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Seasoned Commuters, help

Sept. 10, 2008, 9:23 a.m.
Posts: 13016
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

I am thinking about riding to work with a roadbike at least twice a week - currently fed up with sitting in a car, and my job ahs too much sitting and standing involved, and I want to get more fit. Not crossfit that is :agree:

It has one big, 2.5 km long ascent, and one way is 17 km long. So it would be 34 km a day. That actually scares me more than a bit.

I am wondering, how many miles do you ride one way to work - if you are commuting that is.

Thanx. :)

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Sept. 10, 2008, 9:30 a.m.
Posts: 1453
Joined: Aug. 25, 2004

I round trip about 26 km, but mine is 24 in and 2 back because I hop on the bus for the return trip! My advice, start slow. Ride easy, spin freely and consider building up to doing the full commute (if that's feasible). Less discouraging that way.

Sept. 10, 2008, 9:39 a.m.
Posts: 8604
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

Another way to ease into commuting is to ride one way at a time.

Drive to work one day with your bike on the car and then ride home, leaving your car at work. Then ride in the next day and drive home leaving your bike at work.

Another option is to start with just sunny days or just Fridays. Either way you'll soon catch the bug and do it every day. There's nothing like arriving at work feeling all charged up and ready for the day. The ride home can be harder but again you feel great when you arrive chez vous.

I think that length of commute is just about perfect actually. Anything less and you are just getting warmed up by the time you arrive. Depending on traffic/lights etc. you should be able to get that down to around 45 minutes or less.

Just give 'er!

Sept. 10, 2008, 9:47 a.m.
Posts: 1876
Joined: March 2, 2006

There's nothing like arriving at work feeling all charged up and ready for the day.
Just give 'er!

This sums it up very well! My commute is pretty wimpy in comparison but I find myself finder longer ways home quite often and even going for rides at lunch.

Like the PP said, start easy, when you find your groove it will come together.
Best of luck, welcome to sweaty office guy world!

Grumpy Trail Builder in Training

Sept. 10, 2008, 9:47 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: April 21, 2008

My advice is to commit; set your bike up properly (or get a new one), and make a schedule for yourself. If you half-ass your bike, it'll be a bitch to ride, and nobody enjoys commuting the first few times. Spend some money so you feel obligated to give it a good shot (remember, it's money you're saving in gas, etc.), and soon you'll swear by it.

Me. Car/Web Work. Twitter. FFFFound.

Sept. 10, 2008, 10:36 a.m.
Posts: 20
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Distance is no big deal, 20km one way for me. The killer is the cold and the rain… my advice is dress well and don't cheap out on your jacket, shorts etc.. buy the best you can aford, even the bike is not as important.

Sept. 10, 2008, 11:24 a.m.
Posts: 568
Joined: April 7, 2003

I am wondering, how many miles do you ride one way to work - if you are commuting that is.

Thanx. :)

No big climbs in my commute, but it is ~27km each way. I ride it 2-3 times per week.

Sept. 10, 2008, 11:31 a.m.
Posts: 2387
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how short 17km is. Just spend the dough on some good fenders with full coverage and metal stays and make yourself a little extra flap for the bottom of the fenders outta a piece of water bottle.

I commuted for years by bike and never found it too bad. Those cold wet days were a bit of a drag on the ride home, but you've got a hot shower waiting for you so no biggie.

Now I commute down the hall, so I can talk pretty big, eh?

37 YEARS ON THE BIKE :: 1981-2018

Sept. 10, 2008, 11:32 a.m.
Posts: 4841
Joined: May 19, 2003

good on ya mic for making a change .

i have been bike commuting for three years now , summers only ( obviously :lol: ) .

my route can be as little as fifteen minutes , but that doesn't even warm you up , so i put together a variety of routes which is usually 45 minutes each way . i try to stay off the roads as much as i can by using the valley trail which is either a paved surface , or firm gravel crush . sometimes on the way home , i'll do a little tour through the lost lake area . you might be able to put together a route which either eliminates the hill , or lets you attain that elevation more easily .

when you are a commuter , efficiency ( less sweat output ) is critical .

my challenge is towing a BOB trailer with a 45 lb dog in it , and i have a hill about a half mile up to my house which is a mentally tough thing to deal with at the end of the day , but as the summer goes on , you get stronger and mentally prepared for it . also , i got an ipod touch , and the music can be a very useful distraction .

you really learn to get yourself organized the night before , because you will have to get up earlier , and have less time to dick around .

like the poster above said , if you are committed to this program , go out and set yourself up properly , particularly if you are going to try and push this through the winter . build up a proper bike equipped with lights , fenders , rack with panniers , and a bell , and dress yourself appropriately . all the money you don't piss away on gas , you can spend on this program , and you won't regret a dime ( deutschmark )of it .

