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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 09-19-06, 10:54 AM   #1
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2 ? tape and ok to take days off

I have been really inspired by the VLCC, my commute is about 21.5 or more each way. The problem I am having is I am really tired. I guess I just want some people to say suck it up or hey it's ok to take days off. My real problem is my 2nd job twice a week. So I am getting up at 4 AM to be at work by 7 and ready to work by 7:30. I am only getting 4-5 hours of sleep/night. I much prefer how I feel when I bike.

Now an actually useful ?.

After an incident with a vehicle I have started wearing a safety vest and am also lookinf for reflective tape. I am looking for quality and good price so suggest away. One website said silver is brightest so should I use it and not worry about how it makes the bike look ( pretty ok with me) Alo input on where to apply the tape is just fine with me. If I apply it on my rims will it mess up my breaking?

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Old 09-19-06, 11:06 AM   #2
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Feel free to take days off. Catch the bus, walk, get a lift, drive the car. Let yourself rest and recover. In bike training philosophies, there is sound advice that rest is as important as the training itself. I've always believed the same applies to commuting. You can get stale and tired, especially if you pump out the distances at any sort of pace over the same route.

Silver is the better reflector. Don't apply the tape to the braking surfaces of the rim, but cut short strips and apply them to the inside of the rim between the spokes. Hardware shops have good tape and reflectors, usually where the postboxes hang out.

Also, invest in a pair of ankle bands to go with the vest. On vests, too... have you had someone wear it so you can stand behind it and shine car lights on it. You would be surprised how INEFFECTIVE some vests can be, especially those with plastic-laminated yellow reflective strips. Also, ensure you cinch the flaps of the vest down -- they have an uncanny knack of flapping up over the reflective strips at speeds above 15km/h.

I have ridden behind enough randonneurs at night to know these things.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:07 AM   #3
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You need sleep. Get more sleep somehow. My 45 mile RT commute is unbearable without sleep.
Personally, I would not ride the day after my second job, if I had one.

I use 3m reflective tape found at auto part stores for $4 a yard.
Do not put it on your rim since your brakes will take issue with that. You can always purchase tires with reflective sidewalls.
I have my tape on the back of my rack, both of my fenders, my fork, crosstube, and cranks. I'm sure there area few more places I can put it if I try.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:10 AM   #4
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Don't apply tape to your rim's breaking surface. That's a bad idea that might get you seriously injured. If you are unsure of what constitutes your rim's braking surface - don't apply tape to your rims at all.

As far as ok to take days off - yea, your body needs recovery time. Every training regimen includes rest days for a reason.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:12 AM   #5
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Do you need to rest? Good Lord! I need to rest just reading about the VLCC.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:40 AM   #6
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Do take days off if you need them. Listen to you body. If it says "not today budy" Then stay off the bike that day. But don't start using it all the time for a reason not to ride.

When I was doing a 35 mile commute. I did over do it back in June and had to slow down a bit.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:52 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I just hate driving but yeah I guess I needed to drive tiday.. Yesterday was a 23-31 mph headwind for all but 5 miles and my ribs are still sore/healing from my crash.

I just feel like such a wimpp compared to Cig.

I will check out te hardware store for tape thanks.
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Old 09-19-06, 12:21 PM   #8
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If you're new to cycling, it's usually better to take a day off than to take a recovery ride. As you get better, then you can go every day and on the days you'd used to take off, you just slow the pace and take it nice and easy.

Also, you need more sleep. It's one thing to get 4-5 hours and take it easy, but when you throw in exercise you really need those extra few hours to keep functioning.
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Old 09-19-06, 01:05 PM   #9
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I get up at 4 to be at work by 6.

I find that if I push too hard to many days in a row, I get progressively slower.

Yes, it's okay to take days off. I check the weather forecast every morning. If there's a high prediction of rain I take the day off and drive to work. Rain in this area (the lightning capitol of the world) means lightning at some point during the day. I don't like doing it this way because we've been having so much rain lately, but it beats having a shocking and probably revolting experience.

I also think you need to get more sleep. We get up at the same time, but I'm usually in bed by 8:30, 9 at the latest.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 09-19-06 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 09-19-06, 01:46 PM   #10
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I can't really add anything to the above, since everyone agrees on the need for rest and suitable recovery time after a lot of riding. The best advice is to listen to your body. You will know when you are sloughing off versus doing reasonable recovery. Remember you want to keep it fun -- you don't want to turn commuting into a death ride.

As for reflectors I've also seen people apply reflective tape to strategic areas of the frame so that a bike outline appears under the lights. I think some of the refelctive strategies are as much matters of style as they are of actual visibility.
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Old 09-19-06, 02:26 PM   #11
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Heck, I noticed after a particular obnoxious rant of mine that I tend to get really exhausted by Thursday. Tomorrow I switch to a mixed mode commute to relax a bit. My plan is to do this on Wed to see if I can get through the week without turning into an annoying prick.
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Old 09-20-06, 07:36 AM   #12
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Absolutely take days off. Listen to Cig. When your body says "no" take a rest day. Just don't make that every day

I find, for my 14 mile x 2 commute, 3 days in a row is the most I want to do. Or 4 out of 5 commutes. Plus one weekend day, with my wife (which is typically a long slow recovery ride). If I could squash the competitive instinct in me, I could do recovery rides on my "day off" and probably ride more... But I can't, and always end up overtired.

So I ride M/T, Wed is car commute (and bring clothes to work), ride R/F. It works great.
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Old 09-20-06, 12:56 PM   #13
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Every color tape you could want. On my commuters,I put a strip on the left chain stay,both seat stays,and on each fork.

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Old 09-20-06, 01:38 PM   #14
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here's a tip:
apply black electrical tape to your frame first, then put the reflective tape over it
that way, it is easier to remove when you need to replace it in the future
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