The Post Cycle Ride Slump

The perennial problem of trying to do something productive after a long bike ride.

The short explanation in this image from my friend at Tumblr.


The long version.

Back in November,  I thought it would be good to get some of the winter miles with other riders. So I joined Zappi CC as a second claim member so I could go on their Tuesday morning 9am rides. For some reason, I never made the 9am start in Nov and Dec. There was always some reason to delay the ride and do it later in the day. Too cold, too icey, the thought of coffee in a cafe was more inviting e.t.c.. But, also it’s hard riding in the morning when you have to work in the afternoon. Generally, I find it easier to write in the morning, and then cycle – rather than the other way around.

Yesterday, the weather was warm so I finally made it to Zappi’s cafe for just after 9am. Outside the cafe, I spent about 10 minutes fixing my winter bike number two (mudguards rubbing, water-bottle coming out, saddle too high). (I’d just retrieved this bike from a Yorkshire coal cellar. My other winter bike has been  ridden into the ground, and is currently waiting for a new bottom bracket)

Tip of the day: Never go on a group ride on a bike you haven’t given a good check first. Mudguards never work the first time you fix them to your bike. The last thing you want to be doing on a group ride is to keep stopping and kicking your mudguards hoping that will make them stop rubbing.

Anyway, unfortunately, I didn’t see any other Zappi CC riders, which was probably just as well given the state of my winter training bike. I later learned some of them are on a winter training camp in Portugal, where I’m sure the weather is better than here.  It’s not often I wish to be a pro cyclist, but I’m sure next week when it’s – 7 degrees, I’d jump at the chance to be on a training camp in warmer climes.

Without any other riders, I made my way to Chipping Norton and got a good 60 miles or so under the belt. A good steady ride taking 3.5 hours, I thought about cycling for longer, but wanted to get back to do some economics writing later in the day. I got back at 12.30pm, which I thought would give me an excellent chance to get some work done in the afternoon. But, I’d forgotten about the post cycle ride slump….

How long does it take to go from three hour bike ride to high productivity work? – Answer at least 24 hours.

  • 12.30 pm return home
  • 12.30 – 1pm – finish showering and handwashing Assos shorts
  • 1- 2 pm – Cook meal and eat loads of calories.
  • 2-3 pm require one hour horizontal on bed to recover from 3 hours cycling plus one hour eating.
  • 3.00 pm wake up still feeling a little lethargic.
  • 3-4.00 pm waste one hour doing little useless things on internet, without having enthusiasm to do anything actually productive. If computers are so useful, why is it so easy to waste time on them?
  • 4 pm – time for a cup of tea.
  • 4.15pm – Right, definitely time to write some Economics. “Discuss the EU’s policies for economic growth in 2013?” The problem is I’m still zonked from the cycle ride. I really can’t get my head around Differentiated, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation (which by the way is the EU’s actual policy for economic growth in 2013. (it also happened to be their economic policy for 2012….)
  • I’ve got a better idea. Let’s forget economics, let’s look at the race calender for 2013 and decide which races will be the most fun to enter.
  • 4.30pm Wow, it’s nearly dinner time! In half an hour I can ring the Chinese takeaway.
  • 5 – 5.30pm order Chinese and cook some lentils.
  • 5.30- 6.30pm eat and watch some TV for relaxation.
  • 6.30pm I still don’t feel like working, let’s try a bit more relaxation.
  • 7.30pm It’s too late to do any economics, let’s look for something else to do. Maybe I can look at calender and see which races to do in 2013. O wait I’ve already done that; maybe I can search through wiggle and see if I can buy anything to save weight on my hill climb bike. Wait, I did that last year….
  • Bed time!

Next time, I’ll just do a six hour cycle ride, no point getting home early..

When I was young, I used to cycle three hours in morning and then go to work (teaching economics). I’ll never forget those lessons where I just feel like I’m dying trying to stay awake…


6 Responses to The Post Cycle Ride Slump

  1. jonty pritchard January 22, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    thinking i was 20years old again I WAS LATE IN MY LATE 40S i decided to ride 100miles which i did took me 7 hours ( I KNOW NOT VERY IMPRESSIVE ) but i had been off the bike for a number of years ( ANY XCUSE ) got myself home pulse was going crazy quite scary took about 2 hours for it to calm down next time a bit more training eh jonty

  2. paul January 18, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    Am I the only one suffering from PRE-ride slump ?

  3. Becca January 14, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    Haha, I can totally relate to this. I go out on Saturday and Sunday and usually do between 70-90 miles. We always stop at a cafe for a while, regardless of what kind of ride it is, so if I get home ‘early’ (just after 2pm) I think ‘great! loads of time to do some work/revision :)’. Protein shake, sit around half dead for half an hour, shower, eat, sit around half dead. Oh look, how did it get to 5/6pm? :P Might as well do some work, but I’ll just go for a lie down. Oh look, I accidentally fell asleep for 2/3 hrs. And I’m 18 lol. Weekends and productivity are mututally exclusive!

    • tejvan January 14, 2013 at 11:53 am #

      I wouldn’t worry Becca 150 miles a week sounds very productive. If you don’t pass your exams you can always be a professional cyclist :)

  4. Patanga January 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    If you´re interested, my take on it is that…

    I let the swiss bibshorts ferment a few hours and instead eat some fruits and ready sandwich, quickly shower, then have a short nap like 30min. Start working after waking up, and when hunger pinches, make a break for cooking lunch, which in double measures might serve as dinner later on.

    When needed, I sometimes can just shower and have a snack and go to work just like as if I had not stopped riding… again let the bib ferment… and go to bed very early.

    This works for me (sometimes).

    Besides, writing about economics is extremely interesting. I too love my job. I take short breaks to read british cycling blogs and blogs about losing weight in Iceland to make it even better.

  5. Willem de Boer January 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Loved this post. Good to read I’m not the only one who suffers from post ride slump.

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