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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 01-02-09, 08:48 AM   #1
brockd15 
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Had never even considered commuting by bike...

Greetings all,
First of all I just want to say that I'm really enjoying the bike forums site, especially the commuting threads. I'm new on here and hope to stay somewhat involved so, for all the regulars, here's a little about me.

Iím Brock, Iím 27, live in Frisco, TX, and work in north Dallas. Back in the day I did triathlons, including Ironman USA (in Lake Placid in 2003) and plan on doing more in the future, but since I got married about 3 and a half years ago cycling has been on the back burner (so have running and swimming for that matter). For a while Iíve wanted to ride more often but never ďfoundĒ the time, so I decided that commuting by bike would be a great way to get miles in, stay fit, and just get back into cycling in general.

That being said, I rode in to work today (~18 miles) for the first time and intend to do it as often as possible (planning on every day). I havenít ridden much at all for the last 6 months (at least), so Iím diving right in, and I gotta tell ya, right now my whole body can tell that I havenít ridden in a while! But Iíll just keep plugging away and pretty soon Iím sure I wonít feel quite as worn out.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:53 AM   #2
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Good on ya, Brock! That's a good long commute but I'm in the same boat - I can't seem to get much time on the bike with wife, kids, etc. etc. Now that I commute I get in 20 miles a day 5 days a week.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:21 AM   #3
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Good for you! Yes, the first few weeks will be difficult, but given your previous athletic endeavors, you'll probably adjust really quickly and feel fine in no time. Just keep with it. The one thing I love about bike commuting, as you mention, is the time it saves. During the times I've not been able to bike commute, I found that I had far less free time because I was still spending an hour or two commuting each day, and then to get my exercise in I'd have to go to the gym or go out for a run. Bike commuting basically kills two birds with one stone (so to speak).
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Old 01-03-09, 11:33 AM   #4
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Well, I finished up my first commute still in one piece, just got honked at a couple times on the way home. I was tired at work most of the day, both from not enough sleep and from the ride in, but surprisingly my ride was faster on the way home despite having to stop at more lights and having considerably heavier traffic.

I'm glad I started on a Friday so I have the weekend before doing it again. I've got one over pass to clear that just about owned me , so that will be a good measure of progress.
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Old 01-03-09, 11:55 AM   #5
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Good move, 18 miles one way is no joke. If you're feeling beat up now wait until you've recovered or you're risking injury.
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Old 01-03-09, 12:02 PM   #6
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A 36mi round trip commute is nothing to sneeze at. Please start with one day a week and work up gradually. You don't want to get burned out or hurt.
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Old 01-03-09, 12:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by brockd15 View Post
...Iím 27, live in Frisco, TX, and work in north Dallas. Back in the day...
Sorry, I just find this humorous. At 27, you're not old enough to have a "back in the day" Heck, I'm 38, and I don't think I really have a "back in the day"

All kidding aside, good job on the commute. You certainly have the cycling experience from all the IM training to know how to cycle well, you just need to get back into the swing of it. I do 16 miles each way on my commute, and there are just some days I don't feel like riding. The difficult part is figuring out whether that feeling is legitimate, or I just need to HTFU. You do need to take a break every once a while when your body needs a rest day, so keep that i mind.

The other thing to mention is that given the time of year right now and the short daylight hours, there is a good chance you are doing part of that commute in the dark/dim light. Make sure you are well lit up, both front and rear. Those drivers out there are busy yakking on their cells, eating breakfast, putting on makeup, etc... Give them every opportunity to see you!
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Old 01-03-09, 02:02 PM   #8
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I've been doing the 16 mile commute for the past 12 years.
Got my left rotor cuff done about 7 weeks ago.
Mebbe by next week I can start peddling in again.
A big point with me is to do a lot of local riding first.
"RIDE STRONG" so that I can concentrate on rat racers
and pot holes. Not puffing up a hill with my front
wheel wobelling during rush hour.
Prolly get an indoor trainer from Nashbar to help get up to speed.
Best of luck!

