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sad about my new commute--- seeking advice

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sad about my new commute--- seeking advice

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Old 12-24-04, 05:01 PM
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soda
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sad about my new commute--- seeking advice

Well, it's not actually a new commute. I've been doing this for over a year now and just recently re-discovered this fourm so I'd thought I'd post my story. Before I started my new job here in Cincy, I mapped out a rough 10 mile radius from the location of my job so I could try to find a house that would give me a nice commute. I'm an experienced commuter and by the time I got to Cincy, I was used to 6-8 mile one-way commutes. Luckily, I found a house that gave me about an 8.5 mile commute. It was working well until November 2003 when I was told that our lab was going to be moving to a new facility that was only 2 miles from my house. Aaarrgghhh! Just like that, my commute isn't even worth getting into the gear. I now have to go out of my way to get more miles if I want them but sadly that commute time has been filled with other things. It's a rare day when I get more than 5 when I was used to getting about 17 miles.

Any suggestions for getting motivated to get in those "extra" miles? Should I try and get 15 miles in the morning all at once and then do the quick 2 mile commute at the end of the day? Should I try and get 8.5 in the morning and then again on the ride home? Right now due to the weather and the dark, I think it would be hard to motivate myself to do anything other than go straight home at the end of the day so the 15 then 2 mile idea sounds like the best option. But the problem with that is the 15 mile commute takes too long. What should I do? I know the best answer is just get up earlier but I can't seem to find the motivation. Any thoughts on how to get myself motivated? I feel I'm slowly turing into a driver and not a commuter.
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Old 12-24-04, 05:15 PM
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You are too mileage obsessed. Just enjoy getting outside with the tweety-birds. Find a donut shop to ride to in the morning. Find a coffee shop or something to ride to in the evening. Ride to the grocery store. (Heh, I think I've gone 15 miles maybe maybe once, ever)
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Old 12-24-04, 05:51 PM
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Bike everywhere else as well, you'll make up the miles your missing going to work.
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Old 12-24-04, 06:00 PM
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Like bkrownd said. If my commute was 2 miles south, I'd ride 2 miles north for a cup of coffee and the paper, then ride the 4 miles to the office. Or something like that.

A guy I work with brings his bike to work and goes for power rides at lunch.
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Old 12-24-04, 06:13 PM
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Since your office is only 2 miles from home, you have a lot of options available to you that you didn't before. Instead of taking the most direct feasible route, you can probably map out a lot of different routes. This is a great thing since you have no reason to get bored riding the same route again and again.

Now, what to do about motivation? Surely there's a really good coffee/donut/breakfast place that would require an 8 mile commute? Say 4 miles, grab a nice hot cuppa to warm up, then do the second 4 to work?
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Old 12-24-04, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bkrownd
Find a donut shop to ride to in the morning.
Augggggg! Donuts mentioned twice out of 4 replys! Death on a plate.
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Old 12-24-04, 08:13 PM
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Okay, how about an early morning juice bar? Grab a quick cuppa wheatgrass, yeah.

If I lived 2 miles from work, I think I'd walk a couple of days a week and ride the long way the other days. I like the idea of using your bike for everything else, too. I don't see the point of driving to work at that distance, might as well just bike the 2 miles and be happy and not worry about the miles.
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Old 12-24-04, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
Augggggg! Donuts mentioned twice out of 4 replys! Death on a plate.
Oh, sweet death, come to me my sugary love....

Alrighty then, how about a scone?
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Old 12-24-04, 09:09 PM
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I don't see the point of driving to work at that distance, might as well just bike the 2 miles and be happy and not worry about the miles.
You have to find something that works for you. I used to ride about a mile and a half each way, at a flat-out sprint. I'd go home for lunch, so that made 6 miles a day. Riding to the library in the evening would make it 9 sometimes. (Libraries are wonderful.) I do agree with the idea that you should try to ride the bike to errands as well.

For me, a few miles a day at my absolute top speed (cadence at about 105 RPM, speed about 23 MPH) was fairly good exercise and made me feel good about my riding. Then when I decided to do a slow, 5-hour ride, i felt prepared for it. Sometimes it's about quality rather than quantity?
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Old 12-24-04, 09:24 PM
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Do you have any options about the hours that you work? Could you take a long lunch sometimes and go for a ride?
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Old 12-24-04, 10:09 PM
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Move.
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Old 12-24-04, 10:27 PM
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Convert your commuting 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. Use the shortened commute time, to take a shower if your lab has this perk. As Cerewa suggests. think revs, not miles! In fair weather, I single-speed commute to BU in 25-30 minutes and then following MTB guru, Ned Overend's advice, I do range-of-motion stretching for 5-10 minutes.


