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Succumbing to the easy way out

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Succumbing to the easy way out

Old 11-04-09, 06:38 AM
  #1  
csisfun
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Succumbing to the easy way out

Hello,

I don't know why, I do not have the zest to commute by bike anymore. It's probably because bike commuting can be rather troublesome, especially when it involves doubling your bag size due to clothes, towels and other stuff as a result of bike commuting. Further, I always have this fear of having my bike stolen or damaged (even at work where there are so many security cameras) and attracting a hell lot of questions at work (of interest, so far). The biggest problem: a sort of post-ride high bonk - not good at work.

And here's the worst thing: I succumb to the easy way out. These days, I carpool to work. It's great, it's air-conditioning and it's sit down and get-out-of-sleep-mode (post-waking sleepiness).

I admit, I don't like this situation I'm in. I still enjoy biking. I just do it separately at night.

Therefore, I am wondering if anyone could help me on my first big problem: the post-ride bonk. I feel sleepy after riding to work, which I find is the biggest detriment that's keeping me away from riding to work - could it be a lack of glucose?. Also, what's your inspiration to bike commute even if there's the easy way out (besides health and environmentalism)?

Regards,
X.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:53 AM
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Are you eating breakfast in the morning before you leave home? If not that could explain it. Also, how far is your commute and what is your pace? You might be pushing it too hard. When I first started bike commuting, I tried to ride at the same pace that I usually rode on group/recreational rides. I quickly found that I needed to ride slower when commuting to avoid burnout.

I am most vulnerable to wimping out when I am laying in bed after my alarm goes off. It's very easy to talk yourself out of getting up. However, once I am up, I am usually good to go. I always check the weather and radar because I don't like riding to work in the rain. Once I get to work, I take a shower, dress and then drink some coffee. I also keep food and snacks in my office so I have some healthy food readily available if I get hungry before lunch -- stuff like yogurt, granola bars, instant oatmeal, apples, bananas. A small refrigerator helps in that regard.

Last edited by tarwheel; 11-04-09 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:00 AM
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I feel your pain.

I too find myself blowing off the bike ride in exchange for an extra 30 minutes under the comfy warm sheets with the wife.

I don't experience the bonk you do, in fact, I ride my endorphin buzz all the way through my 12 hour work day.

Plain old laziness and lack of self discipline are to blame.

How long is your commute? Seems to me it would have to be a pretty damn long one. Personally, I don't bonk till somewhere north of 20 miles and that is after doing something stupid like start off on an empty tank. But, then again, I have a pretty good fat reserve which may possibly make me less prone to bonking. My commute is 12+ miles each way.

My routine is to make damn well sure I drink at least 12 ounces of juice/water as soon as I get up. I usually have an apple or a banana as well. If I have the time, I'll have a bagel or toast also.

Try a whole grain bread/banana/peanutbutter/honey sammich and wash it down with some OJ. This will load you up with good carbs/sugar/protein which should keep you bonk free. A couple of hot cups o joe when you get to work is good insurance also. Don't have the coffee at home or you will be needing a pitstop along the way!!
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Old 11-04-09, 07:20 AM
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The trouble I'm having is simply going to sleep early enough to be on the road at 6:40am. Plus, if I don't pack the panniers and make my lunch the night before, there's no way. I recommend taking along some fresh fruit like bananas and oranges to eat post ride. Should get you going till lunch. But remember that your metabolism has been kick started early, so it will affect your energy and hunger levels.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:25 AM
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14 kilometres, as there's a shuttle bus provided for us, I fold my bike and go up it. I'm thinking of riding the whole way though, 21km's worth. I eat breakfast, not a really big one though, it's usually cereal, milk and coffee. I'm usually bonking after I reach my workplace, not when I ride, so I just can't figure it out!

tarwheel: it could be perhaps I am pushing myself too hard. It's just that I don't like my speedometer going below 20km/h. It's ugly. Usually I average 22km/h. Perhaps I should slow it down, and sweat less on the way (important!). I hate sweat.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:53 AM
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My commute isn't so far that I bonk. I'm probably a little more energetic than I would otherwise be.

