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The Daily Grind

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The Daily Grind

Old 11-20-19, 04:13 PM
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The Daily Grind

Because of the snow fall last week it feels like I'm having to grind it out this year more so than previous years. Certainly, it could just be the recency effect, but my commute of 38-km, day in and day out, feels a lot more difficult than before. Not physically more difficult, because it's really not hard. I don't push the pace very often, usually taking just under an hour to do the 19 km, not even breaking a sweat when I arrive. More mentally taxing for me. The shorter days, the dark mornings, the changing weather, and maybe the anxiety and dread of having to ride through some pretty crappy weather from last week, and the thought that this is just the beginning, perhaps is beginning to wear on me. January and February still lie ahead.

Feel free to commiserate with me.
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Old 11-20-19, 04:57 PM
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I feel you. Winter has so many stressors: the weather, the short period of light, the scary road conditions, the scary drivers, the bad visibility. Do you have another way to get to work? You could do what I do and ride on days when the weather isn't awful. I ride in weather that some consider bad but I don't.
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Old 11-20-19, 05:19 PM
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I know how you feel. I experienced those same feelings few times over the years...Think about the alternative. The alternative is sitting inside a car stuck in rush hour traffic which isn't very pleasant. At least when your ride you're getting some benefits from exercise. The grind is mostly mental.
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Old 11-20-19, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I feel you. Winter has so many stressors: the weather, the short period of light, the scary road conditions, the scary drivers, the bad visibility. Do you have another way to get to work? You could do what I do and ride on days when the weather isn't awful. I ride in weather that some consider bad but I don't.
I do drive occasionally, but much prefer to ride, for many reasons, not the least of which is getting my daily exercise all in one go. Driving, though gets me there faster, is frustrating.

Don't get me wrong. For the most part I love riding to work, and when the weather is fair in the summer or late spring it can be quite sublime, and often the best part of my day. Riding to work in poor weather and road conditions just feels too much like work itself.
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Old 11-20-19, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I know how you feel. I experienced those same feelings few times over the years...Think about the alternative. The alternative is sitting inside a car stuck in rush hour traffic which isn't very pleasant. At least when your ride you're getting some benefits from exercise. The grind is mostly mental.
Totally concur. Buddies and I are still riding on the weekends, and the experience is totally different---we start later, finish at lunch, sit around the cafe, and even when it's -10, it's enjoyable. That's the difference between commuting and weekend rides.
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Old 11-21-19, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Because of the snow fall last week it feels like I'm having to grind it out this year more so than previous years. Certainly, it could just be the recency effect, but my commute of 38-km, day in and day out, feels a lot more difficult than before. Not physically more difficult, because it's really not hard. I don't push the pace very often, usually taking just under an hour to do the 19 km, not even breaking a sweat when I arrive. More mentally taxing for me. The shorter days, the dark mornings, the changing weather, and maybe the anxiety and dread of having to ride through some pretty crappy weather from last week, and the thought that this is just the beginning, perhaps is beginning to wear on me. January and February still lie ahead.

Feel free to commiserate with me.
I feel your pain. The older I get I find myself less tolerant of the cold dark drippy wet NW winter weather. I’ve been riding my motorcycle on the rainy/foggy days and if it snows I take the motorcycle with the sidecar. I’ve been using the stationary bike in the mornings and riding the bicycle more on the weekends to stay in shape.
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Old 11-21-19, 07:10 AM
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I feel that. The mental difficulty of waking up extra early each morning to ride in the cold and wet on a bike that isn't exactly perfect is why I stopped cycle commuting to school. I also didn't appreciate that I had to change into another set of clothes each day.
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Old 11-21-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
...Feel free to commiserate with me.
Sorry, no.
Try a new accessory. Try new clothing. Try a new route or modified route. Try a new podcast (one ear). Try pushing your weather limits.
...and then there's Ted Baxter's advice:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2yxsd6

Also:

"In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job's a game!"
-Mary Poppins

Start taking vitamin D, start drinking coffe or tea when you arrive at work...use caffeine addiction to your advantage.

