Not fit enough to ride to work

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by EuanB, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

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    Took the train home from the MCG with friends and family yesterday and it was packed. One of my friends is a regular train commuter and by his own admission, hates it.

    He lives in Hampton and works in the city. He works out of one office, has access to showers and good bike parking but he won't consider riding to work because he doesn't think he's fit enough.

    There's no denying he's no athlete but neither is he morbidly obese either. Hampton is about 17kms from the city and the route is largely flat. There's no question in my mind that he's capable, but he's convinced himself that cycling's bloody hard work and that if he rode in to the city it'd take him 90 minutes and he'd be stuffed for the rest of the day.

    How common is this perception I wonder? How many commuters are put off of cycling because of the image that you need to be some sort of super athlete to ride to work every day? Maybe I should start riding in a tweed jacket and brogues, start to dsipell the notion that cycling has to be a strenuous means of travel.
     
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  2. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    take him out for a tootle on the weekend when the pressure of time isnt ahnging over him and he can enjoy it.
    Try and arrange a tailwind too :D

    dont come across the 'too unfit' excuse 'that much'; maybe 5% of excuses?

    Doesnt get much flatter than Hampton to CBD tho.

    start him out on shorter stuff then he may be tempted to give it a crack :D
     
  3. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    EuanB wrote:
    >
    > Took the train home from the MCG with friends and family yesterday and
    > it was packed. One of my friends is a regular train commuter and by
    > his own admission, hates it.
    >
    > He lives in Hampton and works in the city. He works out of one office,
    > has access to showers and good bike parking but he won't consider riding
    > to work because he doesn't think he's fit enough.
    >
    > There's no denying he's no athlete but neither is he morbidly obese
    > either. Hampton is about 17kms from the city and the route is largely
    > flat. There's no question in my mind that he's capable, but he's
    > convinced himself that cycling's bloody hard work and that if he rode
    > in to the city it'd take him 90 minutes and he'd be stuffed for the
    > rest of the day.
    >
    > How common is this perception I wonder? How many commuters are put off
    > of cycling because of the image that you need to be some sort of super
    > athlete to ride to work every day? Maybe I should start riding in a
    > tweed jacket and brogues, start to dsipell the notion that cycling has
    > to be a strenuous means of travel.


    That's interesting...

    I know that around St Lucia, a lot of students ride because they're
    poor. However a lot of first-time commuters follow the bike route and
    then give up after day one because the bike route is much hillier than
    the main road - and it's steeper on the way home! These guys have a
    genuine excuse - but on a flat course?

    I commute on my roadie, in lycra, and I wonder if this adds to people's
    perception that cycle commuting is hard? I mean, if it was easy, you
    could just wear a tweed jacket and brogues...

    Tam
     
  4. alison_b

    alison_b New Member

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    17kms - even 17 flat kms - is a long way for some people. Both for them to actually ride it, and to get their head around the distance. He may well not be fit enough to ride all the way - but perhaps he could consider riding one way? In to work one morning, home the next day? Or, ride from Hampton to whatever the next station or two is down the track? My experience of getting people to bicycle commute has been that smaller targets (even when these are quickly overthrown for something more grand - and realistic) work.

    A plan to build up to riding all the way over say, a few weeks, may sound less formidable than just "riding to work". And, if s/he reaches the goal earlier than that (and they probably would!) then they may feel encouraged rather than just sore and tired from an initial long (for them) ride.

    Throw in some relaxed weekend tootles, and the idea that it has to be all sweat and tears may be banished :)

    ali
     
  5. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    EuanB wrote:

    > How common is this perception I wonder? How many commuters are put off
    > of cycling because of the image that you need to be some sort of super
    > athlete to ride to work every day? Maybe I should start riding in a
    > tweed jacket and brogues, start to dsipell the notion that cycling has
    > to be a strenuous means of travel.


    I think this is a common perception amongst non-riders. I have friends
    who used to live in the house I am in now and work at the same place as
    me. They can't comprehend that anyone could ride "that far". It too is
    17-18km but takes me only 32 mins by bike (quicker than the bus). I'm
    not super fit but also not completely unfit. This is because I had the
    will-power to get on the bike and keep riding to work of a morning! In
    fact, the first time I rode the route I currently take, it took me 1
    hr!!! At first it was a little hard, but now it's a doddle! Tell your
    mate that.

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
     
  6. sinus

    sinus New Member

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    A fair few people drive to a convenient location closer to town to make it shorter and then ride in. Maybe he could start that way.

    Common points I see on the Gardiners creek trail include near Toorak Rd and Gardiner Pde (Nettleton Park). There's sure to be somewhere relative to Hampton, providing he has a car.

