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"16.4 miles commute? Are u nuts?"

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  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    I have several different routes that i can take, all of which involve climbing, I live at a high point and work at low point, there will always be climbing.

    Embrace the pain.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • littleprawnlittleprawn Posts: 135
    Hi Azhar,

    There has been some great contributions on here and hopefully you can retain all the advice. One thing that occurred to me recently is ...do not underestimate 'REST'.

    Last Friday I did my 'one' a week commute and I felt fine in the morning, but the return trip was exhausting :? . I was on the 'lower' gears for the majority of the return leg and I was facing a headwind. So...make sure you get plenty of rest in the evening before you start your commute. For the record, I had been swimming previously on the Wednesday and Thursday and probably had depleted energy stores!

    This week, I swam on Monday and this morning and did the commute on Wednesday. I had my best commute times (both under an hour for ~14 mile single trip) so am quite chuffed and was able to 'spin' more easily in the higher gears. Listen to your body and do not over exert yourself. After starting my 'weekly' cycle commute, I will try and up the ante next week so that in June, I aim to do a bike commute twice a week...since I started before Easter this year....

    Keep the focus and you will be fine!
    Cannondale CAADX 5 105
    Trek T10
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    evening peeps. i had a look at an alternative route thats not as intense as one that i had already mapped out but the town i need to go in to is right on top of a hill but in the car it looks steep but when i ride it it might not be too bad. i'm planning on doing the ride to work this weekend to see how it goes but i'm a bit off by the current weather (rain and high winds) so i might do it on the sunday and see how i fare.

    the suggestion of getting off my bike and walking is something i'm not too bothered about but i have clipless pedals and walking in my cleats i cant walk too fast. so i'll jst go slowly with the occasional sprint standing up on the bike to make some sort of progress up the hill.

    finally, i really appreciate the advice and help everyone is giving me. this week alone i have done 75.5km over 5 days. so i must not be doing too badly and i think about the advice everyone has given thats really helped and kept my goal in clear focus. ........if i'm right - i just need to put in as much time on the bike to be able to cover long distances comfortably. i have done the route to preston from chorley quite a few times and it doesnt feel that far anymore which is absolutely great. its a 8 mile trip as well. so not farr off what i intend to do when i start using my bike at work.
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,505
    Good work fella -- as already said by others don't underestimate the value of resting; no need to destroy yourself otherwise you might start hating it!

    Bloody good effort though!
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    davis wrote:
    Good work fella -- as already said by others don't underestimate the value of resting; no need to destroy yourself otherwise you might start hating it!

    Bloody good effort though!


    Thanks! I'm resting today, even though i was going to go on a longer bike ride than normal. yesterday i was going up the stairs and felt lactic acid straightaway after going up a couple of steps. today is the same, muscles feel a little tight so resting again today and tomorrow going to do a decent bike ride. going to try and achieve 100km a week next week. i think for my first proper week in cycling to do 75km i think i can do 100km next week and keep building up. i think june is probably looking likely when i start commuting to work on bike.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,999
    Good to hear the progress. There's no need to sprint up the hills, just sit down, spin and take your time.
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    One more tip, if you are going to rest do it at the top of a climb not the bottom, even if you had to get off and walk.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • It sounds like you are doing the preperation right.
    I started cycling to & from work 3 weeks ago and my commute is about 16.5miles each way (depending on the route).
    I work 12hr day/night shifts so the thought of a 1 1/2hr ride home is not something I look forward to but once on the move I quite enjoy it although I don't tend to cycle on a night shift as they are my recovery days. My routes vary from 300-400ft of climbing going to work & 700ft-900ft of climbing going home and again some are long gentle inclines and I have some 14% climbs too so a very mixed ride.

    I started by cycling to work 1 day a week and catching the train home which still left a 4mile ride and as my general fitness improved I've got off the train earlier to increase my ride home and for the last 3 weeks I've been riding to and from work 1 day shift per week & today is my 2nd day shift and I've cycled in today upping to both my day shifts.

