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

Communting By Bike Only Option or Job Lost

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.

Communting By Bike Only Option or Job Lost

Old 02-12-11, 07:22 PM
  #1  
americanlt2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Communting By Bike Only Option or Job Lost

Well since I work a 4pm to 11pm shift the bus is not an option. My drivers license will be revoked for 3years. I posted here previously and got a lot of support. It will be a 4mile journey each way. I am 32years & not in good health. I guess I'm looking for encouragement from you folks that I can make my commute. I only work 4 days a week. I work as a bartender/server so I'm on my feet all day at work.
americanlt2 is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 07:26 PM
  #2  
CCrew
Older than dirt
 
CCrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Winchester, VA
Posts: 5,342

Bikes: Too darn many.. latest count is 11

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
4 miles each way? You can do it... That's just getting warmed up for a lot of people.
CCrew is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 07:30 PM
  #3  
rex_kramer
Acts 2:38
 
rex_kramer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 500

Bikes: '10 Marin Lucas Valley, '13 Scott Speedster 20

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was diagnosed with HBP at age 40 and probably overweight by about 20 pounds. At 41, I just decided to give it a try...and I liked it. 11 miles each way. Yeah, it was hard at first, but you have to be willing to work through any aches or pains and just know that in a matter of a few months, you'll be doing those 4 miles with ease. If you're in poor shape, you won't be for long.
rex_kramer is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 07:33 PM
  #4  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,589

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6747 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 161 Times in 137 Posts
on a bike you are sitting on the saddle , your feet are just going around,
Its not weight bearing exercise.

Get a good set of lights, Ideally a front hub generator with LEDs front and rear. and a reflective vest .

likely need rain gear for the wet.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 07:38 PM
  #5  
clasher
Senior Member
 
clasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 2,372
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
My commute is 6 miles each way, and I do it 4 days a week... work 12 hours of shop work labour each day. I'm 29 years old, about 220 at 5'11" so I've got a lot of extra blubber but I manage to get it done. I'm kind of exhausted but the nice thing is that you'll get into great shape quickly if you persevere. Bring a change of clothes and leave yourself a lot of time so you don't have to ride too fast and exhaust yourself. I haven't missed a ride this year and it's had a good affect on my winter mood as well.
clasher is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 07:41 PM
  #6  
Henry III 
is just a real cool dude
 
Henry III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Thumb, MI
Posts: 3,162
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
At first it might be hard but give it about a month and you'll be wanting to find a job that's even further away. lol. I get the joy of making specific bikes. It gives me a reason I can explain to my wife why I need so many bikes. I just starting commuting last spring and by the end of the fall I was doing ten miles in 35 minutes. I'm 32 also and for my size I'm about 30-40 lbs overweight. I don't try to go overboard going to work but by the time I leave work. I'm giving it all I got and always trying to beat my time from the day before and find the fastest way home. It's quite fun and by the time I get home I just want to keep going since the adrenalin is pumping. Four miles may sound like a trek right now but it'll be nothing in no time.
Henry III is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 07:42 PM
  #7  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had smoked for 35 years and lived life as sedentary as possible before deciding, at age 49, to ditch the bus and buy a bike.

My first ride, home from the LBS, I had to stop and rest halfway. I've since measured it--2/3rds of a mile, or about 1km. Yes, I managed only 1/3rd of a mile (a half-km) before I had to stop and rest.

It was few weeks before I could ride all the way to work without resting. That was two miles each way. It was about three months before I was comfortable with the ride, both ways four workdays a week.

All this was five years ago next month. Since then (as of this past Friday) I've put 21,556 miles on five bikes, mainly commuting and errands. Last year I transferred to a branch across town because my commute was too short.

Other than just doing it, one pedal stroke at a time, the best advice I can give is to get good lights. Not cheap lights, but good lights. You'll need them coming home.

All the rest you can work out as you go along. I did and I survived it, and had a blast doing so.
tsl is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 07:52 PM
  #8  
travelmama
Senior Member
 
travelmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Long Beach,CA
Posts: 1,410

Bikes: Kona Ute, Nishiki 4130, Trek 7000, K2 Mach 1.0, Novara Randonee, Schwinn Loop, K2 Zed 1.0, Schwinn Cream, Torker Boardwalk

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
4 miles each way? You can do it... That's just getting warmed up for a lot of people.
Yes. That should take about 20-25 minutes. Before you know it, you will be at home and in bed.
travelmama is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 08:06 PM
  #9  
Henry III 
is just a real cool dude
 
Henry III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Thumb, MI
Posts: 3,162
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Not to mention coming home that late you'll be in out no time after crawling into bed. If not that, you'll be wide awake from your ride. Like someone else said. Get some good lights front and rear or even couple of them. I picked up two sets for one bike. Also I wasn't one for riding with a helmet even though I had one for racing. You'll never know and with riding at night I wouldn't risk it. Starting this year I starting wearing one and can't even notice it.
Henry III is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 08:12 PM
  #10  
Santaria
Senior Member
 
Santaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brownsville, TX
Posts: 2,174

Bikes: Surly CC

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You'll do fine. 4 miles is less than 40 minutes a mild jog, riding a bike averaging 12-13 miles per hour with a decent amount of spin (think lower gearing when buying a bike) puts you home in little to no time.

