Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Commuting (https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/)
-   -   Whatever happened to the extreme commuter club threads? (https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/446594-whatever-happened-extreme-commuter-club-threads.html)

markhr 07-27-08 06:53 PM

Whatever happened to the extreme commuter club threads?
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkumClKGAnk

http://www.cbs46.com/news/16978630/detail.html

Ga. Cyclists Beat Gas Prices

POSTED: 3:11 pm EDT July 24, 2008

CLERMONT, Ga. -- Barry Lord is reluctant to admit it, but there are mornings when he can't stand the thought of riding his bike to work -- those mornings when the thermometer is pushing 100 degrees, when his 45-year-old legs are aching and his car is beckoning.

Still, he stands outside his north Georgia home most weekday mornings, bracing for his commute: A 42-mile round trip across winding rural roads, past farms and stores, through remote stretches and busy intersections.

For Lord, who has a perfectly functioning car sitting unused in his driveway, and his friend Michael Elliott, who rides with him most mornings, hopping on a bike instead has them burning calories instead of fuel.

"We enjoy riding," says Elliott. "And we enjoy the opportunity not to put gas in your tank."

The two figure riding a few days a week helps them each save $20 to $30 a week. More than that, though, they appreciate the intangibles of their rigorous schlep to the office each morning across north Georgia -- like the built-in workout and the feeling of accomplishment after every ride.

Their trips evolved slowly, starting with a 14-mile exercise loop during lunch breaks. Lord first scouted the route last summer, and the two began riding months before gas prices rose to $4 a gallon.

At work, they've gotten their share of shrugs and bemused looks, but they've offered others a dose of inspiration. One co-worker has enthusiastically followed their lead, buying a bike and starting to ride on her own.

Each morning the commute begins with a certain calming ritual around 7:30 a.m. The two grab a bite to eat, don bicycle pants and sleek helmets, fill plastic bottles with water or sports drinks and top off lean rubber tires with air.

Their ride starts out on flat, lonely country roads. This early, there are few cars in this neck of the woods, and motorists either quickly pass the cyclists or drive patiently behind them.

As they pedal down roads lined with grazing cows, the stench can get overbearing. Elliott, lunging forward amid a particularly painful stretch of chicken coops, makes a bonus out of the stink. "It keeps you motivated," he says.

The high point of the ride -- really, the low one -- is a dip in the road as they speed across a bridge spanning the Chattahoochee River.

From there the route becomes more difficult -- and more crowded. They converge on busier roads and a long line of cars gathers behind, some drivers flashing their brights and honking horns. When the narrow road opens into a passing lane, the cars zoom by, with one driver flashing the pair a nasty gesture.

They hit the home stretch and coast into Ethicon, a medical device company with an office in Cornelia, Ga. They leave a car there just in case the weather turns rough or an emergency arises, but today it's become a closet of sorts, where the two store their bikes and clothes.

The exhausting ride is over, and the two are dripping with sweat. They look down at Elliott's electronic counter to see how they did: Their top speed was more than 46 mph and their ride took about an hour.

"Let's face it, we're choosing a route that's as environmentally friendly as can be," Elliott says. "Carpooling is great, but this is as clean as you can get."

But was it worth it? They've still got to shower and change at an office locker room before they both begin their day of work as engineers. And the same tiresome route awaits them for the ride home -- except this time the sun will shine hotter. "Yeah, it's worth it," says Lord. "If you were looking at someone who was doing it for shear economics, it won't be. But I enjoy bicycling anyways, so it's a double benefit."

He chuckles. "Now, it would be a lot more enjoyable if it was only 10 miles. But it isn't."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bernie 07-28-08 03:00 AM

Is it me, or the aspect ratio of the youtube video or do these guys seem pretty chunky ? I'm not saying really overweight, just pretty weighty for guys who are riding 20 miles each way every day. I mean, I ride only 6 miles each way (commuting every day for three years now plus at least one ride each weekend) and have droped heaps of weight - now 180 cm (6 foot) and only 67 kg (147 pounds). These guys seem pretty weighty for regular commuters.

AdrianFly 07-28-08 05:41 AM

Well, they are new to commuting.

If might help if we had pictures of them before they started riding. They could have been 20lbs heavier then they currently are.

tarwheel 07-28-08 06:03 AM

I used to live not too far from where those guys work. It is pretty hilly terrain, the foothills to the Blueridge Mtns. So that makes the commute all the more impressive.

knucklesandwich 07-28-08 07:24 AM

I love riding my bike, but I couldn't stomach the thought of 42mi r/t on top of a 10-12 hour workday.
More power to them, but my 23mi r/t is right in the sweet spot.

cg1985 07-28-08 07:49 AM

Yea, my round trip is more like 16 to 25 depending on the route home. I think I'd like a longer ride if I lived in a nicer area. my route is pretty packed with crappy roads, downtrodden plaza's, apartment buildings and highway overpasses.

There is some nicer country rodes if you want to take a nice detour, but it's hard to find one that isn't a poorly maintained dirt road.

markhr 07-29-08 08:29 PM

Thread title question still holds.

