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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 10-05-07, 09:50 AM   #1
bentnail
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Not worth it

This morning I was feeling good so I rode pretty hard into work and was a tired. Time 36:11
Yesterday I took it easy and enjoyed my ride into work. Time 38:30
So why hammer since there was very little difference
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Old 10-05-07, 09:54 AM   #2
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Well it's actually really good for health reasons to push yourself a little. Maybe hammer once or twice a week and recover on the other days? Just my .02.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bentnail View Post
This morning I was feeling good so I rode pretty hard into work and was a tired. Time 36:11
Yesterday I took it easy and enjoyed my ride into work. Time 38:30
So why hammer since there was very little difference
Enjoying the ride is what its all about for me, how can one enjoy a ride when their busy trying to beat yesterdays time? But if thats what its all about for whoever thats great too
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Old 10-05-07, 09:57 AM   #4
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this is what some people call "pacing yourself"
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Old 10-05-07, 09:59 AM   #5
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Hammer when you feel like hammering and ride normally when you feel like riding normally. Different rides oprovide different enjoyments.

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Old 10-05-07, 09:59 AM   #6
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I love getting my heart working, and trying to mark other riders - that makes it fun for me!
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Old 10-05-07, 10:12 AM   #7
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Easy commute - 32 min
Barely pushing it - 30 min
Gear jammin' - 27 min

I've got a fairly short commute. Some days I feel lazy (like the morning after I do an extra 15-20 miles on the stationary 'bent in the evening) and some days I see a taillight blinking waaaay up in the distance and start crankin' like a madman.
Is the 5 minutes I save really worth the effort it takes? Not even remotely, but I don't put the hammer down to save time; I do it to push myself and have fun. If I need the extra 5 minutes I'll leave the house earlier.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:23 AM   #8
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I hammer for fitness reasons, a few times a week, when I feel like it, or the headwind is really heavy It's sort of a personal time trial

But I realized, like you, a few years ago that the time savings are really negligible on my 7.5 mile commute between my cruising speed and my all out effort.

Although when I'm running late or whatever, it's always hammer time. I can't help it.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:30 AM   #9
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Nice and easy on the way in, hammer like a madman on the way home...
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Old 10-05-07, 10:33 AM   #10
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My "recovery" pace is about 12 MPH. If I'm really hurtin', I'll ride along nice and easy. This gets me to work in about 1h 10m plus stop lights.

My usual commute pace is closer to 16 MPH. It's enough to keep me sweaty, but I'm not hammering it. Rolling time of about 52 minutes.

If I'm all-out hammering, I exceed 19 MPH average, often staying above 30 MPH for almost all the flat parts of my commute. This gets me to work in 43 minutes.


So, the difference between hammering and my usual pace is almost 10 minutes. Some mornings, it's worth the effort for me (and pretty damned fun). The difference between a leisurely stroll on the bike to work and hammering is close to half an hour!
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Old 10-05-07, 10:37 AM   #11
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I've found the exact same thing.

If you were professionally racing that 2:19 difference could determine whether you continue to the next stage or not. On a commute...what's 2:19?

I do whatever my legs tell me. Some mornings I set out and the legs just want to spin easy, or they're feeling a little dull. Other mornings I intend to spin easy, and start out that way, but find myself sprinting for all I'm worth by the end.

Just enjoy the ride, however it works for you. +/- 2 minutes will work itself out later.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:57 AM   #12
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I spend my first 6mo. of cycle commuting hammering. My average speed increased >50% in the first year of riding. Now when I ride at that 50% increased speed at what feels like a very comfortable pace it leaves me energized, not tired.

In otherwords, the times you push yourself pay off in multiples down the road. Saving those 2min today with some discomfort will mean soon you will be saving 2min every day with total comfort.

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Old 10-05-07, 11:15 AM   #13
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I've really been struggling with this and when the commute is shorter then 10 miles it didnt' matter much at all overall and barely that much on longer commutes. Getting stuck at a light would make more of a difference. My commute has doubled and my wife is grumbling about it and doing all the wifey - we need to get your a car and you can't ride anymore I miss you I worry etc etc...

I started collecting data and using online calcs to estimate mild electric assist effects trying to chip away
MPH Round Trip Rolling Time
14 3:00 Really slacking off
14.5 2:54
15 2:48 Normal Pace
15.5 2:43
16 2:38
16.5 2:33 Serious effort but not racing
17 2:28
17.5 2:24
18 2:20 Electric assist territory
18.5 2:16
19 2:13
19.5 2:09
20 2:06

Even over a 42 mile round trip bumping it up just a little doesn't make that much difference. I'm really eyeng that electric assist territory though since I could do 5 days a week fast and still race on a few days and just not use the assist.

Last edited by evblazer; 10-05-07 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 10-05-07, 11:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
My "recovery" pace is about 12 MPH. If I'm really hurtin', I'll ride along nice and easy. This gets me to work in about 1h 10m plus stop lights.