    Up until today my commutes have also been on a Hardtail mountain bike with heavy 26x1.95 Schwalbe Landcruisers. Today has been quite tough though, 5am set off time for work & not getting home until around 20:00 makes you quite tired & today I'm trying my road bike which is far tougher to ride than expected as the gearing is quite a bit higher than the MTB.

    Keep going with what your doing, you will get there in the end & its a great feeling to accomplish your goal.
    Matthew
  • PessablePessable Posts: 32
    I once had to call out International Rescue ('er indoors) when I had a snakebite puncture less than a mile from home, because I was wearing road cleats. I could of course have fixed the puncture but it would have been tricky in the dark, wet and cold and I was less than a mile from home.

    So that night I ordered dual-sided pedals (flat and MTB spd) and a pair of "touring shoes" with recessed cleats. I wouldn't want to go on a hike with them on, but I'd highly recommend them for commuting. TBH, I can't tell the difference in performance versus road cleats.

    I also had a bad experience with a couple of mates when we were attacked by yoofs throwing apples at us, safe in the knowledge that we couldn't run after them because of our cleats. :x
  • daxplusplusdaxplusplus Posts: 631
    I'm trying my road bike which is far tougher to ride than expected as the gearing is quite a bit higher than the MTB.

    Yep! Unless you adapt the gearing the hills can become more of a stuggle on the road bike but the rest of the time it's all about how much more areo you are on the road bike compared to the MTB. You get speed\distance for free with the better aerodynamics on the road bike.

    I guess you may not notice it to start with (and it'll depend on your route).. it took me a while to realise what was going on. I started a 22 mile rural commute on a rock hopper (no sus) with semi slicks .. and upto a certain fitness level it was actually easier than the trek 1.5 road bike I have now. However quite quickly I was trying to link up fast bits of my route and started lowering the front handlebars (it just seemed the obvious thing to do as I was dipping my upper torso lower and lower more and more often as I was going down hills and noticing the speed going up for free). I realised I was trying to adapt my postion on the MTB away from it's more upright stance and towards a road bike shape. It was at that point I thought sod it - get a road bike. Never, ever, looked back. That free speed\distance has another benefit. It also means when your knackered from work or you just need an easy day then rather than a fast time you trade the free speed\distance for an easier ride.

    The hills are still worse on the road bike .. I do them quicker becuase I basically don't have much choice through my lack of low down gears. But that's OK - I don't mind. It's good exercise and is building up my skill and fitness levels.

    So yeah the different gearing can make your life harder but I reckon it's worth it once you have that little bit more fitness. If your not going down the route of speed and fitness (and obviously you don't have to) then think about changing your gearing .. there's no shame in that.
    Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

    strava profile
  • blablablacksheepblablablacksheep Posts: 1,627
    ^^ good advice there.

    Currently using my rockhopper with slicks to commute and totally agree with what you said, you can get some decent speed with MTB but for me its all about "perceived effort", with a MTB going to work and back is in itself a training session and i am sweaty when i get to work.

    Using a roadbike of a friends i found time wise i wasnt that much quicker(though his roadbike wasnt anything special) the perceived effort was a LOT less.
    London2Brighton Challange 100k!
    http://www.justgiving.com/broxbourne-runners
  • brutobruto Posts: 10
    i do 35 mls round trip 5.5 days a week, used to do 15 mls round trip but changed jobs so i was worried about doing twice the mileage i was used to and yes it hurts at first but the body gets used to it although i get slower as the week draws on,
    a calorie counter reckons i burn 1000 calories each way so remember to eat enough to keep energy levels up and now summer is nearly here enjoy!!
  • dee4life2005dee4life2005 Posts: 773
    I work for a small IT company and the three other software developers all have bikes. One cycles daily 10 miles each way, one cycles once or twice a week 28 miles each way and the other is training for a charity ride at the minute so is doing rides ranging from 30-100 miles.