Sept. 10, 2008, 11:46 a.m.
Posts: 2906
Joined: June 15, 2006

My wife and I ride 6 miles (10km) each way to and from work. We do this 5 days a week, rain or shine. We believe in the importance of fenders, and rain gear and panniers etc. Unless your office has showers or personal hygiene is not an issue then you have to be careful about how much you sweat.

As we commute downtown, most days it is faster for us to ride our bikes into work than sit in traffic.

Be sure to play it safe and stick to the bike routes if you can!

Good luck.

This trip to Kelowna was definately an undertaking - Liam and I had been planning this project for 24 hours. We worked really hard to pull out all the stops in this video. We had slo-mo goggle shots; time lapses; pedal flips; outrageous product shots; unloading and loading the bike; walking through the field with your hand in wheat. At the end of the day this trip was all about just getting out and riding with all my friends.

Sept. 10, 2008, 12:07 p.m.
Posts: 13016
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Wow. :eek: Thanx a lot for your input - much appreciated.

The bike will be a 10kg-ish roadbike with fenders. I will use my Timbuk2 bag for the stuff I use. Hmm….try and give it a shot in the next couple days - will post pics…:)

And thanx again - have to think about a lot of the ideas and suggestions and how I can put them into reality (such as leaving my car at work for one day, etc.)

Concerning the equipment - I have good lights I bought after last year's vancouver trip - so I can rip trails in the dark. So I use them for commuting in the winter. Jacket and pants is no problem either since I have some from winter riding.

I have the possibility to take a shower at my "office" - so no problem here as well. ACtually today I found out that there is a colleague who is commuting as well, just from the opposite direction.

In the beginning while pondering this I thought that 17 km are a lot - I should have known that on a mtb-geek-ish website (j/k) ;) this is considered a good start. :beer:

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Sept. 10, 2008, 12:36 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: April 21, 2008

Seriously, ditch the messenger bag and go full geek with panniers. Your back will get sweaty and your shoulder will get sore if you haul a bag around.

Me. Car/Web Work. Twitter. FFFFound.

Sept. 10, 2008, 12:44 p.m.
Posts: 20
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Seriously, ditch the messenger bag and go full geek with panniers. Your back will get sweaty and your shoulder will get sore if you haul a bag around.

i second that!

Sept. 10, 2008, 12:51 p.m.
Posts: 164
Joined: July 4, 2003

I try to commute by bike a few times a week. I'm not so much a morning person, so I actually take my bike on the skytrain in the morning, and then do the full commute by bike on my way home. This relies of course on having skytrain stops conveniently located, and I'm pretty sure you can't bring a bike on board if you're going "with rush-hour". I live in Vancouver and work in Burnaby, so I'm lucky in that I commute against rush-hour traffic.

I'd also recommend panniers. Nothing sucks more than a sweaty back, especially if you're on your way to work. It's just gross. And if you plan on commuting in the rain, GET DISC BRAKES!!! I'm so glad my commuter has discs. Not only do they actually work when they're wet, you won't have to replace your rims every winter month. Nothing wears down faster than the sidewalls of a road rim commuting in the rainy city.

Sept. 10, 2008, 1:08 p.m.
Posts: 1869
Joined: Nov. 22, 2002

I ride to work at least three days a week. Another clothing option is to leave a bunch of clothing at work. I have pants, shoes, and several shirts at work. I then commute with my CamelBak. All I need to carry is my lunch and undergarments.

What kind of bike storage facility do you have at work? The biggest problem we have is so many people are riding their bike now that we sometimes do not have enough space a work for everyones bike.

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