First "half" commute
Believe it or not, it's not the gas prices that got me to commute, but the benefit of fitness. In March, I was completely unfit doing nothing in the form of exercise. I wasn't really overweight (well, maybe 10 lbs), but decided to do something about it. Fast foward to 8/28 and I completed my first sprint distance triathlon of which most of my bike training was on a stationary. Even though I hated it, I didn't want to mess up my routine, so I decided to put of my commute until after the triathlon. Also, at some time while doing the stationary bike, I found a 1987 Schwinn Tempo with full 105 components from a co-worker for $40. This was my first road bike and it just flies compared to my mtn bike I used to ride all over when I was in college (12-16 years ago).
My commute is 14 mi each way. Rather than going both ways, I decided that I would drive my car to work with my bike and ride home. Then vise versa the next day.
Yesterday was my ride home. I can now say that I did not ride in today (lucky for me I have a "hobby" car). The ride home was a killer. It completely exhausted me. Perhaps I went too hard as I ended up averaging 14.5 mph including the time spent at traffic lights (averaged 17.2 mph in my 14mi no-stop triathlon ride). I have now made the decision that I'll make 2 commutes per week (Tue & Thur) until I can easily manage the commute, then I'll bump it up to 4 days.
On the bright side, the ride was very pleasant and traffic was not a problem at all. I decided on a route that puts me about 50% in neighborhoods, 10% on realatively low traffic multi-lane divided roads, and 40% on two lane (no shoulder) low-traffic roads. Overall, it adds about 2 miles to the shortest distance which is all moderate to heavy traffic on multi-lane divided roads.
Good for you! Triathlon athletes always inspired somewhat of an awe in me... I'd never be able to do something like that. Especially the running part...
Congrats on your commute! Looks like you picked a nice route and I am sure it'll get easier once you are used to it and learn to pace yourself on your commute. :)
remember... the commute does not have to be a race. LEave a few minutes earlier and take your time on some mornings. Any time spent on a bike is quality time, and 50-60 minutes of even moderate cycling puts you in the 'zone' for quality exercise.
I have to practice on that "it's not a race" part. Prior to this commute, I had exactly 3 rides on the road, mainly to test out parts of the commute. In all three, I went hard and found that I had to really work to slow down to maintain a reasonable pace.
I wore a HRM on my commute home and my aveHR was 173 with about 50% over 180 (and my running maxHR is 202). Obviously, I was pushing too hard.