Are You Addicted
- A student has difficulty getting his / her homework done because riding occupies all after-school time.
- Someone jumps on their bike at 9:00 am and suddenly discovers it's past supper time and he / she has not stopped riding.
- A wife is distraught because her husband has replaced aspects of their relationship with cycling related activities.
Road riding, mountain biking, commuting, building bikes, searching the internet for interesting cycling stories, pictures or videos are all a healthy output for your energy. But at what point does frequent cycling activity become too frequent and become a source of significant problems in someone's life? Cycling addiction is generally defined as spending so much time doing cycling related activity that it adversely affects marriages, family and social life, work, and psychological and physical well-being.
Signs and symptoms of Cycling Addiction
As with any other addiction, a cycling addict is likely to have several of the experiences and feelings on the list below. How many of them describe you or someone close to you?
- Have mixed feelings of well-being and guilt while on your bicycle.
- Lose control of time while riding, building, trail building or just talking bicycles.
- Neglect friends, family and / or responsibilities in order to bike.
- Lie to your boss and family to increase the amount of time spent cycling.
- Feel anxious, depressed, or irritable when your cycling time is shortened or interrupted.
- Develop problems in school or on the job as a result of the time spent in cycling activities.
- Have financial problems due to purchases at your local bike shop or online.
- Become tempted to get involved in relationships with strangers, which may put you at risk for riding over your head and having a great time.
Health effects associated with cycling addiction
Being addicted to cycling also can cause physical and medical changes:
- Longer life expectancy
- Increased sex drive!!!!
- Increased consumption of post ride beverages
- Meeting new and interesting people
- Enjoying the outdoors
- Tons of great stories to tell
Who is most at risk for cycling addiction?
According to the Center for Cycling Addiction Recovery, cycling addiction affects people of varying ages, cultural backgrounds, occupations, and educational levels. No one is safe.
Breaking addiction to Cycling
The first step is recognizing that there is a problem. Overcoming denial should be followed by other treatment steps, including:
- Identifying specific problem areas i.e. how do I train to go faster?
- Generating a behavior modification plan, such as planning a daily schedule as to when you ride, matching time spent cycling with time spent socializing face-to-face in post ride activities, for example barbeques, and post ride beverages.
- Focusing on areas for needed skill enhancement, such as bicycle maintenance, dirt jump tricks, and trail building.
- Assistance in locating or forming a support group for other cyclists looking to go for a ride.
- If you suspect you are addicted to cycling, consult a fellow cyclist. In addition, you might join a cycling group. One online group can be found at the Center for Cycling Addiction Recovery.
How can I help cycling obsessed friends?
- Be a good role model. Ride with them, just ride faster and harder then them.
- Introduce them to some other people who are cyclists.
What are some tips for dealing with online bike porn?
- Take lots of your own pictures and videos of you and your friends. That way you always have it on file for your personal use. Remember to put it on your favorite website so others can see how much fun you're having.
Remember, we at the Center for Cycling Addiction Recovery are here to help.