Riding to Work

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Groundchaser, May 7, 2003.

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  1. Groundchaser

    Groundchaser Guest

    I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.

    The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9" 135
    lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a week.
    However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would require a
    different type of endurance/training.

    Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?

    One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    have fromtime to time.

    I'm tired of paying $2 a gallon in gas.

    Thanks,
     
    Tags:


  2. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9"
    > 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    > week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    > require a different type of endurance/training.
    >
    > Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?
    >
    > One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    > have fromtime to time.

    I'd recommend giving yourself 2 hrs the first time, depending on traffic, stop signs, etc. If
    there's no stops and it's flat, once you get in biking shape, you should be able to average 15mph
    pretty easily.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  3. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    Although you could do it in an hour, traffic conditions will delay you somewhat. You should easily
    do it in 1.5 hours. If you're using a mountain bike, you'll get some extra speed (1 - 2 mph) if you
    use slick tires.

    Groundchaser wrote:

    > I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9"
    > 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    > week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    > require a different type of endurance/training.
    >
    > Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?
    >
    > One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    > have fromtime to time.
    >
    > I'm tired of paying $2 a gallon in gas.
    >
    > Thanks,
     
  4. Alan

    Alan Guest

    David is right. A 15 mph average is good for commuting. Expect that you'll take a little longer at
    first, but within a month or two you'll definitely be going faster. You're probably already in good
    condition for riding, but it takes a while for the muscles to adapt to the bike.

    Commuting involves solving a series of problems. How do you plan to carry your work clothes and
    lunch, for instance? Will you need lights? Would the bike be more comfortable and faster with
    slicks rather than knobbies? Is there a secure parking place? I don't expect you to answer these
    questions here, but you will have to find the answers for yourself. It's one of the things that
    makes your bicycle such a uniquely personal vehicle. You'll encounter problems and you'll solve
    them in your own way.

    I commute by bicycle about 60 to 100 miles per week, depending on the weather. Last summer it was a
    real kick to tell a co-worker who was griping about the cost of gasoline that I filled the tank in
    my car "just last month, and it was nearly $20!" He was not amused, but then he's driving a behemoth
    pickup truck.

    --

    alan

    Anyone who believes in a liberal media has never read the "Daily Oklahoman."

    "Groundchaser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy).
     
  5. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Groundchaser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9"
    > 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    > week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    > require a different type of endurance/training.

    If you are running 5 miles a day, you should have no trouble bicycling after a short time. The
    muscles will be slightly different, and you will rapidly find out which ones, but they won't
    hurt for long.
    >
    > Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?

    When I commute by bike, it is 18-20 miles one way, and takes about an hour and 35 minutes. I'd
    guess you should be at an hour and a half, and then get a little faster after that. It partly
    depends on the route and on you -- I don't try for maximum speed in city traffic (and I'm not that
    fast, anyway).

    Get some slicker, high pressure tires. You may want tires that are slick, but a bit heavier to give
    added flat protection, like a Avocet Cross or a Continental Town and Country or Top Touring. You can
    ride on the road with knobbies, but it's sort of like running in hiking boots.
     
  6. I highly recommend getting narrower high pressure street tires. It makes a big difference. As a
    runner you'll adapt quickly, but you are correct in that the aerobic adaptations between the two
    activities are not directly related. From several runners I've heard that running does not help
    their cycling, but cycling helps their running. I would guess it'll take you between an hour and an
    hour forty min. You'll probably make the most significant time gains 2 to 5 weeks after doing it
    regularly.

    "Groundchaser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9"
    > 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    > week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    > require a different type of endurance/training.
    >
    > Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?
    >
    > One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    > have fromtime to time.
    >
    > I'm tired of paying $2 a gallon in gas.
    >
    > Thanks,
     
  7. Tbgibb

    Tbgibb Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    (Groundchaser) writes:

    >I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    >The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    >bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9" 135
    >lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    >week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    >require a different type of endurance/training.

    The muscle use is different, but your cardio system should be ready and I really doubt you'll have
    much trouble with the change.

    >Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?

    Give it at least 1.5 hours, or better yet, ride and time the distance on a weekend. Give yourself
    some time to do some clothing changes and to lock the bike. Being sweaty shouldn't be a problem if
    you are fresh when you start. Alcohol wipes can help freshen up after you arrive if you need it.

