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Thinking of commuting to new job..help me decide

is_76is_76 Posts: 24
edited August 2007 in Commuting chat
So I am about to start a new job and was considering commuting.

Its about 9 miles across edinburgh and seems to be quite uphill in the morning (doh!). My only concern is I am not too great in the mornings in terms of exercise. (brain and body not quite in harmony)

So if I was going to start commuting how should I break myself into it? Twice a week and build up from there?

How long might it take me? (Yes I know it depends on my speed etc) I suppose I really should try it one weekend morning and judge.

I have been reading all the advice about panniers, clothing etc and it looks good.

Posts

  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,685
    I am not too great in the mornings in terms of exercise. (brain and body not quite in harmony)
    Riding a bike should change that! After being a little cagey at first about riding 5 days a week, I soon found I loved it and was cross and frustrated the occasional days I had to take the car. Get to bed earlier, have your stuff packed and ready in the morning. Eating first is preferable, something easily digestible (I make porridge every day, it sets me up nicely).

    You might find you'll want to eat more at work too, I take some raisins, nuts & seeds to snack on, though bananas or homemade cake (mmmm, cake!) are good too. Avoid really sweet stuff like chocolate or biscuits, they tend to give a sugar spike then a sharp drop in energy.

    Do the route on a weekend morning if you're really bothered about how you'll manage the distance. Otherwise pack your bag sensibly and just go for it.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    1st thing in the morning, the hardest part can be actually getting out of the door. 100m down the road, its all forgotten.

    Take it easy the first couple of minutes, low gear and spin abit as a warm up.

    Then, enjoy it!

    Only doing 2 days a week, so far. But my distance from this is 100k
  • AidocpAidocp Posts: 868
    edited July 2007
    I ride about half that distance from Granton to the City Centre takes me between 15 (3.5mlies) and 25 min (4.5 miles) depending which way I go and conditions etc. I find the cycle uphill helps to wake me up, especially in the winter as I'm not a morning person either. I can use an old rail line and by the time I've reached the end I've woken up and I always know how long this will take me. Its great downhill at night though. Get hold of a SPOKES map, http://thebikestation.org.uk/map/ and see if there a route to suit you and as you say try it ou at the weekend. I wear my work trowsers (with over towsers for wet days, these are a bit hot in the summer though) and a cycle jersey/ jacket, and change the top at work. If I was cycling further again (I used to commute from Dunfermline) however I think I would wear shorts and use the Sirrus with spd's. Regardless of distance I like to carry one pannier with a small scrunch bag in the pocket for the odd occasion I need more space.
  • grace72grace72 Posts: 11
    i recently sold my car and bought a bike to commute from chiswick west london to muswell hill north london it's just under 14 miles each way it takes about an hour give or take 5 mins and there is a reason they call it muswell hill :D . all the same i have never felt better and was very apprehensive before about doing it but dont regret it ,even when i have to ride tthrough a monsoon to get home. i now dont have the frustration of sitting in traffic for up to 2 and half hours every night. i would say get some proper cycling shorts and go for it and laugh at the people sat in their cars.
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    Grace, you doing that 5 days a week?

    If so, did you build up the days or hit it 100%
  • grace72grace72 Posts: 11
    straight in at 4 days. i work 4 days there and 2 days in hammersmith 3 miles away. i do the long one mon,wed,thurs and sat so i get a little break between. but am now looking for a longer route from hammersmith
  • GambatteGambatte Posts: 1,453
    Nice one. I'm kinda new. Bit of MTBing, but recently got the roady to commute. Limiting my days so far as I'm still breaking in the tenderest parts of myself to the bike!
  • grace72grace72 Posts: 11
    same here mate got a 24 inch wheeled jump bike that i used every day when i was full time at hammersmith but needed a road bike for the long one the jump bike just didnt want to go up the two big hills i have to go up and had to get off and push it up the hills. but none of that when i got the road bike. the first thing i bought was a really good pair of cycle shorts to limit the sore censored so far so good
  • phil_ss1phil_ss1 Posts: 194
    edited August 2007
    is_76,

    Take it a day at a time and as said above don't push it too fast in the early days.

    I've found I get in more awake in the morning and best of all the trip home strangely seems to allow me to forget about the stresses of the day and leave work at work, something that doesn't happen in the car.

    I've become a lot fitter, generally have less colds etc. but do seem to have turned into a nut/fruit grazer during the day, spend most of the time at work nibbling nowadays. Made me more conscious about food and healthy living in general. LESS cakes for me!

    Hopefully you'll find starting now the best time as it will break you into winter! - Keep riding, just layer up as it gets chillier.

    SPD's' will allow you to push and pull the pedals (eventually sub-conciously) uphill and pedal more effeciently all round.

    Good Luck! :D

    Phil
    :shock:
  • arranandyarranandy Posts: 688
    I'm commuting by bike 2 days a week at the moment and I find the days that I cycle in (14 miles) I feel better at work than on the days I drive in.

