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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-28-12, 12:11 PM   #1
Mark Stone
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I Think I'm Quitting Bicycle Commuting

Because I don't enjoy it any more. I still very much enjoy Bicycling, don't get me wrong, but the hassle of commuting is burdensome. My wife and I are combined over 90 pounds weight loss this year, and my 45 lbs of weight loss is largely because of cycling so I definitely plan on continuing to pack on the mileage! But commuting to work is just not enjoyable any more. I still will do a large portion of utilitarian bicycling (shopping, going to the library or LBS, visiting friends) and will go out for long rides just for the he11 of it like I always do, but there's no reason to continue bike commuting if it's a bummer. So, I QUIT!!!!

ONLY 20 POUNDS TO GOAL WEIGHT!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
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Old 12-28-12, 12:21 PM   #2
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Congrats so far! Impressive loss of weight.

I think its fine to change your outlook. I was a huge proponent of winter/night riding until I almost ended up under a car last winter. Now I'm safely on the trainer in the garage waiting for the lighter nights to return.

Last edited by magohn; 12-28-12 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 12-28-12, 12:34 PM   #3
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I hate that I am going to admit this. I had dreams of bike commuting all this year...so much so that I bought a cross check, racks, and lights. My work schedule when I am in town starts at 6 and goes to 4 30 and that means that for a large part of the year, my commute is in total darkness both ways. (or certainly going in the morning) I have a 12 mile one way, and I just could never get comfortable in the dark. It wasnt like I was SCARED the entire way, just that I kept thinking how (in my mind) much more risk there was riding on the streets with no bike lane in the dark. Much of the way (about 2/3) I could stay on neighborhood type streets, but many of them were still 45 mph roads, but one long section of about 4 miles is on a main street, with no bike lane, and no street lights...that part always got me.

So I found myself simply not doing it.

And all the changing was kind of a drag too....I suppose I will keep killing the planet on my drive into and from work.
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Old 12-28-12, 12:39 PM   #4
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Congrats on the weight loss.

I suggest that instead of making up your mind to "quit" bike commuting, just give it a break, maybe do it once in a while or when the mood strikes you. There is no reason it has to be all or nothing. Commute when you have a beautiful day and it is convenient.
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Old 12-28-12, 01:06 PM   #5
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commuting is rough. Go buy a hybrid so you don't feel so bad
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Old 12-28-12, 01:11 PM   #6
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Congrats on the weight loss.

I suggest that instead of making up your mind to "quit" bike commuting, just give it a break, maybe do it once in a while or when the mood strikes you. There is no reason it has to be all or nothing. Commute when you have a beautiful day and it is convenient.
In my opinion, Myosmith is one of the sage advisers on Bike Forums. His post here is worthy of consideration.

The other question is: What other physical activity will be used to fill the gap left by bicycle commuting? Or will the intake of calories be modified to reflect the reduction over weekly physical activity?

Having come so far with the weight loss, it would seem a shame to lose some of it through withdrawal from a contributing activity.
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Old 12-28-12, 01:27 PM   #7
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I am not sure why commuting is sometimes given a bad wrap. Its not hard. It requires a different skill set of riding.

You have those folks who just like to ride on bike paths, thats it. You have the roadies who just want to stick on the roads, no paths. You have the folks who are scared to go out in the streets and ride.

If I can tell people anything about commuting, is that it is easy. It is a mind set. You cannot think about commuting as boring or worth the hassle. When anything like that creeps up in my mind I think about how much of a drag it is to be in a car driving to and from work with no exercise. With commuting to work, I ALWAYS know it is going to take me x amount of time to get from my place to work and work to home. Sometimes if something looks interesting to check out, I turn down the street. In the summer and fall, I hit the farmers markets on the way home. If I want to go see Christmas lights on the way home from a late night at work, I do just that. I ride my bike to WW meetings almost every week.

Commuting brings me a lot of happiness. Gives me time to decompress, see whatever I want to see WITHOUT TRAFFIC, get to know the other folks who commute as well.
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Old 12-28-12, 01:29 PM   #8
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Because I don't enjoy it any more. I still very much enjoy Bicycling, don't get me wrong, but the hassle of commuting is burdensome.
What exactly is so difficult about it?
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Old 12-28-12, 01:33 PM   #9
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trac: Why dont you post this in the commuting forum.

