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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 10-04-04, 05:54 PM   #1
Ritalin
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My first commute!!

Ok guys. I have to say I'm pretty damn excited and feeling high on life right now. I've not really ridden this year. A couple 25 mile rides and one 1 mile ride. So needless to say I am out of shape. That's the only riding I've done this year, period.


Before I tell you about it, I want to ask how did your first commute experience go? I figure there'll be a lot of people that will stop reading here, so I'd like to at least have some replies to this question at the very least.



I've been wanting to commute to work for some time now but I ended up waiting a little too late in the year to start doing it and decided that I needed some blinking LEDs on my bike for visability and just put that off as well... as well as leaving a change of clothes at work. Anyway, I got that taken care of and made my first ever commute to work today.

50.8 miles round trip. And boy... what a blast! It felt amazing. I learned that I should have taken a snack along... I felt a serious bonk about to happen when I neared my house on the ride home, but I fended it off somehow. Took 1:40 minutes each way. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be getting many more rides like this in since it's getting cold quickly, but more importantly it's getting too dark. Considering I've been hit by a car once I'd like for it not to happen again.

I ended up meeting up with another cyclist and we chatted a bit before we parted ways. He was impressed by my effort. That was ego++. Other than a lady pulling out in front of me (EVEN THOUGH i HAVE A SUPER BRIGHT BLINKING LED AND A YELLOW JERSEY AND HELMET!!!), the ride wasn't very eventful as far as rides go. Just a great sense of accomplisment.
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Old 10-04-04, 06:04 PM   #2
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Congrats on your first commute! That distance is serious hard core!

My first commute was uneventful, but exciting at the same time. (It was in January I think)

Enjoy and be careful.
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Old 10-04-04, 06:25 PM   #3
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Holy crap 50.8 miles!

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Old 10-04-04, 06:42 PM   #4
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Wow, and I felt pretty jazzed after my first commute of 6 miles back in May. Thats very serious effort dude, you'll get in shape in no time if you keep that up!
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Old 10-04-04, 07:22 PM   #5
seely
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Good work on the commute! I remember my first one, it was pretty uneventful. It was on a very low end GT MTB, and was about 4miles. Wow, did I ride slower back then!
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Old 10-04-04, 07:45 PM   #6
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Well Done!!!
As for my first commute? It was too many years ago to remember, for this forum I started in the "How Was Your Commute?" thread at page 222, #5549.
Keep ridin' an postin'!
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Old 10-04-04, 08:03 PM   #7
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woah man, that's some serious distance. If you do this next summer again, just 3 times a week will get you in shape in no time.

My first commute was last summer, and it was rough. I was in bad shape (4 years of working with computer, no exercise, and bad eating). My legs were dead, and the wind was 30-35mph. I was doing 8miles per hour, and suffering. I was glad I hadn't bought my bus pass on purpose that month, cuz I would've wussied out from day #2.
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Old 10-04-04, 10:17 PM   #8
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wow...that's a lot of miles, I don't think I would have tackled that for my first...or even now!

I've been using my bike for commuting for years. But it's been mostly as a to and from bus or train. Less 1 - 2 miles each leg. But this summer is what I'd consider my first commute, since it was 6 miles and I wore cycling clothes instead of work clothes, and took a shower at work. I've always been a weekend warrior mountain biker, but this forum made me want to commute. I remember the ride was great, exhilarating, energizing and I felt like He-Man all day long. I hung my bike shorts and shirt in the office like a trophy for all flabby coworkers to see. I drank from my bike water bottle all day long, took it with me to meetings and everywhere, like a badge that says "I'm a badass, I work harder than you at work AND I got here under my own power".

The third day that I did that, I took a long way home 12 miles and included hills. It was a road I've never taken, neither in bus, nor car, nor walking nor by bike. I only knew I could get home that way because mapquest told me so. I was inspired by a coworker that said "Woa, that's a big hill. You should drive it first to check it out", so I rode it that day and it was great. It went up, and I went up, passed a lake. Then I deviated from my planned route to ride a bike path that I didn't know was there. It lead to another lake. Great scenery, great sense of accomplishment.

