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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 06-27-12, 08:41 PM   #1
windhchaser 
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Am i trully the worst shape on this board?

I ride 3 miles and thats about it for the day im hurting. Is there anyone in as bad shape as me? I am so frustrated
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Old 06-27-12, 08:50 PM   #2
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Baby steps, everybody starts somewhere. Keep up the good work and the miles will add up quickly.
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Old 06-27-12, 09:01 PM   #3
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I started at 5 miles and it hurt - a lot. Keep riding, eat right and you will be very happy with what happens.
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Old 06-27-12, 09:24 PM   #4
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Also, make sure your bike is adjusted properly. When I first bought a bike I bought one on sale that was a little small for me... the girl who sold it to me mentioned it but I was the next size up wasn't on sale so I went with it. A few days later I figured if I'm riding as much as I planned to I better get a bike that fit me. I went back to exchange it and wanted to go through the fitting process but it there were different people there who said it didn't matter, it was all about "comfort". Honestly I hadn't been cycling in over 10 years so I didn't have much of a basis for what was comfortable. I figured I could ride it without feeling awkward and it was fine. Meanwhile my 4.5 mile ride home from the light rail station, which featured some fairly heavy climbing, was kicking my behind and I figured I was out of shape. After about three weeks it was still killing me and I was really frustrated that I my conditioning wasn't improving. Finally a friend mentioned that the saddle height should be adjusted so you can fully extend your leg on the pedal without shoes, and have it slightly bent with shoes. I adjusted it and immediately it made a huge difference. No more aching knees or fatigued legs. Thinking about it, it makes sense you should be able to get more of your leg into the pedaling stroke... not doing so puts more strain on your knees. Now I'm not even considering taking my bike the light rail and riding 11-14 miles each way on a regular basis.
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Old 06-27-12, 09:26 PM   #5
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3 miles is better than no miles.
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Old 06-27-12, 10:37 PM   #6
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It's going to get easier. The advice cycronin gave is excellent. I would add to make sure your tires are properly inflated and that you're not riding in too hard a gear (or on a bike suited more for trails than streets). Other than that, it's just time in the saddle. When I first picked up riding again as an adult I decided to start by going to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. I was red faced, panting and wheezing and dripping in sweat when I got there. The store itself was only two miles away. Now it's just a quick zip up the street.

I promise, it's going to get easier as long as you keep plugging away at it.
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Old 06-27-12, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
I started at 5 miles and it hurt - a lot. Keep riding, eat right and you will be very happy with what happens.
+1

Keep after it, it gets better. I started commuting in May, 6 miles each way. My times have come down and I'm riding in a higher gear most of the time already, but I'm still not quite ready for full time all the time yet. I was really hoping to go 5 out of 5 this week commuting. I have done Mon-Wed, but my legs need a break, I'm going to keep the longer goal of car-free commuting in mind and listen to my body. I need to sleep well tonight and hit it hard again on Friday. I'm already to the point where I need a full mile to get warmed up, but I intend to get much better. Keep after it, you can do it too.

