Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Yay! As of today I am a cycle commuter.

Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
edited May 2011 in Commuting chat
I finally did it and cycled the rather undulating 15 and a bit miles to work today. I must admit that I don't know why I didn't do it sooner as I didn't find it too stressful at all. Most of the journey is country roads through the occasional village, so not too many stop-starts. I only had to get up 15 minutes earlier than I normally would have done and got to my desk at the same time as driving.

I have a men's Specialized Allez Elite with SPD pedals. I've been cycling for a couple of years as a fitness thing really as my husband and I have lost a bit of weight recently. He started doing time trials last year through a friend and last week I did my first 10 miler, though I didn't do very well. I do think it's the taking part, well until I did again last night and took a minute off my time. It's now making me think I can do much better! :shock:

So I am a convert to commuting! Not sure if I'll be able to do it every day, but once or twice a week to start should do. I will think of the petrol I'm saving and the fact I can have cake whenever I want now ;)

Any tips will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
Clare
I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

"Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
«13

Posts

  • Welcome, welcome. Now about this cake, any spare slices?
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    Welcome. Enjoy the riding.

    Build up steadily and all will be well. The normal mantra is to increase time spent on exercise by 10% a week.

    Short time trials are fun, especially at first when you set a PB every week :D
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • Paul EPaul E Posts: 2,052
    Someone say cake?
    bartman100 wrote:
    The OP is a troll = moron
    The OP actually believes this = moron
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    Yeah, I love carrot cake, but today might be worth some chocolate fudge cake or similar. I was going to ask if anyone wants to go halves, but with all the petrol money I've saved, I can probably afford it :)

    I agree, PB on the TT does give you an incentive. My husband says I wasn't trying hard enough last week.... :roll:
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • Hot OrangeHot Orange Posts: 157
    Well done. I'm very impressed that you've started on this rather breezy day. It'll only get easier...

    I have a 16-mile rural commute but am currently bottling out of doing the whole lot, so I drive part of the way and cycle the remaining 9-10 miles. You may be inspiring me to leave the car at home.
    Summer: 2012 Trek Madone 3.5
    Winter: 2013 Trek Crockett 5
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    Orange, yes, it was a bit windy and I nearly bottled it, but I thought I've got to do it! I couldn't feel the ends of my fingers or toes for the first few miles too! :?

    Is it relatively flat around Norfolk/Suffolk, or is that overly generalising? All I know is Northamptonshire is incredibly undulating and I live on the top of a hill, so my journeys always start OK, but very soon I hit an obstacle. My thigh muscles are improving and at one point I couldn't even stand up on the pedals, but now I am getting much better.
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Great stuff.

    If you commute through the countryside, watch out for the guff on the sides of the road that gets flushed out fom the hedges during the rain. And look out for pot holes that may just look like puddles (if your roads are anything like the Surrey lanes).

    Re the TTs: a woman I used to work with staretd riding in her 40s. Then she started doing TTs the same season, then consistently set PBs, then, I think either in the same season or the next, set club records over 10m, 25m and 50m and got some other awards, too. She was in the same club as Alex Dowsett, so you and your husband might want to find out what sort of cakes they eat over there, because I sure as hell wouldn't mind some. :)
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Hot OrangeHot Orange Posts: 157
    I'd describe Norfolk/Suffolk as bumpy rather than hilly. It's not completely flat like the Fens and there are plenty of hills on my commute - but they're certainly not huge and I rarely need to use more than four gears (although that may of course be down to my supreme fitness and magnificent cycling prowess :) )
    Summer: 2012 Trek Madone 3.5
    Winter: 2013 Trek Crockett 5
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    cjcp wrote:

    If you commute through the countryside, watch out for the guff on the sides of the road that gets flushed out fom the hedges during the rain. And look out for pot holes that may just look like puddles (if your roads are anything like the Surrey lanes).

