Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

For all parents out there.

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

For all parents out there.

Old 02-08-10, 11:02 PM
  #1  
scoobysnak
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For all parents out there.

How in the heck do you do it? How do you get enough sleep in order to make the commute by bike?

My daughter is 9 months old now and going through serious teething at the moment which means that at any time during the night it sounds like a piccalo pete is going off in her room. This comes after contending with acid reflux, after her catching one heck of a case of bronchiolitis, and just being a baby in general. And all this after my wife went through a less-than-easy pregnancy where we were in and out of doctor's offices all the time.

Getting "enough" sleep just to function can be a challenge, getting up even earlier to ride to work feels impossible!

So, my question once again, how did you do it? I have taken a total of 15 months off from nearly all forms of physical activity and I am really feelin' it. I want to get back on my bike in the worst way, but my body keeps telling me that the extra hour of sleep I can get by driving is more important.
scoobysnak is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 12:12 AM
  #2  
dlester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 463

Bikes: Trek Portland/Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo/LeMond Versailles

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My best advice is to promote breast feeding. That way your wife has to get up to do all the feedings.
dlester is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 12:13 AM
  #3  
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 8,112
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dude I feel your pain. It will get better.

We have two kids and although one wasn't as bad as than the other, neither were great sleepers when they were really young. I'm not sure this is the best method but our wife and I had designated nights where one was responsible for getting up with the baby and the other could sleep. More than once I slept with earplugs in the basement so I could get a full night of sleep. She would sometimes do the same on her nights to sleep.

I think you need to come up with an arrangement with your wife where you can both can whatever it is you need. You might do this kind of thing already. You watch the baby for a couple of hours so she can go to the health club, have coffee with a friend, etc. She watches the baby for a couple of hours so you can ride.

Riding every day just might not be practical at this point in your life, but like I said, it gets better. You could perhaps drive part of the way so riding only adds 30 minutes to your commute instead of an hour but for now I would try to get your exercise in a way that doesn't limit your sleep.

This last piece of advice doesn't have much to do with cycling but I strongly recommend that you and your wife make sure to take care of each other and your marriage as well as your new baby. Take advantage of relatives or anyone else (within reason) willing to babysit your daughter for a few hours or overnight so the two of you can have some time together and your baby gets used to being taken care of by other folks.
tjspiel is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 02:03 AM
  #4  
Manetheren
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
Posts: 50

Bikes: 2005 Marin San Rafael

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We have five kids (2 months to 8 years), so yeah, I know what that's about. Due to the birth and my wife's ensuing complications, I've been off my bike since late October. The time of interrupted sleep will pass eventually. I don't suppose you have a trainer? If yes, you could just take 20 minutes of that for some activity, and you wouldn't have to leave the house. Personally, I don't need as much sleep as some others do, so that works better for me. Also, our kids have all slept through the night at two months of age, which I understand is pretty rare. I'm looking forward to riding again once the ice is gone (about two months). I'll say it again - this time will pass. Take it from someone who's been there four times (yes, four - the twins throw off the math).
Manetheren is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 05:06 AM
  #5  
FreddyV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: 5257'N 621'E
Posts: 1,977

Bikes: Giant OCR

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm sorry, I can't help you on this one. I have one 20 months old daughter, and havent had any trouble at all. She's been sleeping from 7:30PM to 7:30AM as soon as she was born (not counting the midnight food parties of course). I've been very lucky with my sweetheart.
FreddyV is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 07:25 AM
  #6  
RobertFrapples
all-weather commuter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If I take the bus instead of biking to work after being up half the night, I am useless. The exercise in the morning helps a lot.

My experience is with a 5-12 mile commute each way. If you are doing 20 or something, that might be a different story.

+1 for having mommy breastfeed.
RobertFrapples is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 07:37 AM
  #7  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 22,892

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3020 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 84 Posts
good luck with this one. my kids are teens and I feel guilty not driving them to the bus stop and letting them wait in the car until the buss arrives. when I ride or do other training in the morning they are on their own. they are hardy.

I remember putting everything I had into being a parent of young children like 9 mo olds, etc. It helps a great deal to divide labor with the mother. she does mornings and you do evenings ...? something like that

now that I'm 50 I think having new kids would kill me unless the mother was smoking hot and made me a very happy man. then I guess I could do anything. love is amazing like that
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:14 AM
  #8  
bobfromwaco
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 88
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Coffee, Redbulls, Five hour energy. All day, everyday. People will say it's not good for you. What's worse is not having the energy to get anything done. Ginseng helps too.
bobfromwaco is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:19 AM
  #9  
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 8,112
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bobfromwaco View Post
Coffee, Redbulls, Five hour energy. All day, everyday. People will say it's not good for you. What's worse is not having the energy to get anything done. Ginseng helps too.
Those things can help in the short term but they're not a substitute for sleep. Sooner or later you have to pay the piper.
tjspiel is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 09:21 AM
  #10  
JeffS
not a role model
 
JeffS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,659
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scoobysnak View Post
I have taken a total of 15 months off from nearly all forms of physical activity and I am really feelin' it.

