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About to begin commuting 20 miles each way, haven't been on a bike much recently...

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About to begin commuting 20 miles each way, haven't been on a bike much recently...

Old 05-29-11, 08:16 PM
  #1  
chinotex
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About to begin commuting 20 miles each way, haven't been on a bike much recently...

Any tips/advice? I may alternate between taking public transit/biking/a mix, and work my way up. I'm excited to be trying this but a bit concerned about burning out in the first week. How should I get started?
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Old 05-29-11, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by chinotex View Post
Any tips/advice? I may alternate between taking public transit/biking/a mix, and work my way up. I'm excited to be trying this but a bit concerned about burning out in the first week. How should I get started?
You've got the right idea. Start out easily. Especially in your climate area. Drink more water than you think you need and start thinking of yourself in terms of being an athlete. If you start to feel burned out then by all means drive for a day or so. You're changing your entire lifestyle by deciding to cycle-commute.

Maybe do a mix as you gradually work in entire cycle-commutes starting out by riding your route on the weekend a few times. Get to know your amenities for your arrival at work. Are there shower facilities? Lockers? Bike storage? Slowly, but surely you'll begin to develope a rhythm and extend your cycling days per week. When I started my first long range goal was to do a 'double nickel'. 2 weeks @ 5 days per. Then I took the following Monday off even though I wasn't burned out. Others will weigh in I'm sure. It's a process that takes a bit of time but the rewards are huge.

A solid bike, good gear and accessories. Peruse the Utility, Touring, Mechanics, Winter as well as this sub-forum to help dial in your commuter rig. There's alot of very good equipment out there nowadays. Much better than when I started in '87. Have fun! PS: Don't commute in your work clothes or work in your commuting clothes.

Btw, my commute is the same as yours. 40mi rt daily. So, I do know about taking 'burned out' days.
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Old 05-29-11, 09:10 PM
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At a previous job I had the option of taking a commuter train. I would ride to work in the morning, then in the afternoon I had the option of taking the train if I was tired.

As suggested above, first ride the route to work on a weekend so you get familiar with the streets. Then try riding 2 days a week. Increase from there.
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Old 05-30-11, 07:40 AM
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Good advice above. If you haven't already, you probably want to optimize your bike for speed/efficiency over your particular route. Let us know if you want any tips in that regard.
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Old 05-31-11, 09:05 AM
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I do 21.25 (Give or take) each way, so I'm in the same boat basically. I'm not sure where your ability level is at - Your post says 'haven't been on a bike in a while' but it looks like you have over 600 posts on the forum which suggests that this isn't your first time out on a bike. But anyway for what it's worth, my observations on riding a 20+ mile commute:
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        Old 05-31-11, 09:14 AM
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        DogBoy
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        Originally Posted by Surrealdeal View Post
        I do 21.25 (Give or take) each way, so I'm in the same boat basically. I'm not sure where your ability level is at - Your post says 'haven't been on a bike in a while' but it looks like you have over 600 posts on the forum which suggests that this isn't your first time out on a bike. But anyway for what it's worth, my observations on riding a 20+ mile commute:
              +1. It isn't a race. Go at a comfortable pace. That pace will increase on some days, decrease on other days and be totally destroyed on days with heavy wind/weather. Figuring on 2 hrs total trip time is a very good suggestion IMO.
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              Old 05-31-11, 09:39 AM
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              I got a 19 mi o/w commute and usually start in the Spring, working my way up to more or less full time bike commuting.

              Bring your bike in your car the first day, ride home. Ride back to work the next day. That would be a decent start. Or just commit to doing it once the first week, twice the second week, etc. until you're riding as much as you want to be.

              But really, just do it. Thinking about it makes it seem a lot more improbable than when you are actually riding.
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              Old 05-31-11, 10:06 AM
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              man, i feel like a wimp. i'm about to start riding to work, and I only have a 4-mile trip each way here in Manhattan. my only reservation is sweat. i tend to sweat more than most people and i don't like the idea of getting into work and starting my day all sticky. i just ordered some biking shorts that i can change out of when i get to my office. and i'll probably bring a fresh shirt to change into. i might try the first commute on Friday when i have the shorts.
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              Old 05-31-11, 10:40 AM
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              Surrealdeal
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              Originally Posted by peskypesky View Post
              man, i feel like a wimp. i'm about to start riding to work, and I only have a 4-mile trip each way here in Manhattan. my only reservation is sweat. i tend to sweat more than most people and i don't like the idea of getting into work and starting my day all sticky. i just ordered some biking shorts that i can change out of when i get to my office. and i'll probably bring a fresh shirt to change into. i might try the first commute on Friday when i have the shorts.
              Shower beforehand and wipe down with baby wipes when you are changing. If you have the storage area, keep a container of wipes and a dopp kit at work instead of schlepping it both ways every day.
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              Old 05-31-11, 10:56 AM
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              Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
              You've got the right idea. Start out easily. Especially in your climate area. Drink more water than you think you need and start thinking of yourself in terms of being an athlete. If you start to feel burned out then by all means drive for a day or so. You're changing your entire lifestyle by deciding to cycle-commute... A solid bike, good gear and accessories. Peruse the Utility, Touring, Mechanics, Winter as well as this sub-forum to help dial in your commuter rig. There's alot of very good equipment out there nowadays. Much better than when I started in '87. Have fun! PS: Don't commute in your work clothes or work in your commuting clothes.
              Totally! Start into it slow, work your way up. It helps to see yourself as an athlete sometimes. In fact, in your case, your gonna have to start thinking like one. Each ride is training for the next, you'll probably find it beneficial to watch what you eat, too. A large commute like that for a new guy probably wreaks havoc on the system at first. But dont worry, you'll probably be drinking beer again in a few months

              Seriously though, I think equipment would be your friend here. Have that Trek tuned at a bike shop, and carry an allen wrench and fine tune the geometry a little everyday until it fits like a glove and all aches and pains go away. You may find you'll benefit from a better seat. Get a rack, and use it instead of a backpack. And have fun and never push yourself too hard.
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              Old 06-01-11, 12:21 AM
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              peskypesky
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              Originally Posted by Surrealdeal View Post
              Shower beforehand and wipe down with baby wipes when you are changing. If you have the storage area, keep a container of wipes and a dopp kit at work instead of schlepping it both ways every day.
              great idea! thanks for the tip.
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              Old 06-01-11, 01:12 AM
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              I currently do a 46km round trip commute, and I find I simply can't do 5 days a week. I do 4 days a week and use Wednesday as a rest day. That way it's only 2 consecutive days each time, which allows me time to rest.
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              Old 06-01-11, 01:55 AM
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              I sweat more than average. One time I left butt cheek sweat mark on a granite curb from sitting on it. But I find that when I shower before hitting the gym to lift weights I don't get that sticky feeling. I wouldn't have a clue if biking is the same tho.
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