    I live about 20 miles (using cycle routes) from my work, and I've been getting presuaded to get a bike for a few years now, and about 2 months ago I caved in and got myself a Boardman Performance Hybrid Comp. I hadn't been on a bike for about 15 years, and had put on a bit of beef - 14.5 stone. Decided to get a fast hybrid to begin with, as I wasn't sure I'd get back in to it - 20 miles seemed like a loooong way. First time out on the bike I did 23 miles on a flattish route, and I was completely buggered.

    Roll forward 8 weeks and I've now done just short of 800 miles on this bike, have completed my first 100km ride and have now cycled in to work twice this past week and felt fine.

    It all depends on the profile of the your route, but 16.5 miles each way is definitely achievable ... unless your route is proper hilly, or the wind is up a bit. I find the wind more of a killer to be honest. Nothing worse that having to pedal when going downhill - that just seems wrong. Plus you get a good 8 hours of recovery time before you have to cycle back home, which is a big help.

    I always keep a Clif Bar and a couple of energy gels in the saddle bag, just in case I need them. Nothing worse that bonking when you've still got loads of miles to go.
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    hello...i did the route again today. there was a severe headwind. but sitll managed to do it. here is the link http://app.strava.com/activities/9387480 (please look). You can see its very hilly getting there. 25km is about the distance to work or 16 miles and then i put strava on pause, rested for 15 minutes and then started it again and rode back. howerver the route back was a lot easier that it was mostly downhill. some really hilly monsters but i got back home quicker, in an hour compared to 1hr 41 minutes that it took for me to get from my home to work.

    I am shattered. my feet were really hurting, not my legs, feet. it felt like a major case of pins and needles and really not sure if i had the shoe on tight or what. but this only really started happening about 7 miles before i got home. in this hot weather i managed to get a tan. so i got a nice dark skin and then a perfect line and then my fair skin. it looks silly. but wife and everyone are quite amused. even though the route to work was ok...i dont think i can keep it up everyday. i know i can probably do once or twice a week but really want to do everyday but i suppose its just building it up to a point where i can do it everyday. but it will mean waking up at 5am. getting in to work by at least half 6 and then starting 45 minutes later. which should be fine but again...its hilly!!!!!!!!!! i wish the earth was flat. really do.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    Tan lines coming on nicely then? It's a sign of commitment.

    Tingly feet will be to tight or (if you're using cleats) cleat angle way play a part.

    340foot in the first five miles sounds tough, but keep it up and you'll be heading to the hills on you lunch break to clock up a few extra miles.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • I'm trying my road bike which is far tougher to ride than expected as the gearing is quite a bit higher than the MTB.

    Yep! Unless you adapt the gearing the hills can become more of a stuggle on the road bike but the rest of the time it's all about how much more areo you are on the road bike compared to the MTB. You get speed\distance for free with the better aerodynamics on the road bike.

    I guess you may not notice it to start with (and it'll depend on your route).. it took me a while to realise what was going on. I started a 22 mile rural commute on a rock hopper (no sus) with semi slicks .. and upto a certain fitness level it was actually easier than the trek 1.5 road bike I have now. However quite quickly I was trying to link up fast bits of my route and started lowering the front handlebars (it just seemed the obvious thing to do as I was dipping my upper torso lower and lower more and more often as I was going down hills and noticing the speed going up for free). I realised I was trying to adapt my postion on the MTB away from it's more upright stance and towards a road bike shape. It was at that point I thought sod it - get a road bike. Never, ever, looked back. That free speed\distance has another benefit. It also means when your knackered from work or you just need an easy day then rather than a fast time you trade the free speed\distance for an easier ride.

    The hills are still worse on the road bike .. I do them quicker becuase I basically don't have much choice through my lack of low down gears. But that's OK - I don't mind. It's good exercise and is building up my skill and fitness levels.

