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Dangerous commuting game

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Dangerous commuting game

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Old 12-21-04, 12:59 PM
  #1  
pedal
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Dangerous commuting game

To add some fun to my commute, I started timing myself from the front door of my condo building to the front door of my office building. It's almost exactly 6.5 km's, not very far I know. I usually ride my race-ready road bike. I'm very competitive and always try to beat my best times. It's getting to the point where I'm putting safety lower down on the priorities. If I keep going I'm gonna die doing this.

Should I park the roadie and use my slower, but reasonably quick hybrid? Which would be hard for me, 'cause the road-bike is so smooth and sweet to ride.
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Old 12-21-04, 01:04 PM
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don't change bikes, it's not the bike, it's the rider. On the hybrid you'll be just as competative, then once you get close to your racing time on your hybrid you'll switch back and just reguard the hybrid as a training tool.

Take the computer off the bike. Don't look at the clock when you leave or when you get there. Best of all, take longer routes to work and home. Concentrate on increasing mileage instead of decreasing time.
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Old 12-21-04, 01:09 PM
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The Zinn bicycle books recommend exactly what superdouper does--if you obsess over your computer, take it off. Then enjoy the ride.
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Old 12-21-04, 01:10 PM
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timmhaan
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if you must be competive with yourself, i would pick a nice straight piece of road and go for max speed. every day try to sprint that section and see if you can improve. trying to race against the clock will make you run red lights, take chances in traffic, etc..
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Old 12-21-04, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pedal
To add some fun to my commute, I started timing myself from the front door of my condo building to the front door of my office building. It's almost exactly 6.5 km's, not very far I know. I usually ride my race-ready road bike. I'm very competitive and always try to beat my best times. It's getting to the point where I'm putting safety lower down on the priorities. If I keep going I'm gonna die doing this.

Should I park the roadie and use my slower, but reasonably quick hybrid? Which would be hard for me, 'cause the road-bike is so smooth and sweet to ride.
Forget the hybrid. Go for padding - knees, elbows, shoulder, etc. You're gonna need em if you keep it up. But seriously, be safe out there. Your friends & family don't need to hear bad news. Save the speedwork for training rides.
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Old 12-21-04, 02:20 PM
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Being competitive is good, but you don't need to time the whole ride. Can you find a route with a relatively safe section for your time trial? Then you could warm up a little before you start hammering. The ideal course would not tempt you to run lights or put yourself in danger. Even a safe 1/2 mile stretch would be a challenge.

There is a 3 mile section in my commute which is flat and has only 2 lights but no cross traffic. This is where I do my timed runs. After many attempts, I am finally under 8 minutes.

Tom
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Old 12-21-04, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pedal
To add some fun to my commute, I started timing myself from the front door of my condo building to the front door of my office building. It's almost exactly 6.5 km's, not very far I know. I usually ride my race-ready road bike. I'm very competitive and always try to beat my best times. It's getting to the point where I'm putting safety lower down on the priorities. If I keep going I'm gonna die doing this.

Should I park the roadie and use my slower, but reasonably quick hybrid? Which would be hard for me, 'cause the road-bike is so smooth and sweet to ride.
Just hope you get injured instead of fatal accident. Nothing like a little pain to bring the reptile brain back to reality.
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Old 12-21-04, 03:37 PM
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It's true. Whenever I ride the hybrid, I try to get that thing going as fast as possible. The suggestion of longer route is clearly a smart idea. I'm not a morning person so it's hard for me to get up early enough to add distance to my ride. I guess I'll have to motivate myself to crawl out of the sheets.

I am addicted to my computer. Not so much average speed, but I just like logging lots of miles. Taking it off would be very difficuly. I haven't ridden without one in 10 years. Maybe a 12 step program is in order. Cyclocompoholics Anonymous.
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Old 12-21-04, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pedal
I am addicted to my computer. Not so much average speed, but I just like logging lots of miles. Taking it off would be very difficuly. I haven't ridden without one in 10 years. Maybe a 12 step program is in order. Cyclocompoholics Anonymous.
put electrical or duct tape over the computer. You can't see it but you can still count miles. Only look at it once a week so you can't compare each ride.

Or just find multiple routes, and ride a different one every day, that way your times aren't comparable to the previous day's ride since it was a different route. You'll get varied scenery and you'll log more miles.
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Old 12-21-04, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by pedal
. . . I am addicted to my computer. Not so much average speed, but I just like logging lots of miles. Taking it off would be very difficuly. I haven't ridden without one in 10 years. Maybe a 12 step program is in order. Cyclocompoholics Anonymous.
My HID stops my computer from logging miles, but I've ridden the same routes to and from work so often, I know how long they are. I just manually keep track of them when I have my light on. You could do the same on your route. Super-douper's tape approach also sounds like a good idea.
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Old 12-21-04, 09:55 PM
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My computer stopped working. I couldn't fix it and new that it was something that reading the manual would do. So I sold it and haven't looked back! I now enjoy the ride more!