What did happen to the weekly "extreme commuter club" threads?

thebarerider 07-29-08 08:37 PM

I believe something happened to Mars and someone else continued the thread, only to stop posting it for some reason.

markhr 07-29-08 09:06 PM


Originally Posted by thebarerider (Post 7164179)
I believe something happened to Mars and someone else continued the thread, only to stop posting it for some reason.

Damn, well thanks for the reply. His last post was a few months ago. Does anyone know if he's ok?

Also, given all the frivolous threads in commuting why don't some of the super commuters start the threads up again. That is, try starting next week as week1 from Monday and aim to create the thread by 21:00PST(05:00GMT next day). Anyone can start the thread but there should only be one thread used.

I have no idea what the rules where for claiming long distance commuting. Anyone who used to participate care to explain please?

mtnwalker 07-29-08 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by Bernie (Post 7149185)
Is it me, or the aspect ratio of the youtube video or do these guys seem pretty chunky ? I'm not saying really overweight, just pretty weighty for guys who are riding 20 miles each way every day. I mean, I ride only 6 miles each way (commuting every day for three years now plus at least one ride each weekend) and have droped heaps of weight - now 180 cm (6 foot) and only 67 kg (147 pounds). These guys seem pretty weighty for regular commuters.

You know how it is. Camera's add a few hundred pounds.:innocent:

Anyways, they did mention that they were only lunch time riders before they started commuting.

Marylandnewbie 07-30-08 07:49 AM

Yep as barerider pointed out Mars sort of burned out on the threads and I think he had a few run-ins that turned him off. I know I saw him post on some other thread a few months ago, but I haven't heard of seen anything since. Last I heard he was still riding as life and schedules allowed.

I tried to take up the mantle, but I suffered burnout after a while as well (not to mention my work schedule became totally insane). I still post here and there when I get a chance, but launching a regular thread was out of reach. I seemed to be running out of ideas to kick off threads and the number of people posting seemed to decline. I think most of the initial posters became old hands and lost interest in the threads.

Anyway I'm still riding just about everyday as schedules allow and approaching 15,000 miles in 3-1/2 years of commuting. I still love the ride, but as someone observed I don't think I'd want to do a 40 mile RT every day. My 24 mile RT is just fine.

nmanhipot 07-30-08 08:18 AM

I stopped commuting for a few months with a job change. Now I'm back to commuting and back to reading and posting as well. Let's kick it off again. There's plenty of topics to choose from. How about instead of (VLC) Week XX, we change it to (VLC) Week of August 4, 2008 or some such. Thoughts?

markhr 07-30-08 08:18 AM

Ok, well thanks for the reply. That's a pity as I enjoyed seeing the threads. They seemed to represent the gold standard of what is achievable by everyday cyclists.

bdinger 07-30-08 08:55 AM


Originally Posted by markhr (Post 7166681)
Ok, well thanks for the reply. That's a pity as I enjoyed seeing the threads. They seemed to represent the gold standard of what is achievable by everyday cyclists.

+1

I was looking forward to bragging in them during the winter :).

BroadSTPhilly 07-30-08 09:31 AM


Originally Posted by Bernie (Post 7149185)
Is it me, or the aspect ratio of the youtube video or do these guys seem pretty chunky ? I'm not saying really overweight, just pretty weighty for guys who are riding 20 miles each way every day. I mean, I ride only 6 miles each way (commuting every day for three years now plus at least one ride each weekend) and have droped heaps of weight - now 180 cm (6 foot) and only 67 kg (147 pounds). These guys seem pretty weighty for regular commuters.

This is what you thought you should post? Hey, those guys aren't as thin as me therefore I will cast aspersions. I am 5'11 and 180 lbs after dropping ten due to commuting and my commute is almost twice yours. Seriously guy not cool.

centexwoody 07-30-08 12:58 PM

at 45 or 50 you get the body you have - a few pounds here and there, a few inches around the middle changing maybe, but mostly you are who you are...

I admire their willingness to a) get on their bikes b) ride that far to work c) do it a couple of times a week and d) do with aging joints on a regular basis. At 55 I understand the temptations to just blow it off and take the car because some place on your body always hurts whether you exercise or not.

corripio 07-30-08 01:30 PM


Originally Posted by Bernie (Post 7149185)
Is it me, or the aspect ratio of the youtube video or do these guys seem pretty chunky ? I'm not saying really overweight, just pretty weighty for guys who are riding 20 miles each way every day. I mean, I ride only 6 miles each way (commuting every day for three years now plus at least one ride each weekend) and have droped heaps of weight - now 180 cm (6 foot) and only 67 kg (147 pounds). These guys seem pretty weighty for regular commuters.


Originally Posted by BroadSTPhilly (Post 7167261)
This is what you thought you should post? Hey, those guys aren't as thin as me therefore I will cast aspersions. I am 5'11 and 180 lbs after dropping ten due to commuting and my commute is almost twice yours. Seriously guy not cool.

