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Will I ever get used to it??!!

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Will I ever get used to it??!!

Old 09-13-05, 07:52 PM
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bmx_freestyle
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Will I ever get used to it??!!

Hello everyone, this is my first post! I just started commuting last monday and have logged a total of 50 miles so far My commute is to school; 5 miles there, 5 back. Whenever I get back I am SO tired! If I take a nap, I could probably sleep till the next day.

Now, my question is, will I eventually get used to the commute? Note: When I get to school, I park my bike a the gym, take a shower, and I feel refreshed and alert for all my classes. It's just when I get home, all I want to do is crash!

I hope I get used to it because I have become addicted to commuting now! Any replies would be appreciated
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Old 09-13-05, 08:02 PM
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Congratulations on your first week of commuting and welcome to the club.

You will not only get used to it but soon you'll want to do more miles for the fun of riding. we all started just like you, now I'm not even warmed up at mile 10.

What bike are you commuting on? are you eating enough to stay fuelled up? What sort of physical condition are you in? What's your commute like (stop-go or hilly)? You have to tell us all about it.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bmx_freestyle
Hello everyone, this is my first post! I just started commuting last monday and have logged a total of 50 miles so far My commute is to school; 5 miles there, 5 back. Whenever I get back I am SO tired! If I take a nap, I could probably sleep till the next day.

Now, my question is, will I eventually get used to the commute? Note:
The short answer is Yes, you will get used to it. When I recently returned to commuting regularly I felt the same way for a few weeks.

Eventually, depending on how many hills are involved you should be able to do the commute and not need a shower. for a while I was commuting 5 miles to a co-workers house and what worked for me was to take a shower before, to make sure I was not overdressed (wearing cycling specific clothes) and really concentrate on not overexerting myself on the morning ride. It was hard to throttle back but it also kept me from getting all hot and sweaty. deodorant also was good just in case.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:14 PM
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Congratulations on starting the commute. You've already done the hardest part!

The good news is that you will get used to it. Try as best you can to make sure you get enough sleep (hard during student days). Also eating good meals is important as cyclaholic points out, so you might want to look over your diet.

Give it another week and I'm guessing you will feel better. In a couple of weeks you'll probably be over the hump and you'll start craving more miles. Just hang in there and things will get better.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:26 PM
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you'll be fine. I started commuting back in May and the first week took a route that seemed like it was too much ... you know, hills. Today I took it both ways and felt great. Just hang in there, take a nap if you can, your body will catch up. The more energy you use, the more you'll have as your body adjusts.

What are you riding? You're not commuting on a BMX, are you? If yes, you're already way tougher than I'll ever be. I like my gears.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:54 PM
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Congrats!

Yes, you'll get use to it. Just make sure your eating and drinking enough, but that is probably coming along natrually. Try to make sure your not riding on an empty tank, but don't eat just before a ride. Your 5 mile commute will soon just blend into your daily life.
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Old 09-13-05, 09:39 PM
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Thanks so much for all the great feeback! Sydney_B, I am not commuting on a BMX But Road Cycling and BMXing are my fav's. Since I commute to a university (and the probability of my nice road bike getting stolen is about 99.9%), Im using an older road bike, it is a Galaxy. Actually, I think its more of a touring bike. I found the bike at the thrift store for about $10. Rides pretty good and has a low stealing rate. I will post a pic of it tomorrow!

Its amazing how I already realize how much faster I am getting. There are a couple of hmm..not really hills but just steady inclines that used to KILL my legs, but now I go through them at my second to highest gear! Its also funny how I am actually excited to start my day with a commute... I must say, I do stay awake in class much better now (even through the boring stuff!)

I used to be in excellent shape (thanks to soccer ) but whenever I got to college, I sort of stopped excercising due to lack of time. Also, I did one triathlon. My eating habits is definetely something I have to work on. Usually I have 2 large meals and thats it. Im trying to have 3 well balanced meals with small snacks in between (mom is a dietitian) and LOTS of water. Im getting better though.

Last edited by bmx_freestyle; 09-13-05 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 09-14-05, 02:46 AM
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When I get a new commute as we travel around the country I like to put in a LONG ride after a week or so of regular commuting. Something in the 40-60 mile range. What this does for me is put things in perspective. A trip into town shopping, checking the mail, going out to eat etc. and going 20 miles is then nothing..... compared to the 40-60 mile ride. Sounds goofy, I know, but it works for me LOL
D
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Old 09-14-05, 07:00 AM
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I find my energy level drops after a commute if I have not eaten before the ride. Try snacking on a granola bar or some other light snack within the hour before you ride home. Also make sure you are hydrated. Other than that its just a matter on conditioning which you will build up quickly. Let us know how its going in another week or two.
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Old 09-14-05, 07:47 AM
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When I was 17 I took a summer school class and couldn't get a ride there, so I had to ride my bike--five miles! I thought it was such an accomplishment. Just a few years ago I started commuting to work regularly and now, at the age of 55, a trip of five miles seems like hardly anything. You'll get used to it.

