How do you handle cycling withdrawal?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum How do you handle cycling withdrawal?

Viewing 20 reply threads
  • Author
    • #254756

      Where I live everthing is mud, slush, or ice and has been for a few weeks. The storms keep coming. The paved roads, the gravel roads, the singletrack all unridable. Not enough snow for Fatbiking. No Road, Gravel, Fat or Mountain bike riding! I’m about to go crazy. Is there a 10 step program for cycling withdrawal, seasonal affective disorder, and cabin fever.
      I have multiple symptoms. My bikes are getting dusty. The tires going soft. I hope the chains don’t rust. I’m getting fat. But my legs are getting skinny. In turning pale. I can’t breathe! I’m suffering a terrible loss. Help! How do you handle cycling withdrawal?

    • #254757

      I tried to think of something, but everything I could come up with is lame. There really is no substitute for getting out on the trail and riding.

    • #254769

      Withdrawal is not easy to cope with, including for your significant other. I know I am getting into withdrawal when my wife interrupts me standing quietly and  staring out the window for long periods of time.

    • #254792

      Trackstand, front wheel pivots, rear wheel pivots, keep both brakes locked and hop rotations until you make it around 360 (in multiple small hops). Roll a few feet, lock both brakes, and see how many endos/wheelies you can seesaw back and forth on. Basically learn to ride trials. Hopefully you have a dry garage or plowed parking lot to practice in. Even if this is not your idea of fun on a bike, not riding sucks worse and these skills could lead to cleaning sections you couldn’t ride before once you can get back on a techy trail.


    • #254804

      Not very well. I go to a martial arts class twice a week, so I’m still getting some exercise. I have small loop of trails in the woods in my backyard, so sometimes I ride those a bit. I hate stationary exercise (stationary bike, rowing machine, lifting weights, etc.) so I don’t really do much of that. Even if trail conditions aren’t good enough to ride, they might be good enough to hike. I usually feel better if I just get out for a short hike or walk. If the weather is too bad for even that, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe try going to a karate class, you might like it.

    • #254805

      Easy, drive to Moab or to the mountains where there IS enough snow for fat biking! Sorry, I’m a bit spoiled living in Utah…

      I used to get through the dark days of winter either by planning extensive upgrades or full tear-down overhauls. Winter is also a good time to get in some cross -training or other fitness pursuits, I usually double or triple my yoga routine to help build and maintain core and support muscle strength and increase flexibility.

    • #254969

      What area do you live in? If you live close to Canadian border we have plenty of snow and trails right  now. Come for a week or more and ride some snowy trails.

    • #255003

      On MTB withdrawal: My solution required a mountain of privilege and my own rootless character. I lived in Portland, Oregon, for 15 years, where the only singletrack is a minimum 1+hr drive away, and if it isn’t July or August, it is raining. I drove to trails 2-3 times a week, save the snowy month, deeply depressed in the cold and soaked gray. I asked this question you are asking of my friends often. They mostly had similar sentiments and rode indoor trainers or road bikes 6 months out of the year.

      Fully fed up with it, I made a loose two-year plan to save cash and move someplace where I can enjoy riding year round. I slowly convinced all the people around me that this was a good idea. Now I ride singletrack from my doorstep six days a week, and I feel fortunate that my family made sacrifices to give me this massive mental and physical health gift.


    • #255020

      Russian Standard.

    • #255042

      I concur with Brian.  If possible, make the decision to get out of Dodge and move to where you can ride year round. You will not regret it.

    • #255052

      Can’t imagine not riding for multiple weeks to a whole season. I get stir crazy if I go a week. Like others said, if possible move to where you can always ride. I live in CA and ride none stop Year round. When it’s wet just have to limit yourself to trails where redwood trees are. That dirt stays primo, even when wet, and if you get a day of sun they turn into super sticky dirt. Otherwise, practice tech skills like SKeen said or force yourself onto a trainer in the garage.

    • #255131

      After nearly a month of continuous storms, the paved roads have at least melted off and dried out. Yesterday, I got my first ride in all that time. While I would have preferred some singletrack, road riding was all I got. It’s disappointing how fast I lost my fitness. I had no spin. I was pedalling squares. I never felt like I could find the right gear. Even easy climbs felt difficult. My butt and my knees ached. My hands went numb. My back was tight. I was gloriously miserable the whole time. However, I woke up this morning almost feeling like my old self. It might take a few rides but I’m coming back. But wait! Another storm is predicted for tonight?

    • #255205

      Hey Nerd.  I totally agree.  I hate how easy it is in mountain biking to lose one’s conditioning.  Having started biking in Mongolia where the winters are truly too brutal to ride, it was the norm to be off the bike for up to four months.  Every March was a restart.  Painful.  Having moved back to CO last summer, this is only the second winter I’ve been able to ride through the winter.  Soooo nice.  I’m actually building a base this winter (on trails) for the upcoming riding “season”.  Feeling very fortunate and spoiled indeed.

    • #255206

      My greatest inspiration to ride, whether in withdrawal or in the middle of a great riding period is the Destination Trail Canada video.  We’re planning the float plane trip in the Chilcotins in 2020.  Can’t wait.  If you haven’t seen the vid, here’s the link.  Enjoy.  No.  Savor.

      The Chilcotin riding remains me so much of the riding in Mongolia; it’s just bigger.  But then again, the trails themselves in Mongolia are more pristine.

    • #255455

      Get yourself a Fat-Bike, slap on some fenders and studded tires and enjoy that mess. Beats a gym any day.  Put some beers in the frame bag and make it a day.

    • #255459

      I know I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I’ll say it again.  I used to wonder how people dealt with not being able to ride year ’round.  Living in Texas, year ’round riding is normal.  Until this last year.  We’ve had so much rain that most all of the trails in North Texas have been closed since the end of July, early August.  IT SUCKS!  It’s not normal.  We’re not just dealing with perpetually muddy trails.  Some of our most popular trails are literally under feet of water.  I’m beginning to see indigenous plants and trees starting to rot.  Speaking of rotting, I think I’m starting to rot too!

      So, how do I handle cycling withdrawal?  Not very dang well.

    • #255534

      • #255651

        @ texmex, Thanks for the humor! I think you captured the feeling perfectly.

    • #255554

      Picking up a winter sport (snowboarding) has been helpful for me, and I can at least look forward to getting out once a week. My winters before I started were a lot more dull. More time in the gym and more yoga is helpful,  but there is an adjustment period when you realize it’s going to be a while before you ride again. I like the idea or riding year round, but I also feel a deeper appreciation for riding when March and April come around again and bike time gets more regular. The best option for me in the next few weeks will be riding the road bike on the road or bike path if neither are too icy, or trying to fit in at the skate park on a BMX without embarrassing myself too much. Sigh…

    • #255652

      Hiking. Yesterday was 5 weeks since my last ride.

    • #255653

      OK I have reached my breaking point. The ground is a bit soft the temperature is 22 but, screw it, I am going out on my bike today. It can’t be any worse than the misery of not riding.

    • #255693

      Besides working out 3x per week to stay fit TO ride and feel good I find myself Youtubing just about every single MTB video that I can. It helps just a little….repeat…a little.

Viewing 20 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.