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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 07-28-06, 12:30 PM   #1
wmcmiii
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my first commute

The last time I seriously rode my back was when I was 15 or 16. Then 125-150 miles a day was do-able without dying. So, this last Wednesday I decided to start commuting by bike to work. Up until this week I had not ridden a bike in years, but I am in great shape for other activities.

My commute is about 8.5 miles each way. It's really really hot here (about 90-95 degrees aby 7:30am) so I was pretty sweaty by the time I got there, but 40 minutes of pedaling didn't leave me winded.

What it did do, is leave my butt really sore. So sore that for the 2nd, and 3rd day of my commute I could hardly sit down! I would pedal standing up, and then crouch down with my butt hardly touching the seat.

Is this a normal response to not being in a saddle much? Should I just grin and bear it until it gets better or is there something else i should do?

Thanks!
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Old 07-28-06, 12:41 PM   #2
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I cant say but there is allot of discussion about it I ride three diffrent bikes no problem (one of which I just got the other day) I must have a butt made out of iron or something
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Old 07-28-06, 12:46 PM   #3
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Welcome to the HHCMF!

Your butt will probably get better with time, or if it's a new saddle, it may need some breakin' in. If the saddle is broken in, and you're still sore after commuting a couple of weeks, you may want to invest in a better seat. I have recently increased my cycling miles, I'm getting the sore butt syndrome all over again. But with each km, i'm getting used to it, and I can ride longer before soreness starts coming in.
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Old 07-28-06, 12:58 PM   #4
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HHCMF?

Thanks for the welcome though! The bike seat is well broken in, but it is the cheap kind that came with the bike. I had a lot of irritation between my legs--not on the butt bones--so I'm buying cycling shorts and tilting the seat down to see if that helps. If it stays this bad I will have to give up the bike commute!
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Old 07-28-06, 01:02 PM   #5
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Congrats!! Your butt will become less sore the more you ride...you just have to keep riding to keep it from hurting.
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Old 07-28-06, 01:04 PM   #6
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Happy Healthy Commuting MoFos (or Males and Females)

Don't be threatening to quit bike commutin' already. Someone here will be able to offer some helpful advice if you state it in a clear & concise way. There are a lot of years of experience on these boards.
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Old 07-28-06, 01:22 PM   #7
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I've never had this problem, although my commute is a few miles shorter than yours. But I suspect it's probably a saddle problem. I've always used a padded one such as comes with hybrids. I bought a used mtn bike a few months ago that had a hard saddle and I just couldn't deal with it, so maybe that's your problem too. Ask someone at your Local Bike Shop (LBS), maybe they can show you a few options and make a recommendation.

Other than that: Congrats on getting started!
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Old 07-28-06, 01:30 PM   #8
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The bike shorts alone (given that you get a pair with ample padding) will probably work wonders. Surpisingly, most of us find that the more miles we ride, the LESS padding we prefer on our seats. I prefer just enough padding to keep my sit bones from getting bruised (about 1/4-1/2 inch and a leather cover). In a heavily padded seat, the seat has a tendency to become a gigantic leather and foam wedgie after a few miles. How much padding is on the seat right now? What type of cover does it have (leather versus plastic versus lycra)? Is there anything unique about your body that might be contributing to the problem?

By the way, don't worry too much about it now. Almost everyone has a sore hindy until they get some serious miles (a few hundred) in under their belts. Even then, I would not really consider riding further than 3-5 miles without my bike shorts. Others would argue that less than 10 miles is not worth changing, but my butt thanks me every day for taking the extra time.

Hang in there.
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Old 07-28-06, 01:48 PM   #9
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This is very normal - it will get better. You can try different seats - or just let your body adjust. Eventually you will toughen up.

if the problem persist - you might want to look at the seat.
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Old 07-28-06, 01:56 PM   #10
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I bike the same distance as you do to work, still using the saddle that came with the bike, and just regular old bike shorts (no padding). I'm not sore at all when I get to work, but I do make a habit of standing up as much as I can after I've stopped or what not (crossing intersections, etc). Mostly it's to stretch my legs, but I do feel it gives my rear a nice bit of rest
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Old 07-28-06, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcmiii
The last time I seriously rode my back was when I was 15 or 16. Then 125-150 miles a day was do-able without dying. So, this last Wednesday I decided to start commuting by bike to work. Up until this week I had not ridden a bike in years, but I am in great shape for other activities.

My commute is about 8.5 miles each way. It's really really hot here (about 90-95 degrees aby 7:30am) so I was pretty sweaty by the time I got there, but 40 minutes of pedaling didn't leave me winded.

What it did do, is leave my butt really sore. So sore that for the 2nd, and 3rd day of my commute I could hardly sit down! I would pedal standing up, and then crouch down with my butt hardly touching the seat.

Is this a normal response to not being in a saddle much? Should I just grin and bear it until it gets better or is there something else i should do?

Thanks!
It is very normal and you will get used to it. Don't give up yet!
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Old 07-28-06, 03:18 PM   #12
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BIKE SHORTS, BIKE SHORTS, BIKE SHORTS, BIKE SHORTS, BIKE SHORTS!

I ride 35 miles every day. I thought that I would never be chought in those bike shorts. But after it start to get hot and the chafting started. I got a pair of Ascent bike shorts and love them. I'll nevery go back.
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Old 07-28-06, 06:47 PM   #13
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Great! Sierra trading post had a few deals on bike shorts and i ordered two pairs middle of last week. Hopefully I will have them in time for my Tuesday commute! I don't have panniers or any kind of water proofing for my messenger bag yet (and it has looked rainy lately) so barring rain I will commute three days next week, and I'll see if my rear situation improves at all. (I have 12 hour days twice a week, so I choose not to commute on those days, mostly because i don't want to ride after dark)

Thanks for all the advice everybody! I look forward to being a contributing member of this forum! (instead of just a newbie)
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Old 07-28-06, 10:06 PM   #14
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If it rains, just wrap all of your stuff in a couple of plastic bags before putting it in the messenger bag. Don't forget any extra dry clothing to change into you might not already have stored at work, such as socks and undies. Riding in the rain can be a lot of fun, I just did on this afternoon's ride home!
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