Not only will you get used to it, but after a time you might start to think a person would be crazy NOT to do it. As others have pointed out, we have engineered out of our daily lives things we need to live, specifically, real food and exercise. We work at desks, have lawn services, use a remote on the TV even, and, especially, drive motorized transportation appliances whenever we want to go anywhere. We have reached the point where going some place under our own power instead of with the help of a motor seems weird. Really, it is the other way around.
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Old 09-14-05, 10:13 AM
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You'll do totally fine. My commute is 11 miles one way. At first I was pretty dogged out, but now it's no problem. It does still kick my butt in the winter sometimes; riding with full lights and batteries, a change of clothes and stuff in the bag, wearing 3 layers, slow-ass studded tires on ice, going into a 15 MPH headwind up a hill on the way home - yeah, that tires you out.

But on most days in the winter, and any day the rest of the year, no problem. And I get sick less and feel stronger at all times.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:01 AM
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Echo what everyone else says. I also have a 5 mile each way commute, and when I started, I was winded by the end of it. I noticed a few months later that I no longer was. (It probably stopped happening long before then, but I only noticed it then.) That was 3 years ago.

Recently, I had occasion to try a Very Long Commute ("VLC") for 3 days in a row, a 34 mile round trip. I was amazed that not only could I actually do it, but I felt like I could have gone even longer if I had to. I think I have reached the point now that the limiting factor on whether I bike somewhere is not whether I can physically do it, but merely if I can afford the time it will take. It's a good feeling, and I'm sure you'll get there too, if you keep at it.

Good for you!
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Old 09-14-05, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Congratulations on your first week of commuting and welcome to the club.

You will not only get used to it but soon you'll want to do more miles for the fun of riding. we all started just like you, now I'm not even warmed up at mile 10.
Welcome to club, but don't buy this "you'll get used to it" comment. Sure somethings will come naturally like:

-- grabbing the keys to the bike lock instead of car keys
-- putting on gloves
-- leaving a few minutes earlier
-- not being afraid of the commute
-- not being afraid of stop signs and traffic signals
-- not being afraid of that big bad truck, i.e. SuperUnperforminguglyVehicle
-- packing light
-- collapsing in exhaustion after a ride
-- cold weather is no longer Too Cold To Ride and now is Where Is the Winter Gear

It's been almost a year of 5 miles commutes. Well actually, just made 50th round trip yesterday as I had problems with the right clothes and the right mindset for winter.

What is still not used to it:
-- thighs still ache sometimes during ride. [ they no longer ache afterwards ]
-- still hit times when Huffing and Puffing

After about 500 miles, it was easier. I only commute the 10 miles daily so maybe time back takes longer. I expected to no longer have any aches in thighs. Still hoping that will happen some day, but not holding breath.
You should no longer collapse after a few weeks of commuting.

Just don't want you to get unrealistic expectations. You can stilll take showers if you like, but guess you'll soon find it hard to brake a sweat when commuting.

Again, welcome and keep us posted on your experiences.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:23 AM
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Not only will you get used to it, you'll want more. You'll be looking for extra miles and tougher hills. You'll go up and down those hills more than once, too. You'll monitor your miles and average speed with the focus and obsession of a sabermetrician pouring over batting averages and on-base percentages.

You'll crave things like new bikes and new gear. You'll spend more time with the folks at the local bike shop than with members of your own family. You'll wonder out loud about how to convert a perfectly nice mountain bike that never did anything to you into a single-speed winter commuter.

It will never end.

Seriously, though. Have fun. And it will get easier.
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Old 09-14-05, 11:51 AM
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Try to make sure your not riding on an empty tank, but don't eat just before a ride.
I agree. Like everyone says, you'll get used to riding 10 miles a day, but 10 miles is no shabby workout.

I'd also like to put in a word for healthy eating. As someone who rides 10 miles a day, I strongly discourage you from eating a "low-carb" diet, a "low-fat" diet, or (nobody really suggests this, but it's easy to do by accident) a low-protein diet. All three should be in balance.

If you're like me, your body will wantreally badly to go to sleep in the afternoon/evening if your breakfast and lunch don't have enough fat and protein.

Also, make sure you get a reasonable amount of water and salt in your diet-not too much or too little. Gatorade contains a lot of plain ol' table salt in finely ground form for a reason. (too much salt, or too much gatorade, will do bad things to you, though.) What gatorade-type drinks also contain (which your body needs if you exercise a lot) is some kind of potassium salt (such as potassium chloride, which is similar to sodium chloride.) You need some of that too, and you can get it by eating good amounts of fruits and veggies.
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Old 09-14-05, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rjkresse
Not only will you get used to it, you'll want more. You'll be looking for extra miles and tougher hills. You'll go up and down those hills more than once, too. You'll monitor your miles and average speed with the focus and obsession of a sabermetrician pouring over batting averages and on-base percentages.