Heck, in 2 years you'll be blowing through 4 miles in 8 minutes
Santaria is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 08:34 PM
  #11  
FunkyStickman
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 Centennial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good lights, a well-maintained bike, and if you have to ride every single day, a good rain jacket will make things better.
FunkyStickman is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 08:36 PM
  #12  
americanlt2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everyone.
americanlt2 is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 09:02 PM
  #13  
FunkyStickman
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 Centennial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You're welcome. You can definitely do it. Just be careful, think ahead, and don't worry too much. I was 40 pounds overweight when I started commuting last year... I watched what I ate, rode 9 miles to work and 9 miles back, and went from 210 to 170 pounds in less than 3 months.
FunkyStickman is offline  
Old 02-12-11, 09:07 PM
  #14  
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It took me 45 min to ride 3 miles on my first commute. I was severely out of shape.
After a year I had ramped up to 28 miles each way 3-4 days a week. I am certain you can do it if you posses the desire.
Good luck.
DataJunkie is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 08:01 AM
  #15  
atbman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Leeds UK
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
And you might want to check up on a bike safety course. Look up your nearest one on:
http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/education/
atbman is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 09:52 AM
  #16  
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,375

Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
4mi will seem like nothing in a short while. I agree with the posters who mentioned good lights and reflective gear. I do a lot of night riding, and those things are absolute necessities. A nice rain jacket and rain pants help for when the weather is crap, too. Not that you can't ride without them, but the ride is more pleasant with them.
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 10:06 AM
  #17  
bengreen79
Allez means go.
 
bengreen79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Two Rivers, WI
Posts: 894
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
4mi will seem like nothing in a short while.
My commute is 4.5 miles each way and it never seems like nothing - it just keeps getting faster and faster
bengreen79 is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 10:10 AM
  #18  
gitarzan
Lost Again
 
gitarzan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Columbus, Oh!
Posts: 1,041

Bikes: Soma Saga, 1991 Sirrus, Specialized Secteur Elite, Miele Umbria Elite.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
OP, you will be amazed how quickly you will tone up on a bike. In a week, the 4 miles will seem like nothing.
gitarzan is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 10:34 AM
  #19  
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gitarzan View Post
OP, you will be amazed how quickly you will tone up on a bike. In a week, the 4 miles will seem like nothing.
Depending on how active the OP has or has not been, it's also possible that by the end of the first week 4 miles will feel like hell on wheels - literally.

But...

THEN it will rapidly get better and feel like nothing.
achoo is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 10:46 AM
  #20  
gitarzan
Lost Again
 
gitarzan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Columbus, Oh!
Posts: 1,041

Bikes: Soma Saga, 1991 Sirrus, Specialized Secteur Elite, Miele Umbria Elite.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, I guess it depends on the rider. In my case, I had not been on a bike for 12-13 years, non-smoker, sedentary and recovering from undiagnosed Addison's disease. 1st day out = .5 miles, a little more over the week, 11 miles by two weeks, and on... but I was motivated and feeling good from rebounding from a previously untreated medical condition.

Anyway, it sure wont take two years...
gitarzan is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 10:55 AM
  #21  
buelito
train safe
 
buelito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Broomfield, CO
Posts: 801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you might consider a folder... if you can take the bus at 4pm to get towork, you can carry a folder with you inside the bus-- then ride it home at night. Or, you can probably take a full sized bike on a bus as well-- not sure where you are, but buses where I live have racks to carry 2 bikes...

If you go this route, you can 'ease' into commuting, only going one way. Gradually you can build up and ride both ways.

Look at the folding bike subforum for details on folding bikes...

train safe-
buelito is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 12:39 PM
  #22  
daveizdum
.
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As other's have said, the four miles will quickly become easy for you. To make those four miles as pleasant as possible, make sure you are prepared for the weather and have an emergency tool kit. There is a ton of information in these forums about fenders, rain pants, gloves, tool kits, etc. If you spend a little time reading now, you won't find yourself soaking wet at mile 2, pushing a bike with a flat tire, and showing up 30 minutes late to work.

Commuting in the cold of winter and the wetness of spring used to be unbearable. But because of the right gear, all four seasons of commuting are just as fun for me now.
daveizdum is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 12:44 PM
  #23  
Stuffstuff1
Computer IT
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Flushing, New York City
Posts: 100

Bikes: Giant Bolder (White) 2010

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
All you need is some fenders a rain cost and a good road bike.

Those 6 miles will feel like walking one.
Stuffstuff1 is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 01:54 PM
  #24  
CB HI
Cycle Year Round
 
CB HI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 13,566
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1246 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
OP, you should also read this for info and safety.

http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm
__________________
Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.
CB HI is offline  
Old 02-13-11, 06:23 PM
  #25  
Grim
Senior Member
 
Grim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 2,993

Bikes: Cannondale T700s and a few others

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Funny I'm pissed that my office moved 2 miles closer and my ride is now 2.2 miles instead of the 4.3 it use to be.

7 years ago I was in a sedentary high stress job, been smoking for 20 years and had a major heart attack that is often refereed to as "the widow maker". If I had not already got to the hospital before I went full arrest I wouldn't have made it. I have a friend that had a simular blockage and is now waiting for a donor.

It will be good for you. Just get good lights. Do get a good health check up soon. Take it easy till you build your strength.

Save the money you would have been paying for insurance and car maintenance. In a few months you will be able to buy a nice bike.
Grim 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.