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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 12-09-07, 09:59 PM   #1
macteacher
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I'm feeling sick.... do you commute if your under the weather?

So since Saturday i've had for the most part a dry cough. Every here and there I start coughing like i'm about to hack my lungs out....phlegm the whole 9 yards....then it goes back to a dry stale cough...and i feel weak all around. I'm thinking i might just drive in tomorrow so I don't make a bad situation worse.

Do any of you commute if your sick? How 'sick' do you have to be to decide to drive or take the bus?
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Old 12-09-07, 10:03 PM   #2
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Too sick to ride? Too sick to work. I take my bike to the bus this time of year. But really, don't get your peers (and students?) sick.
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Old 12-09-07, 11:30 PM   #3
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I often work when I shouldn't because I have limited time to take. There are certainly days I don't bike when I'm this sick. Actually, two weeks ago I was still sick after turkey day weekend and I got back on the bike. It made it way worse and I ended up having to miss a day, and then take two more off of commuting to recover. So, I wish I had driven, but I thought I was over it.

I think you can tell...if you can't then it's best to play it safe.
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Old 12-10-07, 12:02 AM   #4
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I'm a little different from climb... I have 10 sick days a year. But if I take one, my class drives in and pays parking to find that their class is cancelled. I can drive in and suffer through class.

I drove in sick on Tuesday last week. I would have called in sick in a normal job. I won't commute if I feel like that!

Don't know if this helps or not... LOL
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Old 12-10-07, 01:29 AM   #5
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This is one of the things that sucks about living car free. For me, biking when I am sick either helps me sweat it out and clears the phlegm out of my lungs, or it wears out my already taxed body and prolongs whatever sickness I have.

I am just finally over a nasty flu. I would have liked to pull the "too sick to bike, too sick to work" card but I am a student finishing my last quarter of college and its finals next week, so I had to suck it up and ride to school, even though i felt like ****. I had to ride home in the rain one of the days I was sick, that was terrible even though I was prepared. I had an ugly fever that night and threw up a whole bunch. I actually hopped on the bike the next morning but I was too weak to make it past downtown (~2 miles), so I gave up and took the bus instead.

I would suggest that you drive in or stay home, biking through this latest illness definitely prolonged it for me.
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Old 12-10-07, 05:34 AM   #6
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I'm in the same boat with a cough & sore throut. Sucking it up for now. Biking it in this AM made me feel better.
The hard part is to know when you're really too sick. If i'm puking or too weak to ride in a straight line, I stay home.
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Old 12-10-07, 06:50 AM   #7
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It's my test for working too, although my colleagues don't always agree: I have been sent home despite cycling in because they have felt i shouldn't be there. The difference is that i still get paid if sent home, but not if i phone in sick!

I am pretty sure that a few illnesses have dragged on for a lot longer than they would have because of not being able to rest my sick body though.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:01 AM   #8
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A couple years ago, the last time I was sick, was the only time I took the bus into work (excluding one other time).

Although my commute is only 8km, I couldn't muster the energy. We were also running bare-bones staff, so in actuality, you almost had to be on death's door to call in sick.

As a carfree individual, this is one of the downsides, as mentioned above. However, the upside is I'm rarely sick. And I believe that the minimum 40 minutes per day that I spend on the bike, to be a contributing factor.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:41 AM   #9
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Forgot to mention...when I pulled my stupid and made myself sicker it was also a toasty 25degrees Farenheit. If the temps had been warm I know I would have fared differently, so take that into account. Exposing yourself to the cold can be hell on your immune system.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
So since Saturday i've had for the most part a dry cough. Every here and there I start coughing like i'm about to hack my lungs out....phlegm the whole 9 yards....then it goes back to a dry stale cough...and i feel weak all around.
And you would wish this on your co-workers? STAY HOME!!!!! Don't infect them. That is soooo thoughtless. DOH! Only a stupid boss would want you there. They will lose productivity as the disease spreads around the company.
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Old 12-10-07, 08:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
Too sick to ride? Too sick to work. I take my bike to the bus this time of year. But really, don't get your peers (and students?) sick.
+1

If I'm too pukey to pedal, there's no way I'm coming into the office.
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Old 12-10-07, 08:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by climbhoser View Post
Exposing yourself to the cold can be hell on your immune system.
Oh, yes. I avoid cycling when I'm sick. On top of cold weakening you, a stuffy nose also makes it hard to breathe deeply. And wind makes already chapped lips even more so. I also get winded a lot more easily when I'm ill.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:13 AM   #13
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I actually intentionally ride when I'm starting to catch cold. It seems to kick my immune system into high gear. If I'm getting a little sick, all I have to do is jump on the bike and commute in, and it's gone.

There's been some speculation here that the cold weather stimulates massive mucous production, which tends to flush the airways.
As far as going to work when you're actively sick (transmitting germs, or with something serious like flu):
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Old 12-10-07, 09:21 AM   #14
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Do I ride when ill? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I can't remember if I've ever taken a full day off from work for illness (gone home early a couple of times), but then my work is mostly of the mind and not physical (unless you consider math and programming to be physical, heh). I've finally come to accept that at least in the winter, it takes me longer to get to work by bike than by subway (from prep / dress time to ride time) so I'll get more sleep if I don't ride, and sleep is very important when sick.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macteacher View Post
So since Saturday i've had for the most part a dry cough. Every here and there I start coughing like i'm about to hack my lungs out....phlegm the whole 9 yards....then it goes back to a dry stale cough...and i feel weak all around. I'm thinking i might just drive in tomorrow so I don't make a bad situation worse.
The company I work for makes diagnostic assays for, among other things, influenza. Go ahead and bring that cough to work! The faster my stock goes up, the sooner I can get a new bike.



Seriously, though. Stay home if you feel like death. I actually send my DRs home if they come in hacking and wheezing. I can't have infectious workers in my cell culture labs, and I won't have one person coming in and getting the rest of my staff sick.
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Old 12-10-07, 08:26 PM   #16
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I use the basic neck test which practically every coach uses to decide if you're too sick to work out:
• Symptoms above the neck: Yes, but take it easy.
• Symptoms below the neck: No.
• Fever: No way.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:15 PM   #17
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for the past two weeks, i've had that same dry, hacking, heaving cough. even worse when i lay down. i figured there was no way i'd be able to ride when i was coughing so much, but i went for my usual commute anyway and figured that if i couldn't make it, i'd have enough time to call for a ride. and incredibly, i didn't cough once while riding. i guess my brain was busy directing the blood supply to places other than the spot in the my brain saying "cough. cough now. harder. louder." when i ride, i feel pretty decent. it's when i'm sitting around that i feel rather lousy.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:33 PM   #18
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I really have no choice but to bike, but It's not so bad because my commute is 3 miles each way and I'm rarely sick. I think it's awful to ride with a headache though.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:37 PM   #19
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Sometimes I like riding if I have a cold. It tends to get me breathing a little better. But a fever, no way.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:01 AM   #20
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For me I only ride if its a head cold, no fever, not in my chest, not dizzy, and if I puke there is no way i'm riding. I have a few other criteria that I consider as well. I actually wrote about this last week on my blog in a post titled Don't Try To Train If You Are Sick
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Old 12-11-07, 12:12 AM   #21
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As long as I can see straight, ride straight. I ride anyway (but take it easy).
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