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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-04-05, 02:08 AM   #1
mike
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A couple of months ago, I left my career at the corporation and started my own business. I am working out of my office in my house.

I hadn't thought of the fact that I would not be bicycle commuting across town anymore.

Now, I wake up, do the hygiene stuff, and "walk to the office" with my slippers on.

I sit and sit at my desk all day. After a couple of weeks, I didn't feel so good. I figured out that it was due to lack of daily physical activity. I used to bicycle about 40 minutes to work and then back every day.

So now, I have to get something like that back into my routine. I guess the cool thing is that I could bicycle around in the morning and pick a new destination each time.

It is more difficult to get the discipline to do that than you might think. When you work for yourself, work beckons you 24/7 - or at least it does for me, I guess because I am new at it, I haven't yet developed the work/life balance.

Anyway, I sure miss my bicycle commute. I used to bike even in the worst of weather and take some pride in that.

Oh well. Maybe I can pick a fictional "employer" each week and bicycle to that place and back in the mornings and afternoons.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:25 AM   #2
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If you are disciplined enough to be able to work from home, surely you are disciplined enough to make time to ride each day. What about a 'lunch hour' ride? You can't work 24-7. It is unhealthy, both mentally and physically - you are already feeling the physical decline of not riding. Is it worth it?
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Old 09-04-05, 06:50 AM   #3
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Mike,

A book which was invaluable to me when I was launching my own design studio is Getting Things Done, by David Allen. It helped me organize my life in a way where activity like cycling could be intergrated into the schedule without having work beckoning constantly. Do look it up, it's a fantastic system of organization.
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Old 09-04-05, 09:17 AM   #4
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I second the idea of putting aside time to ride. Surely you can get up a little earlier in the morning and do your ride then? Or if you're just not a morning person, take your noontime hour lunch. Or ride at the end of the day, when everything is done.

The best thing you can do is set your schedule and get yourself organized so you can figure out exactly how much time you have to ride and when you can do it.

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Old 09-04-05, 11:34 AM   #5
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It took me nearly two years of running my own business before I was able to even begin to develop some balance between work/non-work hours. I highly suggest trying to implement it sooner if you can. Do you have a laptop that is wifi capable? If so, bike in the mornings to a coffee shop with wifi and take care of your morning emails over a cup of coffee... Then bike back home and work in the office...
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Old 09-04-05, 01:23 PM   #6
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My husband has been self-employed for 30 years. It was a constant struggle for me to suggest/urge/nag him into taking time off to attend baseball games and band concerts as our four children were growing up. We took countless vacations without him when I realized that we wouldn't go at all if we waited for him to take the time off. He was consumed by his business and yes, money was always an issue but after awhile, you begin to realize that money will ALWAYS BE an issue. In the last few years, he has finally begun to relax a bit and recognize that his business will not fall apart if he takes some time off. In fact, he's more refreshed and ready to meet the challenges when he takes some time away.

I think Darren's suggestion is an excellent one! With cell phone and laptop, you're bound to be able to get some things done. Or maybe do some reading on websites related to your work to stay abreast of news, trends, products, etc. It's wonderful having your own business! Good luck and have fun!
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Old 09-04-05, 01:44 PM   #7
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What might be even harder is having to ride home to have to work! I know for me a good nap would be so hard to resist when my bed is beckoning me from the other room.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:37 PM   #8
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Nice try merton. But it's only a matter of time before mike figures out how much time he could save by riding his bike down the hall from his breakfast nook to his office every morning.