The aspect ratio does seem a little off on some of the shots (probably just 4:3 squished to 16:9). But in any case, it's not a cool to call them "weighty". That wouldn't be much different than me calling you out for be 6' and ONLY 147 lbs -- dude, you must have no muscle, I bet you can't even lift your own bike. Kind of silly, don't you think?

If anything it looks more like those guys have freakin huge hill climbing legs...and at 200 miles a week, they'd probably smoke most of us on any decent length ride.

josephjhaney 07-30-08 01:40 PM

I have pedaled to work everyday since feb15th of this year, last year I had over 3000 miles on the pedals, this year I'm over 2500 so far, and plan to crack 4000 miles for the year. I have a 16- 17 mile round trip, and ride every day, and sometimes on weekends. I'm 5 9" and fluctuate between 230 and 240. When I started cycling I was 299. I'm in a lot better shape, but yeah, I'm a lot "chunkier" thank you'd expect with the amount of miles I do. I plan to keep losing, but don't think you can look at a riders build and determine how far he goes. I've completed centruy rides before, not blazing fast (14.5 average on our last one) but it's still 100 miles under the wheels at the end of the day.

Joe

imartin26 07-30-08 03:31 PM

I am 220lbs and 5'9" so that would put me in the chunky world too and with the milage I am doing I am really not loosing a whole lot of weight. My round trip in the summer (100 degrees to 115+) is 27 miles and in the cooler months is 40 miles and that isn't even my whole commute. I am going to try and do my entire route this coming winter which will be 60 miles round trip. Hopefully that will knock off the rest of the weight.

kbblodorn 07-30-08 03:56 PM

I hadn't seen the extreme commuter club threads before so I searched for some old ones. Looks like an interesting line of conversation. The couple I saw seemed to be dealing with extreme winter riding (it's 20 below and there were icicles on my eyelashes kind of stuff). I'm sure there's a summertime analog (it's 120 F and my tires melted to the pavement). I would think that posting a ride in tough conditions might be a good incentive to ride. Was the point to see who was the most extreme for a given week?

Marylandnewbie 07-31-08 07:34 AM

I encourage anyone who wants to relaunch the VLC or XCC threads to do so. When Mars launched it, the idea was to create an online support group for people with significant commutes. He and many others sometimes found it hard to maintain the motivation day after day. We also tried to celebrate each others milestones on mileage, best speeds, new bikes, etc. It was open to anyone who thought their commute was long or extreme for whatever reason. It looked like most people who posted there regularly had commutes over 12-15 miles.

The tenor of the threads attempted to be supportive of each other and offer the best tips and advice we had to any newcomers. We tried to stay away from dogmatic advice or endless debates like backpack vs. panniers. If you look at enough of them you'll see occasional rants about motorists and other situations, but we tried to keep it civil.

I know I'd be happy to chime in when I can if someone else wants to launch some interesting trains of thought.

nmanhipot 07-31-08 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie (Post 7174174)
I encourage anyone who wants to relaunch the VLC or XCC threads to do so. When Mars launched it, the idea was to create an online support group for people with significant commutes. He and many others sometimes found it hard to maintain the motivation day after day. We also tried to celebrate each others milestones on mileage, best speeds, new bikes, etc. It was open to anyone who thought their commute was long or extreme for whatever reason. It looked like most people who posted there regularly had commutes over 12-15 miles.

The tenor of the threads attempted to be supportive of each other and offer the best tips and advice we had to any newcomers. We tried to stay away from dogmatic advice or endless debates like backpack vs. panniers. If you look at enough of them you'll see occasional rants about motorists and other situations, but we tried to keep it civil.

I know I'd be happy to chime in when I can if someone else wants to launch some interesting trains of thought.


Very well said. Being a natural-born step-to-the-front-of-the-line-to-take-the-first-pie-to-the-face-kind-of-guy, I'll take the month of August. After that, we'll see what happens. Pound like a slan?

kbblodorn 07-31-08 02:49 PM

Makes sense to me - let the southerners run the show in the summer, and us frozen tundra types will pick up the winter. After all, I'm guessing no one wants to hear me bragging about my extreme commute this morning in 63* weather. (It was 94% humidity, so that has to count for something!)

Schwinnrider 07-31-08 03:01 PM

The younger guy hit it on the head----you have to start small and work up to a level that's comfortable. My commute is exactly as long as theirs(well, it can be depending on the route I take) and it's not something I was able to do every day right away. I don't do it every day now, but I could if I wanted to. I ride to work twice a week and lift weights three days a week.

Schwinnrider 07-31-08 03:04 PM


Originally Posted by Bernie (Post 7149185)
Is it me, or the aspect ratio of the youtube video or do these guys seem pretty chunky ? I'm not saying really overweight, just pretty weighty for guys who are riding 20 miles each way every day. I mean, I ride only 6 miles each way (commuting every day for three years now plus at least one ride each weekend) and have droped heaps of weight - now 180 cm (6 foot) and only 67 kg (147 pounds). These guys seem pretty weighty for regular commuters.


No, you're just way skinny. 147 pounds at 6 feet tall? Do you blow away in the wind?


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:35 PM.


Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.