• Sean parker

    There’s a real danger in having cycling as a strong force in your life. If you get injured and cannot ride it is potentially devastating, in a ‘first world problem’ sense.
    Luckily trail running is just as addictive.

  • Deryck Walker

    Great article. Outside of the stated light and dark, there is no escaping the fact cycling can be a very selfish sport nearly entirely due to the sheer mass of training time, which commonly withdraws cyclists from (non cycling) friendships, family time, and mowing the lawn.

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  • Superpilot

    Cortisol reduction is recorded in moderate exercise, commonly considered to be half an hour moderate intensity per day. As we know, a lot of cyclists, average joes and joettes, ride 3 hours plus on a weekend, or do high intensity intervals in shorter workouts. My understanding is that, although endorphins are high after such exercise, the body is significantly stressed, and higher levels of cortisol result. I’m not sure if this is linked to the reduced immune response after hard or long exercise (non-moderate exercise). Could this also be linked to the ‘dark side’?

    • Sean parker

      Cortisol does reduce the activity of the immune system

  • jules

    I’m probably addicted, maybe in a small way. I definitely neglect friends – cycling gives me a sense of purpose and achievement that sitting in a pub downing beers doesn’t. Of course, you make new friends with cycling. One thing I’ve done is hire a coach to guide my training. He has helped convince me to put a lid on training volume and that helps me not feel guilty about easy days, shorter days. But it can definitely be a trap – competing encourages you to maintain training intensity and volumes ‘at all costs’. Life if swings and roundabouts though, not just cycling.

  • Peter

    According to the criteria above, I am slightly addicted to cycling.

    Interestingly, I do not train to race, nor do I purposefully train with intervals etc.
    I prefer to ride at my own pace most of the time, but that also means that I inadvertantly push myself for a part of almost every ride.

    I do however find myself wanting to spend more time on longer rides, but most of the time I can’t due to family and work responsibilities. I have noticed that I have begun to entertain the thought of getting to work late so that I can ride just a bit longer, though. In fact I did exactly that only two weeks ago – was aiming to do a 30km ride to work and ended up doing a 65km loop.

  • Peter

    It’s important to point out for psychological disorders that only people who demonstrate strong behaviours in many of the criteria listed are considered for diagnosis. A person behaving “normally” can mildly meet several criteria for almost any disorder. That isn’t too take away from the tips being offered here and recognising unhealthy coping mechanisms .

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