Editorial (with a side of ADHD)

Want to Ride Better? Do Your Homework.

Words Cam McRae
Photos Cam McRae
Date Apr 21, 2021
Reading time

School was rough for me, particularly early on. But it was even worse for my teachers. I had attention issues, a quick temper and I was an attention-seeking wise-ass. A winning combo to be sure. My grade 2 teacher once called my parents and told them, “I don’t know what we’re going to do with Cameron.” Which is a great call to receive. Not only is your kid a massive pain in my ass who can’t concentrate worth shit, we’ve exhausted every option with him. It’s time to pull the pin. When my mum ran into that same teacher, Mrs. Herman, when I was in my twenties, and told her I’d graduated from University and was a practicing teacher, my mum told me she literally had to sit down.

It didn’t quite end there. While out on a walk with my then new girlfriend, I ran into Mr. O’Connor, who 10 years earlier had taught me grades 8 and 9 science at the Point Grey ‘Mini’ School here in Vancouver. He of course asked what I was up to, with his signature impish grin. When I told him I was a teacher like him, he said with a completely straight face, as though it was beyond debate, “YOU'RE NOT!” When I laughed and replied that this was in fact the case, he said it again in exactly the same tone. It was so convincing I began to wonder myself. Finally, when Cristina, who had graduated with me, corroborated my story, he appeared to begrudgingly accept it, but I’m pretty sure he continued to think I was having him on.


I'm not a world champion, I just like rainbows.

Of course, job one here is to wash your bike. It's a great time to do an inspection and to monitor issues you are already aware of.

Shutting up and sitting still were virtually impossible for me, but homework was my real Kryptonite. Often I was capable of doing the work, but incapable of starting it. My assignments were either completely forgotten about, half done, or finished terribly most of the time. But there were rare occasions when I was either interested in the subject matter, terrified of the consequences, or successfully browbeaten into completing my work for the actual day it was due.*

*If nothing else, I hope this makes it clear that anything I write that seems prescriptive, or feels like I'm telling you how to live your 'MTB life,' because I've got this shit dialled, is mostly written because I have struggled mightily with this sort of thing and have slowly begun to turn things around


Straigtening a rotor is a perfect example of an easy task that, when completed successfully, makes your ride 3 times more rad. Unior's rotor tool also serves as a pad spreader. It's an incredibly handy and well executed tool.

Armed with this information, you might be able to guess that I wasn’t a big fan of school, but there were days that I remember actually looking forward to going to class. These unicorn days were either the result of a crush on a girl or having completed my homework satisfactorily. If I’d completed something I was actually proud of, that was the best, but just having something completed was enough to move the needle substantially. Getting my shit done turned something I generally hated into something I relished.

I was thinking the other day about a rattle I’d been chasing on my bike and I realized there was a parallel I'd never drawn before. In my life at least, this same phenomenon applies to mountain bike rides, and can amplify an experience that is already quite awesome. When you’ve done your homework that is.


My Reverb post was getting slow, and the bleed is quick and straightforward, but somehow I procrastinated long enough for it to stop working during a ride, leaving me climbing standing up for the remainder.


The Reverb C2's 'Vent Valve' works great and it's simple to remove any squish from the system, but unlike Bike Yoke's 'Revive' system, you need to remove the saddle to access the feature.

Often, when I get home late, after an elongated post-ride beer-down, I just ditch my dirty bike and go into damage control mode. Other times I put the bike away wet because I’m too beat or too lazy to deal with it. Inevitably in these cases there’s something that isn’t perfect on my bike. What has historically happened next is that I fail to deal with the matter before the next ride and it gets in my head, as soon as I enter the workshop. The issue doesn’t even have to be something that impacts performance. The absolute worst is some phantom problem that makes an unpleasant noise. Not only does the rattle or squeak take me out of the moment, the knowledge that I should have taken the time to sort it out frustrates me and dulls the luster of the experience. When it actually impairs my ability to perform on the bike, part of my brain goes right back to grade 2.

