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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 08-30-13, 11:13 PM   #1
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Started riding again...kicking my ass!

I started riding again after been out of riding for like over 10 years. I rode about 5 miles....mostly up and down hill and 50% the hill is kicking my ass! I am so out of shape after the initial ride. I ride again the following night, I felt slightly better but still the hill which is not that big either slightly kicking my ass. I can run or swim but man...

Any suggestion, I can start building strength for me to commute to work?
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Old 08-30-13, 11:56 PM   #2
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Ride your bike??

If in the you're looking for a gym type solution squats are always good. Think Rippetoe
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Old 08-31-13, 12:17 AM   #3
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The more you ride the stronger you get.
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Old 08-31-13, 12:43 AM   #4
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Keep riding.
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Old 08-31-13, 01:56 AM   #5
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hi and give your self a pat on the back chris

let me tell you 2 years ago i started commuting to and from work on my bike same as you i was breathing through my ass on the hills,
i desided i needed to get fit and sort my self out i gave up the cigarettes. (30 years smoking)
12 months on i am now doing 60-100 miles every sunday morning steep hills cat 1-2 still give me a kicking but i recover a lot quicker and i feel great just keep at it chris,
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Old 08-31-13, 06:19 AM   #6
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Started riding again...kicking my ass!

Good job, keep riding. Every day, don't stop. Even if its to the grocery store to pick up an avocado, ride.
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Old 08-31-13, 08:13 AM   #7
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Be sure to take a day off when you wake up and your legs are sore in the morning. The hills will do everything else for you.
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Old 08-31-13, 09:30 AM   #8
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Thanks guys...i will look into the whole squating thing too As of now, I am day #4 .....but only 20 miles+++
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Old 08-31-13, 10:29 AM   #9
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It doesn't get easier, you just get faster...???
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Old 08-31-13, 10:46 AM   #10
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Keep riding!

I can't help but think that maybe you started off too far too fast. It took me nearly a week to work up to 5 miles. Congratulations on your accomplishment and keep hitting that hill!
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Old 08-31-13, 10:50 AM   #11
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Get a bike the gears for hills..
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Old 08-31-13, 10:55 AM   #12
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You run and swim, so should have aerobic capacity. It's the cycling muscles that need conditioning and that comes from riding.
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Old 08-31-13, 11:05 AM   #13
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Don't do everything all at once. I started commuting about a year ago, and before actually making the 14.5 mile ride to work, I started out doing short flat rides after I got home from work. About 2 weeks of those short rides, and at a quicker and quicker pace, I started making the trip to my office on the weekend, to ensure that I was fit enough for that ride. I would rest at a city park near my office, and then turn around and go home. No rush, no pressure. Couple of weekends of that and I felt ready to make the trip during the work week. I havent looked back. On those days that my legs are a little sore, I rest. No need to over do it and risk possible injury or burn out in the process. You'll get into shape in no time and will eventually forget all about the struggle it took during those first couple weeks.
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Old 08-31-13, 11:33 AM   #14
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Would it be too repetitive to say, just go ride? Seriously, you had it once, you know what it feels like, just push through, know your limits, don't hurt yourself, and stay with it. Also, don't ride everyday at first. Work into it.
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Old 08-31-13, 12:23 PM   #15
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I always find it takes me about 6 weeks at the start of a season to get to where I feel like my butt isn't getting kicked by the bike. Keeping at it and keeping regular about it is the key.

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Old 08-31-13, 02:35 PM   #16
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Wish this forum had a +1 feature. I'd give everyone +1!

iwire, I'm just getting back into cycling myself after being away from it for many years. I first started out with my beloved MTB (because I'm stubborn and refused to ride a road bike for years...). Well, my husband quickly assessed the situation and saw that there was no way I'd make the 15 miles to a local park. So he surprised me by buying me a hybrid.

Since the beginning of August, I've been out on my bike now about 3x - 5x a week. As much as we can, we ride. Each time it gets a little better. My endurance is building up and I use the lower gears to grind it out when the wind is punching my lights out.

Today felt good. I was so worn out at almost our half-way point to the park, but I pushed myself. (I'm in a "Rocky" mode and envisioned him running up those steps the first time out.) Once we got to the park, I felt better and nibbled on some granola with dried cranberries, blueberries, and pistachios. On the way back, the wind was behind us and my energy level slightly increased.

I'm going to cheer you on as we both start kicking back!
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Old 08-31-13, 05:32 PM   #17
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First post here. I started at the beginning of the year after not ridding for 20 years. At the beginning I needed to take a break after just a mile due to short of breath and back pain. It took a few months of regular riding to get to the point where I was able to start attack my 18 miles one way commute. Now I commute on bike 3 days a week and am preparing my first century ride (Foxy - the supposedly the easy one.) I have never been an athletic type and I am still recovering from my broken knee from a couple years ago so if I can do it you probably can. Be patient, keep riding, listen to your body, watch your cadence and most importantly make sure your ride is enjoyable. That means keep it slow, spin the paddles and take breaks as needed. Soon you will be faster and feel better. Make sure you have proper bike fit too.

Last edited by stanleyl; 08-31-13 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 09-01-13, 07:22 AM   #18
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Keep riding!

I started commuting five miles each way this summer. It's hilly. The first day, I got off and walked the bike up the last hill before my office. I wasn't ashamed about that because I figured I was doing something good for my body. The next day I made it without getting off. Now I stand and pump up that hill as hard as I can.

Yesterday (Saturday), I went out for a fun ride and didn't come home for almost two and a half hours.

I've lost at least ten pounds and have gone mountain biking (nothing serious from a terrain standpoint, but it's steady, mostly non-stop riding) on Saturdays with some neighbors who ride and I'm able to hold my own with them.

I've been amazed at how quickly my body snapped back from years of desk jobs. I'm not even sore this morning from what was possibly a 20-mile ride yesterday.

If I can do it, so can you!
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