School teacher seeks advice on his commute



moonfroggy

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Sep 20, 2004
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2 days a week i have a 3 mile commute that is almost all uphill, sometimes i walk it othertimes i ride my bike, i have found that if i have say gone all winter not riding my bike at first the hill is pretty hard for me especially if it is cold out or i just woke up, but in a few weeks it starts getting easier and easier till pretty soon it is nothing, now i am 25 and in pretty good shape but still a bit overweight and i have gotten into riding just for fun so now i am often riding 30 miles a day because it is fun and my speed is really improving, if you keep comuting the 4 miles your speed will improve quickly and the ride will get easier and easier
 

centralmail

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Aug 26, 2004
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I seem to be stuck at 25 minutes for my 4 mile one-way commute :(

What do you all advise that I can do to bring it down to around 20 minutes?

Thanks for tips and suggestions...
 

Brunswick_kate

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Aug 16, 2003
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centralmail said:
I seem to be stuck at 25 minutes for my 4 mile one-way commute :(

What do you all advise that I can do to bring it down to around 20 minutes?

Thanks for tips and suggestions...


My theory on the whole damn thing is get out of bed 5 mins earlier. Seriously, my commute is about the same distance and time as yours but I'm not doing this to qualify for the next Tour.

What does your 25 mins include? Is it from the minute you walk out of the house to the minute you walk into work? If so, you're neglecting the few mins either side of the actual ride that are associated with locking/unlocking bike, loading/unloading cargo systems? Don't be "unfair" to yourself by incorporating times like that into your ride and then kicking yourself in the ass for not shaving your ride time.

And what's this ride about? Heavy duty time trialling...well, your muscles are cold and tight when you climb on because you're not warmed up. The point I'm trying to make is that I think it's important for cyclists to look at what they are doing and why they are doing it and to not load down every ride with unrealistic expectations.

The purpose of the commute is to get you to work. If you're getting to work, it's a successful venture. I stack these little successes up to motivate myself for bigger projects ... a 50 km weekend bike ride. Next summer I want to do a century. I guess what I'm saying to you, with the caveat that free advice is usually worth what it costs, is don't try to load every single biking goal and ambition you might have onto your morning commute.

Instead, get out of bed 5 mins earlier and dammit, enjoy those squirrels. Look around. It's the half hour of your day when no one is banging on your brain. Nobody's demanding anything of you. No one needs another chunk of your time. It's your half hour. Yours. Take it. Enjoy it. Relish it. Savour it. And above all, don't try and shortchange yourself.

PS: I've probably shaved a couple of minutes off the total time over the past 2 years but one thing that cycle commuting has taught me is to stop measuring the quality of my life in nano-seconds. It just gives me time to stop on the pedestrian bridge for a minute to 90 secs to watch the high performance rowing crews on the river. Man, they're beautiful to watch. It makes my day.
 

Randybaker99

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Nov 13, 2003
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centralmail said:
I seem to be stuck at 25 minutes for my 4 mile one-way commute :(

What do you all advise that I can do to bring it down to around 20 minutes?

Thanks for tips and suggestions...

If you want to get serious about bringing your total trip time down to 20 minutes, here's what you can try. Make a mental note of exactly where you are at each five minute time interval, then try to arrive at each 5 minute marker sooner. So, if you are passing a certain tree at the 5 minute mark, try to get 10 meters past the tree the next time. I have found that it is much easier to improve if I give myself small, specific, measurable goals.

Another approach is to ride the same route with someone who is faster than you, trying to keep up with a faster rider is one of the best ways to improve at any fitness level.

Good luck!
 

centralmail

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Aug 26, 2004
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Wow, how time flies!

I am delighted to report that I am still commuting to school and have been doing so since my very first post...

Those first few weeks were hell and I recall having constant muscle aches...

My commute time is still around 25 minutes for the 4 mile journey, but I can now complete this without exerting too much effort at all... I still ride my steel framed Giant hybrid, which weighs 17.4kg (38 pounds), but am looking to upgrade to a Giant FCR 2 road racer which weighs in at a mere 10.95kg (24 pounds), a weight change which could save me a couple of minutes on the final hill climb to school...

Oh, another thing... in my first post I weighed 14 stones (196 pounds = 90 kilos)... I now weigh just over 13 stones (182 pounds = 83 kilos)...

So far, so good... the last couple of months of academia beckon, and then I will spend some of my Summer vacation getting fit on longer rides, prior to the new school year this September!
 

beitzel

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Jun 11, 2005
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I am an ex-teacher, I bought my bike with my resignation pay and started riding after work in summer (new job in public service). Just basic 4-mile (6.5 kilometre) loops which extended out to 13 mile loops. Now I do 26 miles a day commuting to and from work. I was around 230 lbs to start off after five months I am down to 191 lbs. I am replacing my bike which is a 24 speed mountain bike with 1.5" road tyre with a custom frame touring bike, which I am going to use to go cycle touring in Europe next year.







centralmail said:
Wow, how time flies!

I am delighted to report that I am still commuting to school and have been doing so since my very first post...

Those first few weeks were hell and I recall having constant muscle aches...

My commute time is still around 25 minutes for the 4 mile journey, but I can now complete this without exerting too much effort at all... I still ride my steel framed Giant hybrid, which weighs 17.4kg (38 pounds), but am looking to upgrade to a Giant FCR 2 road racer which weighs in at a mere 10.95kg (24 pounds), a weight change which could save me a couple of minutes on the final hill climb to school...

Oh, another thing... in my first post I weighed 14 stones (196 pounds = 90 kilos)... I now weigh just over 13 stones (182 pounds = 83 kilos)...

So far, so good... the last couple of months of academia beckon, and then I will spend some of my Summer vacation getting fit on longer rides, prior to the new school year this September!
 

coolworx

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Jun 18, 2003
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razor_USMC said:
there is no worse feeling than knowing you have been drinking enough, but being caked in your own chalky salt, cramping up, not being able to pedal one more stroke...,


You should have just licked your arms :D
 

Don Shipp

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May 20, 2005
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centralmail said:
Wow, how time flies!

I am delighted to report that I am still commuting to school and have been doing so since my very first post...

Those first few weeks were hell and I recall having constant muscle aches...

My commute time is still around 25 minutes for the 4 mile journey, but I can now complete this without exerting too much effort at all... I still ride my steel framed Giant hybrid, which weighs 17.4kg (38 pounds), but am looking to upgrade to a Giant FCR 2 road racer which weighs in at a mere 10.95kg (24 pounds), a weight change which could save me a couple of minutes on the final hill climb to school...

Oh, another thing... in my first post I weighed 14 stones (196 pounds = 90 kilos)... I now weigh just over 13 stones (182 pounds = 83 kilos)...

So far, so good... the last couple of months of academia beckon, and then I will spend some of my Summer vacation getting fit on longer rides, prior to the new school year this September!
When I see other people commuting I notice that usually their tires are not pumped up hard enough. The heavier you are the harder they need to be. A few more ppsi can make a world of difference to the effort you need to exert just to keep rolling.
Hybrids are often sold with tires that are not ideal for tarmac. Unless you ride on the grass as well then replacing them with slicks will also make life easier.
Which London Park do you ride through, and which hills do you climb?
Rain need not stop you riding, weather-gear for cyclists is excelent these days. Have you ever tried walking the 4 miles for a change? It should only take an hour, and is even less stressful than cycling.
 

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