    Northamptonshire roads are just as bad. I have fallen foul of hedge cutting before where shards of hawthorn get stuck in your tyres. Not good.
    cjcp wrote:
    Re the TTs: a woman I used to work with staretd riding in her 40s. Then she started doing TTs the same season, then consistently set PBs, then, I think either in the same season or the next, set club records over 10m, 25m and 50m and got some other awards, too. She was in the same club as Alex Dowsett, so you and your husband might want to find out what sort of cakes they eat over there, because I sure as hell wouldn't mind some. :)

    I am 39, so she could be my inspiration. I am an ex-smoker unfortunately, so I'm not sure what the damage I've done to my lungs will do to me. I am competitive, but I don't think the records need to be re-written yet ;)
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    Hot Orange wrote:
    I'd describe Norfolk/Suffolk as bumpy rather than hilly. It's not completely flat like the Fens and there are plenty of hills on my commute - but they're certainly not huge and I rarely need to use more than four gears (although that may of course be down to my supreme fitness and magnificent cycling prowess :) )

    Of course, we bow down to your magnificent fitness oh Holy One.... :D

    I only have a double and rarely use the bottom ring, so again, I may be fitter than I think!
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • Hot OrangeHot Orange Posts: 157
    I hope you enjoy it, and I’m sure you will. After an enforced three-month break due to a change of job, I’m back into commuting now and realising how much I missed it.

    Regarding tips for rural commuting –
    * you can be miles from anywhere, so it’s especially important to always carry a spare tube, pump, and fully charged mobile phone;
    * go very slowly through the rubbish farmers leave on the roads;
    * invest in puncture-resistant tyres (since switching to my Nimbus Armadillos, my puncture rate has declined markedly (*touches wood*));
    * get some very good lights – country lanes can be surprisingly dark
    * explore different routes – the countryside is great for offering you the opportunity to take a little (or large) detour
    * but when it’s icy, stick to the busier roads – I had plenty of country lane / ice incidents last winter
    Summer: 2012 Trek Madone 3.5
    Winter: 2013 Trek Crockett 5
  • nichnich Posts: 888
    You will become addicted to it 8)
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    I had a spare tube and a pump today, plus some plastic things my husband says are for taking the tyre off the rim. I've asked him to teach me how to change it, but he said I can learn if I need to... LOL

    I have 2 mobile phones, 1 personal and 1 work. The work brick is the most basic phone I've ever seen, no camera, internet access etc. so it goes months without charging.

    Not seen too much farmer's rubbish, but will keep an eye out.

    Will look into tyres, are they really puncture resistant?

    I have excellent lights. Got some from China which were recommended on here I think. They are amazing! Have used then in the winter on my MTB in Harlestone Firs and they were really good.

    I might go home a different way, not sure yet. There are loads of ways to get from home to work, but thought the route I did this morning would be less stop-start than some of the others. With SPDs, I don't like being caught short!

    When it's icy, I might take the car ;)
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • Well done you! I started commuting about 8 months ago, due to a change in role (that was in the middle of Leics). I'm about to start a new role that extends the cycling!

    At first it did hurt (I was doing every day) but has got both easier and faster as time has gone by - and the cake thing - I LOVE the cake thing - eat and be merry :-)

    S :-)
  • Hot OrangeHot Orange Posts: 157
    Not seen too much farmer's rubbish, but will keep an eye out.

    Will look into tyres, are they really puncture resistant?

    The farmers' rubbish (copious amounts of mud transferred from fields by tractor tyres, basically) is at its worst in the winter when it's wet and icy. Should be fine in this dry spell.

    Puncture-resistant tyres certainly seem to work, in my experience. I have definitely picked debris out of them that would have gone straight through my old slicks. No tyre is puncture proof, but they're good enough to prevent you having to change the tube every other day (*touches more wood*).
    Summer: 2012 Trek Madone 3.5
    Winter: 2013 Trek Crockett 5
  • ThatBikeGuyThatBikeGuy Posts: 394
    Breezy? Bit more than just a breeze up here, least it felt that way :?