    >One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    >have fromtime to time.
    >
    >I'm tired of paying $2 a gallon in gas.
    >
    If you start doing this you'll need to maintain the bike more than you do now, especially the
    chain. Be prepared for flat tires (spare tube, patch kit, tire levers and pump).

    I've been doing this most of my adult life, it's a great way to wake up in the morning and it's a
    wonderful way to blow off the tensions of the job on the way home.

    Tom Gibb <[email protected]
     
  8. Jay

    Jay Guest

    > [email protected] wrote on 5/7/03 7:12 PM: I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike
    > to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9"
    > 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    > week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    > require a different type of endurance/training.
    >
    > Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?
    >
    > One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    > have fromtime to time.
    >
    > I'm tired of paying $2 a gallon in gas.

    Look at some maps or talk to some local cyclists to map out a likely route. Ride that route- both
    ways on a Saturday. Without knowing your average speed, traffic patterns and topography ( hills) it
    is hard to estimate. It would take me an hour at a leisurely pace (not arriving sweaty)
     
  9. Amh

    Amh Guest

    [email protected] (Groundchaser) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9"
    > 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    > week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    > require a different type of endurance/training.
    >
    > Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?
    >
    > One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    > have fromtime to time.
    >
    > I'm tired of paying $2 a gallon in gas.

    I commute by bicycle and can't remember the last time I put gas in my car. Sometime in mid
    April, I think.

    I also run 30 miles per week. If you bike every day you'll be very healthy but also very tired. On a
    mountain bike it will take you in the area of an hour perhaps a little more. Go out and buy yourself
    slick tires for your bike. It will make a world of difference.

    Bicycling is all about maintaining power output through your legs. Spin your legs rather than muscle
    through a high gear. Cycling is a good compliment to running, it will improve your leg speed. But
    I've found it to be of limited value in being a better runner but not at all useless.

    Enjoy the ride, Andy

    >
    > Thanks,
     
  10. I agree with all the advice you have received so far. Let me add a suggestion that you choose your
    route carefully, with an eye torwards safety more that a direct route. Another posters suggestion
    that you ride it on a Saturday is a good idea. Obviously a good route by car is not necessarily a
    good bicycle route. But even roads with wide marked bike lanes can be dangerous if they cross over
    freeways where you have to deal with on and off ramps.

    I've worked at my job for three years and I still sometimes adjust my route for safety reasons.

    Good luck and enjoy, Tom

    [email protected] (Groundchaser) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work.
    >
    > The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain
    > bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9"
    > 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a
    > week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle is different from running in that it would
    > require a different type of endurance/training.
    >
    > Here is my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?
    >
    > One more bit of information which might help, is that I don't regularly ride a bicycle although I
    > have fromtime to time.
    >
    > I'm tired of paying $2 a gallon in gas.
    >
    > Thanks,
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >I'm thinking about starting to ride my bike to work. The commute is 15 miles each way, pretty much
    >all flat surface. I have a run of the mill mountain bike (nothing fancy). Weather should not be a
    >factor. Regarding my physical condition, I'm 5'9" 135 lbs. I run approximately 30-35 miles per week
    >and crosstrain on an elliptical trainer 5 days a week. However, I would think that riding a bicyle
    >is different from running in that it would require a different type of endurance/training. Here is
    >my question. Realistically speaking how long should I expect my commute would take?

    1 to 1.25 hours would be realistic. It sounds like you are in good shape, so those times should not
    be difficult to make.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  12. nospam

    nospam Guest

    Ground, way to go man! I plan on biking to work for the first time tomorrow myself. Wife's biggest
    concern is not me being late, but all the bad drivers out there. I got some input from other riders
    and what route to take. I am allowing for traffic stops and such. One of your questions seemed to be
    about your fitness level. I'd say you are probably fit enough to do well but keep in mind one thing.
    I think "amh" mentioned it. He mentioned spinning your legs. I don't know if you are familiar with
    this concept or not, but basically, it is powering your legs all the way through the circular
    motion. It's not just pumping your legs up and down like pistons, but more rather pushing your feet
    forward at the top of the circle, down, pulling backwards at the bottom (like you're scraping
    something off the bottom of your shoe), and then pulling your leg up towards the top of the circle.
    There's more to cycling than it appears. ;-> Course, this may be more info than you are looking for,
    but since you are fishing for advice... Also, nothing more revealing than doing it first hand. =)
    Just get out and do it. I guess you know that though. Good luck on your ride!
     