Unsurprisingly, the opposite is also true. When I’ve accomplished what is for me some ‘epic’ task, like changing all the pivot bearings, overhauling my rear hub, or doing a basic service on my fork, my anticipation for the ride rivals a post-quarantine bike park day. But completing even small tasks can have an impact; adjusting a tweaked derailleur, installing a missing cable end, repairing a slow leak, or replacing worn grips.

Extending this further, I’ve discovered that being meticulous about cleaning my bike, performing regular maintenance like lubing the chain, and checking for problems before they occur, provides similar therapeutic benefits. This is even true on rare occasions when nothing is screaming out for wrench attention. I’ve even started doing a bolt check, or M-check, and while I don’t go full anal retentive on this one normally, it too pumps up my ride experience.


The more I work on my bike, the more I'm inclined to try different approaches - or different products - and this is a perfect example. The jury is still out for me on Chris Kovarik's STFU device, but I suspect I'll miss it when I remove it for comparison.

This phenomenon may remind you of Admiral McRaven’s famous speech: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” The idea is simple enough; completing a simple task first thing in the morning gives us a boost that catapults us into our to do lists with enthusiasm. What the Admiral failed to mention is the dopamine hit we get from even small accomplishments, the same drug responsible for temporarily changing my attitude about heading to Southlands Elementary when miraculously, my math homework had been completed.

There are other benefits to this sort of regimen as well. In the last couple of years I’ve started changing up details on my bike and doing some A/B testing. Things like moving my brake levers up, firming up my suspension settings, trying multiple insert and tire combos, and cutting my bars a little shorter, have all led to improved performance on the trail. The more time I spend prepping my bike, the more likely I am to try something new or swap out worn parts. The task barrier, the same one that made starting my homework feel as trivial as building the Great Wall, shrinks at an increasing rate when I spend more time maintaining my bike. The ease with which I complete tasks like brake bleeds are directly proportional to the length of time since I last performed the task. Nothing builds confidence like repetition.


We haven't had an April this nice in years and the riding conditions have been legendary. The orange glow in the suspension linkage zone is an example of a test product that's been installed in a timely fashion.

The positive impact of this sort of preparation starts as soon as I’ve done the work and then shifts up a gear when the ride-plan shit-talking begins. The biggest dopamine hit however comes when I pull my bike off the wall and notice how it glistens and how solid and quiet it feels when it hits the floor, but I always know there'll be more pleasing jolts over the course of the ride.

I think you know your assignment. If you've had this experience, please hand in your work below and detail your results.


Exercise is one of the best non-pharmaceutical treatments for ADHD. Specialized founder, Mike Sinyard’s experiences with ADHD and cycling, and those of his son Anthony, led him to create Outride, a foundation dedicated to funding research regarding the benefits of cycling for kids with ADHD and other challenges and spreading the word about the findings.

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+3 Dan meloroast Pete Roggeman
Poz  - April 21, 2021, 6:30 a.m.

You put to words something I was thinking about on Monday. On Sunday I put the bike away after an early AM ride even though I knew after riding both weekend days there were some small things that needed to be addressed (lube, adjust fork, saddle adjust). Such is the life of having an ever growing to-do list with the family. 

Last night I picked up the bike to go for a quick ride and I felt guilty. The bike didn’t get the attention it needed earlier and I didn’t have much time to ride so I did a rushed job on what was needed. While the tasks were done satisfactorily I did not have time to look into anything else or really enjoy the work. I find working in my shop, and especially on bikes, an almost cathartic experience as I like working with my hands, tinkering with the settings, and daydreaming of rides passed or future while I work the bike over. 

Suffice to say the bike went on the stand after the ride last night and after getting the kids to sleep i made sure my next ride is ready to go.

+3 Dan Poz Pete Roggeman
Cam McRae  - April 21, 2021, 8:17 a.m.

Nice one! An element you touch on that I neglected to mention is that my kids are now teenagers so  there is less daily heavy lifting and it’s easier to carve out time for some TLC in the workshop - for me and my bike.


+5 Dan Pete Roggeman 4Runner1 Angu58 Hans Bauck
Pnwpedal  - April 21, 2021, 8:33 a.m.

Man, you kind of sound like me. Night-before-something-is-due freakout blitz work sessions are par for the course for me. ADD is a pain in the ass.

