Cycling clears my mind

lotus49
lotus49 Posts: 763
edited August 2013 in Road beginners
I have not had a great day today and by dinner time I was in a foul mood. It wasn't anything serious but it has been one of those days. When I feel like this I usually don't feel hungry so I couldn't eat my dinner. Instead, I decided I'd nip out for a quick spin before I put my daughter to bed. An hour of carefree cycling and a shower later, I felt a lot better.

When I'm out on my bike I rarely think about anything at all other than what I'm doing that very moment. It is a rare feeling and I like it. I was wondering if this is common or whether it's just me.

Comments

  • Yeah I would definitely agree and feel the same with running too. I am often concentrating on my breathing, preparing myself for the next uphill section or I am enjoying the reward and relief of strolling downhill. There is no time or place for other thoughts when doing this.

    I feel the exercise and controlled breathing really acts as a form of meditation for me.
  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    A good ride home from work clears my m ind of any work issues I had. Any anger issues I have help in the first mile to get the speed up and by time I get home, 30 or so minutes later, all is good until I realise I have to go back again the following day.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,533
    same here

    exercise is good for relieving stress and clearing away the gloom
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    I went out on the morning of my wedding day to clear my head, but it couldn't have worked because I got married 4 hrs later, my first mistake was cycling home I should have just kept going.
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    Completely agree. Good for problem solving too. If you are struggling with something, an hour or two on the bike and I often seem to dream up a solution.
  • lc1981
    lc1981 Posts: 820
    Rob Penn has some nice thoughts on this here:
    I ride for the silence; I ride to empty my brain; I ride for the void. Random thoughts do fall into this void — a line of poetry, an overheard comment — but they are like snowflakes falling on water. After an hour in the saddle, I'm mentally far, far away. There is some pain, but the brain has an antidote: endorphins — neurochemicals more potent than Prozac, which suppress pain and induce a feeling of wellbeing. Melancholy is incompatible with cycling.

    As the American poet Diane Ackerman wrote: "When I'm on a bicycle the world is breaking someone else's heart." For that alone, I keep cycling, no matter the risk of getting knocked off again.
  • macleod113
    macleod113 Posts: 560
    i agree, its a total stress reliever. a great way to unwind at the end and a good workout before the strain of a day in the office. just like the quote above its great to think about nothing much at all
    Cube Cross 2016
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  • Baccy65
    Baccy65 Posts: 1
    Couldn't agree more - just started cycling again after nearly a decade and the clarity of riding is relaxing, legs still ache though :-)
  • Headhuunter
    Headhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I was trying to work out what it was about cycling (and running) that I really liked... The commute to work I like because it saves money and is often more pleasant than cramming onto a sweaty train but what is it I wondered, that gets me up at 7am on Sat or Sun morning to plough along country roads with no particular destination in mind (or to go running along the Thames and back)... I think it's literally the clarity of mind it brings. When you're nailing it as hard as you can along a road, all you can think about is the pain in your legs and you're breathing... All other worries and concerns are forced out for a while...
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  • mrfpb
    mrfpb Posts: 4,569
    I got back into cycling a few years ago on Doctors orders (the suggestion was exercise in green spaces) to get over stress (which had cost me my job). As I live next to a canal that was fairly easy. It was also a great activity to get into with the family.

    It certainly worked as a stress reliever.

    I've really got into night riding this year. The peace and quiet is great in the countryside and the occasional descent in the dark is exhilarating. You need good lights though. Check out the MTB boards for advice.
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    It's mostly the reason I do it too, helps me take my mind off other things and gets me to relax ...
  • Couldn't agree more. My persona before and after a ride are chalk and cheese. It de stresses me no end.

    The trick is to get a wife who recognises this and actively encourages you to get out on your bike when she sees the stressed out look you have after a bad day.
  • Druidor
    Druidor Posts: 230
    Escaped from the office at lunch time and did a quick 8 miles, does the trick of getting the mind off the rubbish of the day.
    ---
    Sensa Trentino SL Custom 2013 - 105 Compact - Aksium Race
  • mrfpb
    mrfpb Posts: 4,569
    The trick is to get a wife who recognises this and actively encourages you to get out on your bike when she sees the stressed out look you have after a bad day.

    This. But there is usually a quid pro quo of some kind when the kids are giving her a hard time.
  • wandsworth
    wandsworth Posts: 354
    Yeah I would definitely agree and feel the same with running too. I am often concentrating on my breathing, preparing myself for the next uphill section or I am enjoying the reward and relief of strolling downhill. There is no time or place for other thoughts when doing this.

    Apart from being overall fitter, this is one of the great benefits of cycling for me: being "in the zone". It's a precious thing.
    mrfpb wrote:
    The trick is to get a wife who recognises this and actively encourages you to get out on your bike when she sees the stressed out look you have after a bad day.

    This. But there is usually a quid pro quo of some kind when the kids are giving her a hard time.

    Sure, but that's normal give and take, right?
    Shut up, knees!

    Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.
  • mrfpb
    mrfpb Posts: 4,569
    "Sure, but that's normal give and take, right?"

    Yes, though I didn't make that clear. In my household there are usually only one or two nights a week when one of us can get out for a social or take some "me time", so they're quite valuable. It makes it even nicer when you do escape for a bit.
  • gsvbagpuss
    gsvbagpuss Posts: 272
    I've long found that a 45 mintue commute by car means I come in the front door still fairly wound up by the day but walking or riding home and I float in the door
  • 5nakey
    5nakey Posts: 16
    this is true right up untill the point you get a visit form the puncture fairy. then it all suddenyl come flooding back.