  13. nospam

    nospam Guest

    Well the day came and went. It started out as a slightly chilly, foggy day. The morning ride was
    great! I tried timing it about an hour before the majority of the rush hour. That worked out very
    nicely. Also, listening to others worked out very nicely as they provided a path that helped me
    avoid the majority of the early morning commuters. Here are some of my thoughts:

    Bikes WON'T trip traffic light sensors. Silly me I thought they would, but after sitting through 2
    cycles of the lights, I decided to run it. Felt like a goob sitting there waiting for it. Then I
    felt like a law-breaking goob, but oh well, gotta get moving.

    Enjoy the ride, its the reason you're out there afterall. I found that I was concentrating so hard
    on; not getting lost, re-clipping in after every stop, watching out for the various drivers that
    aren't looking at me, the time, the distance to go, I forgot to actually ENJOY the ride. I figure
    with practice though, I'll actually learn to enjoy it. Just like driving a car.

    Allow for plenty of time to change over to "business" mode. True I took a shower when I got to work,
    but SOMEONE scheduled an 8am meeting and my body was still ramped up and sweating. I felt like
    everyone was just watching me sweat. Give yourself plenty of time to actually cool-down.

    Pace yourself, NOT traffic. Don't make a race out of trying to beat that car flying past you. Sure,
    some can do it, but for most, you AREN'T going to get to work faster than someone in a car. Don't
    let it play that mind game on you.

    Think about where to store your bike. I had the luxury of being able to store mine close to me,
    otherwise, it's kind of worrisome to leave it somewhere, even under lock and key.

    After I got to work, I was STARVED!!! I had a power bar on me, but for the most part, I was hungry
    all day long. So don't forget to feed that machine. You want it to get stronger, gotta feed the
    machine good quality food to replace what you burned on the ride.

    Don't schedule meetings later in the day. Someone actually scheduled a meeting for me AFTER when I
    left for the day. Friday afternoon.... Go figure why someone would want a meeting at that time, my
    attention span is about " " that long.

    On the way home, its ok to be slower. Tailwind = good, Headwind = BAAAD. Seems around here, the wind
    picks up in the afternoon. Sucks for me. It's usually going the wrong way.

    So my trip distance/time wise went like this: Morning ride = 11.49 mi, 43 min. Afternoon ride =
    11.95 mi, 51 min. I have some major hills to contend with and my ave speed wasn't that great, but I
    KNOW I will only get better as I do this more. That is my positive mental attitude. But bottom line?
    Just get out there and do it. Sounds cliche, but it actually works!
     
  14. Roy Fralick

    Roy Fralick Guest

    Traffic signals depend on a fair amount of metal to break the magnetic field set up by the "loops in
    the road". The sensitivity can be set to pick up a small motorcycle. the latest technology is
    optical loops, which can pick up anything in the lane. Radar is being used too,and is used for
    pedestrian walks in some places, this will also pick up a bike.
     
  15. [email protected] wrote:

    > Bikes WON'T trip traffic light sensors.

    Try leaning the bike over on it's side - without getting off - lean it over as much as you can to
    get more metal closer to the ground. That can sometimes do
    it.

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  16. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    ...

    > On the way home, its ok to be slower. Tailwind = good, Headwind = BAAAD. Seems around here, the
    > wind picks up in the afternoon. Sucks for me. It's usually going the wrong way.
    >
    > So my trip distance/time wise went like this: Morning ride = 11.49 mi, 43 min. Afternoon ride =
    > 11.95 mi, 51 min.

    That's a pretty good pace when you have to contend with traffic and lights. Congratulations!

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  17. Ken Brown

    Ken Brown Guest

    My cycle commute takes 30 minutes for 7 km of city streets with lots of traffic lights. When I take
    the subway it takes 30 minutes including the walk at each end. I occasionally drive and at rush hour
    it takes about 30 minutes, including the walk from the parking lot.

    By far the most satisfying, and cheapest of these three, is cycling.

    Ken Ken Brown, Toronto Canada Ontario Rail Trails: http://webhome.idirect.com/~brown delete "nospam"
    if replying via e-mail
     
  18. Bri

    Bri Guest

    I made it in on bike too :) I only have to go 7 miles so it's not a big deal but I gave myself 50
    minutes to make it, I made it in about 40 minutes, it was real windy, dark and cold when I left just
    after 5 am. The scary bit was along SeaTac airport on hwy99. I only stopped at one traffic light, I
    blew through several, "I know I'm bad but I made sure no cars were coming", got to work and sweated
    for a while but my desk is out in the wharhouse so I didn't gross out anyone. The ride home was much
    nicer because I wasn't worried about late. I think I'll bike in at least once a week until the
    weather turns too wet again. That should be until August up here in Seattle :) .

