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12 miles too much????

sammygsammyg Posts: 4
edited April 2008 in Commuting chat
Hi All
Thinking about starting to cycle my commute instead of train. Its 12 miles each way. Is this to much for a beginer.
Also how much does having good and correct cycle clothing affect how you feel at the end of a ride. Is it worth investing in all the gear for a 12 mile commute.
Cheers
Sammy :?:

Posts

  • CrapaudCrapaud Posts: 2,483
    Short answer: Yes, probably!

    It depends how much of a newbie you are. I know a number of folk who tried the same sort of distance and within 2 or 3 days found it too difficult, became fed up and gave up.

    Long answer: Test your own ability, adapt your route and build up.

    Pick a day off and do a test run. Depending on how that feels, cycle or get the train back. How do you feel the next day? Remember, if you're serious about commuting, you'll be doing this every day.

    Too difficult? Use the test run to guage how much of the route you can do comfortably and take the train for the rest of the journey. As you get fitter, increase the cycling / train ratio and soon, quicker than you think, you'll be cycling the whole route.

    Bon chance!
    A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Churchill
  • Pete236Pete236 Posts: 201
    My route is about 12 miles each way to college. 1st started cycling as I didn't have the cash to put petrol in the car! Started off just the wednesday afternoon (only 2.5 days a week!) then wednesday and friday, now all 3 days!
    1st month of so I was shattered but felt so good as it was the most exercise I'd had for a long time! My fitness went up loads.

    My advice: As Crapaud said, try out your route on a day off to get a measure of how it feels. Don't set out to do a full week on the bike as you may end up totally shattered and a little demoralised! Take it easy, maybe just monday and friday for a few weeks, then add a wednesday . . . before you know you'll up to a full week!

    As for the gear - I didn't use to bother. Jeans and a t-shirt was all I had! Then with the colder weather and more layers I was sweating wuite a lot, so got a wicking base layer t-shirt - made a load of difference! Some lightly padded lycra shorts cam next and it was so much more comfortable! Plus, they can be worn under the jeans so none of the herberts at college can take the pi$$!
    I think that a decent base layer, lightly padded shorts, comfortable shoes, mtb gloves and a comfortable lid are all you really need. Unless you want to be aerodynamic of course!

    Hope I've been some help :P
    Good luck and enjoy the buzz of a sucessful 24 miles a day!

    One fine day in the middle of the night, two dead men got up to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other.
  • I guess it depends on how fit you are now.
    If already capable of doing a 24 mile ride, without being knackered, then the 12 miles each way should be ok, just don't try it every day the first week.
    IMHO proper cycling gear is the way to go, I probably look an herbert in lycra, but frankly don't care.
    My tips
    All of the above from everyone else.
    Do a test ride one weekend, see how that goes
    Proper cycling gear, not jeans.
    Leave a change of clothes at work.
    Carry spare tube, pump, and puncture repair kit.
    watch weather forecasts/websites.

    Enjoy!
    If you see the candle as flame, the meal is already cooked.
    Photography, Google Earth, Route 30
  • SPOODZILLASPOODZILLA Posts: 128
    I do 12 miles each way, most days. I'm not a particularly fit cyclist, and my the end of the week am knackered. Just take your time and you'll be fine!
    Road: 2006 Trek 1500
    Off: 2009 Carrera Fury

    I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    12 miles is definitely not too much, but don't expect to do it all right from the start. Build up gradually. Two approaches are:

    Riding only twice a week, then extend this an extra time per week after a month of cycling, and then again.

    Ride in, leave the bike at work and take the bus/train home and back to work the next day, then ride home.

    My commute is a 43 mile round trip, but I only do two or three days in a row at most, then have a rest day, for a maximum of 5 days a week. I'm not shy to take the train when I'm tired.
  • AdamskiiAdamskii Posts: 267
    No. it's not to far but as has been said you may struggle every day to begin with. Try two days a week say Tuesday and Thursday to start with to see how you feel. You can then move up to 3, 4 and 5 days a week as you get fitter. I commute 25 miles a day and it took a good few months before I could do it every day and not feel completely shattered!
    It's all good.
  • Pete789ukPete789uk Posts: 46
    I do it about 2/3 times a week which is fine and give me good fittnes level
  • Would I be correct in assuming those who say 12 miles isn't too bad a commute are doing a fairly flat route?!

    I've only done my 20 mile commute once (exeter-torquay via A379) and it was way too hard with the hills. So I'd temper the 'it's not too bad' comments until you find out what the OPs actual route will be :wink:

    PS I am working up to trying again this summer :shock:
  • Pete236Pete236 Posts: 201
    My route is fairly flat when you drive it, but the hills are so long it feels like its uphill all the way each way! When its downhill theres always a junction at the bottom so never a chance to get any speed up :(
    I've been to the area around Torquay once and I don't envy you the hills! Yours sounds like a killer so respect!!

    One fine day in the middle of the night, two dead men got up to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other.
  • AdamskiiAdamskii Posts: 267
    Urrm no, my route is 12 miles and hilly. I started by doing three times a week and yes it hurt and my legs ached every evening for about three months but if you stick in there and don't give up then it WILL get easier. I often extend my evening ride home to get more miles in!
    It's all good.
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,153
    It also depends on what you are doing during the day. For example, someone sat at an office desk all day may have more energy than someone who has a manual job, or who is on their feet all day. Also, it depends on how hard you ride each way. I tend to go by the rule of easy in (why get myself to work even earlier?) and hard home.

    Obviously other things to remember are to make sure you are eating properly and getting enough sleep. Doing both of them will help keep you fresher for the days you cycle.
  • 12 miles is a good distance so build up to it. I have a 38 mile round trip and do it 2 - 3 times a week, Get some decent padded shorts these will make your trip more comfortable.
  • Balls to test runs. Do it once and it'll feel great. I do 13.5 miles each way. It was great the first day, murder the first week, fun for a month, earnest for another month and, to be honest, pretty damn boring from then on. I can see why people listen to music or the radio even though it seems dangerous. I'm pretty tempted!
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    In part depends on your route. 12 miles into London isn't too much effort (and lots of cycling kit is probably a bit overkill, at least outside winter) but 12 miles of serious hills would be a different proposition, at least at first.

    Just try it and see. If it's too much for you don't give up but build up to doing it every day.

    My commute's 30 miles into central London and it's fine. Sometimes I'll really push it and try to beat various PBs on the way, sometimes I just take it easy, depends how I'm feeling.
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    I do 12 miles each way, hilly terrain. It's very do-able, particularly if the alternative is rush-hour car commuting. To start with, however, I put the bike on the car and used a convenient park-and-ride 5 miles out. After a few weeks of this, fitness was good enough to do the whole distance without serious pain. Getting the right gear is certainly worth it for that kind of distance though. And eating right during the day is also worth paying attention to.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,904
    squired wrote:
    It also depends on what you are doing during the day. For example, someone sat at an office desk all day may have more energy than someone who has a manual job, or who is on their feet all day. Also, it depends on how hard you ride each way. I tend to go by the rule of easy in (why get myself to work even earlier?) and hard home.

    Obviously other things to remember are to make sure you are eating properly and getting enough sleep. Doing both of them will help keep you fresher for the days you cycle.

    I do an office job, at the end of the day I'm knacked, mind you we've got 2 year old twins to contend with as well!

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • BentMikeyBentMikey Posts: 4,895
    I teach skating all day, I'm both physically and mentally shattered afterwards, from the effort of skating around and the teaching itself. Having worked as an IT contractor before, I was surprised at how much thinking is needed for skating and cycling instruction.
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