't got a lot of bottom bracket issues, but then I fell across a Trek 1500 SLR (allu Madone replica Disco livery, Hai Lance!). I lookd at a CAAD5, but then Cannondale often has BB30 issues on their higher end models which is why i settled on the Trek. Moch less swearing and no need for a converter.

Riding and building bikes helps me spend a lot less time in my own head. It's one of the few things that gives me an empty mind. Apart from that, long walks on the beach and taking my DSLR out with me works also. I think cycling (or any form of low impact exercise) is definitely one of those things that can really help as both a form of meditation, and as a process to help you get the vitamin D and endorphins your body needs. it also helps you to get the adrenaline and cortisol build up out of your system that happens with anxiety. I don't tend to focus on anything except improving my cycling, doing new PBs on Strava, and working on whatever it is I'm working for the day (speed, power, endurance, etc).

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Thoglette » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:44 pm

Another article, this just the start of someone's journey back. Patrick Brady on
Under the Darkness of Depression a Cyclist Pursues Zen by Bike (Bicycling.com via The Radavist)
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby baabaa » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:11 pm

Thoglette wrote:Another article, this just the start of someone's journey back. Patrick Brady on
Under the Darkness of Depression a Cyclist Pursues Zen by Bike (Bicycling.com via The Radavist)


These guys are doing it...now
https://twitter.com/SCNewsSA/status/961517688244891648
If you have bike around Aust and the world a bit the vids are well worth a look.
If you haven’t they give a pretty good idea what Aust is really like out and away from the big cities
https://www.evereast.co.uk/journal

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g-boaf
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby g-boaf » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:11 pm

Calvin27 wrote:
Kronos wrote:You don't even need to spend a truck load of cash to be happy... "Oh why would you ride a crappy 07 frame..." maybe because you think its crap and I bought it for $300... But someone else who has been through hell and back out the other side appreciates nice things. Especially if they're cheap.


My last bike was also $300. Don't ask me how much i threw at it though lol. Building a bike is also a nice rewarding process that clear your mind despite the occasional swearing at BB standards !


Building a bike is the best, it's just a nice thing to do. You appreciate the bike more. Especially when it really runs well.

Mine, it is such a sweet running thing. You get one of those still days in a quiet area and just hear no more than rolling noise. That is satisfying.

I think also riding a bike makes you a lot calmer, it does for me.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Kronos » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:31 pm

building, fixing and riding my own bikes is a form of meditation for me. It's why I do it, and its why I generally don't fix other people's bikes. Its my zen, if I have to deal with other peoples problems it takes away from it.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Calvin27 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:17 pm

baabaa wrote:always space for more VD quotes, besides he makes some fancy bikes with relevant names...


Somehow there is a bunch of people at work who are wanting to buy this now lol. Looks mint!
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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Duck! » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:21 pm

fergy1987 wrote:As a sufferer I can say that I wouldn't call it a cure...but there is definitely something to be said about getting home from a crappy day and just jumping on the bike and cruising around. It really does just take you away from it all and clears your headspace of those thoughts. I mean Vin Diesel had it right in Fast and the Furious when talking about driving the quarter-mile where "for those 10 seconds, I'm Free"..........I hope that's the only time I quote Vin Diesel....

Although yes as mentioned above, once the ride is over, it all comes back. But it definitely is a management technique, along with some light meditation and just changing your lifestyle - Pushing away all of that garbage the world throws at you and just filling your life with good people and amazing experiences.

+1 to this. Having suffered bouts of depression myself I too can relate. Cycling (or any kind of excercise) isn't a magic bullet, but is a quite effective management tool as part of a greater treatment plan. This will sound weird, but for me even work could be therapeutic most of the time. Most people would find that hard to believe, but when work is playing with bikes, it's makes a bit more sense. :-) But just sometimes if the head was in a really bad place, even fixing bikes wouldn't work, frustration would set in, which would distract me even futher from what I was trying to do, which would add to the frustration, and so would begin a spiral of mental implosion that could only be broken by getting the hell out of there before I crumpled into a whimpering heap in a corner of the workshop. Mountain biking is the therapy for me. On the trails it is total engagement on the ride; if the concentration lapses & lets the demons rear their ugly heads, you hit something and get hurt.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Cyclophiliac » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:24 pm

Cycling is the only thing that gives my life some meaning, and makes it worth carrying on. My life's pretty messed up in all other respects.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Tim » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:32 pm

In a really deep low the hardest thing can be finding the motivation to get out and go for a ride.
It becomes a real bind and a source of further anxiety. I know that physical activity and mental distraction is the best remedy but stuck in the depths of a really deep downer I can become almost paralysed with inaction, and consequent guilt at not doing what I should.
Times like that I just have to wait for it to pass, as is does, and start afresh the next day.

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Re: Cycling - a cure for depression and anxiety

Postby Kronos » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:07 pm

Yep, frustration is the enemy. When I get like that it sounds bad, but you're more in the mood to break things (and break them properly so they wont work again) rather than fix things. The thing is you usually regret it later once you feel a bit better which leads to guilt and more depression. When I get into that state of mind my best thing to do is nothing until the mood passes. That's a fairly severe bout of depression for you.

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