Biked to work for the first time

Discussion in 'General' started by phlack, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. phlack

    phlack Well-Known Member

    It's only a 10min drive to work, and I've got this big gut to get rid of, so I rode to work today for the first time. All flat terrain.

    Took me ~30min and was ~4mi (hard to tell since I don't have a odometer on my bike, and I cut through a small park that mapquest/google maps can't accomodate).
    Legs were wobbly when I arrived.

    Hopefully they'll survive on the trip home this afternoon :).

    Had a couple of senior citizens blow past me on their bikes and give me strange looks. Man, I am out of shape!

    If I can do this 1-2 times/week that would be good. Wish I could do more, but kids' activities preclude it :(.

  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Excellent, Mike!!! I wish that I could bike to work reasonably but the terrain, speed limits, and weather preclude me even attempting it.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Mike:

    ___Thank You and Good Luck with your future rides!

  4. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    I've lost 5lbs since August, but more importantly I got complimented on my legs recently :) I'm lucky that I have good routes to go where I need to go, in-town and old-suburb streets with shade, marked bike paths, speed limits of 30mph max., and perhaps best of all- drivers who are generally courteous and used to seeing cyclists around.

    Depending on where you work, a good idea is to get a "beater bike". Even if you drive or take transit to work, if you have places near work that are bikeable, get an ugly but functional bike and chain it up at work somewhere to use during your lunch break, or to just go for a short ride if you need to de-stress.
  5. Dogarm

    Dogarm Penmanship Champion

    Must admit to some jealousy. I live in NOrthern New Jersey and don't think I've seen a bike lane anywhere up here. Heck, sidewalks are also pretty rare for that matter. I've resolved not to get a bike until I move somewhere that is human-power friendly.

    Way to go with your new initiative! DO keep it up and enjoy the benefits.
  6. abcdpeterson

    abcdpeterson Well-Known Member

    great to hear!

    just keep it going. I was keeping the gut at bay...... then.... well this year has not been good for riding. My kids have even noticed I NEED TO GET BACK IN SHAPE.

    I think biking is a great way to go.
    good luck!
  7. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    Good job! Just as in the car, remember to keep the tire pressure at max sidewall. Also keep the chain well lubed. Going from dry but not squeaking to freshly lubed is worth a couple mph. Also remember that the more you do it, the easier it will get, so hang in there!
  8. Nanci

    Nanci Well-Known Member

    Great news! It's a lot more fun riding when you have a computer on your bike and can watch the miles rack up! I like the Topeak Panoram, but your bike shop can hook you up with anything. A little pump like the Topeak RoadMorph and a box of stick-on patches would be nice- it'll prevent you from being stranded. And (I guess Topeak just makes great products!) Topeak also makes little racks that hook to your seat post with slide-on trunk bags in a variety of sizes.

    Isn't it a great feeling to leave your car at home??
  9. phlack

    phlack Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the support, all.

    And thanks Bike123 for the reminder to lube the chain. I don't think it's been lubed since I got the thing.

    It definitely did feel good to leave the car at home. I wanted to do it today (since I had the time) but mother nature had other plans.

    Overall it felt good to at least have accomplished something that I've been promising myself I'd do for a long time. It's less for the gas savings (it's just under 4.5 miles each way...even with my poor hypermiling skills, I can make 3-4 round trips in my civic using only a gallon of gas), and more for exercise.

    The bike is actually a bit off-roadish. Doesn't have street tires on it. Hey, it was a $80 Target special. For $80 it's pretty decent. I bet if I had road tires it would be even easier. But at least this way I get a little more exercise out of the deal, heh.

    Looking forward to doing it more. If only this weather would cooperate!

  10. 99HXCivic

    99HXCivic Well-Known Member

    Yeah, get a bike computer like a Cateye Astrale 8. Log all data too.