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > Well the day came and went. It started out as a slightly chilly, foggy day. The morning ride was
    > great! I tried timing it about an hour before the majority of the rush hour. That worked out very
    > nicely. Also, listening to others worked out very nicely as they provided a path that helped me
    > avoid the majority of the early morning commuters. Here are some of my thoughts:
    >
    > Bikes WON'T trip traffic light sensors. Silly me I thought they would, but after sitting through 2
    > cycles of the lights, I decided to run it. Felt like a goob sitting there waiting for it. Then I
    > felt like a law-breaking goob, but oh well, gotta get moving.
    >
    > Enjoy the ride, its the reason you're out there afterall. I found that I was concentrating so hard
    > on; not getting lost, re-clipping in after every stop, watching out for the various drivers that
    > aren't looking at me, the time, the distance to go, I forgot to actually ENJOY the ride. I figure
    > with practice though, I'll actually learn to enjoy it. Just like driving a car.
    >
    > Allow for plenty of time to change over to "business" mode. True I took a shower when I got to
    > work, but SOMEONE scheduled an 8am meeting and my body was still ramped up and sweating. I felt
    > like everyone was just watching me sweat. Give yourself plenty of time to actually cool-down.
    >
    > Pace yourself, NOT traffic. Don't make a race out of trying to beat that car flying past you.
    > Sure, some can do it, but for most, you AREN'T going to get to work faster than someone in a car.
    > Don't let it play that mind game on you.
    >
    > Think about where to store your bike. I had the luxury of being able to store mine close to me,
    > otherwise, it's kind of worrisome to leave it somewhere, even under lock and key.
    >
    > After I got to work, I was STARVED!!! I had a power bar on me, but for the most part, I was hungry
    > all day long. So don't forget to feed that machine. You want it to get stronger, gotta feed the
    > machine good quality food to replace what you burned on the ride.
    >
    > Don't schedule meetings later in the day. Someone actually scheduled a meeting for me AFTER when I
    > left for the day. Friday afternoon.... Go figure why someone would want a meeting at that time, my
    > attention span is about " " that long.
    >
    > On the way home, its ok to be slower. Tailwind = good, Headwind = BAAAD. Seems around here, the
    > wind picks up in the afternoon. Sucks for me. It's usually going the wrong way.
    >
    > So my trip distance/time wise went like this: Morning ride = 11.49 mi, 43 min. Afternoon ride =
    > 11.95 mi, 51 min. I have some major hills to contend with and my ave speed wasn't that great, but
    > I KNOW I will only get better as I do this more. That is my positive mental attitude. But bottom
    > line? Just get out there and do it. Sounds cliche, but it actually works!
     
  19. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <BAEBD5F9.DA12%[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    ...

    > > Enjoy the ride, its the reason you're out there afterall. I found that I was concentrating so
    > > hard on; not getting lost, re-clipping in after every stop, watching out for the various drivers
    > > that aren't looking at me, the time, the distance to go, I forgot to actually ENJOY the ride. I
    > > figure with practice though, I'll actually learn to enjoy it. Just like driving a car.
    >
    > You are temporarily pre-occupied with new details. Riding is amazing fun.

    Yes; after a short time, those details will become automatic and your subconscious will handle them
    for you, while your conscious mind enjoys the ride.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  20. archer wrote:

    > In article <BAEBD5F9.DA12%[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > ...
    >
    > > > Enjoy the ride, its the reason you're out there afterall. I found that I was concentrating so
    > > > hard on; not getting lost, re-clipping in after every stop, watching out for the various
    > > > drivers that aren't looking at me, the time, the distance to go, I forgot to actually ENJOY
    > > > the ride. I figure with practice though, I'll actually learn to enjoy it. Just like driving a
    > > > car.
    > >
    > > You are temporarily pre-occupied with new details. Riding is amazing fun.
    >
    > Yes; after a short time, those details will become automatic and your subconscious will handle
    > them for you, while your conscious mind enjoys the ride.

    I can't completely agree. Stay alert. You must maintain a concscious watch for "various drivers that
    aren't looking at you." Don't put that on automatic.

    Be a lert.

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
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