We will all sit back and watch what happens!
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Old 12-28-12, 01:47 PM   #10
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The Gym will be heated and dry inside to continue working off the extra #.
then when the weather improves you can go back on the road.
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Old 12-28-12, 01:50 PM   #11
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why does it matter "whats" so difficult about it? He doesn't enjoy it, that's enough. Go find something you do love, and do that in place.
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Old 12-28-12, 01:54 PM   #12
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It is good to take a break sometimes. It gives one a different perspective on things.

Guessing you might return when it warms up some.
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Old 12-28-12, 02:07 PM   #13
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there are good days and bad days ... why are you sharing this with us? I only ask cuz if you want a kick in the a*s ...

Now get back on that bike, quit bellyaching and don't be whining 'till you reach your goal weight! Buck up Bucko!
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Old 12-28-12, 02:23 PM   #14
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I hear you. When I did not have constant access to a car (by choice) and had to work in NJ three days a week I would use a bike-train combination to get there. If I wanted to do it in a way that avoided heavy, dangerous traffic, I had to get up very early. I was often out of the house by 5:30 a.m. or even earlier. (The afternoon commute was often hairy enough. Rush hour would have been worse had I pushed up the time.) Took about 1.5 hrs. each way. No shower at work so I would have to wipe down. I did that for two years. Tuesday through Thursday. By the time Thursday afternoon rolled, around, I was usually too tired to do anything but go home, eat dinner and sleep. When my mom stopped driving regularly and I took possession of our shared car, it did not take me that long to start dirving to NJ when the weather was bad. Then it became every day. The daily routine of cycling to work had gotten old and tiresome. As much as the exercise paid off, it just wasn't floating my boat anymore.

Fortunately, I rarely have to go to NJ anymore. I can ride to work in 10 min. and often do, not for the exercise, but because it's more convenient that walking and I ride part of the way with the GF. And like you, I still use the bike for things like errands and dates.

I did reprise my old commute a few weeks ago. I found it fun, but that's because I only had to do it that one day. Maybe you can take a break and try it again in the future on a limited basis.
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Old 12-28-12, 02:51 PM   #15
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why does it matter "whats" so difficult about it? He doesn't enjoy it, that's enough. Go find something you do love, and do that in place.
You're right I was just wondering if there was something specific that caused him to change his mind.
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Old 12-28-12, 03:08 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone for the GREAT responses! Excellent suggestion Myosmith about not completely quitting commuting, but putting it on a back shelf and leaving the option open. However, I think a lot of people didn't read my post thoroughly - I'm not giving up bicycling, or exercise, I am merely going to increase the type of cycling I enjoy the most and not commute to work on the bike.

Lemme Splain': I am (and have been for decades) a utilitarian cyclist. Every trip I make within a certain radius (usually 10 or 15 miles) is done by bicycle, unless I'm carrying another human or something very heavy (like a big bag of dog food, or my guitar). By not using the bike to commute, I will lose only what is essentially a small part of my cycling experience. Don't read into it that I am stopping exercise and going to a couch-potato lifestyle, oh my no! I will probably still do 2+ bike journeys daily and average over 70 or 80 miles a week. Do I need something at Walmart? Slap on the Panniers and ride there. Doctor appointment? Ride. (That's especially cool because the ride lowers BP). 7-11 for a Soda? Ride. Visit friends? Ride. Meet someone for a meal? Ride. You get the picture. That's me - I've done that since about 1982, except for a short recent stretch that caused my weight gain. Using the bicycle is faster, more convenient, and less expensive.

Fact is, I bicycle for health and fun. I'm not "green" and not attempting to say anything political with my cycling lifestyle; it just kicks a$$ and I enjoy it. So I'm still gonna bicycle, and bicycle a lot, but I simply don't enjoy the commute so I don't want to do that any more. It just got old, I guess - and maybe Myosmith is right, after a period of time I may go back to it. But right now, I figure if I don't enjoy it, why do it?

Chef: Thanks for the PM. Hope this post answers your questions!

Again, everyone, thanks for the great responses! But don't worry, this ain't suicide!
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Old 12-28-12, 03:12 PM   #17
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trac: Why dont you post this in the commuting forum.

We will all sit back and watch what happens!
Ha! The answer is because all my friends are here in C/A. I think if I posted this there it would be considered a troll . . .
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Old 12-28-12, 03:26 PM   #18
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My commuting has come to a standstill during the late fall and winter. My commute is short - 7 miles. I have all of the equipment for wet and cold commutes... it's just a hassle to spend 15-20 minutes gathering the clothing, putting it on, and putting on the shoe covers for a 25 minute bicycle commute - then you take it off and change clothes at the other end. Then, you do it all over again in the evening when you commute home. I'll probably do it on those few days in the winter that are assured to be dry (even if it's cold.) I'll be ready to go in the spring (even if it's a bit wet) when it warms up and for sure in the summer when it's warm and dry.