And I'm also chasing a damn rattle on my Ibis HD5... I thought it was chain related but I can't see a single wear mark. I'm at a loss.

+1 Pnwpedal
Cam McRae  - April 21, 2021, 2:43 p.m.

So frustrating. I figured out a portion of my issue was a slightly loose caliper bolt that was causing the pads to resonate a little. It’s incredibly difficult because there’s no way to reproduce the vibrations that lead to these sounds when you are at home working on the bike.


Pnwpedal  - April 21, 2021, 7:48 p.m.

CALIPER BOLT! Gotta check that too. I had the XT pad fin rattle of doom which I solved but something else is still making noise.


+4 Dan Pete Roggeman bushtrucker Angu58
Sun Hester  - April 21, 2021, 9:17 a.m.

Love that the author ended up becoming an instructor/ teacher himself.

+3 Pete Roggeman Mark Tremeer023
Cam McRae  - April 21, 2021, 10:26 a.m.

It was my penance , and sweet justice for the teachers who had to deal with me. I taught for most of my career at a school that was surrounded by social housing complexes and the kids were a challenging lot. It was very rewarding work though.


+1 Tremeer023
rolly  - April 21, 2021, 8:30 p.m.

I had no idea you were a teacher.  As a teacher myself, my heart goes out to those kids with ADHD.  Many of them carve out identities that are so far below who they are.  Thanks for this article.


+3 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Paul Stuart
Dan  - April 21, 2021, 10:04 a.m.

Off the bike for two weeks following an argument my Achilles had with a Wah Wah pedal, and nearly hourly it seems I am thinking I should be out in the garage dialing in the bike. I *swear* I'll get to it - the satisfaction of a sorted bike is a great reward. I'll also say I've been a one-bike-quiver kind of rider the last 5 or 6 years, making it that much more important to keep that one bike running.

I am also proud to say that we're starting a significant house renovation (I attribute COVID with the impetus for this) and I *just* spoke with a plumber to ensure we have a good cold AND hot water tap set up in the backyard for gear/rider washing.

+1 Dan
Pete Roggeman  - April 21, 2021, 2:51 p.m.

The outdoor hot water tap is such a nice luxury. Cam had it done years ago and it's a goal of mine for my next place.


+1 Pete Roggeman
Dan  - April 21, 2021, 3:01 p.m.

What started off as a leak in my roof has turned into a new roof (with skylights, because why YOLO as the kids are saying), new siding, new gutters, new windows, new back porch etc etc. As long as I'm going this deep, I want to be sure my bike life wishlist is getting the attention it deserves. I'll insulate the garage and get a heater over my workstand too.
Can't wait for the border to re-open - be glad to show you and Cam and Trevor some new stuff.

+1 Dan
Pete Roggeman  - April 22, 2021, 10:31 a.m.

That's quite a project list but talk about a makeover! Would be great to get down there to visit/ride again. I miss Bellingham and all the great peeps.


+5 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian Angu58 Tjaard Breeuwer
IslandLife  - April 21, 2021, 10:06 a.m.

"Often I was capable of doing the work, but incapable of starting it. My assignments were either completely forgotten about, half done, or finished terribly most of the time. But there were rare occasions when I was either interested in the subject matter, terrified of the consequences, or successfully browbeaten into completing my work for the actual day it was due."

Holy shit... what am I supposed to say these days... oh right, something about how "triggered" that made me.

At least when it comes to mountain biking, my other debilitating character trait of being overly and intensely obsessed with the things I really enjoy, seems to counteract the first debilitating character trait.  And so my bike is always fucking showroom mint and ready to rock at a moments notice.


+3 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Tjaard Breeuwer
srodgers84  - April 21, 2021, 10:25 a.m.