Better breakfast? A snack a long the way? Take it a little easier?

As far as some of your other concerns goes, maybe just get a cheaper bike for commuting that you don't have to worry over. Also, if you're carrying all your clothes in a messenger bag, panniers might be helpful. Personally I use a mess bag but I don't haul a fresh towel in every day and I leave my work shoes at work.

There's not a whole lot of advantages for me to opt out of riding. During rush hour, it's the quickest way to work for me so I won't get any extra sleep by not biking. Even so I often take one day a week off so that I can run errands. I think that helps minimize that chances of getting overly tired or burned out. I plan this day at the beginning of the week so I don't feel any guilt over it.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:55 AM
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If you have a folder, can you store it somewhere inside so you don't have to worry about it getting stolen?
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Old 11-04-09, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by csisfun View Post
...
tarwheel: it could be perhaps I am pushing myself too hard. It's just that I don't like my speedometer going below 20km/h. It's ugly. Usually I average 22km/h. Perhaps I should slow it down, and sweat less on the way (important!). I hate sweat.
Maybe ditch the computer and listen to your body signals as to how fast or sweaty you feel good about riding... just a suggestion...
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Old 11-04-09, 09:12 AM
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I think the only 'bonk' that I experience is caused by where I am commuting to.
See if you can't make commuting a simpler process, give yourself enough time to pack everything you need. I leave shoes at work and I use the same towel for a week or so, is that gross? I bring a fresh towel and wash cloth each week. I never eat anything pre-ride, but I do have coffee and water while I am getting ready in the morning. I bring breakfast with me and eat when I am settled in, and I drink more coffee and tea until lunch time.

You can do it!

Last edited by jpdesjar; 11-04-09 at 09:17 AM.
 
Old 11-04-09, 10:33 AM
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Whenever I start to worry too much about "the numbers", I go back and read Kent Peterson's blog entry, "Life at Twelve Miles Per Hour".
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Old 11-04-09, 11:25 AM
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I would disagree with some of whats said. I really dont think you need to eat before commuting in the morning unless you can wake up early enough to have that food be digested before the ride, if not I would not eat. I wake up at 5:45am and on the road at 6:00am and therefor there is no reason to eat.

Also what your eating (the night before, if you do eat breakfast, and post ride) has a large factor in the "bonking". Im not sure what cereal your eating but most have large amount of sugars/corn syrups. After the ride you want to eat something easily digestible so that your body doesnt have to spend excess energy breaking down food.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:51 AM
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It's all too easy to take the easy route out. As it got colder lately, I have gone back to driving. With my hot cup of coffee, heated leather seats, temperature controlled environment and music rocking my way to work it is hard to imagine to get myself to ride to work. But this morning i did. And you know what, once I got on the saddle, it was great.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
It's all too easy to take the easy route out. As it got colder lately, I have gone back to driving. With my hot cup of coffee, heated leather seats, temperature controlled environment and music rocking my way to work it is hard to imagine to get myself to ride to work. But this morning i did. And you know what, once I got on the saddle, it was great.
This may be my subconscious reasoning for not fixing anything on my Jeep. Busted heater core, stereo doesn't work, cup holder's full of spare fuses and electrical tape... It's actually nicer to ride my bike to work!
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Old 11-04-09, 12:07 PM
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I consider work as 8 hrs recovery time for the 17 mile ride home. I ride as fast as I can (not very fast), but really ease off for the last 1/2 mile. When I get to my desk I check Email and do a few little low stress jobs before taking a shower and changing. I keep lock, towel, pants, shoes and shampoo at work.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:29 PM
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you folks with showers at work suck!

just sayin'
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Old 11-04-09, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by trekker pete View Post
you folks with showers at work suck!

just sayin'
I noticed something yesterday I hadn't seen before. I happened to be walking through a building I used to work at about 10 years ago. On the main floor there were banners hanging celebrating their "greeness". One of the banners had a picture of a bike and notification that they had made arrangements with the health club next door.