    The unfit excuse is not a good one. There are lots of people on the Yarra trail tootling along at no more than jogging pace. Lack of fitness shouldn't stop anyone - at the moment it's my prime reason to commute on bike (others: people sneezing on trains, driving is too stressful, driving takes too long, riding is cheaper, it's fun to rediscover my toes after mornings like todays)
     
  7. In aus.bicycle on Wed, 26 Apr 2006 12:00:47 +1000
    EuanB <[email protected]> wrote:
    > There's no denying he's no athlete but neither is he morbidly obese
    > either. Hampton is about 17kms from the city and the route is largely
    > flat. There's no question in my mind that he's capable, but he's
    > convinced himself that cycling's bloody hard work and that if he rode
    > in to the city it'd take him 90 minutes and he'd be stuffed for the
    > rest of the day.


    And he probably would be right on both counts for the first month or
    two.

    > How common is this perception I wonder? How many commuters are put off
    > of cycling because of the image that you need to be some sort of super
    > athlete to ride to work every day? Maybe I should start riding in a
    > tweed jacket and brogues, start to dsipell the notion that cycling has
    > to be a strenuous means of travel.


    See if you can get him to take a bet with you, and ride him to work
    via the best path on a weekend.

    Do it slow and easy the first time, and then see if he can up te pace
    the 2nd.

    But I note that the 2 reasons I got back into commuting were that I
    realised I needed the exercise, and a friend who used to ride the
    25+km to Lucas Heights said that he found it easy on the bent.

    If I didn't have the bent, I reckon I'd keep going to the gym...

    Zebee
     
  8. EuanB <[email protected]> wrote:
    > How common is this perception I wonder? How many commuters are put off
    > of cycling because of the image that you need to be some sort of super
    > athlete to ride to work every day? Maybe I should start riding in a
    > tweed jacket and brogues, start to dsipell the notion that cycling has
    > to be a strenuous means of travel.


    The problem is, of course, that when you start cycling regularly, you do
    become a super athlete and everyone thinks that they have to be like you
    in order to participate. We need some Before and After shots to show
    people.

    P
    --
    Peter McCallum
    Mackay Qld AUSTRALIA
     
  9. Snuffy

    Snuffy Guest

    Being on the younger side of 25, I have a really hard time explaining
    to friends that it's not too much hard work to cycle to the city for
    work (in my case ~25-30km).... I guess in my age group, a lot of my
    friends haven't wasted enough time in traffic jams to the city or spent
    enough time playing sardines on the train.....

    Anyway, I constantly get the question "Don't you get to work all tired
    and sweaty?!"..... to which I respond with a 3 hour lecture on how to
    ease yourself into longer and longer rides.... I wonder if all of my
    preaching scares them off :)

    When I started doing the commute by bike, I caught the train in with
    the bike and cycled home.... no real pressure to get somewhere in a
    certain time on the ride home (although I guess some people's spouses
    are scarier than their bosses)....
     
  10. In aus.bicycle on Wed, 26 Apr 2006 13:51:55 +1000
    Peter McCallum <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > The problem is, of course, that when you start cycling regularly, you do
    > become a super athlete and everyone thinks that they have to be like you
    > in order to participate. We need some Before and After shots to show
    > people.


    And you dress in the fancy gear, buy the expensive bike...

    After ages of reading a.b it was refereshing to turn up to a massbug
    ride and find people on elderly racers with friction shifts, bottom of
    the rage 10yo mountain bikes, and other real world items :)

    (and the obligatory bling bikes too...)

    Yes, annoys me to be passed on the uphills by superfit people, I have
    to keep telling myself I'll get there one day.

    Zebee
     
  11. Tamyka Bell wrote:
    I commute on my roadie, in lycra, and I wonder if this adds to people's
    > perception that cycle commuting is hard? I mean, if it was easy, you
    > could just wear a tweed jacket and brogues...


    It is really, really hard to find decent clips for the pants legs these
    days.

    OTOH, you can just wear long socks under neath and pull them up on the
    outside. I recommend red, white and blue sports socks for that humour
    raising attention grabber.
     
  12. EuanB wrote:

    > How common is this perception I wonder?


    First, I'd look at how they ride.
    Low seats, using too high a gear, etc.
     
  13. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    alison_b wrote:
    > EuanB Wrote:
    > > Took the train home from the MCG with friends and family yesterday and
    > > it was packed. One of my friends is a regular train commuter and by his
    > > own admission, hates it.
    > >
    > > He lives in Hampton and works in the city. He works out of one office,
    > > has access to showers and good bike parking but he won't consider
    > > riding to work because he doesn't think he's fit enough.
    > >
    > > There's no denying he's no athlete but neither is he morbidly obese
    > > either. Hampton is about 17kms from the city and the route is largely
    > > flat. There's no question in my mind that he's capable, but he's
    > > convinced himself that cycling's bloody hard work and that if he rode
    > > in to the city it'd take him 90 minutes and he'd be stuffed for the
    > > rest of the day.
    > >
    > > How common is this perception I wonder? How many commuters are put off
    > > of cycling because of the image that you need to be some sort of super
    > > athlete to ride to work every day? Maybe I should start riding in a
    > > tweed jacket and brogues, start to dsipell the notion that cycling has
    > > to be a strenuous means of travel.