Last edited by Bat22; 01-03-09 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 01-03-09, 03:06 PM   #9
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A 36mi round trip commute is nothing to sneeze at. Please start with one day a week and work up gradually. You don't want to get burned out or hurt.
I have a 26-mile round trip. When I've been off the bike for a while, I'll do one-way trips for a week or so, mostly to get the knees back up to speed. So I'll ride to the office, leave the bike there overnight. Ride home the next day. Ride to the office the next day, leave the bike there overnight. When everything's working right, I'll start the round trips.

For me, it works better to cut the distance and maintain the days, when possible. YMMV.
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Old 01-03-09, 03:33 PM   #10
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Good on ya. Just about a year ago, my job was in flux, and the office I ended up at is only 7.5 miles from my house. When I found out that was a possibility I decided I would try riding the bike to work. I went from one or two days a week for about six months to 3-5 days a week now, and I also ride to other destinations (store, sports bar, etc.). Commuting my bicycle is one of the best ways I know to get a regular workout built into your day.
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Old 01-03-09, 03:54 PM   #11
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Well done Brock.

You're starting a habit that you will always be glad that you have. Twenty years down the road, getting into a car to go somewhere will feel downright weird.
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Old 01-04-09, 02:02 PM   #12
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18 miles one way?

That's a manly commute!

Don't be surprised if you're tuckered out at first. That's no small distance, every day.

It will whip you in shape in no time, though -- that's the plus.

Enjoy it!
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Old 01-04-09, 02:38 PM   #13
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Good for you stick with it! A cool place to log your miles...
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Old 01-04-09, 03:23 PM   #14
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Thanks for the link. I'll be riding a few different bikes in at different times (depending on my mood ) and have been thinking about the best way to keep track of the miles...looks like that may do the trick. I'm gonna give it another go tomorrow.
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Old 01-04-09, 03:24 PM   #15
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Not sure if your commute is 18 one way or RT - but I do 18 RT. That's a perfect and lucky distance to be able to do. Its long enough that you'll get a good ride and workout each day, (more so if hills,) but not that long that you can't do it every day.

You'll feel great by the end of the week, and you'll have gotten almost a hundred miles in and be able to relax on weekends while everyone else is playing weekend warrior
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Old 01-04-09, 07:26 PM   #16
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Glad to hear you are getting back into it. I am wanting to get into triathlons...so maybe you could help me out with some advice...I love commuting though, well riding in general...enjoy.

P.S. I understand the marriage thing getting in the way of riding or what you want to do...it happens...but you can make it work.
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Old 01-04-09, 07:34 PM   #17
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...you'll have gotten almost a hundred miles in and be able to relax on weekends while everyone else is playing weekend warrior.

Exactly. That's how it works for me.
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Old 01-04-09, 07:38 PM   #18
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Greetings from Plano neighbor!! I'm slowly adding miles to my 20mi r/t commute, your 36miles is impressive. What's your route?
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Old 01-04-09, 08:02 PM   #19
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It's 18 one way.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:27 PM   #20
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Greetings from Plano neighbor!! I'm slowly adding miles to my 20mi r/t commute, your 36miles is impressive. What's your route?
Hey! I was wondering if there were others around here that bike commute. I take Ohio/Hillcrest from Rolater in Frisco down to Alpha and then over to the tollway...I work in one of the Galleria towers. I'll probably try out a few routes as I settle in.

It's gonna be cold here tomorrow (high of 34...which to most of the guys on here is a joke, but for me that's cold) so I'm gonna have to make some adjustments. Then freezing rain about the time I should be coming home, so the wife might be picking me up, we'll see.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:34 PM   #21
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Allen TX here. Only a 4.5 mile commute into McKinney.
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Old 01-04-09, 09:02 PM   #22
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Gonna be FARGIN' COLD! Just two days ago it was 80 degrees, wa'happen?? I take W. Parker due west and cross over Ohio at about 0530. Perhaps out paths will cross one morn.
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