    So yeah the different gearing can make your life harder but I reckon it's worth it once you have that little bit more fitness. If your not going down the route of speed and fitness (and obviously you don't have to) then think about changing your gearing .. there's no shame in that.


    It's supprising just how quickly you adapt from MTB to Road though. I'm a couple of weeks on and now cycle on both of my day shifts (car for nights) and finding where I can make up time and have dropped 10mins off my commute to work and going home varies as I often add an extra couple of miles for fun :)

    Azhar wrote:
    hello...i did the route again today. there was a severe headwind. but sitll managed to do it. here is the link http://app.strava.com/activities/9387480 (please look). You can see its very hilly getting there. 25km is about the distance to work or 16 miles and then i put strava on pause, rested for 15 minutes and then started it again and rode back. howerver the route back was a lot easier that it was mostly downhill. some really hilly monsters but i got back home quicker, in an hour compared to 1hr 41 minutes that it took for me to get from my home to work.

    I am shattered. my feet were really hurting, not my legs, feet. it felt like a major case of pins and needles and really not sure if i had the shoe on tight or what. but this only really started happening about 7 miles before i got home. in this hot weather i managed to get a tan. so i got a nice dark skin and then a perfect line and then my fair skin. it looks silly. but wife and everyone are quite amused. even though the route to work was ok...i dont think i can keep it up everyday. i know i can probably do once or twice a week but really want to do everyday but i suppose its just building it up to a point where i can do it everyday. but it will mean waking up at 5am. getting in to work by at least half 6 and then starting 45 minutes later. which should be fine but again...its hilly!!!!!!!!!! i wish the earth was flat. really do.

    Thats fantastic news to hear you are getting the milage in and the tan lines are great. I went out for a 40mile ride on one of my days off around Holmfirth and into the Peak District and with the breeze I didn't notice the sun too much until I jumped in the shower after the ride :lol: . Have just bought myself a summer road bib and road t-shirt as the legs/arms are shorter than my MTB clothing so I can improve my tan this weekend when I go for my 1st 55mile ride 8)

    Stick with it, it does take time but I really look forward to the ride home afterwork and even after my 2nd day shift my legs are not as stiff/sore, I also don't mind getting up at 4:30 for my 1hr Xmin ride to work on a morning
  • TwostageTwostage Posts: 987
    Azhar wrote:
    hello...i did the route again today. there was a severe headwind. but sitll managed to do it. here is the link http://app.strava.com/activities/9387480 (please look). You can see its very hilly getting there. 25km is about the distance to work or 16 miles and then i put strava on pause, rested for 15 minutes and then started it again and rode back. howerver the route back was a lot easier that it was mostly downhill. some really hilly monsters but i got back home quicker, in an hour compared to 1hr 41 minutes that it took for me to get from my home to work.

    I am shattered. my feet were really hurting, not my legs, feet. it felt like a major case of pins and needles and really not sure if i had the shoe on tight or what. but this only really started happening about 7 miles before i got home. in this hot weather i managed to get a tan. so i got a nice dark skin and then a perfect line and then my fair skin. it looks silly. but wife and everyone are quite amused. even though the route to work was ok...i dont think i can keep it up everyday. i know i can probably do once or twice a week but really want to do everyday but i suppose its just building it up to a point where i can do it everyday. but it will mean waking up at 5am. getting in to work by at least half 6 and then starting 45 minutes later. which should be fine but again...its hilly!!!!!!!!!! i wish the earth was flat. really do.
    That's quite a hilly ride 8) . Like others have said tingly feet is shoes too tight.
  • fobosefobose Posts: 6
    I started commuting 13.6 miles (each way) twice a week back in 2009, and towards the end of the year it was 3-4 times a week. I was using an 11 year old front suspension claud butler MTB (with schwalbe land cruiser tyres). I clocked up about 2600 miles before I used the car again for the winter but really enjoyed the commute. I also changed my crankset so that it had more teeth (38 max to 48 max if I remember correctly), that helped me quite a bit too as I didn't have to spin the pedals as much.

