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anyone commuting 200+ miles a week?

BillLegendBillLegend Posts: 5
edited September 2014 in Commuting general
Hi,
I've been off the bike for about 2 years now, mostly with injury, but also becuase I recently got a car. I used to commute ~180 miles a week (45 round trip), over a period of about a year. I absolutely loved it, but come the end of the week I was a walking corpse. Hours of fatigue in the saddle has riddled my upper back with knots, which I am now trying to rectify with treatment.

I now work ~30 miles from home and am relishing the challenge of 60 mile round trips 4 times a week. I know I will have to build up to this. Maybe this is completely unrealistic and 2-3 times a week will be all I can achieve, but I quite like setting optimistic goals :) And having the car means that 1 day a week a can drive in supplies, where as before I hauled everything on my back (which probably contributed towards my upper back problems).

Something I failed on before was calarie intake. I used to bring a packed lunch and eat a loaf cake everyday, but this never seemed enough.

Is anyone else doing very long commutes, of say +20miles each way? What challenges have you come across and how have you adapted?

Posts

  • Hello, Mine is 25 miles and doable. I do drive in one morning, cycle home and then cycle in the next day and drive home but occasionally do both ways in one day. Leaving the car at work takes away the option to stay in bed longer and take the car.

    I travel from countryside in to Manchester daily so when the light starts to fade in a few weeks my weekly commute will be put on hold until March.
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  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    What bike are you on that's causing you to end up in such pain? Does it actually fit you?

    Bikes can be long-term comfortable for say 100 miles a day...

    ETA:
    As for your actual challenge, you already know what it's going to involve. I have to say that you're starting at probably the worst time of year as the light and temperature are fading fast.

    Probably build up to it with 1 day a week, then 2 days, etc. Eats lots and lots for the first few weeks.

    Leave everything you possibly can at work. Travel light.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • Respect and good luck for your long commute!!
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    I have a 22 mile each way commute and I haul everything I need with me. I quickly learned that I could leave all the 'heavy' stuff in my work locker, things like shoes, belt, shower gel etc. I've only been doing this commute a few weeks.

    I use a messenger bag (Timbuk2 Classic) that I find excellent and a shirt and trousers plus undies doesn't weigh much.

    This is all well and good if you have a locker in your gym / cycle storage area, I think the government should be doing more to encourage companies to provide this kind of thing. Many companies give every employee a free 120 square feet of storage (think about it) but nothing in the way of cycling specific space.

    Even for my moderate commute, it has had an effect on my eating, I seem to be hungry a lot more.

    Best of luck.
  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    dodgy wrote:
    I have a 22 mile each way commute and I haul everything I need with me. I quickly learned that I could leave all the 'heavy' stuff in my work locker, things like shoes, belt, shower gel etc. I've only been doing this commute a few weeks.

    I use a messenger bag (Timbuk2 Classic) that I find excellent and a shirt and trousers plus undies doesn't weigh much.

    This is all well and good if you have a locker in your gym / cycle storage area, I think the government should be doing more to encourage companies to provide this kind of thing. Many companies give every employee a free 120 square feet of storage (think about it) but nothing in the way of cycling specific space.

    Even for my moderate commute, it has had an effect on my eating, I seem to be hungry a lot more.

    Best of luck.

    The government do encourage employers to provide cycling facilities. I know greater Manchester do a grant of upto 10grand which I'm currently looking into

    Back to OP... Be good to know What bike. I do 16 each way either side of a 12 hour shift and as for stopping till March. Get lights and warm gear
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,655
    There are few challenges, to be honest. But my job has some flexibility in terms of start finish time. Which is useful in the very dark months.

    The only real challenges are mental in terms of "getting out there," on the wet and dark days. But the greatest mental challenge is getting BACK out there if you've had a few days in the car because it's been too awful.

    I drop clothing in on the weekend (I have a door pass) and that means commuting without bags etc. Which is also very useful.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • It's a 2008 Team Carbon Boardman, size LG. I'm 6'2" and so border line LG/XLG. Not had a fitting and so I guess I should. Recently just purchased a XLG bike for the coming winter, so I'll see if this fairs any better. But tbh, my flexibility is shockingly bad, and I'm sure this has had knock-on affects to other parts of the body when on the bike for long spells.

