Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    RustyTainte substructure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    28012
    My Bikes
    zilch
    Posts
    12,316
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Long distance commuters, I need some advice.

    I've been commuting to work a few times a week. The distance to work is 42.5 miles and relatively hilly (3 major climbs at least). I'm really trying to get up my strength for a full week of commutes to and from but since it's been cold, it seems that I'm struggling. My strength is zapped the next day - which never happened in the warmer months.

    Does this seem right?

    Right now I'm riding 3 - 4 times a week which includes a long ride with my local group (60+ miles).
    Like I said though, I never felt this way when it was warmer.

    How can I prepare for a full week which will be around 425 miles if I can't even do this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can barely hit 200 miles a week this time of year. Cold weather saps the strength right out of me. Everything is more difficult. My hope is that this winter will better prepare me for warmer weather. Anyhow, I have been resting more and eating more.
    Unfortunately, I can not think of any advise more than the obvious. Cold weather is simply tiring for me.

  3. #3
    RustyTainte substructure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    28012
    My Bikes
    zilch
    Posts
    12,316
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DataJunkie
    I can barely hit 200 miles a week this time of year. Cold weather saps the strength right out of me. Everything is more difficult. My hope is that this winter will better prepare me for warmer weather. Anyhow, I have been resting more and eating more.
    Unfortunately, I can not think of any advise more than the obvious. Cold weather is simply tiring for me.

    Thanks. I just needed confirmation.

  4. #4
    Shut Up and Ride MyPC8MyBrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    My Bikes
    Cannondale t-700 [commuter], Cannondale MT-800 [Tandem so the Lil Misses can keep up], GT I drive Team [My tricked out Racer MTB]
    Posts
    578
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can't say that I ride long distance, it's only about 6 miles each way. But I can say that it rides much slower when it's cold. I believe the body burns calories to keep warm and that detracts from available energy to power the bike. Also in the winter there are several extra pounds of cold weather gear along for the ride.

    Add the studded snows into the mix, and you are dropping 2 or 3 gears to cover the same ground.

    I just accept that winter is slow, and when spring gets here I'll be a super hero .. well maybe a hero anyways.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    northern California
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
    Posts
    5,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is training and there is over-training. When I have been faced with commutes like yours I try to got part way by public transit or use my truck and ride the rest. Is that an option for you? I keep hearing quality riding is needed for fitness more than plain bulk miles. I might also cut down on that big ride with your friends. Luck.
    This space open

  6. #6
    500 Watts kill.cactus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My Bikes
    Trek 7200 FX ('05), Trek 6000 ('07)
    Posts
    833
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by substructure
    I've been commuting to work a few times a week. The distance to work is 42.5 miles and relatively hilly (3 major climbs at least). I'm really trying to get up my strength for a full week of commutes to and from but since it's been cold, it seems that I'm struggling. My strength is zapped the next day - which never happened in the warmer months.

    Does this seem right?

    Right now I'm riding 3 - 4 times a week which includes a long ride with my local group (60+ miles).
    Like I said though, I never felt this way when it was warmer.

    How can I prepare for a full week which will be around 425 miles if I can't even do this?
    Exercising in the cold is just naturally more tiring b/c it requires your body to keep warm. This uses more energy and so you will be more tired. Yup... Sorry to say it - good luck with your long commute though

  7. #7
    we are 138 Philatio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    676
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    move closer to work. There's something to be said for long distance commuting - but I personally feel anything over 20 miles tops is just an unreasonable number to do every day there and back.

  8. #8
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,495
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by substructure
    I've been commuting to work a few times a week. The distance to work is 42.5 miles and relatively hilly (3 major climbs at least). I'm really trying to get up my strength for a full week of commutes to and from but since it's been cold, it seems that I'm struggling. My strength is zapped the next day - which never happened in the warmer months.

    Does this seem right?

    Right now I'm riding 3 - 4 times a week which includes a long ride with my local group (60+ miles).
    Like I said though, I never felt this way when it was warmer.

    How can I prepare for a full week which will be around 425 miles if I can't even do this?
    I could never ride 425 miles week after week, even in the warm weather. That being said, almost everyone who rides in the cold weather finds it more difficult. There are articles at Icebike.com about why this might be, but I am not fully satisfied with their explanations. Cold air is more dense, you have a larger aero profile cause of the cloths, you are often riding bigger tires - I guess it all adds up. I think the cold and dark just takes the will of out a guy as well.