Or maybe he will go with the wifi and the cell phone and actually work as he rides -- the bike will be his office -- the ultimate commute!
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Old 09-04-05, 07:30 PM   #9
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Why not arrange lunch with some friends from the place you used to work. Not only will it give you a ride, but it will put some non-work related social interaction bak in your life.
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Old 09-05-05, 05:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunabayashi
Mike,

A book which was invaluable to me when I was launching my own design studio is Getting Things Done, by David Allen. It helped me organize my life in a way where activity like cycling could be intergrated into the schedule without having work beckoning constantly. Do look it up, it's a fantastic system of organization.
Thanks, bunabayashi. I will get a copy of the book you recommended. I am sure I could use some pointers on organization. When I look at the piles of paper on my desk, I am SURE I could use some pointes.
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Old 09-05-05, 05:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
I second the idea of putting aside time to ride. Surely you can get up a little earlier in the morning and do your ride then? Or if you're just not a morning person, take your noontime hour lunch. Or ride at the end of the day, when everything is done.

The best thing you can do is set your schedule and get yourself organized so you can figure out exactly how much time you have to ride and when you can do it.

Koffee
It is good to hear from you Koffee! Actually, I get up too early as it is - about 4:00 AM, but I go straight to work. So, I have to get that "have to work all the time" mentality out of my brain. I always worked a lot, but now that I work at home, it is constant. Somehow, though, I have to get a bike ride in every morning. Maybe I can bring the dog for a run while I bicycle beside him (he runs at 20 miles per hour, so it is a good ride)

Koffee, this might be a stupid question, but is the photo on your avatar a photo of you?

Mike
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Old 09-05-05, 05:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
Why not arrange lunch with some friends from the place you used to work. Not only will it give you a ride, but it will put some non-work related social interaction bak in your life.
Now THIS is a very good idea. That is another downside of working for yourself - you don't get as much face-to-face interaction. It is OK now, but I don't know how long I can live with that aspect.
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Old 09-05-05, 05:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren
It took me nearly two years of running my own business before I was able to even begin to develop some balance between work/non-work hours. I highly suggest trying to implement it sooner if you can. Do you have a laptop that is wifi capable? If so, bike in the mornings to a coffee shop with wifi and take care of your morning emails over a cup of coffee... Then bike back home and work in the office...
I like this idea. Sometimes I ride to church across town where they have morning mass. I suppose I could go to a library too. The idea of going someplace else to get some work done sounds sweet - and a freedom I didn't have before, so it didn't occur to me.
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Old 09-05-05, 11:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mike
I sit and sit at my desk all day. After a couple of weeks, I didn't feel so good. I figured out that it was due to lack of daily physical activity. I used to bicycle about 40 minutes to work and then back every day.
Welcome to the club! After two years of self-employment, I have developed a routine that works for me. First a note: my schedule has to be flexible, because I sometimes have an editor who wants me to call him "first thing at 9:00am", other times I am working an evening event and won't get home until 2:00am. (I'm a photographer). Here is what I do:

1- I have a clock that starts up with my computer, it displays PST - Pat Standard Time
So whatever time I do get up that day is automatically 8:00am "PST".
2- By 8:30 "PST" I am done breakfast and am having coffee. I then work until 11:00.
3- 11:00 - I alternate between weigh lifting one day, and a brisk 15km bike ride the next. One day off per week.
4- Shower and lunch at noon.

The afternoon and evening vary, I often take the afternoon off since I often work in the evenings. I also cycle to every shoot, meeting, for all errands, etc. This makes sure that, no matter what, I exercise almost every day and get out of the house at least every second day (but usually every day). I also found that, after a few months, I was trained to exercise 3 hours after waking up. At that time I feel a burst of energy, and have a hard time sitting still.