    Good idea with using the car one way and cylcing the other. This would be a great place for me to start. Bring on the winter!
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    BillLegend wrote:
    It's a 2008 Team Carbon Boardman, size LG. I'm 6'2" and so border line LG/XLG. Not had a fitting and so I guess I should. Recently just purchased a XLG bike for the coming winter, so I'll see if this fairs any better. But tbh, my flexibility is shockingly bad, and I'm sure this has had knock-on affects to other parts of the body when on the bike for long spells.

    If the bike's uncomfortable, then something's wrong. Even a decent side-on photo might be enough for us to have a crack at what's wrong.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • RussAlfRussAlf Posts: 706
    I have a 22mile each way commute, i do this 3 or 4 times a week. Ive never done 5, the idea of commuting everyday doesnt interest me as i like to enjoy a mtb ride on the weekend. Ive been doing this for 2 years now and wouldnt want to change it at all, the hardest part of the commute is from my bed to the bike but once im out i love it, same for the way home, nothing beats relaxing on a ride after a busy day at work.

    Get your bike as comfortable as possible, full guards and a rack to get the weight on the bike. Try a steal or Ti frame to let the bike soak up the bumbs, up to 28mm + tyres to, Guards/rack/steal/Ti doesnt mean slow.

    I had a good base fitness from mtbing before i started commuting but i built up to it by driving half way and riding the rest, eventually i just dithced the car part all together.
  • Interesting. I do 14 miles (very hilly) each way. It takes about an hour on a road bike. I drive in, cylle home, dycle in, drive home (like chopchopchop). I have posted a topic in here about what type of bike you use for this type of ride as i am replacing my 10 year old CB roubaix. Not sure if i should go for something tougher and more comfortable (straight bars and lower gears) or stay light?

    Good luck with the commute.
  • That's quite a lot of riding, especially in the winter.

    My commute is 48km each way. I'm not in the office all the time (tends to go in blocks), but weeks when I am I find 3 times in/train back and both ways on Friday is about right for me, especially if I have a longish ride at the weekend.

    The main problem is time. It's OK in the morning but in the evening I want to get back to read the youngest a story and see the other two kids and my wife.

    I'm lucky to have secure parking, showers, drying room and place to leave suit and shoes at work. That helps a lot.

    Sounds like you need a proper bike fit first-off, though.
  • I do 32 miles each way equating to 64 miles a day, and I do five days most weeks depending on meetings etc.
    I live in Guildford and ride into the City of London, worst part is when you have traffic lights when you get into Roehampton/ Putney area.

    I'd say go for it and try the drive part of the way first and build up.

    Good luck
  • Respect.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    I was doing 40miles 5 days a week + club runs but a gf in the city has cut that down :lol:

    For me the biggest challenge is keeping it fun, I've got no kids to rush home to so my route is circular, 19 miles in and 21 home via a very different route with the option to add laps around Richmond Park. Strava has also really helped on this front.

    I'd also not recommend this if you are having bike fit issues but adding a track/fixed bike really saved my interest a few years ago BUT it can feel brutal some days. A steel road/fixed would be better.

    Key also was realising that I didn't need to flog myself on every ride but do plenty of good tempo and a few harder rides instead. Having a HRM has helped slow me down when needed. I've also found doing 5 days a week + sunday club runs early in the year really lays a good base.

    Eating enough is always a problem, its constant. :lol:

    I don't think I've used the train yet this year!
  • I do a 30 mile each way commute. I normally do this 4 times a week. I have a rest day on a Wednesday and catch the train/tram. I use this day to take in clothes/food for the next four days which means I can ride light(ish).

    Distance isn't everything - how much climbing is there, are the roads congested, the number of traffic lights/junctions, wind direction, how fit you are? All of these factors will dramatically affect how long your commute will take.

    Components and tyres will wear down quickly. You'll need to up your calorific and fluid intake. You'll appreciate sleep more...
  • One other challenge you'll face.

    You'll be saving a lot on train fares/car costs. I'd guess about £20 a day or so.

    Which leaves plenty to spend on replacing/upgrading parts, decent riding gear, proper lights, etc.

    A new bike ...

    The challenge part is avoiding spending what you save several times over whilst deluding yourself that you're ahead financially :D
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