You just need to find the motivation.

I was off the bike for a year due to a bulging disc in my neck when I was 48. It was the most miserable year of my adult life, physically and mentally. I knew what I was missing, and for the last 9 years I fight for it every morning I can. I pushed my cold weather limits down, I bought studded tires, and recently when the straight bars on the snow bike became too painful I converted my bike to drops...me, myself, and now every ride on that bike proves I can still perform some mechanical work myself, and still ride, and every ride on every bike proves I can overcome injuries and limitations, both physical and mental.

And if you can't find the motivation before you start your ride, you will find it somewhere on the ride or even at the end.

just go, Go, GO!

Last edited by BobbyG; 11-21-19 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 11-21-19, 10:20 AM
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I just grind it out, and tell myself "Better weather is coming." Fortunately, KY has fairly mild, though wet winters.
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Old 11-21-19, 11:37 AM
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Think about scraping off the windshield, and how the heater in the car will start running warm just as you pull into the parking lot
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Old 11-21-19, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Sorry, no.
Try a new accessory. Try new clothing. Try a new route or modified route. Try a new podcast (one ear). Try pushing your weather limits.
...and then there's Ted Baxter's advice:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2yxsd6

Also:

"In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job's a game!"
-Mary Poppins

Start taking vitamin D, start drinking coffe or tea when you arrive at work...use caffeine addiction to your advantage.

You just need to find the motivation.

I was off the bike for a year due to a bulging disc in my neck when I was 48. It was the most miserable year of my adult life, physically and mentally. I knew what I was missing, and for the last 9 years I fight for it every morning I can. I pushed my cold weather limits down, I bought studded tires, and recently when the straight bars on the snow bike became too painful I converted my bike to drops...me, myself, and now every ride on that bike proves I can still perform some mechanical work myself, and still ride, and every ride on every bike proves I can overcome injuries and limitations, both physical and mental.

And if you can't find the motivation before you start your ride, you will find it somewhere on the ride or even at the end.

just go, Go, GO!
Or don't commiserate. That's fine too.
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Old 11-21-19, 12:39 PM
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Like the rest of life, there are some days that are better than others.
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Old 11-21-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Sorry, no.
Try a new accessory. Try new clothing. Try a new route or modified route. Try a new podcast (one ear). Try pushing your weather limits.
...and then there's Ted Baxter's advice:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2yxsd6

Also:

"In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job's a game!"
-Mary Poppins

Start taking vitamin D, start drinking coffe or tea when you arrive at work...use caffeine addiction to your advantage.

You just need to find the motivation.

I was off the bike for a year due to a bulging disc in my neck when I was 48. It was the most miserable year of my adult life, physically and mentally. I knew what I was missing, and for the last 9 years I fight for it every morning I can. I pushed my cold weather limits down, I bought studded tires, and recently when the straight bars on the snow bike became too painful I converted my bike to drops...me, myself, and now every ride on that bike proves I can still perform some mechanical work myself, and still ride, and every ride on every bike proves I can overcome injuries and limitations, both physical and mental.

And if you can't find the motivation before you start your ride, you will find it somewhere on the ride or even at the end.

just go, Go, GO!
So, could you, like, text this to me every morning?!

And, yes, I'm commiserating, even though I live in California where it never gets below 48. Really proves that it's just all mental. Although there is the ageing thing, too.

My problem is that I don't have to pay for parking at work. The last two years that was not the case and it was a shorter ride, so I rode in a lot more.
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Old 11-21-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Or don't commiserate. That's fine too.
I may have over done it, but I am also trying to motivate myself.
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Old 11-21-19, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
So, could you, like, text this to me every morning?!
I'll have to find the motivation...
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Old 11-21-19, 12:51 PM
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Maybe you should cut back on your bike commuting, to keep it fun.