I had a similar experience recently that was related to simply washing my bike. I live in an apartment and store my bike in a outdoor storage shed on my balcony. Because of this I basically wash my bike post ride every time to avoid tracking the loam through my building or apartment (and upsetting my wife). Recently with the dry and warm weather, I skipped a few wash sessions since 'It wasn't that dirty'. Last ride as soon as I put some abrupt pressure or hit something square with my front tire, I heard the dreaded creak noise that comes from a CSU. Unfortunately, I have experienced, lets say, more than 2 CSU warranty issues over the last couple years but recently purchased a 38 (with the help from Fox related to the last warranty issue I will add - thank you Fox!) to hopefully avoid this reoccurrence. Needless to say the whole ride I was dreading having to deal with another warranty issue and basically ruined my whole ride with worry and anxiety. Got home, washed my bike, and what do you know, no more creaking noise. Funny how a little bit of dust likely in the headset can cause such remorse. Let's just say I will keep up my post ride washing regime moving forward to avoid the mystery noises.


+2 Dan Pete Roggeman
Mammal  - April 21, 2021, 11:16 a.m.

Dude, grease up that headset with some thick waterproof grease. It'll go a long way in fending off the "CSU worry and anxiety".


+1 Pete Roggeman
srodgers84  - April 21, 2021, 11:47 a.m.

It is a brand new bike and I greased everything up when switching out the fork and my customized cockpit. Basically did a complete component swap with the new bike and sold the older frame with all new parts so I thought it was weird to hear creaking so quickly as well. Shows how dust can find its way into anything and how simply cleaning your bike goes a long way.


+4 Mammal Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman Angu58
meloroast  - April 21, 2021, 10:25 a.m.

This is a great article and something I've been thinking about for...the past 5 years. My problems are the following:

- I love my bike but know nothing about wrenching (literally nothing) and so the idea of taking things apart YouTube style then having to bring it into the shop cause I f-ed something up is detracting me from getting my hands dirty. 

- I am, tbh, not all that interested in wrenching/tinkering...even though I know I should be and might be more if I just started. 

- Whenever I ask for input on BASIC things I should know I get a kazillion different responses so I throw my hands up and continue with the basic "rinse and lube" (followed of course by the occasional full washing which usually results in contaminated brakes...) and annual maintenance at the shop. 

- I have very limited tools. I also live in a condo a stones throw from Fromme that decided 10 bike lockers and a huge dog wash room were needed but a simple hose/space setup out back for mtbs was not. Space is at a premium. 

All this to say I really enjoy the nsmb site and I learn a lot. But I struggle with lack of content for the true novice/reluctant wrencher.  Most articles read like greek to me. So while I'd love to do my homework I can't even read it and there is currently no google translate for the wrenching. 


+3 Mammal Pete Roggeman Paul Stuart
Cam McRae  - April 21, 2021, 10:54 a.m.

Thanks for chiming in Melo.  We have thought of primarily as an enthusiast publication for a long time and geared our content accordingly, and while that may be largely true, not everyone is a born mechanic. 

Beyond that mountain biking is growing at a frantic pace right now which is why we’ve been talking about writing/filming some DIY pieces on more elementary tasks, like changing brake pads. If you have some suggestions we’d love to hear them.


+1 Pete Roggeman
meloroast  - April 21, 2021, 11:31 a.m.

Thanks Cam. I by no means think nsmb should deviate from its intention or current content. I enjoy reading the gear-head/techy comment sections and am often intrigued at the level of detail people get into. I too am a geek...just on different subjects! Part of it is my own reluctance and laziness...and no one else is responsible for that.  

There is a lot of content out there for the novice rider/wrencher...almost too much. And I think most of my questions would be best demonstrated in person vs an article. Part of it is just about me getting more comfortable with a foreign topic. 

I'll think about it though.


+6 Pete Roggeman meloroast Velocipedestrian bushtrucker Tremeer023 Tjaard Breeuwer
Alex Durant  - April 21, 2021, 12:26 p.m.

While I think having content for new riders is incredibly important, there are metric tons of that type of content out there. While there is much less super nerdy in depth quality content (like yours) out there.

So if you do decide to do more beginner friendly content, I'm all for it as long as it doesn't mean less articles about the merits of friction shifters, or manually shifting 2x systems.

+6 meloroast Velocipedestrian Cam McRae bushtrucker Alex Durant Tremeer023
Pete Roggeman  - April 21, 2021, 2:54 p.m.

