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mountain biking to beat depression

tutzingtwosometutzingtwosome Posts: 13
edited February 2011 in Health, fitness & training
OK, I'd like to talk about something that most people probably don't want to talk about: depression.

It's all too common, with one-in-five people in the UK suffering at some point in their lives: ... sion.shtml

I was diagnosed with depression late last year, and have probably been suffering for a few years before it got to the point where I had to admit something was wrong and seek help.

I'm also using mountain biking as a form of therapy. We all know that getting out and riding gives us a buzz, but it also has therapeutic value as well. It kept me sane last year.

To help me beat depression, I've set myself a major mountain biking challenge--to ride over the Alps from Germany (where I live) to Lake Garda, Italy. I've started writing a blog about this and would like to get other mountain bikers involved. It's far from being all doom and gloom, apart from maybe the picture of me in lycra shorts. That's hard on the senses.

So come and have a look, maybe offer some support or advice.


  • good luck with your journey, having a positive influence in your life is the best cure, it may not work all the time but if that doesnt work then maybe being tired from all the excercise will cure it lol, enjoy! :D
  • Ha! And the inevitable pain in my censored from all that riding should take my mind off the depression.
  • mountain biking makes me depressed... it has a negative effect on my bank balance :(
  • My wife maintains that the money for our honeymoon went on a new Cannondale a few years ago and last year's holiday money was spent on a Cube AMS Pro 125. I hate to say this, but for once she's right!
  • :lol::lol::lol:

    well you def have your priorities sorted!
  • I find all the hobbies I have that are physical make me feel better about myself.

    Good luck with your challenge and I like the website title :)

    £1.25 for sign up

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  • Good blog - I'll be reading this on a regular basis
    Specialized FSR XC Expert 2010
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Just took a look at the blog. Will look forward to reading it as it's updated.

    What an amazing place to live and it looks like you make the most of the mountains :)
  • The thing I'm beginning to understand with depression is that it's a TABOO subject. It's just not the done thing to talk about it and just adds fuel to the fire. But what I'm also learning is that anyone can be affected. Just take a look at these mega-stars of the sporting world that are affected, and you begin to realise that if you are suffering, you're in 'good' company: ... mmune.html

    I'm now in talks with the Mental Health Foundation about using my planned Alps crossing as a fund raiser. Now it gets serious, when there's money involved.

    I'd really like to hear from anyone who has crossed the Alps or done a similar endurance event by mountain bike. What training is needed?
  • Looks like an excellent and admirable project. Good luck with it!
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    I just wanted to say great blog and good luck with your challenge :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

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  • Lovely thread and blog! Best of luck!

    I find cycling to be one of the most beneficial parts of my life. When stressed out I can just go take a ride. WHile riding I pound away, relieve the physical aspect of the stress, and getting to the top of the mountain relieves the mental part!
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    I agree with the positive psychological effect mountin biking can have.

    For me, my time on the bike is one of the very few blocks of time in a week that I would say is really mine, of me and for me.

    It gives me a completely clear head (well...apart from the a hip flask of single malt that my buddies share on a cold night ride :oops: ) and allows me to totally lose any weight that might be on my shoulders for a time.

    Its gotten to the point where if I miss a ride out, my missus gets almost demands that I don't miss the next one because I start to get grumpy!

    Good Luck on your big Alps ride!
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • For me, getting out on the bike is all about space, mental and physical. I can be as grumpy as hell before I go out (as I was a couple of days ago) but by the time I'm back I'm like a new person.

    Sometimes I sure my wife wishes I was!!!! :P

    I also find I can solve more problems when I'm out. I often have clarityu of thought that I just don't get when surrounded by the clutter and background noise of modern life.

    And of course there's the focus you need when you're out. Not all rides are technically demanding, but all require effort. But when you're hurtling down a mountain track, look at he computer and see the speedo recording a speed of over 60km an hour, you know you've just got to focus on what you're doing then and there. Nothing else matters.

    It's a great feeling and why we all love the sport. It's life affirming.
  • A truely inspiring blog which rings home many truths in our lives,speaking as my mother fought depression and still is but unfortunatly due to age old methods of treatment in 60s has had long term effects of dreaded ECT therapy which was the cure all for post natel depression in those days,resulting in basic terms an over cooked brain now spends her days in denial of life and since the loss of my farther just exsists as abody that functions but only works on auto pilot in a body that is phisically intact but no body at home.

    Sounds terible thing to describe my own mother as , but short term memory is just that but can talk at lenght about childhood ..

    .mental health care is a mine field to say the least .!!!!!!!!!
    One Life Live It!
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  • Hi Paul, that's a tragic story, but one that is probably not uncommon. My own sister-in-law suffered terrible post-natal depression for years but at the beginning was more or less told by her doctors to get a grip and not worry. She actually had extracts from her diary published a few years ago and this helped publicise the issue of PND.

    I'm glad you like the blog and hope you can drop by and read it from time to time. I'm now in talks with the Mental Health Foundation to do this as a fund-raising event so that would mean I really have to get my lycra-clad censored into gear!!!
  • Best of luck with your trip pal. I know the difficulties of dealing with the Beast on your Back, but I can definitely relate to the positive effect cycle can have on your mental health.

    Keep at it, things do get better over time.

    Ps I did a trip from Geneva to Nice last summer, on road but still an epic alpine journey - absolute trip of a lifetime - enjoy it!
    About 50/50 MTB/Road love;

    GT Timberline (2000)
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