Zen On Dirt


The Hole, that no one talks about

So here’s what drives me nuts about trip reports – No one talks about the post-trip let down. Post-trip blues. Post-trip depression.

We read these stories of people riding around the world, or across a country, or continent, or going on a trek, or riding the CTR, or TD, or whatever. People go do something big, there’s elation at the end, a sense of satisfaction, congratulatory beers, blog posts summing up the trip, talking about the trip, etc.

But no one talks about the hole that a huge percentage of people who do stupid/awesome stuff fall into when all is said and done, the gear is packed away, damage to the bank account assessed, and life moves on.


Weekly Wasson 

I’d love to say that this is a Ez-problem, that I’m spoiled rotten and I should learn how to find adventure in everyday life and realize that I’ve had opportunities to do some really amazing things. I do realize all these things rationally. But humans aren’t always rational. That’s the beauty of being human. 

But it’s not just me. I know this because you see small snipets and mentions of The Hole on FaceBook. Maybe a sentence in an interview with someone after a trip. Snipets like – What’s next? The best way to fight post trip depression is to start planning your next trip. Coming back from this trip has been harder for me because I don’t have my next trip planned. 


Agua Caliente Round #1

I think we don’t really hear about it because when people fall into this hole, and I’m speaking purely from personal experience, we find ourselves entirely uninteresting. Our art-form in the form of movement and exploration, has been locked away. Maybe we’re given a dull pencil to doodle with on the back of an envelope in the form of short runs or rides while bodies rebound, but really who wants to share a doodle. And so I bet if you looked at people who blog regularly, there’d be a huge drop of in words produced after a trip.

These trips become more than a ‘vacation’ or ‘exercise’ or ‘time away from the real world’, they become our passions.

It’s a time of recalibration. Maybe it’s forced processing time.


It’s been a rough couple of months for me trying to rejoin “normal” life, whatever that means. On some level, I’ve just been tired. I feel like recovering from tiredness is worse than recovering from injury. There’s no PT to do. No stretching. It’s just a matter of waiting. Which can be maddening for people who express themselves through physical movement.


Baby saguaro!

I’ve got no deep, enlightening point, (like I ever do) about this. I just got to thinking about recovery and lack of inspiration after seeing Scott’s CDT trip report over on Pinkbike this morning. We did a damn cool trip. Sometimes I find myself wallowing in my lack of inspiration and forget why I’m laying on the couch staring at the ceiling wondering why I can’t think of a bikepacking route that’s inspiring me, and then I get reminded, and the wallowing doesn’t seem as bad anymore.


Agua Caliente Round #2. They rode. I ran. I beat them by an hour and a half. 

Because I went out and blew all of my energy and passion points in one sitting. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And I guess, on some level, I want other people sitting in, or trying to climb out of The Hole to know that you’re not alone on the venture. Because I fully get how alone it can feel.