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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 09-22-06, 09:18 AM   #1
Bike-a-Boo
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Big Hill / Little Hill

What would you commuting experts out there consider to be the more sensible route:

1. Start the ride home with one steep, relatively short hill, followed by mostly flat the rest of the way home.
2. A long, gradual climb almost the entire distance home, with a short stretch of flat at the end.

I guess the big hill will help me build strength, while the gradual incline helps endurance?

I suppose I could just alternate...
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Old 09-22-06, 09:20 AM   #2
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Ride both and alternate. Definitely have clips & straps or clipless pedals to help you out. You got it right about building strength and endurance. Develop a good spin, pulling back and up on the pedal strokes to make it easier.
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Old 09-22-06, 09:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jyossarian
Ride both and alternate. Definitely have clips & straps or clipless pedals to help you out. You got it right about building strength and endurance. Develop a good spin, pulling back and up on the pedal strokes to make it easier.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:15 AM   #4
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I've noticed I'm definitely not warmed up until at least a mile or two into my commute. So I wouldn't want the steep hill early... lemme get warmed up first.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:20 AM   #5
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I prefer to go downhill both ways.

When that is possible, I want the hills later rather than earlier. Varying the route is good too.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:46 AM   #6
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Round trip. Take one route to work/school and the other route home. I'd mostly avoid the big climb at the start of a ride if practical. Traffic patterns might affect my decision too. Most of my route selection decisions are based on avoiding altercations with cars.
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Old 09-22-06, 04:44 PM   #7
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Luckily I just have to ride down Plains road.
Depends on the traffic - do you have to go up Guelph/Brant/Appleby or are there smaller side roads you can use? Going up a steeper hill with a lot of traffic wouldn't be my first choice.

Also, because I work in a warehouse, it depends on how my day went. Sometimes I take a longer ride because I feel good, other times I just go straight home because I'm done in.
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Old 09-22-06, 04:57 PM   #8
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Personally, I like option #1 better. But why not try both and decide what you like?
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Old 09-22-06, 06:28 PM   #9
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In the winter i HATE strarting with a downhill, freeze for 5 min till i get to my first uphill. It do both as others stated. On cold days, id go up the steep one so im warm immediatly
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Old 09-22-06, 07:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caspar_s
Luckily I just have to ride down Plains road.
Depends on the traffic - do you have to go up Guelph/Brant/Appleby or are there smaller side roads you can use? Going up a steeper hill with a lot of traffic wouldn't be my first choice.

Also, because I work in a warehouse, it depends on how my day went. Sometimes I take a longer ride because I feel good, other times I just go straight home because I'm done in.
I can either go up Brant from North Service Road to Upper Middle, or I can take the bike path that starts near Brant/Upper Middle and ends at Guelph Line and Upper Middle.

Sounds like you live and work south of the highway. I only wish!
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Old 09-22-06, 07:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarery
In the winter i HATE strarting with a downhill, freeze for 5 min till i get to my first uphill. It do both as others stated. On cold days, id go up the steep one so im warm immediatly
+1

I start my ride with a .3 mile decent... brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
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Old 09-22-06, 09:49 PM   #12
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Alternate. However, there's something to be said for routine. On the way I ride to and from work 90% of the time I know the terrain, lights, traffic patterns, and road surfaces extremely well. I think this makes me more attuned to changes in the route. Having said that, variety is the spice of life...
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Old 09-22-06, 10:01 PM   #13
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I would prefer the first option, I think. I don't like hills, so I'd rather just get it over with and enjoy the rest of the ride. But I'd take the other route occasionally, just for variety. I get bored with one route. This summer I had about 4 major variations of route to/from work, and god knows how many minor ones. Of course, that's not always possible, especially in the more rural area where there isn't a whole lotta roads.
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