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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 09-07-05, 03:26 PM   #1
Jarery
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Dumb Cyclist (me)

So....4 months ago i quit smoking after 30 yrs. Gained 5 lbs in the first hour, so bought a bike to burn off the weight, and get in shape, and keep me occupied so i didnt think about wanting a smoke.

Bought a trek 7200 fx. Cheap and sufficient for my needs.
Start riding the typical couple miles then longer, then longer.
Start to really enjoy it, buy a heart monitor, a cycling computer with cadence, rear rack, panniers, clipless shoes, pedals, etc. I like gadgets, and damn if biking doesnt have a lot of gadgets for me to buy and tinker with. My bikes close to 40 lbs now with all my crap and gadgets

After a couple months of building up, and exploring, i settle on a route i do every day when i get home from work. Takes me 90 min to 2 hrs or so. Cycle computer says im doing 20k at 13-14 kph average.

I read the forums, everyones talking about how they do 20-25k on their road bikes. I look at joining some group rides in the area. I search them out on the net and they all list their easy rides at 20k speeds.

Crap, im too slow. Cant keep up to even the granny group rides. Back to the pavement i go. Daily circuit up to 30k, average speed up to 16 kph. Im still too steeenking slow. Im 44, i smoked all my life, im outa shape by about 10 lbs so all that adds up. Thats why im so slow. I just need to train harder......

Im up to 35k a day, 5 days a week at 17kph avg. Im doing hill sprints some days. I live on a mtn, and my final mile home is a 20% grade. I go up and down he hill a few times once a week, i can now spin up, power up, throw the bike over my shoulder and run up if i want. I also have to climb it at the end of every ride i do....i love mtns

So last weekend, i decide to see how long it takes me to ride to work. I'll never commute...cause its too far and i would have to get up way to early to go that distance. I know my work is 25k away according to my car odometer, so i figure 2 hours to do my 30k, it should take me around 1:45 to get to work with all the hills i need to get over.

So on a sunny saturday i set off to work and back for my 'long' ride of the week.
An hour later im at my works front door.......wtf......i wasnt riding that fast !

So, i check my cycling computer. Its listing in kilometers, but apperently i input the wheel size in inches not cm so all the readings im getting are in miles not kilometes. Im not averaging 17 kph but 27 kph on my 40 lb hybrid, in the mountains. And im doing 56 k a night every night not 35.

So now i bike the 25 k to work every day and it feels like just a warmup
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Old 09-07-05, 05:43 PM   #2
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Congrats. I'm sure none of the rest of us have ever done anything dumb. Enjoy your commute!
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Old 09-07-05, 05:51 PM   #3
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If the only dumb thing you do on your commute is mis-set your cyclocomputer, count yourself lucky and enjoy your sudden improvement. Like the rest of us your list of dumb things will grow with the miles.
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Old 09-07-05, 06:05 PM   #4
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Wow. Congratulations on quitting smoking, and congratulations on picking up a habit as healthy as cycling, too!
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Old 09-07-05, 06:28 PM   #5
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Done a very similar thing myself......
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Old 09-07-05, 06:59 PM   #6
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Where're you from?

Did you send a probe to Mars by any chance?
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Old 09-07-05, 07:54 PM   #7
Jarery
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HAHA oh man i feel so much better knowing im not the only inch/cm conversion challenged person around

I even figured the only way im gonna get up to that magical 20k an hour was to get a road bike, that my hybrid was holding me back. So i now have a custom steel, sport touring bike on order im waiting for

And no im not canceling the road bike now that i know i've surpassed my speed goal
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Old 09-07-05, 10:03 PM   #8
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One day last week I was riding fast (for me), with a tailwind, and was amazed to see my average speed climbing steadily beyond what it ever had before, and quickly too! After about a minute of this wonderful delusion, I realized that the computer was set to trip time, and what I had thought was the 10ths digit of the average speed display was actually the seconds portion of the trip time! DUH!
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Old 09-07-05, 10:14 PM   #9
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The bicycling equivalent of Ender's Game, nice.
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Old 09-07-05, 10:39 PM   #10
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Nice work on the quiting smoking and your achievements on the bike. Congrats and keep it up
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Old 09-08-05, 07:00 AM   #11
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Don't you just love going from an over weight out of shape slow poke to fast cycling athlete in the blink of an eye. Great post I love it, and I'm really impressed. If you can do that on a 40lb hybrid imagine the speeds you could do on a light road bike.
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