Wow! the whole "InTheRain" thing doesn't seem appropriate anymore???
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Old 12-28-12, 03:33 PM   #19
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I liked commuting when I had the option. My work was 11 miles away but it did add a LOT of time to my 'work day'. As stated it was:

1 hour there
1 hour back
30 mins showering

By car, it was 25 mins there and 25 mins back. However, I got most of the time back as the commuting replaced my 3x week nightime 'core' miles that I ride if not commuting.

Fate then stepped in and moved my work to 17 miles away in heavy, heavy traffic. That just killed the fun of it and made the option too time-intensive. So, yes, I 'get it'
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Old 12-28-12, 04:17 PM   #20
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That's the problem, too many cars on his bike path! Once we fall off the cliff, most wont be able to afford gas and it will be fun again to commute. As has been said, the USA has the best bikeways in the world. There are just to many cars on them. :-)
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Old 12-28-12, 04:20 PM   #21
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That's the problem, too many cars on his bike path! Once we fall off the cliff, most wont be able to afford gas and it will be fun again to commute. As has been said, the USA has the best bikeways in the world. There are just to many cars on them. :-)

That I actually agree with
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Old 12-28-12, 04:23 PM   #22
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If it weren't for commuting, I'd have less than 1/2 of my current YTD miles. I just don't have time on the weekends to do as much riding as I'd like.

Personally, I feel safer riding at night than during the day. I feel that I'm actually more visible due to my lighting and reflective gear. I've had fewer right-hooks. Fewer pull-outs. Just generally more people waiting for me to pass instead of putting their vehicle directly in front of me.

The only downside is the weather. During the summer, shorts and a t-shirt on rainless 60F mornings is perfect. In the winter, drop the temps down to the high 30's, and add rain into the mix, and it takes a little longer to prepare. So I just get up a few minutes earlier. Yesterday at work, I didn't even bother to change my clothes. I didn't sweat on my ride in, and I was just hanging out in my cubicle all day (like usual).
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Old 12-28-12, 04:27 PM   #23
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If it weren't for commuting, I'd have less than 1/2 of my current YTD miles. I just don't have time on the weekends to do as much riding as I'd like.

Personally, I feel safer riding at night than during the day. I feel that I'm actually more visible due to my lighting and reflective gear. I've had fewer right-hooks. Fewer pull-outs. Just generally more people waiting for me to pass instead of putting their vehicle directly in front of me.

The only downside is the weather. During the summer, shorts and a t-shirt on rainless 60F mornings is perfect. In the winter, drop the temps down to the high 30's, and add rain into the mix, and it takes a little longer to prepare. So I just get up a few minutes earlier. Yesterday at work, I didn't even bother to change my clothes. I didn't sweat on my ride in, and I was just hanging out in my cubicle all day (like usual).
I think a lot depends on your location. In the PNW, winter mornings regularly start in the high 20's. Thats tough to face at 5AM
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Old 12-28-12, 04:33 PM   #24
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Ha! The answer is because all my friends are here in C/A. I think if I posted this there it would be considered a troll . . .
That reminds me, I have to hop on over to LCF and stir up some sentiments

Just kidding. I reduced my commute a whole bunch this year going from 4000 miles pa to just 1000. Using the train instead of bike gave me the following advantages:

a. cheaper
b. faster
c. dryer
d. no need to shower or change clothes
e. i get to read a book which is hugely pleasurable

The irony is I too (like one other poster) bought a new CX bike specifically for bad weather commuting. But I know it's just a break for me while I explore what other kind of cycling I want to do. I want to build up to 6000 miles pa over the next 24 months. We'll see.

OP: good luck with your continued cycling!
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Old 12-28-12, 04:50 PM   #25
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I think a lot depends on your location. In the PNW, winter mornings regularly start in the high 20's. Thats tough to face at 5AM
Absolutely understandable. I know I'm spoiled here in Northern CA. Temps here very rarely get below freezing, and in the summer, the hot days are usually in the 90's. Rainfall around here is usually only about 14" annually, with ~90% of it falling between November and March. I take advantage of it as much as I possibly can.
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