This is bang on. We want to do more that appeals to newer riders, but we don't want to let off the gas pedal for our longtime, loyal readers either.


meloroast  - April 21, 2021, 3 p.m.

I totally agree. Part of the reason why I chimed in here was just because I enjoy the site a lot but am at a loss when it comes to some content. That's the growing space though. Just because a reader doesn't find content at their level doesn't mean a site should necessarily shift gears. :) 

At some point I'd like to think I will be able to get more out of the super nerdy content!


Velocipedestrian  - April 27, 2021, 12:41 a.m.

If only the folks who permit trail building had your growth mindset.


+1 Cam McRae
Tjaard Breeuwer  - May 3, 2021, 6:35 p.m.

I am sure you will.

I also think it is actually a lot easier these days, with the internet. When I started reading about mtb’ing, it was in magazines. If I didn’t know what a word or concept meant, all I could do was keep reading and hope that it would come up again, in a way that made sense to me.

These days, if you read a bike review, and wonder what “xxx mm reach” means, or why they mention a “short offset fork”, you can open a new tab, and get 10 articles explaining each of those. So cool!


4Runner1  - April 21, 2021, 4:31 p.m.

I'm building a shop in my garage this year and finally committing to getting over my anxiety about working on my own bike. Presently, my tools are really non-existent and I end up trying to fix stuff, only to discover that once again, I have buggered it up.

I will also be taking a mechanics shop course once the world returns to a more normal state. Really looking forward to learning and making mistakes! But, I'd be lying if I said I'm confident!


+3 Poz 4Runner1 Cam McRae
AndrewR  - April 22, 2021, 10:34 a.m.


Workshop Words to live by:

Buy once buy correct  (quality tools).

Do the job correctly and simply the first time. 

Never start a maintenance job ten minutes before your local bike shop closes - you will find something that needs fully replacing and that will prevent you riding (and they won't have it in stock anyway).

ProBearing Tools (BB and blind bearing extractors)/ RRP (frame & shock bearing press)/ PB Swiss (hex & torx)/ Beta (t-handle hex & torx)/ Knipex (anything plier like).

Just because you see them on a lot of shop workshop walls doesn't mean that "insert brand" necessarily make the best quality tool in that tool category (almost every 'bike' brand when it comes to high quality precision hex and torx tools and bits). 

3M is your friend: VHB tape, 2228 tape (also referred to as mastic tape), Blue loctite, red loctite, silver bearing paste (great for preventing BB and headset cup creaks - better than grease).

Torque wrenches: "Can I have too many?" - answer: "No!!!" 1/4" drive 0-8 Nm and 2-12 Nm; 3/8" drive AC Delco Torque adapter 0-60 Nm. This covers the entire range of bolts and fittings that you might otherwise over torque/ snap on a mountain (any) bike.

Two spokes (and new nipples) for each spoke length you require for your wheel set (see above about starting a job ten minutes before shops close).

High quality electrical tape make really good rim tape (tubeless).

Heat gun (for setting tape).

Head torch (I love my Lynx OGT Raven as I can also use it as a night riding light) and true colour LED workshop lights that hit the bike on the stand from every angle.

If you have the room in your workshop set your stand so that you can move around to access any part of your bike ( I don't and it is a pain to flip the bike to work on the other side).

Bulk Shop cloth (when it goes on sale at Canadian Tire).

Alcohol spray bottle (for everything)

Washing liquid and water spray bottle (tyres)

Big grey trash bin (clean) - best tool ever for changing tyres.

Marshall Stockwell (or similar) work shop speaker.

Small shop vac/ dust buster: it is amazing how much muck and debris will drop on your floor, even from an allegedly clean bike.

Brightly coloured anti fatigue mat for the floor: it is amazing how much easier it is to see the stuff you have dropped on the floor.

Always put your tools away in the same place and same pattern.

Never put away a dirty tool.

Friends don't bring a dirty bike to your workshop.

A clean space on a shelf or the bench for your phone/ iPad. almost the entire world of technical support is now in video format and it is easier to watch the "key move" three times than buy a new part if you don't.

And if you roll that way: beer fridge and guest chair.

