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  1. #1
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    First sort of commute tomorrow

    My full commute would be 17 miles each way. Tomorrow I'm driving to meet a co-worker part of the way there to cut that down to around 7 miles each way. We figure the first time we should be conservative to make sure we don't overdo it. I don't fear the first 17 miles but since I normally go a max of 15 in my evening rides the other 17 home may lay me up. So... tomorrow is 7 there and then 7 back. That doesn't exceed my daily miles now but I don't know what doing 7, working all day, and then doing 7 again will do. Well yest I do... it won't hurt me at all but what comes next is meeting further and further from work until I'm doing the full amount. That will be exciting.

  2. #2
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    That's fantastic! I live 35 miles from work, much of it by freeway, so I can't commute by bike to work, but I love that people do. Hopefully when we move within the year that'll allow me to join all you bike commuters. I like your plan to start with a doable distance, then go from there. I'll be interested to read about how it goes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I'll give a full report. It won't be much at first with the incremental distances but if I feel good I'll just leap to a full commute one day just for the fun of it. Tomorrow I'm meeting with a local gym to arrange a "shower only" membership to be used from there on out so tomorrow's shorter distance ride also has the benefit of reducing the need for a shower. Taking some advice from the commuter forum I'll shower before I leave home, cool down when I get there then wash off in a sink. I'm not a big fan of using a work bathroom for that but for one day I'll do it.

    Maybe I'll write a book about it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Also my co-worker just joined these forums a few weeks ago and doesn't post so I'm going to call him a sissy right here just to see if he reads it.

    Hey yo... co-worker.... you are a sissy.

  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I used to ride 16 miles each way to work (my drive is 62 miles now... so yeah, that's not happening) but a few tricks for you
    1) leave EARLY! in case you have a flat
    2) Consider driving to work in the AM with your bike in the trunk and ride home... then ride in the next day and drive home. That's only 16 miles per day and more manageable until you get used to it.

    You're in luck, Ohio is flat as a pancake.

  6. #6
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Good for you for doing this, especially since Friday is National Bike to Work Day.
    Craig in Indy

  7. #7
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    I used to ride 16 miles each way to work (my drive is 62 miles now... so yeah, that's not happening) but a few tricks for you
    1) leave EARLY! in case you have a flat
    2) Consider driving to work in the AM with your bike in the trunk and ride home... then ride in the next day and drive home. That's only 16 miles per day and more manageable until you get used to it.

    You're in luck, Ohio is flat as a pancake.
    Good advice. I've considered doing that to ramp up to the full distance and to not get burnt out on it. And you are right, Ohio is fairly flat.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Good for you for doing this, especially since Friday is National Bike to Work Day.
    I didn't even know that until my wife pointed it out.

  9. #9
    aka Josh gjosuem's Avatar
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    I like Trojan's advice. I did exactly what he posted when I started commuting to work. I have 20 mile route, and at first I would drive in and ride home, then, the next day, ride in and drive home.

    Now I just drive in on Mondays, leave my car at work during the week and drive home on Fridays. The only reason I do that is to bring my clothes in to work and take the laundry home on Friday.

  10. #10
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    I don't fear the first 17 miles but since I normally go a max of 15 in my evening rides the other 17 home may lay me up.
    Good instincts. My commute when I started riding was 7 miles each way and it was pretty easy, took about half hour to 45 minutes. Then my office moved and it's 17 each way. I can do the 17 no problem. I've gotten to the point where the 17 home is no problem. Doing it two days in a row? I'm usually whupped by the ride home the second day. Also, it's the time out of my day- an hour and a half in the afternoon is usually a significant part of my day.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  11. #11
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I'll be able to resist doing it two days in a row until fall since I coach my daughter's travel team and we practice, scrimmage, etc. most evenings. I'm targeting riding to/from/some combo two days a week and will still ride in the evenings.

    I do play on doing what TrojanHorse suggested as I like to do things like this incrementally.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Basz's Avatar
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    Great plan WonderMonkey. Let us know how it goes this week.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I thought it would be interesting to force myself to keep a journal of the commutes. Since today was my first day it works out nicely. I don't know how long I'll keep that up but for now I'm on it.

    http://meatheadmike.blogspot.com/

    for those that want to read. Not much right now.

  14. #14
    "Fred"--is that bad? DTSCDS's Avatar
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    I used to commute some and next week am getting back into it.
    I found that for my 10 mile commute I really didn't need a shower like I assumed I would. I have access to a private bathroom so I can go in, lock the door, change and wash up a bit. By the time I'm done I feel fresh and fine.
    I know I certainly felt MUCH better on my commute days. There was just a feeling I would have all day long. It was as if I could look down on all my co-workers who had driven in and know that they were physically inferior to me.

    My wife has a 40 mile commute that I keep suggesting she break up in the OP's fashion. She could drive most of the way and then have <10 miles to ride in. She doesn't believe she can do it and not need a shower. So, as one of the weak, she gets left behind!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    My total distance for the day wasn't a stretch though it is more that I've done since I've gotten back on the bike. What I found difficult was riding, cooling down, riding somewhere for lunch then riding home. Each time I would cool down then have to warm back up. Even my small lunch ride to get a bite to eat was more difficult than I would have thought.

