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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 04-09-14, 07:38 AM   #1
jmilleronaire
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Spring wake-up call

Well, I went for a bike ride last night to make sure that my bike was all ready to go for my 11 mile each way commute to work.

Turns out, the bike is fine, but I am *not*. After a winter of riding the couch, I was completely broken after 5 miles!

I'll have to do some more build up rides before I commute in. Hopefully I'll be able to rejoin the commuter club Monday!
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Old 04-09-14, 07:58 AM   #2
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Are you able to ride in at a slower pace? That might help.

Nevertheless, glad to see that you're back in the saddle again.
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Old 04-09-14, 08:09 AM   #3
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Are you able to ride in at a slower pace? That might help.

Nevertheless, glad to see that you're back in the saddle again.
Ride slower? That's silly!

I think I'll be better off spending the next few evenings building up my endurance again.

Funny enough, I feel *great* today. I guess my muscles and cardiovascular system actually *wants* to be used again.
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Old 04-09-14, 08:21 AM   #4
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I put in a lot of "miles" at the gym from January til now ... but riding outdoors is still quite different. You'll get there!
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Old 04-09-14, 08:32 AM   #5
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Personally I went the build-up route. Started with an easy 6km loop around the house, a couple of days, then 10km, then 15km. I stayed close because I started in March and it was still -10C here :-P I was fed-up with winter ;-)
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Old 04-09-14, 08:38 AM   #6
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My wake up call was switching from the 40 pound, low pressure studded Nokian, internally geared heavy assed winter bike to the road bike.

went from a 10.5 mile, 47+ minute commute to a 12 mile, 36 minute commute.

Try riding a real heavy assed bike all next winter. You'll be a monster in the spring.
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Old 04-09-14, 08:48 AM   #7
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Spring has come to Southern California too but since winter never really got here it's almost like Spring-like weather never left. How boring is that ?

I do a lot of recreational rides on the weekends so my commuting is all "recovery ride" pace. I try to keep it easy on purpose and, of course, I never really get out of shape.

Very different from living MN for sure!

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Old 04-09-14, 09:07 AM   #8
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I put in a lot of "miles" at the gym from January til now ... but riding outdoors is still quite different. You'll get there!
I've noticed the same recently. I've gotten a gym membership ($10/mo, can't say no to that!!) and have been going about 5days/wk for the last 2 weeks, at least 2 days/wk are cardio and even after 45min on an elliptical machine, my heart rate rarely gets over 135bpm but on Monday, I pushed really, really hard for 20 min and I was hitting 160bpm (nearly 54 yrs old, 100% = 172bpm) for much of it, not breathing too hard (elevated yes, but not huffing and puffing) but on the bike, it doesn't take me long before my heart rate is high (I don't have an HRM so I'm not sure but it feels like it is 150+) and I'm huffing and puffing (for a while at least). I'll have to look into it.
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Old 04-09-14, 09:24 AM   #9
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Yeah ... I have an HRM and while I'm at the gym riding the stationary bike I stare at the BPM reading. Depending on the "ride" I'm doing I can just spin for a long time between 130-140, or spin plus intervals that would put me north of 150, usually no higher than 156ish.

I rode Sunday, outdoors for the first time, and I went as high as 164 and I'm like, "WTF? I'm dying here. Didn't ANYTHING I did in the gym stick?" ... so then after that particular spot I just spun easy for a short bit and then I was fine again. But it really messed with my head for a bit.

Outdoors is just different .. there's more variables. It's not just "resistance" but also wind, hills and there's a mindgame that goes on too.

All of that said, despite needing to drop more pounds, I feel like I'm in great shape for early spring.
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Old 04-09-14, 10:11 AM   #10
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As much as I'd like a new cyclocomputer with an HRM, I'm not sure I want to shell out the cash. I've seen reference to Ant+ on my cell phone (Android) and I know some bike devices communicate with the cyclocomputer using this communication format but I don't know about HRM devices, I'll have to check.
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Old 04-09-14, 10:58 AM   #11
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As much as I'd like a new cyclocomputer with an HRM, I'm not sure I want to shell out the cash. I've seen reference to Ant+ on my cell phone (Android) and I know some bike devices communicate with the cyclocomputer using this communication format but I don't know about HRM devices, I'll have to check.
I got a Polar H7 back in January ... it's the monitor and strap only. It pairs with my phone (also android) and I use the Polar Beat app to track my HR, plus it uses GPS to map my ride. But it's finicky, and sometimes shuts down unannounced. I've read that my H7 will pair with Endomondo, but I haven't figured it out yet but believe I found the solution last night before I went to bed. Didn't have time to mess with it this morning, but I'm hoping it'll work tonight. Endo+HRM would be very blissful for me right now and would serve me well as a cyclocomputer.
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Old 04-09-14, 11:03 AM   #12
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My wake up call was switching from the 40 pound, low pressure studded Nokian, internally geared heavy assed winter bike to the road bike.

went from a 10.5 mile, 47+ minute commute to a 12 mile, 36 minute commute.

Try riding a real heavy assed bike all next winter. You'll be a monster in the spring.
Wow! That's quite the motivation for me to save up for a dedicated road bike. My bike loaded up for commuting is over 50 pounds. It takes me about 30 minutes to do 7 miles to work. If I got the same boost as you (13.4mph to 20mph, or 49% increase), I'd get to work in 20 minutes.
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Old 04-09-14, 11:19 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info, I'll have to consider it.
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Old 04-09-14, 11:50 AM   #14
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My wake up call was switching from the 40 pound, low pressure studded Nokian, internally geared heavy assed winter bike to the road bike.

Try riding a real heavy assed bike all next winter. You'll be a monster in the spring.
+1 My garmin tells me that my average commute speed on the fat bike or studded heavy IGH cross bike during the winter is around 10.2 mph. Now on the cross race bike (not even slicks) it's 15.3. a 5mph average increase. GOD it feels good!
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Old 04-09-14, 12:02 PM   #15
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Probably a good point, I'm riding my mountain bike turned commuter hybrid right now, the roads are still quite sloppy from snow melt, and that one has fenders... I might do better on my road bike.

But I'm more interested in getting healthy, so working harder isn't such a bad thing. Plus, it's the bike I'll be using on a week-long tour with my oldest son on a trail-a-bike later this summer, so I should probably get plenty of miles on it to get ready.
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Old 04-09-14, 01:20 PM   #16
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I notice quite a difference between my road bike and my CX bike which is my commuter. generally 1.5 to 2 mph.
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Old 04-09-14, 03:49 PM   #17
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>>>>Funny enough, I feel *great* today. I guess my muscles and cardiovascular system actually *wants* to be used again.<<<<

I have the same experience on my first ride of every season. Usually, I can't even get around the block without "feeling it." Then, the very next day, I get on the bike again and it's like I never got off it the previous season. Unless you've gained a lot of weight or you've clogged a heart valve over the winter, I'd say you'll be ready to go in no time.
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Old 04-09-14, 08:14 PM   #18
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Limited riding time tonight, but did 6.5 miles in 35 minutes. Still hard to keep my breath, maybe my heart valves did clog. Only training I've managed lately is intervals between couch and fridge.
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