Post-Ride Blues, what helped me out

The Post-Ride blues was suddenly there. It took me two months to get over it. Let me explain what happened, what helped me out and how I discovered about the Post-Ride blues.

Early August I have ridden L’Altra P-B-P, a 1900km cycling event from Pinerolo (Italy) to Barcelona (Spain) and back to Pinerolo. For months I have been working towards the event. Riding my bike, making the necessary milage. Since I want to participate in The Transcontinental in 2017, I thought this a good way to get some more experience in longer rides.

I have been suffering for days that week. Not physical, but mentally. The first day was ok. It was hot with temperatures between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius, but I was really enjoying it so far. Early in the morning on the second day, I was riding towards the top of Mont Ventoux, I broke mentally. Riding up a mountain while having to cry all the time doesn’t work. Eventually after hours, I made it and took a quick descent to meet some friends. That helped me get on track again.

After a good night sleep in a hostel in Avignon (needed it badly, but lost time over there), I was back on track. Had a good day and slept on the beach for a few hours at Séte, before riding to Narbonne during the night. After breakfast I found my pace and was rapidly heading towards Perpignan, close to the Pyrenees. Unfortunately I experienced three flat tires, so I had to find me a bike shop to get new ones. I lost a complete afternoon, while I was already behind on my schedule. I decided to scratch. Emotional decision, but it was wise to do.

The days following I managed my way back to Torino (Italy) to get my train back home. After I week of riding my bike for more than 1500 km, I was really looking forward to go home. Sleeping in my own bed, waking up with coffee on my couch. The regular routine. But when I arrived home, I didn’t feel so good mentally. I experienced an emptiness. All I have been training for was over. It felt as if the walls were closing in on me.

The Post-Ride Blues

Meanwhile I didn’t had any urge to get on my bike again. I did, but I didn’t enjoy it. Once or twice a week I did a ride an hour. I reacted agitated to the friends and family around me (Sorry guys). Which isn’t also very good maintaining friendships. I didn’t have a good time and went to bars to drink beer. I drank more beer in a week than I normally drink in a month. Not quite a healthy lifestyle.

Ironically visiting bars bumped me into learning new people. People who didn’t know about my struggle those weeks. They were a blessing! So much love and positivity kept me standing. A few weeks later I read a blog of Emily Chappell, a female cyclist I admire a lot, about the lack of women riding long-distance races. I have to confess I had my doubts entering The Transcontinental next year, but this blog hit me. Just do it. I had a new goal. Much needed.

Two days later, I stumbled upon an episode of the Tough Girl Podcast where Emily was interviewed. Somewhere in the episode, she was talking about having a post-ride blues. Suddenly all puzzle pieces were falling at the right place for me. This was exactly what I was feeling.

From that day on, I did ride my bike with fun again. I have a goal. I have friends and family who support me in different ways. I have a bike, which I like having adventures with. I’m feeling happy again.

Thank you all!

Thank you

Het zit er op. L’Altra P-B-P. Ik heb afgezien, ik heb genoten, ik heb gelachen, ik heb gehuild. Het was zwaar, maar een waar avontuur. Jullie hebben me min of meer geholpen. Alle aanmoedigingen via Twitter en Facebook of persoonlijk via telefoon. Dank daarvoor!

Alle mensen die gedoneerd hebben aan KWF, jullie zijn toppers!

Vooralsnog voel ik me trots, dat ik meer dan dat ik ooit in een week gefietst heb. Maar ik voel me ook een beetje teleurgesteld/verdrietig, omdat ik niet heb kunnen rijden, wat ik graag had willen rijden. De eerste 3 dagen hebben er behoorlijk ingehakt mentaal. Als ik terugdenk aan de momenten op de flanken van Mont Ventoux, springen de tranen weer in mijn ogen.

Ga ik dit nog eens doen? Ik weet het niet. Op dit moment ben ik daar nog niet over uit. Waar ik tegenaan hik, is het rijden met bagage aan mijn racefiets. Zeker berg op, is dit bijzonder zwaar. Alsof iemand continu je fiets naar achter trekt. Ik hoop dat ik voor mezelf snel een nieuw doel kan stellen. Nu voelt het alsof er even niks meer is. Ik vind dat niet echt een lekker gevoel. Ik heb graag iets waarop ik me kan gaan focussen.

Bedankt kanjers! <3