    Welcome to the commute Clare! Hope you enjoy it and stick around :)
    Cannondale SS Evo Team
    Kona Jake CX
    Cervelo P5
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    On another note, why is it that cycling clothing manufacturers seen to have completely forgotten there are women cyclists? I like all the team wear etc. but they never do women's stuff... Or it's twice the price!
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • nichnich Posts: 888
    Clare_M wrote:
    On another note, why is it that cycling clothing manufacturers seen to have completely forgotten there are women cyclists? I like all the team wear etc. but they never do women's stuff... Or it's twice the price!

    I dunno about cycling stuff, but most the time outdoor clothing for women always looks cheaper to me!
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    Nich, you're probably right. My Karrimor cycling top was £3 :lol:
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • the ciggies damage will be reducing daily, and the cycling will help.


    I was a 30 a day person just over 2 years ago. been smoke free since Feb 2009 , have lost 3 stone, shrank the belly 4 inches and can now run after my kids for hours without getting puffed out.

    well done you for starting the bike commute.
    Veni Vidi cyclo I came I saw I cycled
    exercise.png
  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    Any cake left? Chocolate please :)

    Well done Clare :D
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    Cafewanda wrote:
    Any cake left? Chocolate please :)

    Well done Clare :D

    I resisted the urge to buy anything at lunch time! :shock: No cake, no biscuits or nuts. I bought some lip liner, but I don't think that will taste very nice....

    BTW, am I the only one who puts lipstick on to ride my bike? :?
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • navtnavt Posts: 374
    Welcome. Now remember, not everything your husband says is true :D

    Come on to this forum for the real truth.

    We tell it like it is.
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    Clare_M wrote:
    I resisted the urge to buy anything at lunch time! :shock: No cake, no biscuits or nuts.

    You need fuel for the cycling though. Best to buy cake, to be on the safe side
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
    Condor Tempo
  • Clare_M wrote:
    When it's icy, I might take the car ;)

    Above is probably the best advice for country lane commuting.

    I leave the bike @ home if the temp is below 3C as this is a rule of thumb that my cycle club takes and it was very good line in the sand last winter for club and commute rides
    Fair-weather commuter
    Canyon Ultimate CF 8.0 in Black
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    Clare_M wrote:
    When it's icy, I might take the car ;)

    Above is probably the best advice for country lane commuting.

    I leave the bike @ home if the temp is below 3C as this is a rule of thumb that my cycle club takes and it was very good line in the sand last winter for club and commute rides

    You big wuss :wink: I was commuting down to -7 this Winter and was fine, when the snow was on the roads I changed over to full CX tyres and had a whale of a time.

    The only issue is getting the clothing right but this is ALWAYS the issue :lol:

    (12 miles of nothing BUT country lane commuting)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    Clare_M wrote:
    When it's icy, I might take the car ;)

    Above is probably the best advice for country lane commuting.

    I leave the bike @ home if the temp is below 3C as this is a rule of thumb that my cycle club takes and it was very good line in the sand last winter for club and commute rides

    You big wuss :wink: I was commuting down to -7 this Winter and was fine, when the snow was on the roads I changed over to full CX tyres and had a whale of a time.

    The only issue is getting the clothing right but this is ALWAYS the issue :lol:

    (12 miles of nothing BUT country lane commuting)

    Now, I normally take exception to those who call me a wuss. I see it as a challenge. Just as well I know who you are Mr Burns! ;) I expect J4CKO to turn up any minute too :)
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    ...You big wuss :wink: I was commuting down to -7 this Winter ...

    -7? pah! -16 here.

    MRS? Unixnerd? How was it up north, again?

    Cheers,
    W.
  • essex-commuteressex-commuter Posts: 2,188
    Clare_M wrote:

    BTW, am I the only one who puts lipstick on to ride my bike? :?

    Not at all, I do the same.
  • Clare_MClare_M Posts: 68
    essex-commuter, which colour makes you go fastest?

    Made it home, legs took a while to warm up, but it was OK. Did 31.46 miles in total today :)

    Money saved = £5 approx, though the lip liner will eat into that ;)
    I was a fatty, then I took up cycling and can now eat cake guilt free!

    "Triples are for girls" My Husband, 2010. (Evidently not for this girl though!)
Sign In or Register to comment.