Hobbies are a great way to stay clean and sober. They provide the kind of distraction that addicts need to work on their recovery rather than on their relapse (because LBH, it’s one or the other).

Bicycle riding is an awesome choice because:

  • You need to be sober to balance on a bike
  • More importantly: You get super in shape while having fun!

Pick Your Bike!

Fixie Track Bike
Fixie/Track Bike

Sometimes simpler is better. “Fixies” get their name from being fixed gear, meaning only one row of teeth on each cassette.

Good For:
  • Cruising around town with friends
  • Indoor tracks
  • Style – fixies often come in bold colors/patterns
  • Riding flat roads
Road Bike
Road Bike

Adrenaline rush much? Road bikes are built for speed: lightweight with thin tires to go fast on paved roads.

Good For:
  • Racing
  • Century rides
  • Fast commuting
Mountain Bike
Mountain Bike

Adventure awaits! These are the four-wheelers of bicycles: full or half suspension, disc brakes, and low gear range for climbing hills.

Good For:
  • Lumberjacks
  • Vacation trips
Cyclocross Bike
Cyclocross Bike

Is versatility more your bag, baby? See “cross” in the name–these guys are like road bikes, but have thicker tires and a more upright ride to make off-roading easier.

Good For:
  • Commuting with light loads
  • Switching between road/dirt without sacrificing speed
Touring Bike
Touring Bike

This specialty class gets a spot because of how dang practical they are. Touring is an endeavor, so these bikes go for comfort, weather, and cargo loads.

Good For:
  • Touring, duh!
  • Commuting with large/heavy loads
Hybrid Bike

Kind of a blanket class. Hybrids are some mix between comfort and utility; it really just depends on the specific make and model.

Good For:
  • City riding
  • Commuting in the rain

Injuries Can Lead to Relapse

Time to put the “mom” hat on: No matter what type of cycling you choose…

 

WEAR YOUR HELMET!

 

Traumatic brain injuries are not a joke. While cycling is a fun and rewarding hobby, injuries are a very real threat to relapse. If you ever do get seriously hurt while riding, make sure to tell your doctor that you are a recovering addict. It doesn’t matter if prescription pills weren’t your drug of choice. Narcotic painkillers are a common gateway to relapse, and doctors will work with patients to create an effective pain management schedule. 

Family and friends can offer accountability in these situations to make sure their recovering loved ones stay on track. This is an excerpt from the peer-reviewed scientific study Successful Pain Management for the Recovering Addicted Patient:

 

Pain management with opioids for recovering addicts should include a pretreatment agreement for random, witnessed drug screens 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after pain management has been discontinued. Any failure to follow through with the drug screen when a drug screen is called for is considered a positive screen. Once relapse is suspected, management includes offering medical intervention. [T]his extra level of accountability [can help addicts] to remain abstinent or detected substance abuse in time to reinitiate treatment.

Sober Hobbies Prevent Relapse

Biking isn’t the only way to build a life in sobriety. Find other tools in our Living Clean & Sober blog archive, and check the New Start Detox alumni program to help build a sober fellowship.