In the next couple of weeks, I hope to beat the 5 commutes in a week goal.
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Old 06-27-12, 10:41 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone. I get so frustrated.I am on the bottom of a small hill no matter which way i go i have to go up it. good news its fun on the way back .
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Old 06-27-12, 11:10 PM   #9
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When I started commuting, my shortest route was 4.5km each way (a little more than 2.5 miles), and I walked the last 1-1.5km for weeks. I'm now up to a nice long 10km (each way), with barely breaking a sweat, except for the heat, of course. Unfortunately, I still really haven't lost any weight, but my waistline has shrunk a few inches, and I've gained a LOT of muscle. And I feel better, to boot!
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Old 06-27-12, 11:13 PM   #10
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When I started commuting, my shortest route was 4.5km each way (a little more than 2.5 miles), and I walked the last 1-1.5km for weeks. I'm now up to a nice long 10km (each way), with barely breaking a sweat, except for the heat, of course. Unfortunately, I still really haven't lost any weight, but my waistline has shrunk a few inches, and I've gained a LOT of muscle. And I feel better, to boot!
thats awesume they say cutting the waist line is a very healthy thing to do.mine is still 34 i have a spare tire and a jack in there
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Old 06-27-12, 11:34 PM   #11
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Heh, I have no illusion of ever being a 34. My doc says my pelvis will never let me be much smaller than a 36. I'd just like to lose the fat patty above my current 38. The jello between my legs is almost gone, too, but I have huge (Scottish) thighs.
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Old 06-28-12, 12:04 AM   #12
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I was 38 inches at the waist and 104kg. Now I'm 32 inches, 85kg have little body fat left (lots of empty skin though), and can ride 100 miles in the weekend and still ride 30km every morning and commute on top of that. It just takes time. But when you get there.... the feeling is great. You also get to buy a whole new wardrobe of clothes. It is very nice never to be puffed or tired no matter how fast you walk.
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Old 06-28-12, 12:33 AM   #13
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...soooooo....how many miles this year? I get the impression not a lot, so be encouraged the only way anyone gets lots of miles is putting them on one at at time. Some very good advice in the previous posts so I can't add to that. Just enjoy the ride and gradually put 1/2 mile extra on when you are feeling ok.
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Old 06-28-12, 12:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windhchaser View Post
I ride 3 miles and thats about it for the day im hurting. Is there anyone in as bad shape as me? I am so frustrated
Be patient with yourself. You're out there doing it, which is actually a big deal. It really pays to pace yourself at first. If you're too ambitious all at once, one of two things will happen: you'll hurt yourself and have to stop, or you'll get frustrated and quit. Like the man said: baby steps. My parents in Kentucky have a neighbor who now bicycles 100 miles like it's nothing. He told me that, a few years ago, he couldn't walk around a high school track without getting severely winded and worried that he'd have a heart attack. But he went back to the track every day, started running a bit, and then got on the bike and started working that into his daily schedule as well. It can be done; all you need is persistence, time, and realism. It's not going to happen all at once, but it will happen.
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Old 06-28-12, 01:02 AM   #15
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Give yourself six months. In six months you will see a huge improvement if you keep at it. Just keep adding a little more distance and or speed at intervals as you think you can do it. Eventually the distance and speed become normal and you just keep increasing the goals. One month of 3 miles, one month of 5 miles, The next 7-10 miles. eventually you will be covering long distances with ease.
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Old 06-28-12, 02:21 AM   #16
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patience and perseverance
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Old 06-28-12, 08:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windhchaser View Post
Thank you everyone. I get so frustrated.I am on the bottom of a small hill no matter which way i go i have to go up it. good news its fun on the way back .


Maybe consider walking your bike up the first hill. You're currently hitting the hill before you're even warmed up, walk it for now as a warm-up and see if that helps with the cycling.

And the only "ranking" here is in the mileage thread, and even in there it isn't a competition for most people.
Enjoy the ride, improve your health, and don't worry about anything else.
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Old 06-28-12, 08:48 AM   #18
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If you are riding a mt bike, put some smooth tires on it, huge difference in terms of rolling resistance.
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Old 06-28-12, 10:46 AM   #19
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Check your air pressure before every ride. Higher pressure is less resistance. Tires lose a couple of lbs overnight. Other than that just keep riding.
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Old 06-28-12, 11:07 AM   #20
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Height and weight? Age? Just cruious I have seen your post about how much you struggle for a while and and I'm just trying to comprehend what the issue is. Stop drinking soda and stop eating junk food.
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Old 06-28-12, 11:12 AM   #21
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Old 06-28-12, 11:40 AM   #22
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Jeezy creezy. Just settle down and improve at your own pace. Stop measuring yourself against the hardcore people here.
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Old 06-28-12, 12:12 PM   #23
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I came into biking after a few years of running, but I did have a similar experience with running...

When I first started out running, I counted how many telephone poles (on the side of the road) I would run. I would run the distance of two poles, then walk two poles, then repeat. Soon I moved up to run two poles, walk one pole. 6 months later, I ran my first half marathon (13 miles).

Moral of the story: stick with it, you will improve really quickly!
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Old 06-28-12, 12:18 PM   #24
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Check Sheldon Brown's page about gears and cadence. I thought that having a higher gear = more effort = more exercise, but apparently, it doesn't really work that way. Find a gear that fits your natural cadence, and things will improve a lot - worked for me!

Edited to add:
http://sheldonbrown.com/gears.html

Last edited by treadtread; 06-28-12 at 12:18 PM. Reason: link insertion
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Old 06-28-12, 12:35 PM   #25
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I ran into an older couple the other day who were touring, and they thought 30 miles a day was really pushing it. I commute 30 miles every day without even thinking about it. Everyone has their own pace. Don't worry about it.
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