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Old 11-14-02, 08:37 AM   #1
MikeR
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Scheduling your saddle time

In another thread Cyclezealot expressed concern that due to work schedule changes he would have difficulty finding enough time for his rides. I wonder how all of you schedule you cycling time, and what tricks you use to squeeze saddle time into a busy schedule.

Iíll start it off with my situation.
I work days and I'm gone about 11 hours each day because itís a 70 minute drive. Obviously commuting by bike is out. In winter I leave for work before it is light and get home at sunset. After meals and family responsibilities thereís not much time left.

The only way I got a ride today was to get up at 4am and ride in the dark I'll get home from work at 5pm eat and have to run my kid to dance school. I hope that I can get to bed early enough so that I can get up tomorrow at 4am for a ride.

I can usually get 2 - 3 hours on Saturday but sometimes, when there are conflicts, I have to get creative. For instance: a Ďback to school shopping dayí takes almost the whole day (we live far from the stores). I hate shopping, so Iíll take the bike. While my wife and daughters are spending money I get a nice ride on different routes, and they donít have to drag a man around the boutiques. Iíve taken the kids to school sport events and cycled while they were watching a game. When I have to drop the car at the shop for repairs, Iíll take the bike and cycle home.

Sundays are freer. I can usually get anywhere from 3 to 5 hours in the saddle.

So, what are some of your tricks for squeezing in enough saddle time?
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Old 11-14-02, 08:54 AM   #2
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There is the possibility of carpooling with somebody else and riding one way from work once or twice a week? 70 minutes is far, but I guess it depends on the motivation level and wether there are possibilities like taking the bike on a train or bus to get there and riding home.
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Old 11-14-02, 08:54 AM   #3
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My situation is much the same.
Work starts at 07:00 for me and ends 16:00
add hour for commute (each way) and the day is
pretty much shot. The traffic around my area isn't
really conducive to riding seriously after work
(its ok for noodling around but not serious road miles).
04:00 rides do not thrill me so, at that hour
(0darkhundred) I'm on the rollers for an hour.
Weekends for me are better, both the wife
and I try to ride, or I go out alone.
Things are different during late spring to early fall
I can get a more "serious" ride in after work.
due to longer days.

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Old 11-14-02, 09:30 AM   #4
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On most weekdays, I get out at 6 AM and ride for an hour, which means riding in the dark this time of year. Fortunately, traffic is pretty light at that time. This gets me home by 7, at which point I get my son out the door to school and get myself ready for work. I live 5 miles from work, so I usually ride to work. This gives me a total of 25 miles per day during the week. Saturday, I either ride by myself or with my wife and/or son. This tends to limit my speed and distance. I just tell myself it is a recovery ride or I drop to a low gear and spin like a madman. Sunday, I usually go on a 40-60 mile group ride. With an occasional century thrown in, this has gotten me to almost 7000 miles this year.
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Old 11-14-02, 10:18 AM   #5
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my job is pretty much 8 to 5 so i got lots of time after or god forbid before work. I'm only 8 miles from work and one of trials i ride often is a straight shot between the two. I'm currently trying to schedule a way to commute to work and ride home. I'm bumping up to sport class xc and need the extra saddle time.
a normal off season training week is about 12 hours.
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Old 11-14-02, 10:18 AM   #6
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Two options:

Move your residence closer to your work, or move your work closer to your residence. You are currently just throwing away 140 minutes of your life every day.

Dave
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Old 11-14-02, 10:20 AM   #7
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Cycling!!!

I can`t get enough of it, i would ride much more than i already do, if it was`nt for the stinky weather we have to put up with around here.
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Old 11-14-02, 10:28 AM   #8
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I'm lucky in that I have a pretty flexible schedule. The only HARD scheduling issues for me are my classes -- I have two on Tuesdays, 9:15-11:30 and 13:30-15:45, and one on Fridays 12:15-2:30. I take Tuesdays off since, with office hours and prep, I don't usually get out until around 18:00. I live about five minutes from the university.

The rest of my time -- office hours, writing, research -- is pretty flexible. I can do a lot of it from home, and I usually work until about dinner time [19:30] and then for an hour after dinner.

So I do most of my weekday rides in the morning before 9:00. I find that if I set that target, I have enough flexibility to poodle a bit, have a flat and then time for a shower, and be ready to work by 10:00 am.

