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  1. #1
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    I'm Slow But I'm Getting There

    Just wanted to post my happy news. I had a goal of completing my 13.7 mile commute to work in under 90 minutes and I made it!

    I know that's slow as molasses to many of you but it's a big deal to me so yay!!


  2. #2
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Congrats. Consider that most people in The Netherlands and throughout Europe only average about 10 or 12 mph (as do I unless I'm doing a training ride on a road bike) so you're right in there. Enjoy the ride, there's no reason to rush.
    "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." - ATL Urbanist

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    Thanks, CrankyOne, I will!


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    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    That's great @bikesd! I never make speed my goal on a commute. I like to take my time to enjoy the view and avoid sweating like crazy on the way to work. You might find that you get faster over time without even trying, but I don't see any reason to make that a goal unless you are using your commute as a training ride.

  5. #5
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    said the snail to the turtle, that simply responded with a sympathetic nod.

  6. #6
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Congrats! As I tell myself.... slow is better than no. Keep cycling and you'll see improvement with time. Even if it's just that you don't feel like your a$$ got kicked from the ride!
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  7. #7
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    Its not a race, and take some of the bravado with a grain of salt. The only respectable pace is the one you're comfortable with.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CrankyOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
    Its not a race, and take some of the bravado with a grain of salt. The only respectable pace is the one you're comfortable with.
    There was a great story a guy told me about when he started working for a company a few miles from home and starting riding his bike. He got faster and faster and one day made some half joking snide comment to this one slow plodding rider he passed every day. Later in the morning he was summoned to the CEO's office. The CEO told him that he was impressed with how fast he could ride but didn't appreciate the comment and suggested that he slow down and spend the commute thinking about ways to improve the company or the community he lived in or simply enjoying the ride.

    He said he felt somewhat chastised and somewhat angry at who does this lazy larda** think he is. Then on second thought he realized that this guy was pretty successful so couldn't be too much of larda**. He googled him only to find out that he had a long string of top 10 Tri finishes. So much for the lard.

    That was a couple of years before he told me the story and said that ever since he'd slowed down on his commute and found he enjoyed it much more.
    "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." - ATL Urbanist

  9. #9
    Senior Member intransit1217's Avatar
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    Speed is good, speed is fun but slow and steady gets the job done. And improves health just as well. Enjoy your goals. Have several of them !
    Bikeforums: Not just for bikes any more.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
    Enjoy the ride, there's no reason to rush.
    I enjoy my bike trips more at 20+ mph. YMMV.
    "I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like women! like men! like human beings!" -E. Abbey

  11. #11
    just ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesd View Post
    Just wanted to post my happy news. I had a goal of completing my 13.7 mile commute to work in under 90 minutes and I made it!

    I know that's slow as molasses to many of you but it's a big deal to me so yay!!

    On a bicycle, the journey is the destination - no need to hurry and end it.

  12. #12
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    Congratulations on achieving your goal.

    Severity of injury in a crash or fall directly relates to speed of travel. So going slower reduces your injury should you fall. The worst injuries I have sustained while riding have all been while traveling above 15 mph. Slower speed also gives you more time to react and possibly prevent the fall in the first place. From a safety point of view, slower speed has advantages.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubbagrannygear View Post
    On a bicycle, the journey is the destination - no need to hurry and end it.
    Fixed it for you:

    On a bicycle, the destination is the destination - no need to dawdle and prolong it.

    We all have different reasons for cycling and we all enjoy different aspects of cycling. I personally am interested in cycling for transportation (or "it hurts good" exercise). In fact, for me the real joy of cycling is getting to point B quickly so I almost always plan my leisure rides around shopping or destinations rather than just riding for enjoyment.

    PS: For trips under ten miles I pretty much always get to point B faster than by car. For trips under 15 miles it's typically very close depending on traffic.
    "I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like women! like men! like human beings!" -E. Abbey

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragoonO1 View Post
    Congratulations on achieving your goal.

    Severity of injury in a crash or fall directly relates to speed of travel. So going slower reduces your injury should you fall. The worst injuries I have sustained while riding have all been while traveling above 15 mph. Slower speed also gives you more time to react and possibly prevent the fall in the first place. From a safety point of view, slower speed has advantages.
    FUD.

