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Old 06-11-06, 07:37 PM   #1
NOS88
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To commute or not to commute...

I'm really stuck with this one. My work schedule and other commitments have shifted so that it is now possible for me to commute the short five miles to my office each day. I got the Cannondale out, did a full maintenance check on it yesterday, got everything else ready for tomorrow's ride into work, but, and this is a very big but... I just don't feel like doing it. I haven't been able to figure out why I'm feeling this way. It comes as a big surprise to me. I thought I'd be excited about the additional riding time I'd be getting in. Instead, I have this sense of dread about getting on the bike tomorrow morning. I really don't know what to do tomorrow.... commute or not? Twenty-five years ago, I'd did a daily commute of about 12 miles one way and loved it. Then I changed jobs and the commute went up to 20 miles each way. I thought this was an advantage and eagerly savored for the additional time riding. But tomorrow, I just don't know... Is this part of getting older? If it is, I'm not happy about it.
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Old 06-11-06, 07:44 PM   #2
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I live about 50% farther from work than you do, and I have been enjoying my multimedia commute. To go work, I either ride the bike the whole way or ride the bus halfway and jog or bike the other half. If I don't get a ride home with a coworker, I bike home and then in the next morning. If I do get a ride home, then I take the bus and jog the next morning.

The only reason I would dread bicycle commuting would be difficult intersections or traffic conditions, including the rising or setting sun.
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Old 06-11-06, 10:07 PM   #3
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Ride it once and you'll know if it's not right.
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Old 06-12-06, 09:44 PM   #4
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I recently started commuting approx 10+ miles each way, 3 days a week (semi-retired). Had the same worry/doubts but now that I have done it for a few weeks, found it is a great energizer. Feel great mentally & physically. Now looking at maybe a new commuter bike, REI Novara Randonee looks like a lot of bike for the buck.

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Old 06-13-06, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclingjack
I recently started commuting approx 10+ miles each way, 3 days a week (semi-retired). Had the same worry/doubts but now that I have done it for a few weeks, found it is a great energizer. Feel great mentally & physically. Now looking at maybe a new commuter bike, REI Novara Randonee looks like a lot of bike for the buck.


I looked at the REI Novara Randonee last summer, and it does seem like a lot of bike for the money. If I were getting one, I'd wait until they do the double your REI points before getting it. I did that with a Yakama roof rack and got the thing for next to nothing.

I guess, I'll just have to bite the bullet and give the commute a try. I think I'll do a practice run this Saturday to see how it goes.
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Old 06-13-06, 07:16 AM   #6
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Just try it and see how you like it. It's not good for your car to drive it on a lot of short trips.

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Old 06-13-06, 07:52 AM   #7
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What kind of road/traffic conditions are you faced with coming and going on your commute?
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Old 06-13-06, 08:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggsy
What kind of road/traffic conditions are you faced with coming and going on your commute?

About two miles of the commute is through local neighborhood streets with little traffic. The remaining three miles is along a very busy two lane road (last time I remember reading about it in the paper, they said about 28,000 cars per day use the route). This section of the road has a fairly wide (3 feet) paved section to the right of the while line. The speed limit is posted at 35, but people routinely travel in excess of 50 MPH.
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Old 06-13-06, 09:03 AM   #9
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Definitely do a test ride on the weekend. Recheck to see if any alternative routes. It sounds like you are concerned about the 3 mile stretch of 2 lane road. At least it has a wide shoulder for riding.
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Old 06-13-06, 04:57 PM   #10
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Great, go for it. Let us know how the test run goes for you.

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Old 06-14-06, 11:31 AM   #11
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I'm about 5 miles from work and have tried to force myself into the habit of biking in and home. Now that I've done so for a few days in a row, I find that I am really enjoying it and that the tough patches are becoming easier. My biggest challenge is not having that mobile closet/storage shed on four wheels that I am so used to filling with things I don't really need to be carrying around! I am working on it though!
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Old 06-14-06, 03:29 PM   #12
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I'm lucky that I'm only 5 miles from work, and there's a rail-trail that I could take almost all the way. Unfortunately, I have no way to get around the problem of arriving at work sweaty and/or dusty. I guess I'll try it once if they ever have a "ride to work day" for bicycles like they do for motorcycles.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:06 AM   #13
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same here

i've been commuting and riding at lunch for 4 years now, about 30miles/day, year round, and have always looked forward to it.

