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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 02-09-06, 08:47 PM   #1
Jarery
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Darkness and cadence

So.....last summer when i started commuting I had a typical flat road cadence of 80-90. It wasnt anything I worried too much about, i wasnt pushing low gears at 60 so I figured my knees would be fine at 85 avg.

Then winter hits, and its dark !
Dark in the morning, dark in the evening. Im spending 2 hours a day in the saddle in the dark. My cyclo computer has no backlight so it just kinda comes along on my rides, hidden but keeping track of my milage for me

So this week, the rain stops, the skys part, and on my way home, there is this orb in the sky. I can actually read my cyclo computer. So i hit a few buttons and theres my cadence at 100-105 going down the same flat road. I wasnt even aware my normal cadence was faster, it feels the same mentaly.

Apperently darkness was good for me ! Just one of those odd things I thought given all the time we get to actually think commuting
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Old 02-09-06, 09:01 PM   #2
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Did the improvement in cadence equal a corresponding drop in commuting time?
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Old 02-09-06, 09:07 PM   #3
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Did the improvement in cadence equal a corresponding drop in commuting time?
Hrm, im about 8 min faster over all, used to be 65 min, now at about 56 min or so average. But i attributed that to just better fitness overall, weight loss, better on climbs. Since it was something i wasnt monitoring or mentaly aware of, it just sorta surprised me to see I had such a high cadence now.
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Old 02-09-06, 09:28 PM   #4
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It's all interconnected. Better fitness = higher prolonged cadence = higher speed = lower commuting time. Wait til summer when you drop all the winter clothing weight and you gain another 1-2 mph.
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Old 02-09-06, 09:33 PM   #5
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If you have a powerfull headlight, just hold a light colored waterbottle in the top of the beam and you can see your computer just fine. Try it with you hand too when you have on just cycling gloves.

Sounds like you might be better off without looking.
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Old 02-09-06, 10:10 PM   #6
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Sounds like you might be better off without looking.
Im thinking the same thing, tomorrow i'm going to wear a blindfold and see if my time is faster
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Old 02-09-06, 10:43 PM   #7
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My time is faster than when I started 20 years ago. If my body hadn't aged, I think I could be quite a rider.
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Old 02-10-06, 09:55 AM   #8
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Im thinking the same thing, tomorrow i'm going to wear a blindfold and see if my time is faster


I'll call 911 !!
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Old 02-10-06, 12:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jarery
Im thinking the same thing, tomorrow i'm going to wear a blindfold and see if my time is faster
Living in an area with many hills, I've noticed that if it is dark and I can't see the end of the hill, it seems easier. This observation makes me think that sometimes your bigest enemy is your own brain. Just spin and be happy.
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Old 02-14-06, 08:10 AM   #10
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Old 02-14-06, 10:25 AM   #11
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I've recently added a helmet light to my array of commuting lights (for a total combined wattage of 75W!). Anyway, since adding the helmet light, I'm able to see my computer quite well with a slight glance downward...Still, I'm looking forward to actually seeing the sun again soon

I'll add that I have also seen an increase in my cadence to from 80s to just over 100 during the past few months. I'm wondering...should the increase in cadence be offset by using a lower gear in order to get back to my 80s, or should I continue to spin at this higher cadence with the same gears?
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Old 02-14-06, 11:02 AM   #12
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I can see in the dark with a helmet light as well, but the helmet light doesn't work well in the winter when I need a helmet cover to keep my noggin warm.

I pretty much decided I don't need to see the computer anyway. I only use it as a curiosity to keep track of my mileage for the month/year, and the temperature. If it broke at this point I might not even replace it.
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Old 02-14-06, 11:25 AM   #13
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I pretty much decided I don't need to see the computer anyway. I only use it as a curiosity to keep track of my mileage for the month/year, and the temperature. If it broke at this point I might not even replace it.
I'm the same, its there recording my total milage for me and thats about it. When its dark I dont care about seeing it.

I just found it very odd that during the sumer when I can see my cadence, it remains constant, then when I cant see it, it raises. was just one of those odd observations
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Old 02-14-06, 12:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wmgardner
I'll add that I have also seen an increase in my cadence to from 80s to just over 100 during the past few months. I'm wondering...should the increase in cadence be offset by using a lower gear in order to get back to my 80s, or should I continue to spin at this higher cadence with the same gears?
I would take advantage of being able to spin at a higher cadence. I have never heard anyone argue that if you are spinning comfortably at any cadence, that you should change gears to aim for lower cadence. If you feel uncomfortable when doing the high RPM, then move to a higher gear, not lower. However, I suspect that you would have done that already if you felt uncomfortable at your higher cadence. Since it seems to be a comfortable cadence for you, enjoy it.
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