    I use biking to save gas too and burn off calories to maintain my weight. Biked 6.77 miles toady to Barnes & Noble and back, saved 70 cents in gas, and burned about 257 calories for a good Ben & Jerry's snack!
  11. jhu

    jhu Well-Known Member

    I second getting the beater bike because who's going to steal a POS bike in the first place? Just don't turn into one of those hipster snobs on fixed-gear bikes (but not all fixed-gear bikers are snobs, just the snobby ones are). They're a rather annoying bunch.
  12. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    I rode 3005 km (1866 miles) during 2008, all in commuting to work and back, about 17 miles each way. I lost 32 lbs and will not gain that back over the next few months. I should be able to start riding again in March, weather permitting, and hope to get under 200 lbs then (I am 6'3"). Typical average speeds during the ride were 18-20 MPH. It's a very old racing bike, with an even older rider.
  13. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    Excellent work. This is also part of my weight control plan, with the same distance.

    Is there any possibility of putting enough light on the bike to ride safely at night during this dark season? This way I still get quite a few rides during winter, though at half the rate of summer. But this is an advantage of having a nearly all-trail route, and most people don't have similar access to routes similarly safe from car traffic.
  14. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    Get some flashing LED taillights that are battery powered. For a headlamp, get one with a "water-bottle battery." They are the size/shape to fit in a water bottle mount, and a charge will last 3 to 6 hours depending on model and brightness settting.

    phlack, make sure you keep those tires up - it makes a BIG difference. Also, if you have quick-release wheels, my reccomendation is to just get a 2nd set of tires for "summer" riding. That, or narrow down.

    If you have a mountain bike with 26x2.125 tires, going down to a 26x1.875 drops you a quarter inch in width - and makes a HUGE difference in rolling resistance. Or, you can jump all the way to a road tire at 26x1.375, or a "hybrid" tire at around 26x1.625.

    I have three (four?) bicycles, and that used to be everything I spent my time doing before I got a driver's licence.

    Logging everything is good. Watch your gear ratios, too. By ratio, a 21 or 24 speed isn't 1-2-3-4-5-6.......20-21. I have a 24 speed "hybrid" as my main rider now, with 28" rims and 1.625" tires at 65 PSI.Most comfortable for me is chainring 2, gear 3 or 4.

    You don't want to ride in your low chainring unless you have to. If you want to move to a faster gear, you'll often need to swap BOTH shifts (going from 1-7 on a 21 speed to 2-5). If you ride in the center chainring and a middle gear (2-3 to 2-5), you have room to go faster with one shift (2-6, 2-7), as well as room for more "torque" (2-2,2-1).

    Don't shift when you are heavy on the pedals, it'll wear you out. Spin the pedals at a cadence lower than what it takes to maintain speed, and pull the shifter quickly. You should get a single 'click' (or two), and poof, you're in a new gear. If you get a "clack-clack-clack-clack-kaCHINK" that means your shifter cables are stretched and should be re-aligned.

    I think that's all the help I can be for the moment. If you have other maintenance questions or anything don't be afraid to ask!:Banane37:
  15. 93Hatch

    93Hatch Well-Known Member

    Here is a google map application that allows you to plot a course anyway you like it. Just click "Start Recording" and then doubleclick on the map to draw points. You can clear the points to start over, save routes, etc. It's pretty cool!
  16. rdprice64

    rdprice64 Still Learning

  17. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    Congratulations to all of you bike commuters. I rode 6.5 miles one-way to work for 6 summers in Alaska, and about the same distance year-round to my vanpools for about 5 yrs in the Bay Area. My bike was a $35 Schwinn Continental, which weighed about 45 lbs, IIRC. It took me about 30 minutes each way to ride it.

    My best memories of the Anchorage commute were coming up to a long stop light at the top of a hill, and picking a couple of cars at the end of the line. I usually got about 3 miles down the road ahead of them, before the cars would catch up to me. By the Fall hunting season, I was always able to beat my hunting partners on the uphills.

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