    I've crayoned pavement with my body at 25+ mph more times than I can remember. In every case, these crashes had no impact on my bike commuting. (Sliding at speed can be less risky than falling over and smacking your head.)
    "I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like women! like men! like human beings!" -E. Abbey

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    FUD.

    I've crayoned pavement with my body at 25+ mph more times than I can remember. In every case, these crashes had no impact on my bike commuting. (Sliding at speed can be less risky than falling over and smacking your head.)
    I googled it for you.

    Speed and injury severity

  16. #16
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    Great stuff. i had a 13 mile each way commute and at 1st i went slow just to enjoy the ride. after a while of taking the same route tho you will get bored with it and need new motivation like "Let me see how fast i can do it" keep working on your stamina and speed . you may wake up late one day and need to get there faster . for me i got it down to 30 mins going and my fastest time coming home was 20 Mins ( late at night, little traffic, timing and catching a lot of green lights with a lot of the ride going down hill . the ride there of course then had more uphill and took longer. but i was about 70-90 mins my self at the beginning ...

    one night a few of my coworkers wanted to go out to eat after work . the place was closer to where i lived in Queens, they wanted to take a cab from midtown cause the trains were messed up at the time. I made a bet with them i could beat them there on my bike, if i did they would pay for my food , if i lost i would pay for one of their food ... Guess who ate for free that night ... lol ...

    my commute now is about 3 miles, nothing. i can walk it really, but i get to work in 5 mins .. good when i wake up late .. google maps estimates 13 mins for ride .

  17. #17
    Member willhenry's Avatar
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    Slow is smart. Why show up to work drenched in sweat?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragoonO1 View Post
    I googled it for you.

    Speed and injury severity
    I'll help you out too:

    Let me google that for you.

    PS: It's not collision -- it's still slide and roll to me.
    "I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like women! like men! like human beings!" -E. Abbey

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhenry View Post
    Slow is smart. Why show up to work drenched in sweat?
    Why is there this need to judge people who do not ride slowly? I enjoy speed tremendously but I've never once said that "fast" is smart, better, or the proper way to city bike (as they do in denmark, the netherlands etc). Speed is an aesthetic/personal preference...and it's also utilitarian.
    "I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like women! like men! like human beings!" -E. Abbey

  20. #20
    Member willhenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Why is there this need to judge people who do not ride slowly? I enjoy speed tremendously but I've never once said that "fast" is smart, better, or the proper way to city bike (as they do in denmark, the netherlands etc). Speed is an aesthetic/personal preference...and it's also utilitarian.
    No judgement implied! Just being supportive of the OP and making the observation that riding fast can mean arriving at work sweaty. Ride how you like!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhenry View Post
    No judgement implied! Just being supportive of the OP and making the observation that riding fast can mean arriving at work sweaty. Ride how you like!
    Cool. I appreciate slowish cyclists more than fast cyclists because...there are more of them.
    "I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like women! like men! like human beings!" -E. Abbey

  22. #22
    just ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by DjFantom View Post
    Great stuff. I had a 13 mile each way commute .......and i got it down to 30 mins going and my fastest time coming home was 20 Mins
    You must be commuting to your job as mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper. Unless I'm missing something, 13 miles in 20 minutes means you averaged 39MPH.

  23. #23
    contiuniously variable TransitBiker's Avatar
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    9 mph average speed is pretty good in my book. Mine is only about 13 or so depending on the trip. My bike is happiest on flat around 20 mph so you're doing fine.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubbagrannygear View Post
    You must be commuting to your job as mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper. Unless I'm missing something, 13 miles in 20 minutes means you averaged 39MPH.
    i dont know how that math works out . all i know is my fastest time home was about 20 minutes . straight trek over the 59th st bridge and straight down queens blvd, going mostly downhill, catching a bunch of green lights, and maybe running a couple reds i'll admit.. that wasnt my run everytime... but that 1 time i made it home in roughly 20 mins .

  25. #25
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    If you want to get faster, you can. But you don't have to, unless you want to. I think 90 minutes can be fine for that distance. It's not as slow as molasses. The best thing about it is that you're doing it.
    I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter. --Blaise Pascal

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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