My commute is down to 30 or 35 minutes, so I can tolerate most weather now. And I regret not riding pretty much every day I skip riding. But my winters are not as bad as yours!

When my commute was 70 minutes long, my feet would hurt in the cold weather. It wasn't fun to do more than three days a week.
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Old 11-21-19, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Maybe you should cut back on your bike commuting, to keep it fun.

My commute is down to 30 or 35 minutes, so I can tolerate most weather now. And I regret not riding pretty much every day I skip riding. But my winters are not as bad as yours!

When my commute was 70 minutes long, my feet would hurt in the cold weather. It wasn't fun to do more than three days a week.
For the most part, Tom, it's fun, and it's fine. Cutting back is certainly an option, and there will be days when it will be too difficult to ride, so I will drive on those days.

Keep myself motivate, like @BobbyG suggests, is a good idea. I've ordered a few things on line the past couple of months, but there's only so many things you can buy. Doing some maintenance on the bikes helps too.

It has occurred to me, though, that since the weather has taken a turn for the worse I've been riding my winter bikes exclusively. Maybe with some sustained decent weather it's time to bust out the fenderless weekend bikes. It'd be nice to bust out some shorts and short sleeves too, but that's not wise.
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Old 11-21-19, 02:37 PM
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I don't ride in shorts in New York for several months in a row. I can't imagine how you can do it in Ontario!

I think one thing that keeps me going is remembering that a bad day on the bike is better than a day off the bike. Cycling is soul work for me, so when it's challenging or annoying, I'm still grateful for it. I rode in the cold rain on Monday night, and visibility was poor. I don't regret it. My riding partner said he was thinking of jumping on the subway, and it surprised me because it hadn't even occurred to me.
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Old 11-21-19, 02:51 PM
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I've taken the bus the last two days due to the bike being in the shop - It's horrid (plus it's a 35 min walk to the g**d*** bus stop, which is like the entirety of my bike commute.)
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Old 11-22-19, 09:31 AM
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This transition into Ontario winter seems to not be the most comfortable one. I've also felt a lot wimpier in the past few colder days than what I recall from past winters. Frozen feet at way-too-warmC.
I'm sure we'll get used to it again and maybe we'll be treated to a slower transition from now on....
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Old 11-22-19, 12:21 PM
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@alias5000, hope you're right.
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Old 11-23-19, 06:30 AM
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Grinning out ( In time.) can lead to burn out. I can agree with most on this list, try something else. You might also want to take a page from the SAD page. Get some light (fluorescent helps the most.) and aim it closely to you. This has save my button many a winter day.
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Old 11-23-19, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
...... Driving, though gets me there faster, is frustrating....... Riding to work in poor weather and road conditions just feels too much like work itself.
I feel blessed that during rush hour, riding my 16 km to work is faster than driving, which helps my motivation a lot during poor weather. It's also a bonus that there are a lot of breakfast restaurants along my route and a bbq catering kitchen at a pivotal juncture - if I haven't had my breakfast the odors are particularly enticing. It's the ride home that gets to me in bad weather: working too late, temperature dropping, uphill slog, tired/pissed drivers. It helps that a lot of people light up on the way home from work and the odor of high quality legal weed brightens things up a bit.
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Old 11-23-19, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I may have over done it, but I am also trying to motivate myself.
LOL, your posts make me realize what a grinder I am in bad weather. There might be a winter business opportunity for you to send daily motivational texts to us cycle commuter grinders, or writing pithy bits for fortune cookie fortunes.

Side-note: I do love a good fortune cookie fortune. My favorite is: "Help, I'm being held prisoner in a fortune cookie factory."
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Old 11-23-19, 09:46 AM
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I will say, however, that last week during the snow storm, that I did get home faster than had I driven. I fact, there was gridlock at every intersection. But the whole week was a grind, probably because I had to ride on studs all five days. Also probably added an extra two hours or more to the weekly commute time.

Much better thus week. Only on studs once, and more sun, warmer, and better roads.
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