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Old 12-24-04, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Leo C. Driscoll
Convert your other bike to fixed gear ;-) No more free-wheeling.
Great advice. Although my commute is only 5 miles, I get a nice workout from riding my fixie. On my geared bike I can practically coast all the way to work since my route is a gradual descent..... now, that's too easy and not much fun...
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Old 12-25-04, 12:29 AM
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My commute is only 2.3 miles each way... I generally go somewhere to eat then go ride around town a bit, then head to work... I can easily turn it into 10 miles, though I don't really care how many miles I ride... It's more how enjoyable the ride was. I do agree that you're obsessing entirely too much over miles.
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Old 12-25-04, 01:37 AM
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hey a nice pair of running shoes, and a nice backpack for your clothes and anything else you bring.. then start to do some cross training. run the 2 miles.. you'll get a better work out..
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Old 12-25-04, 08:07 AM
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ohhh.... I like that idea. I had thought of that for a bit but more and more that might be the best option. I agree with most folks that I'm probably too mileage obsessed. Actually more to the point, I'm more fitness obessesed but maybe I should focus more on the "just be glad I'm out" part of the commute.
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Old 12-25-04, 09:43 AM
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I like the idea of mapping out a new route, not necessarily stopping for your morning coffee or equivaliant though. Map out some directions that make up the distance, or time, or whatever you feel is missing. This gives you an opportunity to be outside out your liesure every morning, if only for a short period of time. Design several different routes and go explore. Find shortcuts you can use when you are driving.
Who says the best way between two points is a straight line?

Good Luck!
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Old 12-25-04, 12:52 PM
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If you are on the fence between running and cycling, you might want to just try a fixed gear bike, if you have not tried one. It has most of the good points about a bike, but it is a lot more intense exercise in a short distance or time period. Not as much as running but a LOT more that a freewheeling (coasting) geared bike.
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Old 12-25-04, 01:07 PM
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he has a two mile commute. that definately isnt worth my time to get all my gear ready. i'd rather walk/run it.

Soda, if you dont run a lot, or dont run at all and only cycle, then i suggest you try to run that route to work. 2 miles for a newbie runner is a long time. of course i mean running the whole time, non-stop, not run for a few blocks, walk a few blocks, run a few blocks. i mean a nice paced 2 mile run all the way to work. VERY good times. give it a try!! then i guess if thats too easy for you, try the fixed gear thing and go waay out of your way just to get more riding in..
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Old 12-25-04, 01:21 PM
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If I run, what about my stuff I bring with me? Lunch, clothes, coffee? I'm experienced at packing things in my backpack to minimize any potential catastrophe on a bike ride but won't running with a backpack be difficult? Is there a learning curve for getting used to the thing bouncing on my back? Compression straps can only keep things from bouncing around inside but not the entire backpack. And yes, I would have to think that I'd start out walking and gradually work up to running the entire way.

BTW: I have a locker and an shower at work so I'm not afraid of offending my colleagues.
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Old 12-25-04, 02:45 PM
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I commute about 17 miles one way. Always, once I got to work, I buy a cup of coffee and eat my either Cliff Bar or some bakery. I really enjoy the moment.
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Old 12-25-04, 03:20 PM
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Soda, for the coffee, i recommend you doing what R600DuraAce does, and getting it from work. if thats not possible, then maybe invest in one of those thermal waterbottles, and you can hold it while you run. if you dont want to hold it, then you can buy one of those wasit straps that holds your bottle. i dont have any of the links off the top of my head on where to get them. for your clothes and lunch? simple. just stick it in a backpack. i suggest a smaller one because things wont bounce around inside so much. and they also make backpacks that you can wrap around your waist, like the hiking backpacks so while running, it wont bounce around. The people in the military carry 50 pound packs and run around on the field all day, no problem. now, i dont know if you have any medical problems that would limit you to running, or carrying a heavy backpack, but if the people in the military could run around with a heavy pack, im sure we could run with a pack with a set new clothes.
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Old 12-25-04, 04:14 PM
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clarification: The coffee isn't a big deal. Just one of the things that came to mind when listing things I carry. And looking back I realize the picture I must have painted. I'm talking about carrying my coffee in a thermos for when I get to work. Although from time to time I talk on my cell phone while riding, I save the coffee drinking for when I get to work. hahaha... Can you imagine a driver sitting at a light and this cyclist bikes through the intersection no-handed talking on the phone and holding a cup of coffee. The thermos lid screws on so there's no chance of the coffee spilling. Again, just something that I carry that stuck out in my mind.

As for the backpack, the one I have is big, so I like your suggestion of getting a smaller backpack if I decide to walk/run. I'm still thinking about it though. It's tempting to get some cross training in every now and then but I've not yet given up hope that I can motivate myself to take the long way.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 12-25-04, 04:19 PM
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For a pack, you should get (if you don't already have) a back pack with a good waist strap, and a sternum strap. These straps really help secure the pack to your back so it doesn't bounce around. Compression straps in/on the pack help things from bouncing around/ falling out. Try to eliminate anything that will bounce arobnd wile running, i.e water bottles clipped to the outside of the pack, etc. I HATE hiking / runinig with anything jangaling from my pack. I can't deal with it.
Hiking daypacks work great for this, just pick a small one with good waist / sternum straps.
I can bounce and run around with my BIG hiking pack on weighing about 30-40#, and it doesn't sway or bounce uncomfortably. Just shows you what intelligent packing/compression and properly adjusted straps will do...

A pack similar to this would be best...
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Old 12-25-04, 04:25 PM
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Awesome... thanks for the advice about the pack. That's my biggest small concern.
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