    Plus, I have Xmas with the inlaws coming up. That would slow anyone down!
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

  9. #9
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,363
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to have a 45mi each way commute...with similar climbs. The time and effort involved were hard enough in the summer...but it kicked my butt in the winter. So once the weather got crappy I started driving 30 miles to a park-n-ride, then riding the remaining 15. My full commute today is only 25 each way, but with similar climbing involved, not to mention narrow rural roads with drivers doing 50+, so again, now that the weather has turned, I have begun driving part and riding part. Overall quality of life is a balancing act, you gotta do what is best for you, not what you think proves your pecker size to the likes of the rest of us.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    My Bikes
    Fuji Supreme
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with Chipcom -- try to balance the urge to ride with a sense of self preservation to save some energy and your health for warmer weather. As Mars pointed out Icebike.com has articles supporting several factors involved. I've found that both my morning and evening times are slower when the weather turns cold -- thus discounting the idea that it is the dark that slows me down. I am slower at night, but darkness is just an additional factor.

    So in the end no advice except learn to accept the inevitable and ride a reasonable amount without overdoing it.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  11. #11
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    NYC
    My Bikes
    Kona Jake, Scott CR1, Dahon SpeedPro
    Posts
    6,008
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Holy cow, you're aiming for 400+ miles per week? That's crazy stuff. My advice? Make sure eating and sleeping. And riding in warmer weather!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  12. #12
    Mmmmm potatoes idcruiserman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    1,921
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get more sleep and food. Not necessarily in that order.
    Idaho

  13. #13
    RustyTainte substructure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    28012
    My Bikes
    zilch
    Posts
    12,316
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I used to have a 45mi each way commute...with similar climbs. The time and effort involved were hard enough in the summer...but it kicked my butt in the winter. So once the weather got crappy I started driving 30 miles to a park-n-ride, then riding the remaining 15. My full commute today is only 25 each way, but with similar climbing involved, not to mention narrow rural roads with drivers doing 50+, so again, now that the weather has turned, I have begun driving part and riding part. Overall quality of life is a balancing act, you gotta do what is best for you, not what you think proves your pecker size to the likes of the rest of us.
    Well, my pecker is quite small. No matter how much I try and prove otherwise it ain't gonna help.

    Anyways, I only intend to do the 423 miles once in the spring. The rest of the time I'm going to only commute 2-3 times a week tops. I was mainly concerned because, heck, if I canít do a couple times a week now there's no way in Hades I'm going to get a full week in later.

    But, I like you drive and ride idea. I'm actually thinking of cutting out 15 miles by parking where my mother works.

  14. #14
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Essex, MD
    My Bikes
    Ridley X-Fire (carbon, white)
    Posts
    5,174
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by substructure
    Well, my pecker is quite small. No matter how much I try and prove otherwise it ain't gonna help.
    Lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by substructure
    Anyways, I only intend to do the 423 miles once in the spring. The rest of the time I'm going to only commute 2-3 times a week tops. I was mainly concerned because, heck, if I canít do a couple times a week now there's no way in Hades I'm going to get a full week in later.
    Just because you find it difficult, now, doesn't mean that your body won't adapt over time (unless you are one of those unfortunate beings that doesn't seem to adapt and just breaks down). If you keep at it, but rest once in awhile, you should get stronger.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  15. #15
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    My Bikes
    2 many
    Posts
    13,774
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As everyone says the cold makes it a lot more work. Ride slower if you need too when you are running out of steam.

    Next fall do some 100 mile rides on the weekends before the cold. Take time off when needed during the week after the 100 mile weekend ride. It takes two days to recover 100% from an all out effort. Riding a century and taking two days off afterwards will make 45 miles a lot easier in a couple of months.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Heck, I rode into the light rail this morning all of 14 miles with an average of 13.5 miles an hr and was working my arse off. In summer my average was more like 17 mph with panniers. Now I have narrower tires and a rack trunk. The cold weather is kicking my rear. Anyhow, now that my family has joined a rec center I am seriously tempted to start using the light rail each way to reduce my mileage down to 30 miles each day in Jan-March. Then make up the lost exercise at the rec center. Strangely enough I have found that I do not mind working out indoors anymore. Oh the temptation!

  17. #17
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    My Bikes
    several
    Posts
    4,270
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My longest commute has been 34 miles each way which included several small and one big climb. Yes, it was tougher in winter but I think that was as much psychological as physical since it was in darkness both ways.

    I think that if you commit to ramping up over time to full time commuting you can do it. The human body can endure and adapt to more than what we give ourselves credit for, it just requires commitment and sensible planning. Remember that you're expecting the performance of an athlete from your body therefore you should plan your nutrition and rest accordingly, eat well, eat often, get as much sleep as your body asks of you, and you will improve. I would suggest that you forget about weekend rides untill you have fully adapted to the milage.

    Don't skimp on equipment, the ride is long enough without prolonging it with equipment failure. Think about efficiency when looking at equipment. Critically analyse everything as you go and you'll refine your setup, which in turn will make your commute more enjoyable.

    ...and ofcourse join us in the "very long/extreme commute club" threads and share the pain, we love to know that we're not alone in our crazy endeavour.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •