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Fun wearing off?

Old 11-18-20, 08:37 AM
  #1  
pdlamb
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Fun wearing off?

I've been "not commuting" for the last eight months and enjoying it. "Not commuting" meaning I tried to ride my normal commuting mileage on a daily basis while not going to and from the office. And it's been great! I have a much broader range of routes, since I'm only pinned at the beginning and the end (home/home office). If it was raining but supposed to clear up, I'd wait for better weather (OK, that only worked sometimes...). I rarely had trouble fitting a ride into my schedule.

... And now it's winter. It's getting dark early. It's darn cold in the morning. And I don't have as much time to flex.

Ran into my neighbor yesterday afternoon, and he mentioned many of these concerns -- and brought up that late afternoon rides aren't as viable because it's cooling off fast, the sun is low so visibility for cagers is a problem, and without the commute to drive us out on the bike, who really wants to ride at sundown?

Anyone else want to admit to similar feelings?
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Old 11-18-20, 08:51 AM
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i was feeling the same, so just got myself a smart trainer and will attempt to go out on the weekends.
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Old 11-18-20, 08:54 AM
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The dark, that never bothered me much. This last year I did more night rides then ever. I just bought lights. I'll do flashers front and back, and a head lamp or flashlight mounted up front. I am a weather wennie, I stay out of the rain and do indoor exercise.
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Old 11-18-20, 09:28 AM
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When I started commuting, every ride had several moments of all-out efforts.
If I approached an intersection showing green, Id sprint hoping to make it over.
If I approached an intersection showing red, Id keep pushing, hoping to hit the light at a high subsonic just as it changed.
Now, not so much.
Whatever the color, Ill approach any light at an easy-to-stop speed.
So, yeah, the thrill has gone.
However, I still appreciate bike commuting as such. It makes it real easy to maintain body weight, and provides a good foundation for any other endurance activity I can think of.
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Old 11-18-20, 09:32 AM
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Does lunch time provide an opportunity for you to ride? The pros are it's bright at that time of the day, traffic might actually be lighter, and the temperature would have risen a bit. Cons might be that your usual "not commute" may have been longer.
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Old 11-18-20, 01:32 PM
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I'm actually doing a few more lunch time rides lately. Nice to ride in full sun, although I have to pick my route a bit more carefully. There's a mall (with a cafeteria) and Walmart that attracts old people at lunch time like (insert your favorite simile here) -- and those old folks behind the wheel of their large cars frankly scare me.

Downside is that lunch seems to attract virtual meetings. How come I can never get on anybody's calendar around lunch time, but they're so happy to gum up mine?

Dark never really bothered me after I got my lights down. It just seems kind of silly to go riding in the dark when I'm already home!
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Old 11-18-20, 01:37 PM
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Good lights, and depending on temperatures: Gloves and layers. After that and you're golden.

Edited to add:

Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Dark never really bothered me after I got my lights down. It just seems kind of silly to go riding in the dark when I'm already home!
I prefer taking a ride to exercising at home on rollers or a trainer. At least I can get some fresh air and see stuff. Experiencing the wind and temperature, and also pick up stuff when needed.
Staying at home is boring - especially now that a lot of us are more or less forced to stay at home as much as possible.

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Old 11-18-20, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I'm actually doing a few more lunch time rides lately. Nice to ride in full sun, although I have to pick my route a bit more carefully. There's a mall (with a cafeteria) and Walmart that attracts old people at lunch time like (insert your favorite simile here) -- and those old folks behind the wheel of their large cars frankly scare me.

Downside is that lunch seems to attract virtual meetings. How come I can never get on anybody's calendar around lunch time, but they're so happy to gum up mine?

Dark never really bothered me after I got my lights down. It just seems kind of silly to go riding in the dark when I'm already home!
Block off a set of time on your calendar for your ride as a standing meeting, make sure it shows as "Busy" and Private. If you have a standing something blocked off most days, people will just look for the next opening.
My last job was regularly interacting with executives, none of whom ever had free-time on their calendar, everything was 100% booked always. If you wanted a meeting, you called their admin who would give you 2-3 time slots.
Lesson learned, if you want to control your calendar, make sure that the only open spots are places you explicitly WANT meetings.
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Old 11-18-20, 04:39 PM
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This is the major difference between rec riding and commuting. I always said I wanted at least marginal conditions for recreational riding but commuting....game on. That's why I love it. I commuted almost everyday for 15 years (and a train) and saw it as my only way to work. Listened to weather forecast and never the traffic report. I think it is a different mind set. Retired now and I will not ride if conditions are nasty.

FWIW: I really miss commuting to work.
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Old 11-18-20, 04:57 PM
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If I didn't have to commute then I'd probably wouldn't be riding daily. It's a lot of work to get ready to ride--clothing choices to suit the temperature and weather, electronics like lights, GPS to track miles, lights, camera, and more lights. Then there's the dealing with morning and afternoon traffic. If I wasn't commuting I'd just wake up early and head out the door for a 10k run and call it a day.

When I started commuting years ago I'd take an extra long, circuitous route to work in the morning, often double the necessary distance. Now it's the safest and shortest route possible, especially if it's cold, raining, snowing, wearing studded tires. I just want to get there and get home.
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Old 11-19-20, 05:09 PM
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My wife bought some trainers. How smart they are I don't know yet. planning to try Zwift.

And an elliptical and a very simple air-resistance rower.
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Old 11-19-20, 08:40 PM
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Still riding to and from work until snow hits the ground then I'll decide if it's worth it. Haven't prepared for that day yet even though the temps have dipped and darkness has fallen fast and quick.
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Old 11-19-20, 08:58 PM
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I like the must-do aspect of commuting. I was riding if it was raining, windy, cold, dark, icy, smoky; if I felt like crap, lazy, sleepy, sore; if my first meeting was at 9:00 or 6:30. At the end of the day, same thing - no choice. It was part of my identity, corny as that sounds.

I can't duplicate that must-do feeling with recreational rides, or even utility rides.

The dark/rain/cold stuff sucks.
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Old 11-21-20, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I like the must-do aspect of commuting. I was riding if it was raining, windy, cold, dark, icy, smoky; if I felt like crap, lazy, sleepy, sore; if my first meeting was at 9:00 or 6:30. At the end of the day, same thing - no choice. It was part of my identity, corny as that sounds.

I can't duplicate that must-do feeling with recreational rides, or even utility rides.

The dark/rain/cold stuff sucks.
That's my situation. No more commutes, so no motivation to ride. That's why I am looking forward to in-person work starting again someday.
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Old 11-21-20, 11:22 AM
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Glad to see this thread, I've been beating myself up for not riding more. Basically if I don't have to be somewhere, I find it difficult to get myself out the door and on the bike. I've primarily worked from home--going into the office once a week or so. Since I don't have a car, commuting means transportation all around. But with Covid, I'm working remotely 100%, barely have any social engagements, and stoppage of volunteering commitments...I don't have to places to be. I live downtown so essentials such as shopping, restaurants, post office, etc. are all within walking distance.

Every month or so I "have" to go to a market that is 11 miles away to buy Asian food. I like the food so I do it, but the route is really crap. But hey it's a place to ride to.
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Old 11-21-20, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
This is the major difference between rec riding and commuting. I always said I wanted at least marginal conditions for recreational riding but commuting....game on. That's why I love it. I commuted almost everyday for 15 years (and a train) and saw it as my only way to work. Listened to weather forecast and never the traffic report. I think it is a different mind set. Retired now and I will not ride if conditions are nasty.

FWIW: I really miss commuting to work.
I rode every morning without a second thought because that was how I got to work. Each time I was glad I did it. Now that I work from home, I admit that I haven't taken a single early-morning ride. You're absolutely right: it's a completely different mind set.
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Old 11-21-20, 01:46 PM
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Due to some family health things I'm now pretty much taking care of kids or hurrying back and forth to work all the time. The weekends seem even more packed than the weekdays, because that's when I need to juggle lack of daycare and grocery runs, and this week is going to be worse than ever since school is out. Taking extra time to ride a bike in between has seemed selfish. I might need to start again for my sanity, though. I am really hoping for some future happy dovetail in the next few years between my kids' increasing abilities and my deterioration, where I can say "let's go for a bike ride" (or some other outdoor activity) and it's not just me herding them on balance bikes to the second-nearest park.

Online ordering of groceries has been a life saver. So far have not often sprung for delivery, but might start soon.
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Old 11-21-20, 07:49 PM
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I'm extremely fortunate in that about 15 minutes of riding in one of three directions from home, puts me out in the country. I often ride out there after dark. I have two lights on the bike and carry a spare battery for one of them = the one I use as a high beam that shines a long distance down the road.

If I'm riding around sunset, then I try to ride east and then ride home in the dark. Riding east puts the sun behind me and thus I'm not hidden from overtaking motorists.

Cheers
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Old 11-22-20, 07:25 AM
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I already have more miles this year than any other year while commuting over the last 13 years. During the last few weeks though, I have become much less motivated about biking. I had been riding religiously almost every morning during the past several months, but now not so much. Although the shorter days and the cooler weather is certainly part of it, I also believe that the side effects of dealing with the times of COVID-19 are the biggest contributor to my malaise.
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Old 11-23-20, 07:02 PM
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I'm one of those "essential" workers, so I've had to report to work, physically (not virtually) nearly every day, with few week-ends off here and there. I've been cycling to work for the past four years. It's a 20 mile round-trip ride each day. And I was just thinking the other day: if I din't commute, I would not ride that much recreationally, most likely. Why? Because it's gotten boring and I'm tired of the danger. It's just not fun any more. I've ridden just about everywhere there is to ride within a fifty mile radius from home, and the battle to stay out of the way of cars has worn out its welcome. That is why this past summer I bought a brand new gravel bike, which I have ridden on trails in the Cascade Mountains on four different occasions, about an hour east of Tacoma. Simply amazing to get out there in the mountains, smell that air, see those horizons, and just soak up the sun and good vibes. I would ride up there every week-end, weather permitting. But now its all snowed over, and I'm not likely to switch to studded tires and slog in the freezing winds up there, at elevation. So I'll wait until the spring. Until then, city riding on my ugly commuter bike, with Gore pants and jacket, neck gaiter, waterproof socks and gloves, goggles that fog up after 20 main...ugh.
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Old 11-24-20, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
It's a 20 mile round-trip ride each day. And I was just thinking the other day: if I din't commute, I would not ride that much recreationally, most likely. Why? Because it's gotten boring and I'm tired of the danger. It's just not fun any more. I've ridden just about everywhere there is to ride within a fifty mile radius from home, and the battle to stay out of the way of cars has worn out its welcome.
Like your commute, mine was 20 miles RT. And over the winter that was about 80 miles/week more than I would have ridden without the commute.

But I guess I was lucky. Even in the winter, I could usually keep one leg of each day's riding in daylight. And less than a quarter of the round trip was in any substantial traffic -- leaving home between the hospital shift change and the office worker's start of the day meant the ride to work was great. I felt bored for a while with the same route, so I started going different ways. And then variations on those different ways. After I came up with route 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 3B ... well, it hit me that was kind of stupid. Just mix it up occasionally and stop counting!

Unrelated to commuting: I decided to try some different routes over the last month out in the country. That worked well -- until I found a bridge being replaced a couple weeks ago. Long way back and around, so look at the creek. It looks clear, and fairly shallow, so I took off my shoes and socks to wade across. Long story short, the water was cold, the creek bottom was rocky but I made it across somehow without swimming, and over two weeks later my feet are still bruised. Still, it felt more like a hike in the mountains than a sedate ride through bean and cotton fields!
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Old 11-24-20, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
Because it's gotten boring and I'm tired of the danger. It's just not fun any more.
Funny thing, this is how I feel about driving. I used to have motorcycles and a turbo hatchback. There was a big change in road safety with texting and then smart phones. And/or maybe I just outgrew my 20's, and grew a family.
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