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Kevin S 08-23-01 11:42 AM

Two-a-days, how far?
Since I am training for commuting and commuting is a twice a day activity, I'm planning on going to two-a-day rides 3 times a week starting next week.

Any recommendations on what mileage to start at next week? I can do 10.5 miles in a ride now. Two options I have considered are (morning/evening): 10/4 and 6/6. I plan to adjust the distance based on how I feel after the first day, but would like a good starting place for next Monday or Tuesday. My own thoughts are to do 10/4 because of the heat and pollution in the afternoon, and the desire to spend some time with my family . Any comments with your reasoning are welcome.

Kevin S.
Proverbs 15:22, "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed."

sillystorm 08-23-01 02:43 PM

hi Kevin, I find that I have two different speeds/ energy outputs for 2 rides per day.
Let me explain, in the morning it is 5.30 so I find that I don't feel like going hard, I just spin-100/105 rpm in 39x17 or 16. In the afternoon there is lots more traffic so I have to ride hard and fast to keep up with them, this tires me out so I can't go fast next morning.
I commute 50km round trip and it took me the best part of a year to be able to ride this day in/day out- to me this was a sign of my fitness. It took this amount of time because I was out of shape but others younger will take a lot less time to adjust.
To me your planned training regime sounds good, letting your body adjust to regular riding.
My advice would be to listen to your body in the early days- if you feel really tired then take the car/bus/train or take the next day off the bike. For me- after a long time commuting I push myself to ride if I don't feel like it, but I take it slowly and feel ok at the end.
Good on you for giving it a go!
regards, sillystorm

MichaelW 08-23-01 03:48 PM

If you can ride 10 miles without collapsing, its probably better to go ahead and ride the commute, rather than train for it.
Take it at an easy pace, so you are not breathing heavily, and spin your pedals freely in a lower gear. If you ride at about 12mph, it will take 50mins or so. During the first few weeks you will notice a real improvement in fitness.

Good luck

Chris L 08-23-01 04:11 PM

As usual, the advice of Michael W is sound. You'll be surprised how quickly your body can adjust to riding such a distance. If you take it easy at first, it shouldn't be a problem.


RonH 08-23-01 07:35 PM

I started commuting last month. I'm a few years older than you and ride 14 miles each way (Decatur to Norcross).
When I started commuting I decided to do 3 days a week to begin with (M,W,F) so I would have a rest day between ride days.
Once you feel you have built up enough strength and stamina, go for whatever schedule suits you.

I too don't go all out in the A.M., at least not until I'm warmed up (6 or 7 miles).
After work my body isn't in the sleep mode so I can push myself a little harder.

The thing to remember is, listen to your body! Don't overdo it. If you feel tired, it's time for a rest day.

D*Alex 08-24-01 07:58 AM

I find that it is really easy to pull muscles in the morning. Be really careful on your a.m. commute, especially if you have any big hills to climb. The guy in Illinois, of course, doesn't have any 8% grades, like one of my routes does.

jramsey 08-24-01 10:34 AM

I would recommend going for it, as well. If you can take MARTA as a backup, you could always hop on the train/bus to go home, if you're too tired. I bet you won't have much trouble, though, if you're already riding 10 miles at a time.

In a couple weeks, you'll wonder what you worried about. :)


Andre 08-24-01 11:43 AM

Hi kevin,
I just started commuting in june and i currently do 3-4 times a week. My commute is 54km roundtrip and when i started i would drive partway in the car and then bike the rest of the way.
I can now bike the whole distance fairly regularly and am looking forward to giving up my car altogether for commuting.
Andre-Rans Wave

LittleBigMan 08-24-01 08:19 PM

Originally posted by Kevin S
My own thoughts are to do 10/4 because of the heat and pollution in the afternoon, and the desire to spend some time with my family.
You are doing fine, if you are following your own instincts, as you have described them here.

For air quality forcasts, call (404) 362-4909. If smog is bad, take the "road less travelled" or cut back in the afternoon. Mornings are best for air quality and also for spending time in the evenings with your family!

Yet, I tend to cycle both morning and evening, though my average speed in the afternoon is about 2 mph. less than in the morning (I guess I'm contradicting some other posters, but that doesn't make any of us wrong, we are just all individuals. :D

Kevin S 08-25-01 11:41 PM

Thanks for all the input. I could start now from a mileage viewpoint. There is a closed grocery store 3 miles from work, the next good place to park the car is 5 or 6.5 miles from work (depends on the route I take). However, I don't have a tool kit or frame pump for the bike yet, or a place to park it at work and there is no public transit backup for my commute (the joy of suburb to suburb commuting).

So...I will be doing 10 miles in the morning and 4 miles in the evening while I get the other things lined up. I'm also taking the EC course next month and hoping that will help prepare me for the leap into traffic.

Oh yeah, air quality. I've found a web site that lists the hour by hour readings and, at least for Atlanta, also has a graph. I don't have the link on my home PC, but will post it on Monday. I've added it to my local home page (next to the radar picture) so I can see at glance what the Air Quality Index (AQI) is.

Kevin S.

Kevin S 08-27-01 09:49 AM

Here are the Air Quaility links I promised:

Atlanta air quality index (AQI):

Atlanta AQI forecast page:

Other cities around the country:

Kevin S.

RonH 08-27-01 10:33 AM

Glad to hear you are taking the EC class. I took it last fall and highly recommend it. :thumbup:

I don't have a tool kit or frame pump for the bike yet
Before heading out, make sure you get a pump and tool kit. You don't want to get stuck somewhere when the unmentionable happens.
And get a good lock since you don't have a secure place to lock the bike. Make sure you lock both wheels, frame, and saddle if it will not be in a "safe" place.

Kevin S 08-28-01 09:47 AM

Thanks RonH.

I've been concentrating so much on the "engine" that I neglected the other "details." The EC course has always been a requirement for me, the commuting just wasn't going to happen before that.

Also, I'm working with a very tight budget. I'm sure that biking will save me money, but I have to start biking to save that money, and I need the money to start biking, but... Well, you get the idea.

Now that I'm confident (and my wife is convinced) about my abilitity to bike the distance (phase 1), I'm working on the rest of it.

Kevin S.

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