That would explain why you feel like crap.
JeffS is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:32 AM
  #11  
j3ns
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iceland
Posts: 273
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mine is 19 months old now and only one tooth to go! She has never been a good sleeper due to reflux and still sleeps in our bedroom. I can second tjspiel's advice to take turns getting a full night's sleep when possible. Of course if she is still being breastfed during the night there will be an "interruption" to the mother during her nights, but this can be held to minimum by your assistance.
I have had great success in finding motivation in my love for my daughter and her mother. This gives me incredible energy to survive through the hard days and do my best as a father, a spouse and at work. It also motivates me to ride to work, because from time-management point of view it is very sensible to get to work AND work out at the same time. The time I can spend with my daughter each day is limited and very valuable to me. But I can't give up working out for many years (we will have more kids) so this is the best solution.
So my advice is to think about your daughter for motivation and to be the best father you can. That includes doing your best at work and thinking about your health. You can also think about what kind of role-model you want to be for your daughter.
__________________
My advice is free of charge and of respective quality.
1982 Miyata 912
1998 Wheeler 5900 with front and rear air cushion suspension
2015 Canyon Spectral 7.0 EX
j3ns is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 11:00 AM
  #12  
RomeRider
Outside
 
RomeRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rome, GA
Posts: 238

Bikes: Trek 1000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We have 3 teenagers, two adolescents and a toddler who is 16 months old. I don't get so much sleep, but I can usually keep riding. It is hard though. Teens help you stay up late at night and babies help you get up early in the morning. I think sleep is just something for later in life.
RomeRider is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 11:18 AM
  #13  
Schnayke
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Medford, OR
Posts: 325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scoobysnak View Post
How in the heck do you do it? How do you get enough sleep in order to make the commute by bike?

My daughter is 9 months old now and going through serious teething at the moment which means that at any time during the night it sounds like a piccalo pete is going off in her room. This comes after contending with acid reflux, after her catching one heck of a case of bronchiolitis, and just being a baby in general. And all this after my wife went through a less-than-easy pregnancy where we were in and out of doctor's offices all the time.

Getting "enough" sleep just to function can be a challenge, getting up even earlier to ride to work feels impossible!

So, my question once again, how did you do it? I have taken a total of 15 months off from nearly all forms of physical activity and I am really feelin' it. I want to get back on my bike in the worst way, but my body keeps telling me that the extra hour of sleep I can get by driving is more important.

I'm not a parent but if you can't get 8 hours sleep a night, then do what ever to get as much as you can.
Here is my suggestion. on nice days stop some place a few miles out and ride from there. That way you still get the blood flowing. Don't beat your self up just get back on as soon as you can. Being a parent of a baby is tuff, Almost all my friends are.
Schnayke is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 11:28 AM
  #14  
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 8,112
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Though not related to sleep I will say that one investment that really paid off was buying a Burley trailer. At the time Burley was the one to get and they were expensive but well worth it. Seems like there's more good choices these days.

Before long your daughter will be old enough to ride in one of these. Though our kids are now too big for it, it's still great for hauling stuff. Nothing like throwing beach towels, cooler, and toys in the Burley and taking a family bike ride to the beach.

Good Times.
tjspiel is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 12:54 PM
  #15  
jeffpoulin 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I took a break from bike commuting when my kids were under 1 year old. It gets better. By the time they're 3, they sleep like.... like babies!
jeffpoulin is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 01:36 PM
  #16  
tarwheel 
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,906

Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'll put it this way: I quit running and cycling after our daughter was born. Something had to give as there are only so many hours in the day and you can't put it all on your wife. I did a lot of walking with my daughter in a backpack during her early years. I eventually got back to cycling, but not for a few years.
tarwheel is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 02:11 PM
  #17  
sggoodri
Senior Member
 
sggoodri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 3,073

Bikes: 1983 Trek, 2001 Lemond, 2000 Gary Fisher

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
1. After 12 months, you can take your kid for rides in a trailer (we own a Burley, which I highly recommend). You'll probably be doing different routes and times, but don't underestimate the exercise value, especially climbing hills. I take my kids for rides to food/treat destinations like ice cream shops, which they look forward to. My 6 year old is now on a tag-a-long trailer and will hopefully start riding on his own soon, or we'll upgrade to a tandem.

2. Arrange for as much babysitter/help time as possible. Use this to make time for recreation as well as errands.

3. Sit down with your wife and plan out opportunities for both of you to recreate as well as get all your errands done. Make sure both of you get recreation in. If you can share the same recreation activities, that's ideal, but if not, make sure she gets equal opportunity. Nag her if she uses her recreation time for errands - even if it's her own fault, she'll resent you for it. Explain how often you think you want to exercise and how important it is, and figure out what you can make happen together.

4. Once your sleep schedule is stable and sufficient, you can squeeze in recreational rides early in the morning or later at night, assuming you have lights. You can also jump on the bike for some errands. I've transported diapers, farmers market produce, toys, precriptions, and other items when there was enough time to spare for the slower trip speed.