But this week i started on blood pressure meds, and have noticed that some of the enthusiasm is no longer there. Apparently one of the side effects is feeling tired and a little dizzy...something that i find to be a problem now as i commute through downtown traffic.

i hope that its just a temporary thing
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Old 06-16-06, 08:10 AM   #14
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"But this week i started on blood pressure meds, and have noticed that some of the enthusiasm is no longer there. Apparently one of the side effects is feeling tired and a little dizzy...something that i find to be a problem now as i commute through downtown traffic."


Wow, that could be scary. I understand that there are numerous blood pressure medication in use. You may want to consider talking with your physican about trying another one if the symptoms you describe do not abate. Recently, my father had a similar reaction. He was put on a different medication and the symptoms are gone. Unfortunately, I don't know that the specific medications were.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm01
i've been commuting and riding at lunch for 4 years now, about 30miles/day, year round, and have always looked forward to it.

But this week i started on blood pressure meds, and have noticed that some of the enthusiasm is no longer there. Apparently one of the side effects is feeling tired and a little dizzy...something that i find to be a problem now as i commute through downtown traffic.

i hope that its just a temporary thing
There are 100's of blood pressure meds. All have different side effects.

Don't stay on one that impedes your performance.

I use diovan - it has NO slow down effect on me.

I also use HCTZ, which doesn't either.

We all react differently to meds.

I.e., Ace Inhibitors make me go into terrible coughing spasms. Others do fine on them.

Keep trying.

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Old 06-16-06, 08:31 AM   #16
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thanks...have an doctor's appointment at 12:40 today to discuss this, but i have to bike there
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Old 06-16-06, 03:50 PM   #17
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This probably belongs in the commuter forum, but as an over 50 regular commuter, let me weigh in.

I think you should not commute. Here's why: Your five-mile ride isn't enough to do much more than get well warmed up, and three miles of it sounds like it is going to be on an unacceptably dangerous street. On my 13-mile route I go a mile out of my way just to avoid a one-mile stretch that is similar to what you describe.

I used to ride that one-mile stretch. It wasn't too bad in the morning, but it was a bear going home. You put a lot of 45 mph drivers on a four lane street, jockeying for position, changing lanes, etc., and that little lone cyclist off the side is going to get smacked if anything goes wrong. I had one guy swerve from the left lane into the right lane to make a pass , and he came a little wide onto the shoulder, where he missed me by that much.

In other words, your gain from your short commute would be small, and your risk would be high. Ride in your neighborhood before or after work. Live long and prosper.
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Old 06-16-06, 04:05 PM   #18
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Interesting. I would agree 5 miles is not far enough. It's good enough to get you started cycling and building some biking fever, but without seeing a map of your potential routes, it may be better to ride a different route at different times.

It might be difficult to live long and prosper if you're dizzy on a bike with fast traffic and weak muscles. I used to avoid above 35mph roads, but now if road has wide shoulders and no obstructions, I will ride on 45 mph roads.


I don't know about riding in neighborhood, it might be hard to find longer stretches where you can build speed. How about going to a bike shop and seeing if there are any local rides, and then finding out where they ride.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:17 PM   #19
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I appreciate the comments. I'm currently getting in about 150 miles a week, so the commute isn't about getting in miles. Rather, my concern is the effort of getting everything ready for such a short trip, arriving at the office and having to deal with where to put the bike, and finally, the three mile stretch is a major concern. I generally ride back roads, not roads with 26,000 cars per day. When I used to commute, none of the things I've listed would hae been more than a passing thought. Now, however, I've got this internal battle of "You should ride to work." vs. "It's too much of a hassel and the three mile stretch isn't worth it." I think I will do a trial run this weekend and see what happens.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougG
I'm lucky that I'm only 5 miles from work, and there's a rail-trail that I could take almost all the way. Unfortunately, I have no way to get around the problem of arriving at work sweaty and/or dusty. I guess I'll try it once if they ever have a "ride to work day" for bicycles like they do for motorcycles.
Just ride really slowly. Pick up the pace on the way home.
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Old 06-17-06, 09:55 AM   #21
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I do not ride on days I feel like that. To force yourself to ride on Day One when your feel like that would be traumatic. Ask at work about your riding to work. Especially, ask your bosses. Discover their concerns like being sweaty and dirty and address those concerns. You may (and I hope will) find them asking when are you going to ride? Sheer peer pressure will get you started.

have a secure place for the bike first.
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