Every self-employed person knows its a challenge to balance personal time, work time, etc. I found that me routine helps. I also found that the idea of an 8-hour work block each day does NOT help, in fact I don't work well that way. I do much better with two or three 3-hour work blocks each day. There's nothing natural about locking yourself in an office from 9:00am to 5:00pm, so (deadlines and appointments allowing) I prefer a more organic approach.
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Old 11-17-06, 11:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patc
Welcome to the club! After two years of self-employment, I have developed a routine that works for me. First a note: my schedule has to be flexible, because I sometimes have an editor who wants me to call him "first thing at 9:00am", other times I am working an evening event and won't get home until 2:00am. (I'm a photographer). Here is what I do:

1- I have a clock that starts up with my computer, it displays PST - Pat Standard Time
So whatever time I do get up that day is automatically 8:00am "PST".
2- By 8:30 "PST" I am done breakfast and am having coffee. I then work until 11:00.
3- 11:00 - I alternate between weigh lifting one day, and a brisk 15km bike ride the next. One day off per week.
4- Shower and lunch at noon.

The afternoon and evening vary, I often take the afternoon off since I often work in the evenings. I also cycle to every shoot, meeting, for all errands, etc. This makes sure that, no matter what, I exercise almost every day and get out of the house at least every second day (but usually every day). I also found that, after a few months, I was trained to exercise 3 hours after waking up. At that time I feel a burst of energy, and have a hard time sitting still.

Every self-employed person knows its a challenge to balance personal time, work time, etc. I found that me routine helps. I also found that the idea of an 8-hour work block each day does NOT help, in fact I don't work well that way. I do much better with two or three 3-hour work blocks each day. There's nothing natural about locking yourself in an office from 9:00am to 5:00pm, so (deadlines and appointments allowing) I prefer a more organic approach.
I just reread your post, Pat, I am now 1.5 years into self employment. It is difficult to break away to excersize, but somehow, I have to do it. I have it on the schedule, but it often slips by.
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Old 11-18-06, 05:43 AM   #16
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Though not self-employed, my job does require me to work seven days a week. That's what's bad about being on salary. I try to do a split shift by working in the morning, taking the early afternoon off to do a workout and take care of personal business, then work some more in the late afternoon and evening. The nice part of my job is the flexible hours that let me disappear for a while when I feel like it. So, if I feel like going out for a bike ride, I go out for a bike ride.

Early afternoon is the best time, physically, to exercise. That is when your mental and physical energies are at their peak. In the early morning the blood sugar level is low and I find it harder to be motivated. If I wait until late afternoon or evening to exercise, I find I am too tired and likewise not as motivated. Early afternoon is perfect.
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Old 11-18-06, 07:54 AM   #17
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I've been self-employeed for five years now. I'm not sure what kind of line of work you are in, but have you ever considered the option of renting office space? Not sure what the market is like in your area, but you can usually find one or two room offices in managed buildings for pretty cheap (depending on your part of town), cheaper than you probably think.

Two benefits: you get to "force" yourself to commute again, and you have a physical seperation of your work and home. My wife LOVES that I no longer work from home because of the many reasons mentioned above. Since I did this I now I go TO WORK to do work, and GO HOME to be home . It's increased my productivity in the business AND kept my home life very happy and relatively work-stress free.
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Old 11-18-06, 10:50 AM   #18
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People have mentioned Getting Things Done. You can read a lot of what he has to offer, and buy other things at his website: http://www.davidco.com/
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Old 11-18-06, 10:58 AM   #19
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I've been self-employeed for five years now. I'm not sure what kind of line of work you are in, but have you ever considered the option of renting office space? Not sure what the market is like in your area, but you can usually find one or two room offices in managed buildings for pretty cheap (depending on your part of town), cheaper than you probably think.