5. If your preschool or elementary school is nearby, you can bike to school with your child. I often took my son to preschool a mile away from home in the Burley, doubled back to the house to drop off the trailer, and rode on to work. This spring I will be transporting three kids daily, so I can't do that anymore without a more elaborate setup like a tandem plus trailer. But 1-2 kids is quite doable.
sggoodri is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 02:29 PM
  #18  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,073

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 438 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1537 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 9 Posts
I wasn't bike commuting when my kids were really small; I started up again when my daughter was a bit under two years of age.

But I've found the twice daily manic bike ride energizes me; I may feel tired when I'm getting on the bike, but I feel great when I get off it.

How much attention kids need, at night, when they should be sleeping, is a cultural norm. If they cry, and you sleep through it, they sooner or later learn not to bother with the crying. But if you're trained --by yourself, or by your spouse, or by your idea of what's expected of you-- to get up and deal with the baby every time s/he cries, then that will be expected of you. What I'm driving at is... go ahead and ride your bike. If it makes you more tired, so be it. Maybe you'll sleep better at night, and miss a feeding or two... but it won't be the end of the world. If you feel better, and are happier in general, your whole family will benefit.

How's that for rationalization?
rhm is online now  
Old 02-09-10, 02:30 PM
  #19  
lshaped
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 416

Bikes: 2006 Raleigh Mojave 2008 Specialized Roubaix Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Though not related to sleep I will say that one investment that really paid off was buying a Burley trailer. At the time Burley was the one to get and they were expensive but well worth it. Seems like there's more good choices these days.

Before long your daughter will be old enough to ride in one of these. Though our kids are now too big for it, it's still great for hauling stuff. Nothing like throwing beach towels, cooler, and toys in the Burley and taking a family bike ride to the beach.

Good Times.
i've logged many, many miles with my son in a burley. without it i would not have been able to
ride. he's 3 now and i remember throwing some toys in the trailer and riding while he napped.
besides, the extra weight of my child and my trailer i think added to my fitness
lshaped is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 02:33 PM
  #20  
crazybikerchick
Senior Member
 
crazybikerchick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: the Georgia Strait
Posts: 961

Bikes: Devinci Caribou, Kona Dew Plus, Raleigh Twenty

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scoobysnak View Post
I want to get back on my bike in the worst way, but my body keeps telling me that the extra hour of sleep I can get by driving is more important.
I'm not a parent but I like riding my bike to work BECAUSE I can get extra sleep Its the fastest way to get to work. (6 km/4 mi through an urban centre) I take it if you have to get up an hour earlier to bike that you have a particularly long commute, and that your car commute is probably highway/high speed.
crazybikerchick is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 04:24 PM
  #21  
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Posts: 6,521

Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Get up 2 hrs earlier to take an extra 20 easy miles on your commute in low stress traffic. Then go to sleep at work.
AndrewP is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 04:40 PM
  #22  
|3iker
Alfredo Contador
 
|3iker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Where everybody knows my name
Posts: 431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It is important to get enough rest. Else you may get yourself injured or worse while riding without a good night's rest.
Speaking from experience, this phase will pass. So don't fret it. Enjoy this baby years because they grow up real fast!
|3iker is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:25 PM
  #23  
pityr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: PDX
Posts: 641

Bikes: Trek 1200, Kona Honky Inc, PX Stealth

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
We had the same problem, acid reflux and all. I put 15k miles on my car that first year. That's how I dealt with it. I even took naps in our sleep room at work. I didn't start riding again seriously till after she turned 1 and started to sleep mostly through the night. Only got about 800 miles that year (I did 3500 the year after), that and about 30#s around the midsection. Stress is a *****.
pityr is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:30 PM
  #24  
cooleric1234
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Aurora, CO
Posts: 1,306

Bikes: CAAD9-1, Windsor Cliff 29er

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rhm View Post
How much attention kids need, at night, when they should be sleeping, is a cultural norm. If they cry, and you sleep through it, they sooner or later learn not to bother with the crying. But if you're trained --by yourself, or by your spouse, or by your idea of what's expected of you-- to get up and deal with the baby every time s/he cries, then that will be expected of you.
All I can say is Amen. I know this is a very unpopular thing to do, but our first daughter was a terrible sleeper. Along about 8 months, when we knew she was old enough to sleep all night, we made a change. First of all, make sure the kid is not sick. But, barring that, we let her cry it out. First night she screamed for an hour, second night for 30 minutes, third night 15 minutes, and ever since then no crying and she's been a great sleeper. Call me a terrible parent, but I guarantee we're much better parents now due to getting more sleep than before.
cooleric1234 is offline  
Old 02-09-10, 10:53 PM
  #25  
I_bRAD
Call me The Breeze
 
I_bRAD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Cooper Ontario
Posts: 3,700

Bikes: 2004 Litespeed Siena, 1996 Litespeed Obed, 1992 Miele (unknown model), 1982 Meile Uno LS.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Can you move closer to work? Problem solved.
I_bRAD is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

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