It's a narrow window -- flexibility aside, I do have to be in the office in the morning -- but I still manage to get a ride most days.
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Old 11-14-02, 11:50 AM   #9
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You are currently just throwing away 140 minutes of your life every day.
Yes, in a way you're right. Where I live is, imho, the best place in the world (for me and the family). Very rural and beautiful.

I moved out of the city many years ago and decided that my home environment was worth a lot of sacrifice. The sacrifice is either in money or time. When I had a job that was close I made about Ĺ of what I do now. I tried that for 10 years and now Iím not so poor but have less time.

I donít see the 140 minutes as a waste, however, because I see it as the investment of my time in order to make a living (much the same as I view the other 8 hours of work). When I commuted less I had to work overtime to pay the bills Ė and still did not do as well as I do now.

Either way I look at it I see the commute as a price that I pay for my home and my lifestyle Itís a choice that I gladly make, but I realize that I have to make other adjustments (like 4am rides) to compensate for the time investment.

I tried ridding part way to work and biking the rest of the way. No way will I ride my bike in the city traffic again! That was too scary. You city bike commuters must have nerves of steel!
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Old 11-14-02, 11:57 AM   #10
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stinky weather we have to put up with around here.
Wow, I guess your part of England must be pretty bad weather wise. My sympathies.

I'll ride in the snow, a light to slightly heavy rain, or a cold windy day; but not al of the above at the same time.
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Old 11-14-02, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeR

I tried ridding part way to work and biking the rest of the way. No way will I ride my bike in the city traffic again! That was too scary. You city bike commuters must have nerves of steel!
See if you can't reverse that. Is there a place you would feel comfortable parking the car overnight? Ride the bike home and back to the car. Then take the car into the city.

It will require a bit more planning, but you will get good time in, and without a lot of lights! Just put a seat cover on your seat incase you can't change till you get to work.
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Old 11-14-02, 02:55 PM   #12
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How about seeing if your employer would go for a 4 day work week. That would mean instead of 'wasting' 140 minutes a day x 5 days/wk, you'd only be multiplying by 4, thus saving 140 minutes a week.

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Old 11-14-02, 03:07 PM   #13
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When I used to commute 80 miles/day I would work at home two days a week. That was nice. But I much prefer my 30 mile/day commute that I can do on a bicycle.
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Old 11-14-02, 05:02 PM   #14
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I ride to work 40 minutes each way, 5 days a week. Then on Mon, Wed, and Fridays I will ride for 1 hour on the trainer. Weekends are not an option for me since I am a single father. Although sometimes I can convince some local guys to go riding at 7am before I pick up my daughter. That is less than once a month in the sunny months though.

I also have to find time to run and swim within my week too.
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Old 11-15-02, 07:15 AM   #15
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The 4 day week would be great - but it is out of the question .

Finding a spot to park my car and cycling the first half of the morning commute and the last half of the afternoon commute is an idea with potential . . .Thanks! I gota look into that one and figure out the logistics.
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Old 11-15-02, 07:55 AM   #16
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i have wednesdays and sundays off. i have 1 child in school all day and another younger child in 1/2 day afternoons (and one on the way 12/12/02) - i have to leave my house at 8:20am to get to work by 9am. I can get up at 5:50am, make coffee and a bowl of cereal, hop on the internet, e-mail and talk to you guys, etc for 1/2 -3/4 hour and be out the door by 6:45am for my 1hr and 10 minute loop (21 miles) then shower, get my oldest on the school bus (lather both of them with lotion before camp in the summer) and off to work. the night is for family. on my off days i can get 2.5 to 3 hours in between carpool obligations.

this allows me 8-almost 10 hrs a week. 3160 miles (11/15/02) and counting.
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Old 11-15-02, 08:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Things are different during late spring to early fall
I can get a more "serious" ride in after work.
due to longer days.
Yep - me too. Last fall I kept my beater bike at work, commuted in the dark and then rode before work started. By December time it stayed dark until work started so that plan didnít work any more. I ended up buying a good light. Now I figure that I can either ride before work or after.

Iím a morning guy and thereís less traffic before 6am so I go in the morning (if I get to bed early enough). Last night, I was turning out the light when my kid asked for help with her homework Ė that killed this morningís ride. Oh well, maybe Iíll make it up tonight or this weekend.
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Old 11-15-02, 08:29 AM   #18
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this allows me 8-almost 10 hrs a week.
It's interesting to read how each of us organizes our lives so that we get the ride in. I can tell from the posts that there are many obligations that have higher priority than cycling, yet at the same time, we make sure cycling doesn't get lost in the hub-bub. It really does take dedications Ė doesnít it?
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