    My ride in was 5.85 miles at a 11.4 mph pace. Five miles is usually a very small outing for me. Lunch was a very leisurely 3.42 miles to go arrange for a shower only membership at a local gym. I got held up at work and wanted to go hit with my daughter (fastpitch) so I pushed it on the way home even though I was sore. I went 5.95 miles at a 14.2 mph pace. The distance there and back should be very close but due to how my app works there is a margin for error. No matter, I like it anyway as I'm not training for anything serious. The 14.2 mph pace left my legs very tired and I can still feel it now.

    Again the 15.22 total miles is about what I do on a longer night ride but the stopping, cooling down, getting going again really added a layer of difficulty.

    I can't wait to do it again. I'll probably do that distance once more before either riding the full distance (17 miles) there or back, or just like today drive to a spot a little further away and going both ways. Depends on the day and what's going on.
    Last edited by WonderMonkey; 05-25-11 at 08:09 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Basz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post

    Again the 15.22 total miles is about what I do on a longer night ride but the stopping, cooling down, getting going again really added a layer of difficulty.

    I can't wait to do it again. I'll probably do that distance once more before either riding the full distance (17 miles) there or back, or just like today drive to a spot a little further away and going both ways. Depends on the day and what's going on.
    Great Attitude WM - With that positive determination - Before long you'll be looking for the long hilly way home!
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  17. #17
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I'm considering doing something stupid tomorrow. Which kind of excites me. Last week's commute was about 6 miles each way and I met a co-worker part way there to start. I'm commuting into work again tomorrow and am thinking of backing the start point up to the 13 mile point. My longest since I've "been back on the bike" has been 15.x miles so the leg in isn't an issue. However..... riding back may destroy me.

    Occasionally I like to do things which may destroy me to challenge myself. And since I won't be destroyed until I get back home I can lay on the floor and wish for death in peace.... and air conditioning.

  18. #18
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I say go for it. Seriously. If you can do the 13 miles with no problem, you can do it again in the evening.

  19. #19
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Occasionally I like to do things which may destroy me to challenge myself. And since I won't be destroyed until I get back home I can lay on the floor and wish for death in peace.... and air conditioning.
    Absolutely do it! If your anything like me the feeling you get from pushing yourself and succeeding more than makes up for the feeling of being destroyed. And those times that I don't succeed just serve to remind myself that I am in fact pushing it hard enough.

  20. #20
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    The great thing about a bike is if you get destroyed you can just gear down and coast. And wish for death while not in the air conditioning.

  21. #21
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    First leg of expanded commute is over. 16.48 miles total which was no massive strain. The only issue was when my water bottle came out of the holder right as I was going to lean on a post waiting to cross a road. I leaned left to get it fully intending to put my left foot on the ground. However, as I continued to lean I realized my foot was in the recently installed toe cage and that there was a very good chance I was going to fall. As I continued to achieve a horizontal position I tried many things to get my foot out of the toe cage. None of them worked. I fell from the sidewalk into the street and then my foot slipped gently from the toe cage as if coated with butter. I got up quickly to avoid being killed by a vehicle and then took a quick inventory of the various scrapes I got from "the fall". One on the elbow, one on the outside of my calf. The other was on the inside of my other leg when it dug into the gear. I got back on my bike and continued onward.

    At work I told a few people and we had a good laugh. They all agreed they wished they had witnessed it.

    The ride back is going to be interesting but I suspect the worst will be that I will be extra tired tonight and tomorrow.

  22. #22
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    Great job!

    My commute to work is about the same distance, about 16.5 miles to work, 17.5 miles home due to re-routing for traffic. I missed the bike to work day, I was out of town.

  23. #23
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Thanks! I figure once a week is what I'll be able to do, sometimes twice a week.

  24. #24
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    The commute back home was pretty easy. The co-worker I rode in with was having great difficulties so I just plodded along with him. At one point when we stopped I told him his seat looked low. We chatted and he said he thought the entire frame was too small for him and after looking at it I agreed. He is about my height so I traded him bikes for a trial run. When I got on his bike and pedaled my first thought was "This sucks donkey ass!" as the seat was too low, tilted too far up in the front and generally not working for me. He on the hand felt like he was riding on silk it took so little effort to move. Reluctantly he gave me my bike back and I realized how freaking hard he was working just to get from point A to point B, let alone try and keep up with me (because I'm awesome).

    Since we were slowed we got caught in the rain and was quickly soaked. I didn't personally care but I figured with how hard he worked and how soaked we were he deserved a beer. We stopped at a local joint along the path and had a pitcher.

    The entire commute for the day equaled 29.71 miles. Next I'll try leaving from my house and going for the full deal. That should kill me.
    Last edited by WonderMonkey; 05-25-11 at 08:12 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member kstephens's Avatar
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    I am having a good time following this. Keep up the good work!! And please keep us up to date on the progress.

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