    Last year I bought a Cube hybrid (with lockable front suspension) which seems to have made the world of difference and I can get to work in 40 minutes without pushing myself (26.5 mile total commute). I have found other routes I can take, some shorter (22 miles total) but with lots of traffic which I hate as it is noisy and dangerous, and some longer (30 miles total) but very hilly but very quiet so depending on the weather and times of day I change between the different routes.

    I do however have a very good power to weight ratio, only being about 65kg :)
  • RoadersRoaders Posts: 22
    Hi Guys

    Sorry to revive an old thread (I have to confess I've not read all the pages on this thread as there were a LOT).

    I commute 18 miles each way 5 days a week most weeks (only miss a day for working from home or drinks in the evening occassionally).
    I am used to the 180 miles a week but I do get very tired. My alarm goes off at 5:45 and I get to my desk for around 7:30 - 8:00 after a shower at work.
    I leave work at 5 and get home for around 7:00 (again after a shower).

    I then find that I want to go to bed around 9:00 - 9:30 to stop being knackered the next day which doesn't leave much time for talking to the wife and eating dinner!

    Anyone else doing these sorts of miles have issues with getting enough sleep?

    When I started cycling I was 22.5 stone BTW - but I was doing far less miles. I am now around 17 stone but hope to get to 14 before a run of sportives later this year.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    Roaders wrote:
    Hi Guys

    Sorry to revive an old thread (I have to confess I've not read all the pages on this thread as there were a LOT).

    I commute 18 miles each way 5 days a week most weeks (only miss a day for working from home or drinks in the evening occassionally).
    I am used to the 180 miles a week but I do get very tired. My alarm goes off at 5:45 and I get to my desk for around 7:30 - 8:00 after a shower at work.
    I leave work at 5 and get home for around 7:00 (again after a shower).

    I then find that I want to go to bed around 9:00 - 9:30 to stop being knackered the next day which doesn't leave much time for talking to the wife and eating dinner!

    Anyone else doing these sorts of miles have issues with getting enough sleep?

    When I started cycling I was 22.5 stone BTW - but I was doing far less miles. I am now around 17 stone but hope to get to 14 before a run of sportives later this year.

    This is me,

    I do around 150 commuting miles a week, up at 5:45 everyday, i do get to leave work at 4pm though, so I get an extra hour or so at home. I must confess though that I don't get particularly tired, Are you eating enough?

    I tend to get into bed anytime between 10 and 10:30 and then watch a bit of telly, I guess that it helps that my other half is also up early.

    make up the sleep on the weekend.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • RoadersRoaders Posts: 22
    I used to leave work at 4 before I changed jobs - was much better!

    Do you think I would feel tired if I don't eat enough? I eat 3 meals a day but am still loosing weight so am keeping the calories down.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    It could just be a general build up of fatigue.

    Someone will be along shortly to advise you better.
    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

    PX Kaffenback 2 = Work Horse
    B-Twin Alur 700 = Sundays and Hills
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    Roaders wrote:
    Hi Guys

    Sorry to revive an old thread (I have to confess I've not read all the pages on this thread as there were a LOT).

    Don't apologise. It's quite alright.

    I make up the time with wife on weekend. Weekdays is work and cycling time. Saturday/Sunday is when I spend time with wife. I'm slowly getting better at this cycling business but I did find that when I got better at the cycling and fitness got so much better I got tired less and less when I came back home in the evening. I have days where I'll try and get to work within an hour and another day where I'll slow down and get in to work in an hour and twenty minutes. Mixing up the days up with fast and slow days. Helps me anyway and gets me on my bike to work most days when I know I can have an easy day and a hard day when I feel up to it.
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