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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 06-25-14, 12:09 AM   #1
Chris in Idaho
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Chris's Commuting Experience

Hi Everybody,
I'm a very new cyclist and a brand new bike commuter giving it a try. I'm going to ride my bike to work as many times as I can throughout this summer. I'm going to update this thread from time to time with milestones, things I learn, things I see, and my general impressions and revelations of commuting on a bike.

My commute is 34 miles round trip, I'm riding a used Trek 7.1FX, and I'm in pretty bad shape at 6 foot and 255 pounds. So far I've ridden to work twice, Wednesday and Sunday of last week.

Here I am.


Objective in sight! (I'm a mechanic at an amusement park and two of our rides are visible in this picture)


Secure bike parking.
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Old 06-25-14, 01:20 AM   #2
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Well dude, in one day you put in more commuting miles than I do all week so good job so far!

I bet if you shaved that beard the aero efficiency would improve your commute time by 4 seconds for a PR on Strava.
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Old 06-25-14, 05:10 AM   #3
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Super, keep biking man!
We'll follow you up in this blog-like-thread and instantly coach you
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Old 06-25-14, 06:22 AM   #4
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Welcome to BF. Great start to commuting. Looks like your parking at work is nice. Keep riding.
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Old 06-25-14, 07:05 AM   #5
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hi! excellent idea!

i would make sure to get photos of the bike and also of you as you progress

also, that's a helluva commute
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Old 06-25-14, 07:07 AM   #6
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Good job!

Wow, 34 miles is out there for a new rider. My total weekly commuting mileage is a paltry 55.
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Old 06-25-14, 08:14 AM   #7
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To me those first few are the hardest. Convincing yourself that it really is feasible and that you're up to it. Well done! From here it gets easier, although it might not seem like it the first month but stick with it and you'll see that I'm right. It was a couple of months until I realized "this isn't so hard" and a month or two more it dawned on me, "this is actually fun". You're younger than I was so you may get to that point faster, but the key is to give it every chance to work.
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Old 06-25-14, 08:20 AM   #8
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What an excellent sunrise to commute under though.
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Old 06-25-14, 09:06 AM   #9
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It'll be hard if you try to go two days in a row. I'm not saying don't do it, but I'd advise against it at least for the first few weeks. Don't be surprised if you're kind of wiped out the first time you go two days in a row, I definitely was. At 34 miles round trip, I'd think that M/W/F is a good target to try to get to by the end of the summer, unless you do better than I did at first.
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Old 06-25-14, 09:09 AM   #10
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Silverwood Theme Park North of Coeur D'Alene? Pretty Country that.... Love to see images of your commute. Keep on riding.

Dr. Joe
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Old 06-25-14, 10:18 AM   #11
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Welcome! If you want reinforcement try reading and posting in the "How was your commute?" thread. If you like try the commuting mileage thread too, don't be intimidated by the high scores. At 34 mi round trip you'll pass me up quickly.
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Old 06-25-14, 10:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
It'll be hard if you try to go two days in a row. I'm not saying don't do it, but I'd advise against it at least for the first few weeks. Don't be surprised if you're kind of wiped out the first time you go two days in a row, I definitely was. At 34 miles round trip, I'd think that M/W/F is a good target to try to get to by the end of the summer, unless you do better than I did at first.
+1 ... mine's 24 miles round trip and I was in no way ready to do back to back commutes at first.

Welcome to the fun though!
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Old 06-25-14, 10:37 AM   #13
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I agree about taking it easy the first few weeks. Also I suggest bar-ends for added hand positions because those flat bars give you only one, and 17 miles at a stretch can be tough on the hands and wrists. Or even change out your bars for ones with more hand positions, but bar ends are inexpensive and easy to install. BF has been an invaluable resource for me and my commuting over the last few years. The tone of the forum is mostly helpful and encouraging. Based on your photo you look hale and hearty. Bike commuting will only improve your health, increase your enjoyment of life and extend your years (unless you come down with gear-itis). go Go GO!
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Old 06-25-14, 11:40 AM   #14
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I agree with all those who say to stagger rides M/W/F at first. I myself am new to commuting and have a 19 mile RT ride. When I started, my knees used to get really sore (not sure if I was pushing too hard, which I was, or if my knees were just weak, which they were), but after putting in 1600 miles in the last year, I'm now able to ride 5 days in a row (which I did for the first time last week), without blowing my knees out, by making sure to not push myself too hard when I know I'll be riding several days back to back to back.
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Old 06-25-14, 11:49 AM   #15
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Well done! I have a Trek 7.2FX and love it. The FX line really is great. As mentioned previously, you may want to invest in some better grips/bar ends if you start to have sore hands from the stock grips. Lights are also very important. Commuting really just becomes a habit after a while.
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Old 06-25-14, 12:11 PM   #16
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Congrats on getting started!

I agree about not trying every day and building up to it.

My commute is about the same length as yours and has a good climb in the middle. At first I couldn't do two days in a row. First I did 2 days a week, then 3, either M, W, F or two days in a row then a break then a third day. I eventually got to the point I could do 4 days a week, usually taking W off. I tried four days in a row and it was really hard the last day. I don't know if I will ever do 5 days, partially just as there always seems to be one day that my schedule makes riding impractical.

On your off days, try to do a good walk or even a very short ride or you will likely be even more sore the next.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 06-25-14, 01:26 PM   #17
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Nice place to commute!
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Old 06-25-14, 01:43 PM   #18
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Nice job! Keep at it! Good advice from all poster. You'll sort it out as you go. Think safety, and enjoy the ride. Like said before first month is the worst. The next three are better and after a year, you would be missing the ride when you don't commute! Good luck, God bless!
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Old 06-25-14, 02:03 PM   #19
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Firstly, welcome aboard!

Secondly, get used to feeling tired at first. This is normal as you gain muscle and your body adjusts to the new level of activity. Depending on how difficult hills on your route are, you might want to try muscling up one or the lessor ones. That may give you the boost you need on days when you feel like you're dragging.

Again, welcome, and please feel free to ask any questions!

- Andy
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Old 06-25-14, 02:41 PM   #20
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Hey, my friend worked at a theme park near Coeur d'Alene as well. Not sure what it was called but probably the same one.
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Old 06-25-14, 04:53 PM   #21
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34 mile commute is hardcore. Very impressive for an out of shape guy who is just starting out....Try doing it three times per week, with one day of rest between rides...Keep riding and very soon you'll be in great shape to do it everyday. As long as you follow good nutrition then the distance shouldn't be any problem. Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 06-25-14, 05:14 PM   #22
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If you do that commute 2-3 days a week the pounds will start flying off. Your one day round trip is also more than my 5 day commute. But I have gotten so into biking over 3 years of bike commuting that I now supplement by adding 15-20 miles to my morning commute a couple of days a week and doing another 40-60 miles on the weekends.

Like others said, start slow and don't get discouraged
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Old 06-26-14, 11:02 AM   #23
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This is awesome. Keep us posted!
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Old 06-26-14, 11:31 AM   #24
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Good going!!!

Nice bike and wonderful place to ride/live. I love Idaho....especially the the I90 stretch.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris in Idaho View Post
I'm going to ride my bike to work as many times as I can throughout this summer.
Remember there's a Winter Cycling forum, and read all of tsl's posts.
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Old 06-26-14, 12:31 PM   #25
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You work at Silverwood! Does that mean you bike commute on 95!? Serious kudos if you do...that stretch of highway is scary enough in a car. But things are improving out there...last time I was home to visit I was surprised to see that the shoulder along Hwy 53 between Garwood and Rathdrum is now a bike lane...how things have changed!
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