Two benefits: you get to "force" yourself to commute again, and you have a physical seperation of your work and home. My wife LOVES that I no longer work from home because of the many reasons mentioned above. Since I did this I now I go TO WORK to do work, and GO HOME to be home . It's increased my productivity in the business AND kept my home life very happy and relatively work-stress free.
I do a sales focused marketing and consulting. Right now, I can't really justify the cost of renting space because I have a nice office in my house with meeting rooms and a big conference room for my partners when needed. Eventually I will move to an outside office. That will be after I don't have to work eight days a week, 24 hours a day. A lot of my work is international, so I work at night and odd hours. It sure is nice to be working at the home office with this kind of wierd time schedule.
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Old 11-18-06, 04:25 PM   #20
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+1 on David Allen's "Getting Things Done". As I was reading it, I was shaking my head thinking "Yeah, this is the sort of thing I always thought would work perfectly." Except I never moved past half-baked half-thoughts about some aspects of organizing - and Allen covers all bases methodically and thoroughly, developing a system that works for organizing everything in your life.
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Old 11-18-06, 05:25 PM   #21
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+1 on David Allen's "Getting Things Done". As I was reading it, I was shaking my head thinking "Yeah, this is the sort of thing I always thought would work perfectly." Except I never moved past half-baked half-thoughts about some aspects of organizing - and Allen covers all bases methodically and thoroughly, developing a system that works for organizing everything in your life.
Thanks, chephy. I will check out the book.
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Old 11-18-06, 05:42 PM   #22
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Mike, congratulations and good luck. Having done it for a period of years and now being back under anothers beck and call, I'm jealous.

Don't miss your commute. You know you don't have to take the direct route from bedroom to work room. Even more important I found was to take an evening ride home to de-stress and separate work and home life. Well, sometimes I walked the dogs, but you can also figure out a beauty route to commute regularly between work and home, even if you park your bike in the same place at both ends of the route.

Your body will thank you.

You may want to also start to include community work. It gets you out and provides a little variety. Business mixers are a good place for stress relief with like minded people. You can make friends and maybe get a little business over the years. I also helped out with the local Soap Box Derby and a service club named the 222 Club that helped out in a variety of ways from handing out water at 10K runs to doing security at posh functions. It makes business more fun.

Last edited by Artkansas; 11-18-06 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 11-18-06, 06:24 PM   #23
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Mike, congratulations and good luck. Having done it for a period of years and now being back under anothers beck and call, I'm jealous.

Don't miss your commute. You know you don't have to take the direct route from bedroom to work room. Even more important I found was to take an evening ride home to de-stress and separate work and home life. Well, sometimes I walked the dogs, but you can also figure out a beauty route to commute regularly between work and home, even if you park your bike in the same place at both ends of the route.

Your body will thank you.

You may want to also start to include community work. It gets you out and provides a little variety. Business mixers are a good place for stress relief with like minded people. You can make friends and maybe get a little business over the years. I also helped out with the local Soap Box Derby and a service club named the 222 Club that helped out in a variety of ways from handing out water at 10K runs to doing security at posh functions. It makes business more fun.
Thanks for the advice, Arkansas. Actually, I am very active in the community, so I sure do get out and see lots of people. I do miss the bike ride, though.

Say, Arkansas, why did you go back to "working for the man" after working for yourself? I have met quite a number of folks who started their own business and then went back to corporate world. After this experience, that seems like it would be very difficult to do.
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Old 11-18-06, 08:21 PM   #24
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I like the idea of riding with your computer to get breakfast first thing in the AM. One thing you really lose when you work at home is being around other people. Going out for breakfast helps even if you're not really interacting with anybody. It's also a good excuse to get out of the house and not make work the first thing you do before you even go to the bathroom.

Also, as someone who still works in an office more often than not, here's a plug for lunch: I can't tell you how much time I've wasted churning over some unsolvable problem that was solved almost instantly as soon as I took a walk down to get some lunch. You just have to get away sometimes to do your best thinking. If you don't take time for this you're doing your business, your customers and yourself a disservice.
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Old 11-19-06, 06:07 AM   #25
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You could try getting a used or new indoor excercise bike (I know it's not the same as riding outside) and modify it with a seat in the back wiht a headrest and just pedal lightly while working. I have thought of this before but never quite got around to doing something like that. It's like the same thinking of watching the tele but instead of sitting on you tush you're working the body.

Just an idea. Your milage may vary. BTW reflective strips are option. Tho I'm sure LED's would have a better effect inside


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