First commute in 8 months

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by ajc, 3 Dec 2007.

  1. ajc

    ajc Well-Known Member

    After having had my knee surgery and having not ridden a bike for 8 months, I thought I'd take cycling easy and build up slowly. I've ridden four times in the last 4 weeks, I'd got up to 20 miles when my boss tells me that I can longer have a company car so it goes back on 13th Jan.

    So I've bitten the bullet and cycled 23 mile to work this morning, it used to take take 1hr 20 mins back in March when I was fit, it took me nearly 2 hours today :biggrin:.

    I was going to cycle 6 miles to the station to get the train home but I thought "sod it" and carried on, 23 miles and 1 hr 51mins later I got home. :biggrin:xx(:biggrin: It'll hurt tomorrow (but at least my knee held up)

    Oh and I got overtaken by a guy on a mountain bike, he sat on my wheel for 3 or 4 miles then came sailing by as we went up a hill out of Leeds. I had my "not cycled for 8 months" excuse waiting :biggrin:

    I know its not clever and I should take it easy and build up slowly but I figure I may as well get it out the way and suffer for a few weeks especially as I won't have a car soon. ( My missus uses our family car)

    I won't cycle every day to start with, maybe twice a week, I also figure that if I start in winter then summer wont be as bad,just a whole lot wetter !

    How have other people built up their commuting distance ?
  2. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Blimey! Well done ajc, hope the recovery continues. I like cycling, but a 90 min commute is dedication. I'm humbled.
  3. ash68

    ash68 New Member

    good on ya AJC. That's some commute even when fit, never mind when you're just recovering.Hope you have no reaction tonight/tomorrow. If you're knee felt good , all looks well.As you say it's probably best not to do it every day to start off. Also agree with getting fitness back over the winter, ready for the nice, long, hot summer where going to have next year:ohmy::biggrin::biggrin:.
  4. OP

    ajc Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the responses FF and Ash, to be honest I do enjoy being out on the bike but given the choice of cycling to work or a 30 min walk to the station, train to Leeds, bus or train out of Leeds followed by another 20 - 30 min walk to work then the bike wins :biggrin:

    Just wish the roads weren't as busy !
  5. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    excellent! well done
    you've got the same distance as me then :biggrin: it takes me between 1hr30 and 1hr40, but it is bloody hilly - i'm guessing it's not exactly flat round west yorks though either

    as regards building it up, I've been in this job 4 weeks, first week cycled in only one day and have been doing 2 a week since then. Was planning on mon wed fri this week but is forecast for heavy rain fri, so might give it a miss.
    Basically, best advice i can give is eat before you ride, preferably something involving mostly carbs but a bit of sugar aswell, and just pace yourself - if you've got a 'biggest' hill, say, then don't strain yourself for a bit leading up to it, instead spin for a bit in the saddle first then you can honk up it and it won't totally kill your legs.
    I'm sure you probably already know, but other advice i would give:
    *make sure you're always comfortable - have the right gear for what the weather may bring, good saddle, good cycling clothes (pref. cycle specific tights with padding) and no loose coats flapping about or lots of wallets and stuff bouncing around in pockets, I just take the minimum stuff I need - keys, bank card/money and phone although even my phone often goes in my saddle bag
    * have an mp3 player, even if you love cycling the same route day in day out can get boring. It's not dangerous, i can still hear car's engines perfectly well even with my dhb buff on
    * and like i say probably teaching granny to suck eggs but never ever make a journey that long without tyre levers, pump and tubes.
  6. OP

    ajc Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that advice Bonj, I made the mistake of not carrying a spare tube once, it was long walk to tne nearest station in cleats, I think (hope) it will be a long time before I do it again !
    As you are doing, I think alternate days for cycling is the way forward.
    West Yorkshire isn't flat there are some good hills to climb and there is something nice about cycling past a queue of cars for a few miles as they all head into Leeds.
    It sounds like you've got some decent hills to play with !
    Kit wise I'm good, I've got some decent bib tights, overshoes, thermal gilet and arm warmers with obligatory buff,.
    I think my biggest worry is not pushing myself too much, definately have to pace myself and not to get into commuter racing when I haven't done any exercise for quite a few months.
    I found the hardest thing tonight was actually eating something once I'd showered and cleaned my bike.
    One thing I've done is to get all my lights, pumps, spare tubes and put them in a box under the bed so I know where they are in the mornings.:biggrin:
  7. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I just leave them on my bike... tubes in saddle bag etc

    although if you leave your bike in communal area best to remove them.
  8. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    You got some tights in the end then Bonj?
  9. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Nice one AJC!! Chuffed for you. LOL on the 8 months excuse being ready, I did a similar one when a Dulwich Paragon rider caught me up the hill towards Crystal Palace, I told him I was riding 30kg combined of bike and work stuff in my tailbox. He laughed and said "Is that your excuse, is it?".

    Sugar is carbohydrate, bonj. :biggrin:
  10. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Well done ajc!! :biggrin: That's some commute, and it puts my 5 miles each way commute to shame :biggrin:.

    I've had three operations on one of my knees (anterior crutiate reconstruction and cartilage ops.) from an old judo injury. I find the cycling is great for my knee and keeps the muscles around the knee nice and strong.

    Keep it up and reap the benefits! :biggrin:
  11. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Well done that man. Nice greeting from the employer after a lengthy injury " Welcome back to work, glad you are OK, but we'll have the car back." Not much notice to sort yourself out especially not being at full fitness.
  12. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Nice one mate, just don't get overexcited, it's still very early days. We don't your next thread to be one telling of some big set back!![/dad]
  13. Take your defeat like a man.:biggrin:
  14. OP

    ajc Well-Known Member

    One thing I've notice today is that I still feel like I'm attached to the saddle :biggrin:

    Dom (dad :biggrin:) I will try to remember to take it easy, I was going to ride in again tomorrow but I think I will have half an hour on the turbo on thursday instead.

    Fossy, the company can be fairly good in some repects, like sorting my knee out but they can be cr*p in other areas like this one with the car. I've warned them that if they need me to visit customers I will need at least a days notice so I can cycle there :sad:. I was told I should hire a car but I've told them thats not really an option unless they pay for it as I won't.:biggrin:
  15. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    good man and best of luck, cycling is good for knees in my experience, given some caution early on

    I've always flung myself in and toughed it out, I'm riding a junker and carrying horrific weight in the panniers most days but you just can't use that as an excuse, it's alright once it's all moving but hills and lights are a nuisance
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