The reality of it is that my commute is short, and that hill I was proud of conquoring wasn't that big. But the feeling of accomplishment and triumph that I felt wasn't due to miles, or elevation grade or other measurables. It was from succeeding when I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know if 6 miles was a lot or a little. I didn't know if my coworker was right when he said it was a big hill. I didn't know if I'd be able to make it to work, or worse, make it home. I didn't know any of those things. But I gave it my best and it was great. I commuted 5 days that week, I don't know what I actually accomplished that week at work but I'll always remember what I accomplished immediatly before and after each day.

Oh, the first day I forgot to bring underwear so I was commando style all day long.
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Old 10-05-04, 12:03 AM   #9
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Wow! Great accomplishment. Didn't you first make a practice run on a weekend just to see how it would go, or did you just do it? When I started riding I lived 19 miles from work, but didn't commute because I thought it was too far. Then I moved 7 miles from work and commuted every day. Then the company relocated 18 miles away from my house and I wondered if I could still commute, so I tried it one Saturday. It was great, so I started commuting regularly. Now after reading that you commuted 50 miles when out of shape I am thinking maybe I am way too cautious!
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Old 10-05-04, 06:17 AM   #10
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my first sommute was much the same way, no idea what to expect. I was at work, taking light rail and using the bike jsut to get tot eh station...well...i was stuck at work past light rail hours, and they idiots in HR took the couch out of the break room, so i decided if i want sleep I have to get home...man it was harsh, especially only biking for 3 months at that time...9 miles straight, pulled it off in 45mins..bad part couldnt sleep for 3 hours after thanks to adrenaline.
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Old 10-05-04, 07:04 AM   #11
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Wow, Awesome job! The farthest I ever commuted was 22 miles each way and that was like 15 years ago! Now that the days are getting shorter I'm lucky if I get to do my measly 17+ mile one way commutes a couple times a week. Keep it up. You will be fit in no time.

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Old 10-05-04, 10:37 AM   #12
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Great post. 50.8 miles is a weekly amount for me. Well done! Make sure to contribute to the "How Was The Commute Today" thread. That's been a huge source of good information and inspiration for me, particularly as the weather chills.

I also really liked super-douper's post. I also have a short direct commute but have found myself exploring detours of varying distance and direction. The other day I rode 5 miles past my house into the Delta wind just so I could have that sweet, sweet tailwind push me home.
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Old 10-05-04, 11:03 AM   #13
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50.8 miles is a weekly amount for me.
same here! I used to be doing 125/week, but not any more...
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Old 10-05-04, 11:45 AM   #14
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I can't really do much as far as making it longer... or shorter

the road that I drive on is very narrow and twisty/hilly with a 55mph speed limit. Definately not a bike friendly route. So I end up riding my bike into one city, then taking a highway with a wide shoulder to the city where I work. I could lengthen the ride I suppose but then I'd end up having to double back to get on route. I think 50 miles round trip is plenty long enough though It was dark when I left in the morning and the sun was close to setting when I got home.
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Old 10-05-04, 11:49 AM   #15
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Oh, hey Ritalin, I wasn't suggesting that you needed to extend your route! You're going to be rolling up the big miles as it is.

No, I meant that for folks like super-douper and me, the commute is the perfect opportunity to expand the route, take a detour for fun or turn the ride home into an impromptu training session. That's one of the beauties of bike commuting! I keep trying to convince friends and coworkers, but it seems like this is one of those things where "if you don't understand I can't explain it to you."

But everybody on this forum understands....
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Old 10-05-04, 01:44 PM   #16
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wow, I'm a wimp at 35 miles round-trip...
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Old 10-05-04, 02:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Holy crap 50.8 miles!

Ditto. Holy crap.

I wish my commute was double what it is, cause I'd like to go 10 miles each way, but I can't complain about the 25 minutes it takes to get to work!

Congrats to you, Ritalin!
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