Author Topic: PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?  (Read 11537 times)

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Offline MrBent

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« on: November 06, 2008, 04:39:41 pm »
Fellow tourists:  I find that this last year after finishing my cross country ride that I can't stop thinking about it. Images rise unbidden.  Smells, emotions, the complext tapestry of what I experienced comes over me at some point every day.  I have done a lot of intense outdoor activites (the vertical face of Half Dome among them), but few things in life have had such a lingering effect as those three months by myself riding from ocean to ocean.  I'm calling this Post Tour Syndrome (PTS), and I seem to have it bad/good.

Damn, bike touring is AMAZING, truly one of the great things in life.  Kudos to you all and ACA for helping make this activity accessible to so many.



Offline bogiesan

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 09:47:29 am »
Maybe you'll get used to it after many more events?
I was that way after my first regional tours (small group 500 miles, and
then Cycle Oregon which is rather luxurious) but I got over it. Now I just
anticipate the next tour.


go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline bikerbob

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 12:20:32 pm »
Five years after an ACA Northern Tier trek I still have flashbacks of so many great days on the roads of America. The moose who causually crosses in front of you, the bear and her cubs crossing the road very nonchalantly, the deer running across a highway with absolute terror in their eyes,the turtles,the wild turkeys and on and on  And the fabulous people. These are memories that will never fade    

Offline staehpj1

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2008, 01:46:35 pm »
Yes a cross country tour leaves it's mark on you.  I doubt most people are the same person after something like the TA or the NT.

In my experience the hardest thing about a tour like that is going home after.  Real life becomes a bit more acceptable after a few months, but...  It takes a year or so before you really get back into the swing of things and as I said it is never quite the same again.

Offline tonythomson

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2008, 12:34:56 pm »
Guys don't do it - stay at home or you will become a cycle tour junkie!  I have several long haul trips around the world - and just planning to set off on the Southern tier in Feb 09. Since deciding to go I have had endless sleeples nights with anticipation & excitment.  You waste your life planning/going over old trips on Google Earth. You bore all your friends & family, who can't wait for you to go. Your face will start aching with a silly contented smile once on the road. BE WARNED. and like the man said you will suffer from PTS.

Just starting to record my trips

Offline Westinghouse

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 11:12:57 am »
In the social domain I see PTS as due at least in some significant part to making the transition from the road tour to whatever life it was I was leading before beginning the tour. A transcon cycling tour is an adventure requiring will power, great energy, strength  and a lot of work. If one goes from that back suddenly to a social milieu of sedenterianism, and to persons who could never understand what it was I just finished doing, I become somewhat dismayed. It can be a bit depressing, and frankly, when it comes to the attitudes of those who never get up to do anything, who sit and eat the wrong kinds of foods all their lives, and stare into televisions all the nights of their lives, and who grunt "So what?" when I tell them I just bicycled 4000 miles and camped across the continent, it can be too much to bare and accept. I have gotten up, walked away, and severed at least two relationships because of it.

In the purely physical domain, going from being constantly active day in and day out to being much less active in the work a day world is sure to bring you down to some degree.

Offline tonythomson

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 11:43:22 am »
I can understand where you are coming from.  I rarely tell people about my travels as they either don't understand, think you are just showing off or maybe it is too much of a challenge to them.  Best to just enjoy it and get ready for the next one. But you are right it is hard to readjust.

Just starting to record my trips

Offline staehpj1

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2008, 08:05:35 am »
I never had that experience.  Most of my friends, coworkers and acquaintances were interested and quite a few said they were jealous.  I never crammed it down their throats but a lot bring up the xc trip and ask about it.

Offline WorldRiders2

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 07:31:30 pm »
Yep, like drugs, cycle touring can become a habit hard to break. We, Pat & Cat Patterson, completed a 4 year, 23,000 mile ride through 57 countries in 2006. Life in the home town lane has been so boring that we had to hit the road again. So, we're now planning a 6 month Southeast Asia tour. Can't break the habit? Get back on board!!

Offline MLW24

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2008, 07:18:24 am »
Absolutely, PTS is real!   There is a natural letdown when you get home.   You've been on the road for days, weeks, or months.   Every day on the road is a new adventure, filled with unknowns, new things to see, new people to meet, new challenges to overcome.   Life feels very, very full.   To come back suddenly from this to the "routine" cannot be expected to produce anything but a PTS reaction.

I do find that I need to be sensitive on my return when talking to people about the trip, to not overdo it.  One thing that has helped is the fact that I  journal my experiences daily during my rides, and so the people on my distribution list have generally followed the trip, some fairly intently.   When I return, rather than having to start from scratch in describing the trip, I am able to engage those who want to talk about it at a more substantial level.  That helps me with my transition back to real life, and I think those who are interested find it a rewarding conversation too.

But none of this prevents those occasional daydreams, when a particular memory from the trip just overtakes you.  Best you can do at those times is just sit back, remember, and enjoy!

Offline Peter_Karwacki

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2008, 11:24:21 am »
My recommendation for PTS is to review your old photographs and start planning your next trip.

The internet does offer the ability to read about what others have done. The libraries are filed with travel books.

The Adventure Cycling Association really provides a great service to cyclists.

I remember sitting in Heidelberg contemplating a train ride into Frankfurt and decided I would cycle there instead and I was glad I did, with fresh cherries and strawberries and wonderful scenary all the way.

the cure for PTS?  plan your next trip and have gratitude for the health and disposable income that allows you to travel this way!


Offline WesternFlyer

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2008, 12:29:19 pm »
There are support groups to deal with PTS.  Of course this forum is one of the main support groups along with the Crazy Guy On A Bike website  If that is not enough try the Bike Forum  Undertake writing up your ride as a daily journal detailing both the important and mundane events along the way.  

I am getting near ninety pages for a four week tour.  If I decide to post it on CGOAB I will have to condense it to make it readable and useful to other bikers, but just letting the words flow into cyberspace has helped dealing with the PTS.  I may have as many hours sitting at my computer composing my journal as hours sitting on my bike riding the route.

Western Flyer

A wise traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.
           Lao Tzu
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline linkbeak

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2008, 11:24:03 pm »
Why would we want to get over it?  Isn't the obsessing part of the fun?   :)

Offline jimbo

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2008, 09:15:54 pm »
Yeah... good point on obsessing is part of the "fun".  Embrace your PTS. I
finished  my first ever tour..10 weeks and 3700 miles and I began to
realize that it was like "dropping out". It was an escape. Getting back to
earth and all the challenges is a cold shower to say the least.

Offline driftlessregion

PTS? Post Tour Syndrome?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2008, 10:44:13 pm »
It's going to be -1 F overnight here in SOUTHERN Wisconsin. Planning the next tour is the only thing that gets me to the spinning class and through the winter.