Peace,
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Old 12-22-04, 12:08 AM
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What exactly are you doing that makes you think going faster will cause your early demise? I feel much safer at higher speeds that are closer to the speed of traffic. Unless you are running red lights or making dangerous left hands turns, your speed should not affect your safety.
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Old 12-22-04, 10:12 AM
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Take it from someone who learned the hard way - saftey comes first! Its ok to work on improving your times, but you must always make safety the highest priority. Try to put the emphasis on training your body not improving your speeds so much. Once you have tuned the engine properly your times will naturally start to improve. Remember, no short cuts and never put yourself or others at risk unnecessarily!
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Old 12-22-04, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
What exactly are you doing that makes you think going faster will cause your early demise? I feel much safer at higher speeds that are closer to the speed of traffic. Unless you are running red lights or making dangerous left hands turns, your speed should not affect your safety.
It's not the speed. I agree with you that I feel more comfortable at 40 km/h than 20. It's things like lights, taking wide turns at speed, etc.

Example...this morning I hammered hard up a small hill that curved to the left. I had a vehicle right beside me on my left. As we came up to the top of the hill there was a traffic sign (warning construction ahead, lane closing or something like that), right in front of me and I had seconds to react. I burst ahead of the vehicle and squeezed around the sign. Normally I wouldn't think of hammering up a hill as dangerous, but it was this morning. It might be fair to add that before this uphill is a long downhill so you hit this hill at a good speed.
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Old 12-22-04, 01:11 PM
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I also make my 9mi commute each way a race. I don't know why it would be dangerous unless you are braking traffic rules. Here is what I do to make it safe:
1. I use a cycle computer with the Auto Time feature turned on. This way the clock is stopped when you are at a red light and you are not tempted to run it. I also record elapsed time on my watch, but only to the nearest minute. I worked to beat the Auto Time, not the elapsed since it has variations that are out of my control. (Just as a tid bit my elaspsed time is on average 12% longer than autotime, this has been consistent over a long period, and means I spend 12% of my time stopped at lights)
2. I record both times (elapsed and moving) in a spreadsheet and monitor progress over a long period of time. That way if there is a reason for being slowed down it is OK in my mind and no different than a day with a serious headwind. In fact going fast in the worst traffic is still faster than a bad headwind. The best times of course are when I have a good tailwind. There will be ups and downs, but if you improve there will be a steady average improvement - this is what counts. Then every month or so you will get a best time.
3. Don't be stupid, no need to cut off in front of a moving car just to save a couple of seconds - it averages out if you follow point 2 above. Don't blow stop signs, sure it will save you time, but once you cheat you will forever have to cheat again to be competetive with yourself. If you follow the same rules for each 'commute race' you can ensure a level playing field with yourself.
4. Going fast I find no less safe than going slow - in fact I can better fit in the flow of traffic if going slow.

Al
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Old 12-23-04, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pedal
I am addicted to my computer. Not so much average speed, but I just like logging lots of miles
Do what I did and just cover the instantaneous speed section of your speedo



Also read this thread http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=79300.
You won't miss the instantaneous speed much, but you still have time, distance odo, average speed etc.
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Old 12-24-04, 12:56 AM
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If you always try to beat your best time, do you get recovery rides in?
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Old 12-26-04, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
My HID stops my computer from logging miles, but I've ridden the same routes to and from work so often, I know how long they are. I just manually keep track of them when I have my light on. You could do the same on your route. Super-douper's tape approach also sounds like a good idea.
About a week ago I set my L&M HID to low beam. I can't really tell the difference unless I switch back and forth between the settings. Anyway I noticed that I actually got speed on the low setting. On high I don't get anything. It's probably been 6 months since I last used my computer. I've do find I enjoy the ride more when I'm not focused on beating my time or keeping the avg indicator positive, but it is nice to know when to take the whole lane when you hit the speed of traffic.
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Old 12-26-04, 09:42 PM
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FYI my Ciclosport HAC-4 (wireless) doesn't have any problems with the Niterider HID.
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Old 12-26-04, 10:54 PM
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What's the expression? "Can a leopard change his spots?" Or perhaps in your case, "Can a cheetah slow down and still have fun?" Looks like you will always bike competitively. But if you really want to be competitive, why not do your short commute on an SS or fixie? Convert your fast road bike to single speed. Try 38:20 so that you will be spinning a lot. Convert your other bike to fixed gear ;-) No more free-wheeling. Think increasingly extreme revs instead of time and speed. I've found that single speed is to commuting what single-track is to mountain biking. Fun and challenging- and usually not life threatening ;-)


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