People who bike to work in that building can use the health club locker room and showers without needing a membership. Pretty cool.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:42 PM
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ditch the computer. i used to beat myself up to stay over 20mph. i was constantly tired, and one part or another was aching/ tender. i stopped putting the computer in its mount and i was only 5 to 8 minutes slower over the same course of about 13 miles, but i felt a lot better.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:43 PM
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Sell your car. Then you'll have to bike. =)
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Old 11-04-09, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by trekker pete View Post
you folks with showers at work suck!

just sayin'
Yes we do......
 
Old 11-04-09, 03:18 PM
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I don't have an easier way option. My bike commute is easier/shorter than walking to public transportation and I don't even consider driving since we are a one car family and I hate to pay for parking. I have an 8 km/5 mile direct commute or can take a longer 19 km/12 mile route. If I'm lazy and want to sleep in, it's the direct route.

On the bonking/drowsy at work, I try to have some juice, coffee and a bagel before getting in the shower and loading up the bike at home. Then when I get to work I have a small second breakfast (I was a hobbit in an earlier life) of a granola bar or fruit and cereal bar or something larger if I pushed myself and rode longer than the extended route.
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Old 11-04-09, 03:32 PM
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I've gone through periods when it was just EASIER to take the car in. Oh and it was EASIER to just stop and grab some breakfast and coffee on the way in. But EASIER made me feel like crap.

But when I make myself get up at 0400 and ride in, I feel great. Not only do I feel good physically, I feel good about myself.

It sounds like you need to ride more in order to increase your physical stamina. If riding to work is as far as you ever ride, then it's always going to leave you fatigued because that's as far as you can comfortably ride.

Good luck to you.
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Old 11-04-09, 04:15 PM
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every few months or so i'll lose my zeal too. I'll reap the benefits of "alternative" (for everybody here anyway) commuting for a while and enjoy them. Then something will come up and i'll have to ride somewhere and i get instantly reminded of how much i love it.

variety is the spice of life and even bicycling can get boring. try switching routes, timing your ride and trying to get faster or just revisit the issue at a later date. All 3 have worked for me.
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Old 11-05-09, 05:36 AM
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I just took 2 weeks off the bike and drove everyday. This week was my first day back in the saddle.
I was feeling the same way, took the 2 weeks off and all those feelings have gone away. I'm back to looking forward to the commute
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Old 11-05-09, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by trekker pete View Post
you folks with showers at work suck!
yeah but on the downside I work at a campsite that has a hotel complex aswell, so I have to get to work early on cold days to use the sauna (towels provided)... oh and we workers get a free hotel buffet breakfast every day after the restaurant has closed for guests at 10 am (on paid time of course)... so don't feel too bad about it!
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Old 11-05-09, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by csisfun View Post
Hello,

I don't know why, I do not have the zest to commute by bike anymore. It's probably because bike commuting can be rather troublesome, especially when it involves doubling your bag size due to clothes, towels and other stuff as a result of bike commuting. Further, I always have this fear of having my bike stolen or damaged (even at work where there are so many security cameras) and attracting a hell lot of questions at work (of interest, so far). The biggest problem: a sort of post-ride high bonk - not good at work.

And here's the worst thing: I succumb to the easy way out. These days, I carpool to work. It's great, it's air-conditioning and it's sit down and get-out-of-sleep-mode (post-waking sleepiness).

I admit, I don't like this situation I'm in. I still enjoy biking. I just do it separately at night.

Therefore, I am wondering if anyone could help me on my first big problem: the post-ride bonk. I feel sleepy after riding to work, which I find is the biggest detriment that's keeping me away from riding to work - could it be a lack of glucose?. Also, what's your inspiration to bike commute even if there's the easy way out (besides health and environmentalism)?

Regards,
X.
yeah, I have had that problem too. From what I understand, if you are pushing it, you should have some carbos after you get to work (within 30 minutes) to help your muscles recover... (chocolate milk has been recommended but anything with some easily digested carbs will do) the sugar will get shunted to your muscles. If I don't do that, I also get sleepy and find it hard to get work done.
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