Enjoy the many hours of zen that comes with the maintenance of a mountain bike (or five).


Marko Kompic  - April 22, 2021, 11:21 a.m.

Great advice!

Add to that proper derailleur hanger tool - Abbey if you have the money, Unior Hanger genie or new Park tool if you want to save. 

Also, Unior Hub genie is great help for removing hub end caps.


4Runner1  - April 22, 2021, 11:28 a.m.



Dan  - April 22, 2021, 2:02 p.m.

Alternately, "Buy Once, Cry Once" :)


+3 Mammal meloroast Pete Roggeman
Poz  - April 21, 2021, 11:05 a.m.

One of the best things I got was a Park Tools book from my parents when I was a kid. That book taught me most of what I have needed. The park website is pretty solid too. Lots of people like YouTube but personally I’m a written media learner. 

Over the years I’ve found Manuals and articles that I print and keep in a binder in my shop. 

The majority of bike maintenance really isn’t complicated. Knowing some of the basics can save a ride not just a bundle of money at the shop. I once met a rider at the bottom of the valley of a 35km out and back ride that was having serious issues with his brakes that threatened to make him walk uphill the remaining 15km and didn’t know how to fix them. 10 minutes, my multi tool, and some ingenuity and I had him riding again. And now have a riding partner. 

That’s not to say I haven’t messed up my fair bit of parts but usually that comes from being in a rush or having a couple too many shop pops while wrenching. Those are usually expensive beers.


+4 Poz Sanesh Iyer Pete Roggeman AJ Barlas
meloroast  - April 21, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

Just reserved it from the library! Thanks for the suggestion.


+4 Poz meloroast Pete Roggeman Velocipedestrian
Mammal  - April 21, 2021, 11:20 a.m.

I'd suggest starting with the simple things that do have fairly step-by-step tutorials. You may not find a lot that caters to your experience level, but enough to get the momentum going. A little experience leads to more ambition, and ambition leads to more thorough searches for those step-by-step resources out there. Do it slowly, and thoughtfully, and you may just find it to become therapeutic, as opposed to frightening/frustrating.


+1 Pete Roggeman
meloroast  - April 21, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

I totally agree. I can do some basic car maintenance now that I wish I had known about years ago. When you're at my level, it just all seems overwhelming. But I also have to choose to engage. That is on me.


+2 meloroast Poz
srodgers84  - April 21, 2021, 11:53 a.m.

Check out GMBN Tech on YouTube as well as the Park website for tutorials. I was in your shoes about 5 years ago knowing nothing about wrenching and over the past few years was able to build confidence (through trial and error) to the point where I don't really need to take the bike to the shop now except for full suspension re-builds. Definitely takes some commitment in buying some basic tools though and putting in time to get your hands dirty. Now I am a bit obsessed but I am sure my bike appreciates it!

+1 meloroast
Cam McRae  - April 21, 2021, 12:24 p.m.

Very well said Mammal. Maybe a course would be helpful?


meloroast  - April 21, 2021, 12:50 p.m.

Yes absolutely I've been advocating for MBs to do a course unfortunately with Covid all the in person ones have been cancelled in the past year. I'll definitely be looking around though.

+2 meloroast Tjaard Breeuwer
Pete Roggeman  - April 21, 2021, 3:04 p.m.

Also, it's surprising once you get going how you're not as likely to catastrophically break something as you may think. There are sensitive areas/exceptions (carbon fibre, for example) but as long as you don't go crazy or move too quickly, it's usually not hard to undo a mistake.

+2 meloroast Spencer Nelson
Pete Roggeman  - April 21, 2021, 2:58 p.m.

Thanks for the comment - this is always useful for us to hear!

A couple of resources you may find useful:

1) when Covid fades, MEC runs pretty good 100 and 200 level intro to bike mechanics courses, starting with learning basics like fixing a flat or adjusting your derailleur, and going on from there.

2) Park Tools' website is a deep resource full of how-to content, from basic to complex, and they've recently added a ton of really well-produced videos as well.

3) Lenard Zinn wrote a book called 'Zinn and the art of bicycle maintenance' that I bought when I was just getting into riding seriously. It's full of explanations and illustrations - very good for the new rider/mechanic. It's been re-released and modernized several times. Highly recommend it.