    > 17kms - even 17 flat kms - is a long way for some people. Both for
    > them to actually ride it, and to get their head around the distance.
    > He may well not be fit enough to ride all the way - but perhaps he
    > could consider riding one way? In to work one morning, home the next
    > day? Or, ride from Hampton to whatever the next station or two is down
    > the track? My experience of getting people to bicycle commute has been
    > that smaller targets (even when these are quickly overthrown for
    > something more grand - and realistic) work.



    Likewise. When I started riding again after far too many years of oil
    wasting, 5km was a bloody long ride. Little steps ...
     
  14. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Terry Collins wrote:
    >
    > Tamyka Bell wrote:
    > I commute on my roadie, in lycra, and I wonder if this adds to people's
    > > perception that cycle commuting is hard? I mean, if it was easy, you
    > > could just wear a tweed jacket and brogues...

    >
    > It is really, really hard to find decent clips for the pants legs these
    > days.
    >
    > OTOH, you can just wear long socks under neath and pull them up on the
    > outside. I recommend red, white and blue sports socks for that humour
    > raising attention grabber.


    I work after uni on Tuesdays and finish up really late, between 11pm and
    midnight usually. If I ride home, I get home very late and therefore get
    very little sleep. (Not true every time, so sometimes I ride it.) So I
    use this as the day I drive to uni, with my car in the boot for a
    morning ride with mates (or in case I am poor and can't afford to park
    on campus). I ride back to my car at the end of the day, in whatever
    clothes I had in my office. I'm quite fond of the miniskirt, which stays
    in place okay and actually drapes over the saddle without hanging in the
    wheel. I get a nice breeze, but I have to wait until all the cars are
    gone before I can get on the bike. I'm now considering teaming this
    skirt with the red, white and blue sport socks...

    Tam
     
  15. cogcontrol

    cogcontrol New Member

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    Now go and show your friend this post and all the sensible responses and with lots of encouragement he will be able (if he wants to) to easily ride the 17km and probably enjoy it and wonder why he didnt take the plunge years ago.

    CC
     
  16. In aus.bicycle on Wed, 26 Apr 2006 14:47:28 +1000
    Terry Collins <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Tamyka Bell wrote:
    > I commute on my roadie, in lycra, and I wonder if this adds to people's
    >> perception that cycle commuting is hard? I mean, if it was easy, you
    >> could just wear a tweed jacket and brogues...

    >
    > It is really, really hard to find decent clips for the pants legs these
    > days.


    get those LED-equipped armbands. far more bling than bicycle clips!

    Zebee
    - still trying to work out a good way of getting moving reflectors on
    the bent that are visible from behind.
     
  17. In aus.bicycle on Wed, 26 Apr 2006 14:57:42 +1000
    Tamyka Bell <[email protected]> wrote:
    > in place okay and actually drapes over the saddle without hanging in the
    > wheel. I get a nice breeze, but I have to wait until all the cars are
    > gone before I can get on the bike. I'm now considering teaming this
    > skirt with the red, white and blue sport socks...
    >


    So.. when wearing the miniskirt do you find the drivers see you more
    clearly?

    Zebee
     
  18. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Zebee Johnstone wrote:
    >
    > In aus.bicycle on Wed, 26 Apr 2006 14:57:42 +1000
    > Tamyka Bell <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > in place okay and actually drapes over the saddle without hanging in the
    > > wheel. I get a nice breeze, but I have to wait until all the cars are
    > > gone before I can get on the bike. I'm now considering teaming this
    > > skirt with the red, white and blue sport socks...
    > >

    >
    > So.. when wearing the miniskirt do you find the drivers see you more
    > clearly?
    >
    > Zebee


    Presumably ;-)

    Although Lotte and I got lots of friendly hello calls from cyclists this
    morning, which we don't get when the boys are around, and we were just
    dressed in standard lycra. Lotte was a b!tch and didn't respond. Okay -
    I know she didn't have hearing aids in - but they don't!

    Tam
     
  19. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Zebee Johnstone wrote:
    > In aus.bicycle on Wed, 26 Apr 2006 14:57:42 +1000
    > Tamyka Bell <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> in place okay and actually drapes over the saddle without hanging in the
    >> wheel. I get a nice breeze, but I have to wait until all the cars are
    >> gone before I can get on the bike. I'm now considering teaming this
    >> skirt with the red, white and blue sport socks...
    >>

    >
    > So.. when wearing the miniskirt do you find the drivers see you more
    > clearly?
    >
    > Zebee

    So that's what I need to be seen! Bugger those expensive lights, I'll
    just use one of my wife's skirts!

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
     
  20. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Terry Collins wrote:
    > EuanB wrote:
    >
    >> How common is this perception I wonder?

    >
    > First, I'd look at how they ride.
    > Low seats, using too high a gear, etc.


    Good point. Get them out on a few easy rides first and give them a once
    over for riding style and bike set-up. Then ride with them to work (if
    possible) and take it easy. One day they will thank you for it. Also,
    post them this thread.

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
     
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