My usual commute pace is closer to 16 MPH. It's enough to keep me sweaty, but I'm not hammering it. Rolling time of about 52 minutes.

If I'm all-out hammering, I exceed 19 MPH average, often staying above 30 MPH for almost all the flat parts of my commute. This gets me to work in 43 minutes.


So, the difference between hammering and my usual pace is almost 10 minutes. Some mornings, it's worth the effort for me (and pretty damned fun). The difference between a leisurely stroll on the bike to work and hammering is close to half an hour!
Your pace is almost exactly the same as mine but since I only travel a bit over 3 miles to work, the difference in time is negligable. Guess it all depends on what your goals are and how important those few extra minutes are to you?
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Old 10-05-07, 12:06 PM   #15
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Nice and easy on the way in, hammer like a madman on the way home...
+1
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Old 10-05-07, 12:56 PM   #16
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To me, it's not about the time. I just...can't...stand...going....slow. Don't know what it is. It's not a personal ego thing because I know I'm not exceptionally fast. I think I get bored if I'm just cruising. My biggest problem is that as I get better at biking, the definition of 'slow' has gotten progressively faster. At this point it drives me nuts to cruise at 15mph.

Between that and my short 6mi one-way commute, I usually push it pretty hard. But as a result, I'm usually dead on Friday after 5 days of hard riding and a long run mixed in for variety.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bentnail View Post
This morning I was feeling good so I rode pretty hard into work and was a tired. Time 36:11
Yesterday I took it easy and enjoyed my ride into work. Time 38:30
So why hammer since there was very little difference
I like hammering. Other than that... no reason.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:08 PM   #18
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Nice and easy on the way in, hammer like a madman on the way home...
Opposite for me, actually. I like to unwind after work. Need to kickstart the brain in the morning.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:12 PM   #19
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The biggest determinant of my commute is how many red lights I get caught at. I've had days when I took it easy and made better time than when I was hammering, simply because I got through the major intersection with green lights. I've got a 10-mile commute, and the difference in time between my fastest and slowest commutes is about 6 minutes.
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Old 10-05-07, 03:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Easy commute - 32 min
Barely pushing it - 30 min
Gear jammin' - 27 min

I've got a fairly short commute. Some days I feel lazy (like the morning after I do an extra 15-20 miles on the stationary 'bent in the evening) and some days I see a taillight blinking waaaay up in the distance and start crankin' like a madman.
Is the 5 minutes I save really worth the effort it takes? Not even remotely, but I don't put the hammer down to save time; I do it to push myself and have fun. If I need the extra 5 minutes I'll leave the house earlier.
Now... if the people in their CARS would just realize this applies just as much or even MORE to them....
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Old 10-05-07, 03:34 PM   #21
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A big part of why I commute is for my own personal health. If I just take it easy every day then I don't get as much out of it. Now, if I didn't have a 6 month old at home I would probably be less concerned with getting every ounce of a workout from my commute, but seeing as how I do have a 6 month old at home I need to really beat my legs up when I ride.

I don't do it every day...some days I chill and ride at a nice pace and enjoy the scenery.

It's just riding a bike, dude. I'm not out to set any world speed records. And hey, if you're just trying to get places then by all means there's no reason to hammer.
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Old 10-05-07, 03:35 PM   #22
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To me, it's not about the time. I just...can't...stand...going....slow.
+1
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Old 10-05-07, 04:06 PM   #23
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I like to hammer on when the wind is strong and at my back. It will make you feel like your really did some good. Otherwise, there really isn't that much time difference and I will just enjoy the ride.
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Old 10-05-07, 04:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Easy commute - 32 min
Barely pushing it - 30 min
Gear jammin' - 27 min

I've got a fairly short commute. Some days I feel lazy (like the morning after I do an extra 15-20 miles on the stationary 'bent in the evening) and some days I see a taillight blinking waaaay up in the distance and start crankin' like a madman.
Is the 5 minutes I save really worth the effort it takes? Not even remotely, but I don't put the hammer down to save time; I do it to push myself and have fun. If I need the extra 5 minutes I'll leave the house earlier.
Precisely my thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Underbridge View Post
To me, it's not about the time. I just...can't...stand...going....slow. Don't know what it is. It's not a personal ego thing because I know I'm not exceptionally fast. I think I get bored if I'm just cruising.
That's how i feel too. It may have to do with being on a wide road with cars flying past, both of which make me feel like i am going slow and i try to make it up. Bit that's only when i am feeling fast, otherwise i take it easy.
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Old 10-05-07, 05:47 PM   #25
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Your pace is almost exactly the same as mine but since I only travel a bit over 3 miles to work, the difference in time is negligable. Guess it all depends on what your goals are and how important those few extra minutes are to you?
I have to be at work any time before 9am but traffic starts to suck in Downtown KC as 7:00 approaches. If I get out the door late, the difference between Southwest Blvd north of 25th street at 6:30 and 6:40 is freaky. It's the difference between riding through a ghost town and running with the bulls.
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