4) We will continue to think/consider what we can do to create better resources for newer riders. So much to do!


+1 Pete Roggeman
meloroast  - April 21, 2021, 3:06 p.m.

This is a great list thanks Pete! Even something like this list...a quick and dirty summary of some key resources for newbies would probably go a long way. I just added that book to my queue.

Pete Roggeman  - April 22, 2021, 10:33 a.m.

That's not a bad idea at all. Will discuss at our next content meeting.


Tjaard Breeuwer  - May 3, 2021, 6:31 p.m.

A dog (aka) bike wash room in your condo complex sounds sweet!


+6 meloroast Pete Roggeman bushtrucker Angu58 Cam McRae Dan
colemaneddie  - April 21, 2021, 11:39 a.m.

Wow, this was a powerful piece. There's a lot I've never really articulated about how my brain works, but this just described so much of it. Great insights for riding and for life. Thanks Cam.

Cam McRae  - April 21, 2021, 12:25 p.m.

Thank you Coleman!


+10 Pete Roggeman LWK JVP 4Runner1 Grif Cam McRae Angu58 Spencer Nelson solar_evolution Tjaard Breeuwer
Mark  - April 21, 2021, 2:44 p.m.

ADHD unknowingly haunted me most of my life and cost me a lot. I was always described as being more than capable but never applying myself. It's only been on the back half of my life that I've become aware of having it and how it's been affecting me. For some people as they mature they get a better handle on it and for some people they don't - ADHD is one of those things that has wide range of impacts.

I've been putting off taking any sort of medication, mostly due to a stubborn desire to fix this thing myself, but the last six months made it apparent that having help was going to make my life easier and better. I finally got around to seeing a doc  - procrastination is a classic ADHD symptom/effect. Reading this story is a bit apropos, as today was the first day of taking a low dose of medication that will hopefully make a big impact on my life. 

For anyone that might have trouble focusing, following through on things, getting distracted easily, or lacking motivation to do what seems like simple things it's worth taking some time to speak to a health care professional to see if you may have something more than "bad habits" or "lack motivation" ADHD can often come with some level of anxiety and left untreated can bring on depression. There are lots of options to help with besides medication, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and as Cam pointed out exercise and establishing routines can help as well. While those are things people can do on their own, they may not be enough,  so take some time to speak with someone to see if you might benefit from more structured help.

The other thing that's come clear, in part through being back in uni doing more education, is that people can have mental health issues and it's not really apparent or they can hide it well at times. People can act out as a defense mechanism or as a way to seek some sort of attention or interaction. If you're healthy, take a moment to consider that maybe the person you're having an issue with isn't, or that they may simply be going through a rough patch and are having trouble with their emotions. In the words of Dr Henry - be kind. Being kind can make a big difference for someone, and the bonus part is that it's rewarding for yourself as well.


+1 Mark
4Runner1  - April 21, 2021, 4:35 p.m.

Very well said, Mark. I can relate.


LWK  - April 21, 2021, 3:31 p.m.

I've gotten lazy with my bike mechanic skills over the years as I have a very good shop that looks after my bikes for me. 

While that is great, I've also become somewhat helpless, which is an awful feeling when something needs to be fixed.  And now with COVID, my home shop is booked months out (literally). But the upside is that I am paying attention to this stuff again so I can be more self sufficient.  

I'm getting a few tools to work on my modern bike parts.  And I would say that manufacturers can be good sources of info on their own products.  SRAM had a really good manual and instruction video I followed to tune up my rear derailleur.  I need to give my Fox forks some love and Fox has good online resources that cover the basics.


+1 Cam McRae
JVP  - April 21, 2021, 3:52 p.m.

"Shutting up and sitting still were virtually impossible for me, but homework was my real Kryptonite. Often I was capable of doing the work, but incapable of starting it."

Can relate. I suspect there's lots of us in the outdoor sports community, though that's only a hunch.


+1 Cam McRae
bushtrucker  - April 21, 2021, 5:59 p.m.

Everything about this.


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