You'll crave things like new bikes and new gear. You'll spend more time with the folks at the local bike shop than with members of your own family. You'll wonder out loud about how to convert a perfectly nice mountain bike that never did anything to you into a single-speed winter commuter.

It will never end.

Seriously, though. Have fun. And it will get easier.

Boy is that ever the truth. I rarely look for more miles on the way (other than with a training group) in but at night I stretch my 10 miles into 20 often.

I have also found that heat makes a difference. When I lived in Tempe AZ, I would ride the three miles home from ASU in 110+ heat and be absolutely worthless the rest of the day. Here in ID though, I can ride in 105 heat and have no problem.

In a way I agree with Silver that you will still be working your body and will feel it sometimes. I am suprised by how often my calves are sore in the am's before or at the start of my ride. I still need 1-4 miles to warm up and then the miles crank by with a lot less effort.

Hang in there. The real fun is yet to come when you are trying to convince your wife why you need to spend even more money for something that was supposed to save money in the first place.
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Old 09-14-05, 04:16 PM
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No. It doesn't get easier.

It starts with a slight fever and dryness of the throat. When the cycling bug penetrates the red blood cells, the victim becomes dizzy and begins to experience an itchy rash, then the poison goes to work on the central nervous system, severe muscle spasms followed by the inevitable grueling. At this point, the entire digestive system collapses accompanied by uncontrollable flatulence... until finally, the poor bastard is reduced to a quivering wasted piece of jelly.
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Old 09-14-05, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bmx_freestyle
Sydney_B, I am not commuting on a BMX But Road Cycling and BMXing are my fav's.
Whew. I see a few and while I admire their their fortititude, I can't imagine what it would be like to pedal a long, heck even a short, traveling distance like that.
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Old 09-14-05, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by John Ridley
You'll do totally fine. My commute is 11 miles one way. At first I was pretty dogged out, but now it's no problem. It does still kick my butt in the winter sometimes; riding with full lights and batteries, a change of clothes and stuff in the bag, wearing 3 layers, slow-ass studded tires on ice, going into a 15 MPH headwind up a hill on the way home - yeah, that tires you out.

But on most days in the winter, and any day the rest of the year, no problem. And I get sick less and feel stronger at all times.
Ayeee de trolls. Dant gno whata real wintar be like in da land a da u-pers. Aye! Shudda tore down da bridge long ago n joined wit Canada, Aye!
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Old 09-15-05, 04:13 PM
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When I started, I was super-tired, too. I thought I might not be consuming enough calories for my energy output, and probable muscle development. Now, I don't get as hungry, but still realize that fuel is important to keep myself going. I still get tired, too, but can ride a lot farther and longer than before. Proper nutrition is a big deal, and I'd like to think those who regularly cycle are more aware of that than those who regularly drive, but who knows...
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Old 09-15-05, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bmx_freestyle
when I get home, all I want to do is crash!...I hope I get used to it because I have become addicted to commuting now
Ah, the addictive high, followed by the inevitable crash! I wonder if you were also "jet-lagged" by staying up late during the summer and having to get back onto a regular schedule for school. One of my kids came home and crashed every afternoon the first week of school, and he has to walk all of 400 m
I commute 8 km/5 miles and I find it painless, and I'm an older, overweight guy. It'll be good soon.
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Old 09-15-05, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rodney Crater
Ayeee de trolls. Dant gno whata real wintar be like in da land a da u-pers. Aye! Shudda tore down da bridge long ago n joined wit Canada, Aye!
Ya shure. I wuz da yooper fer 10 years, my daughter was born dere. Love da xc skiing. Ready to call on Heiikie Luunta come November?

(sorry to the rest for the incomprehension)
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Old 09-16-05, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
... Ready to call on Heiikie Luunta come November?
Ya you got me. I never made it to full fledged yooper status. I lived there 6 months one summer but boy did I hear the stories about Michigan Upper Peninsula winters from the folks { yoopers ( pronounced long u-pers ) } that lived there. I did go so far as to get a pair of cross country skis but was transfered before I could enjoy them there.


Originally Posted by bmx_freestyle
... Now, my question is, will I eventually get used to the commute? ...
Sorry to get off track bmx_freestyle. Yes you will certainly get used to it. It took me a little while but pretty soon before I knew it I was at work or at home and the trip did not seem near long enough to satisfy my desire to ride.

Last edited by Rodney Crater; 09-16-05 at 07:33 AM. Reason: spelling and spacing
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