    As for the one piece of advice I would offer is to have everyting ready the night before, ie. clothes laid out, bag packed and bike ready to go. Saves a fair bit of flapping about in the morning
    Flying Scot? You must be joking!
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    I would work up to it a bit. You could share a lift a few days, or take the bus. After a week or two, 9 miles won't seem so bad :)
    If you are keen to get to work on time, I would recommend you buy a decent track pump and repair kit, to help combat nasty morning surprises. A good, all weather bike helps a lot too.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    If you can use public transport, perhaps as well as the suggestions above, in your building up to it you can ride in one day, then train/bus it home. Train/bus it in and ride home the next day.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • Hairy JockHairy Jock Posts: 558
    Ach just do it...
    **************
    Best advice I ever got was "better get a bike then"
    Cycle commuting since 1994. Blog with cycle bits.
    Also with the old C+ crowd at Cycle Chat.
  • Hairy JockHairy Jock Posts: 558
    is_76 wrote:
    So I am about to start a new job and was considering commuting.

    Its about 9 miles across edinburgh and seems to be quite uphill in the morning (doh!). My only concern is I am not too great in the mornings in terms of exercise. (brain and body not quite in harmony)

    So if I was going to start commuting how should I break myself into it? Twice a week and build up from there?

    How long might it take me? (Yes I know it depends on my speed etc) I suppose I really should try it one weekend morning and judge.

    I have been reading all the advice about panniers, clothing etc and it looks good.

    Just looked at your post again, roughly from where to where in Edinburgh are you going, you don't have to go over all the hills, there are ways round some of them. As for not being full awake in the mornings , getting a little gentle exercise such as riding up hill is a great way to wake up in the morning, you will be fully awake by the time you get to work.
    **************
    Best advice I ever got was "better get a bike then"
    Cycle commuting since 1994. Blog with cycle bits.
    Also with the old C+ crowd at Cycle Chat.
  • is_76is_76 Posts: 24
    My ride is Leith to Currie.

    If Foot of Leith Walk - Princes St - Gorgie - Slateford - Juniper Green - Currie then its is 8.5 miles. But seems like a slight climb up leith walk and then up slateford. There is always the option to the cycle path but I want the most direct/quickest route in the morning and wouldn't mind a longer route on the way home. I am open to suggestions??

    Also looked into getting my road bike made a wee bit more commuter friendly with some meatier tyres and a pannier rack.

    I think I am just going to go for it..... fortune favours the brave and all that!
  • is_76is_76 Posts: 24
    My ride is Leith to Currie.

    If Foot of Leith Walk - Princes St - Gorgie - Slateford - Juniper Green - Currie then its is 8.5 miles. But seems like a slight climb up leith walk and then up slateford. There is always the option to the cycle path but I want the most direct/quickest route in the morning and wouldn't mind a longer route on the way home. I am open to suggestions??

    Also looked into getting my road bike made a wee bit more commuter friendly with some meatier tyres and a pannier rack.

    I think I am just going to go for it..... fortune favours the brave and all that!
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    I've just shifted jobs, packed in a job 25 miles (30 on bike) from home and have been looking for one within 10 miles - nice 30-35 min commute and can extend it if I want. Got a 6 month contract 10 miles from home and have left the car at home - 1 full week under the pedals now ! Car now asleep on the drive - only moves at weekend.

    Daft thing is, that's cut my fuel bill from £50 per week to just a few pounds :lol:
  • is_76is_76 Posts: 24
    thats great, how long does the 10miles take you? is it in town?
  • FlycatcherFlycatcher Posts: 185
    I do 9 miles a day each way. Two big hills in. Like others have said if I do drive I feel cross and ratty. You'll be amazed how quickly you'll pick up speed and fitness. If I can do it so can you.

    Good luck.
  • is_76is_76 Posts: 24
    Went for a practise spin on my planned commmute.

    Took 50 mins each way (approx 8.5 miles) although I got held up at quite a few red lights and had to dual along Princes Street with buses. The festival on at the moment in Edinburgh and the place is rammed. Not too shabby though. Plus I was using the primary and secondary positions and had no hassle from cars.

    So commuting by bike looks a real goer! Hurrah. God, just imagine how super fit I could be!!
  • I'm with HairyJock. Just do it!

    We evolved to chase antelopes across the African savannah for two hours before breakfast. Get the right kit (road bike with mudguards, 25mm tyres, clipless pedals), and it'll be a doddle, and you'll feel better in the mornings.

    I didn't used to be a morning person, and I changed that round. I'm out of the house on the bike at 6:45 nowadays, and arrive at work more awake than any of the other slugs.

    17 miles each way, 5 days per week gives me no probs.
  • I started commuting last summer (the hot one) by bike 12.5 miles each way, would suggest that you start doing 2 or three times a week.
    I started on 5 days a week, and my calves suffered as a consequence.

    No my fitness has improved greatly, and you really appreciate the nice weather.

    Would recomend getting plenty of air into the tyres, running them slightly soft increases punctures dramatically.

    Good Luck
  • I would say that the bike you use makes a big difference. Choose the one that is right for your journey, not the one you want! What I mean is get the tool for the job, not the shiny one that you like just because it is cool!
    I just launched into my 12 mile each way commute. Take it easy, don't race and just let your fitness and legs get used to it. Taking an occassional day off ( bank holiday or a day off) really helps the legs recover. I found that my legs and fitness took turns at feeling ready to give up!
    If you have to, get off and walk up the hills until you feel ready to cycle up. Go at your own speed and you'll enjoy it.
    Mark
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