Need help and Motivation

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Kiwiavenger, 9 Jan 2018.

  1. Kiwiavenger

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    Hi all

    Been a while since i've been on here as i moved a mile away from work so started driving and walking to work.

    I've been offered a position in another firm but the commute is currently 22 miles each way, i was thinking of driving in but then thought "Why not get the old bike out and just ride it a bit"

    Now the route is about 22 miles and 1200 ft of climbing so not too taxing, however most of the climbing is on the way out of my house (about 400 ft in 5 miles) and for the last 5 miles too (a little spike in the middle but not much)

    Given I've not been on the bike for 2 years (and 4 stone extra to add on) what's the best way of me easing into it? I have a month to get some fitness back and may build up to it (so drive in one day, cycle home then cycle back or get the train and ride from the station which is 2 miles away) I don't think I'd be able to do it all day every day just yet but its not off the cards.

    Current bike is a Carerra Virtuoso running a claris groupset, but if i save enough by riding I'll upgrade him to something new and shiny
  2. Sharky

    Sharky Veteran

    I was in a similar situation about 20 yrs ago. Distance to work about the same as yours and I had been going through a phase of very little cycling. I used the opportunity to get some miles in and work myself back to fitness. Every day is a bit too much, but 2 or 3 times a week is very doable. But a 22 hilly journey can take almost 2 hours, especially if into a head wind and 3 to 4 hors per day does make you a little tired.

    Worth ago - good luck
    Kiwiavenger likes this.
  3. OP

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    Cheers Sharky, my previous commute was 5 miles and about 700 ft climbing (more often than not 10 miles though and up to 1200 ft) it's a bit hilly round by me lol.

    I'm gonna get the bike dusted off i think and go out for a few spins where i'm not rushing around trying to get somewhere and see where i am (if the kids give me the chance)!
    raleighnut and Sharky like this.
  4. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti
    22 miles each way every day is a fair old commute. Especially in the colder, wetter, winter months. That, and the fact you have not ridden for 2 years and are overweight tells me that you are going to find it a very punishing ride.

    Unless you are going out everyday and training a good amount of miles I don't think a months riding will get you fit enough for a daily 44 mile commute. But hey, everyone is different and I may be wrong.

    So the options are

    Build up to the distance and cycle/drive on alternate days until you get to a point where a 44 mile commute every day is manageable.
    I was doing a 32 mile round trip every day in all weathers. Some days it was great, someday's it was tough. Tough on the mind, tough on the body and tough on the bike.

    If you plan on doing that distance everyday then you would need a very well specced, well looked after bike of which you will have to give regular attention, cleaning, maintenance and servicing. A 44 mile daily commute will take a lot out of you, your bike and your clothing. That distance also means a good few hours out of your day. Are you willing to spend that amount of time on the bike?

    Drive to a point closer to work, park up and cycle the rest of the way in. This way you can vary the distance you cycle dependent on various factors, how you feel, the weather etc.

    Get a folder and do a bike/train/bike commute (what I currently do)
    Circumstances meant I had to give up my big boys bike and longer commute. Riding the train with the great unwashed is not ideal but it does it's job.
    It also mean buying a new (folding) bike.

    I am now 36 miles from work with +1500ft of climbing. I haven't cycled the full distance yet as I only moved in November, however come the nice months then I will be planning on doing it once or twice a week, and I'm looking forward to it.

    Good luck and keep us updated.
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2018
  5. botchjob

    botchjob Über Member

    That's a decent commute and one which would obviously help you get nice n fit. As others have said, best to ease into it and build up the miles gradually. Once the clocks change and the weather gets better, you should be set for some nice commutes. I commute 16 (mostly flat) miles each way which takes me about an hour, and which I mostly do 5 days a week. A hilly 22 would obv be more of a challenge, but a doable one. I assume you'd travel in full boy-scout mode, with spare tubes, etc, for en route repairs when needed?

    Also a good excuse to get a shiny new bike! I currently have my eye on a Genesis Equilibrium 20 as a new ride for my road commute, as it sporty but also takes a rack and mudguards. The Genesis Croix de Fer would also be worth looking at if your journey includes any tracks or off-road bits.
    Kiwiavenger likes this.
  6. OP

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    I've cycled the route a couple of times before and it has no off road bits (its a stretch of the Charity Bike Ride's i've been doing for a number of years)
    I'd definitly go full boy scout lol. i have a 15lt Deuter waterproof backpack that fits a decent amount of kit in, i just need to sort out some decent lights (i have a cree 5w led front but not 100% sure how well the battery will last as only been used for 1/2 hr to 1 hr sessions) just in cast though the new boss has a pickup and drives that route to the office if anything major was to happen. he lives 5 minutes from my house
  7. lazybloke

    lazybloke Über Member

    Surrey Hills
    I take my bike on the train in the morning so I can arrive at the office in good time, in my work clothes, and not need to shower of change.
    I only cycle home. It's only 16 miles a time, and I'm only in the office 3 days a week, so I'm currently doing ~50 miles a week - which I'm very happy with, in the depths of winter.

    I'm fortunate to travel in the opposite direction from London commuters, so I'm not required to have a folding bike. In fact, I take my mountain bike - much more sure-footed on the wet/broken surfaces than my road bike, especially with all the dead wood blown down by the recent storms .

    Carrying luggage is the only chore. I have my laptop with me every journey - mot ideal in a backpack so I use a rack and 'Lomo' waterproof pannier.

    If you need to be suited and booted, it can be worth using alternate transport once a week to do a bulk delivery of half your wardrobe, and collect the 'dirties' at the same time.

    44 miles a day is impressive ; I would definitely reduce that, and build up gradually.
  8. OP

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    Thinking about it more there is a park and ride this side of the town that i could drive to then cycle the 6 miles through town and up the hills, wouldnt be too bad that way to start with then build it up. i've only got a rear mounted bike rack so may need to get roof bars and some up top racks just to be safe.
    Jason, Arjimlad and Heltor Chasca like this.
  9. cyberknight

    cyberknight Bullied off cc

    Sounds like a plan, when you get used to it yu can always find somewhere else a bit closer to home or extend your ride to the car park via a more interesting route giving you the option to cut it short if you dont want to do a big ride.
  10. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    That also seems a good way to minimise the on-bike weight and aero drag until one gets used to cycling every day.
  11. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    If you were to do the whole thing often when you needed lights, you may start getting through batteries pretty often or finding charging is a chore, so a hub dynamo and German lights might be worthwhile. But no rush needed unless you want to - I'd get riding first, then it'll probably become obvious what you want to change first!
  12. 22 miles each way is a slog if you intend to do it every day. The park and ride is a good idea.
  13. OP

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    just one question on Park and Ride's, If i was to park there and no use the bus service is that allowed? I'm debating getting an annual ticket anyway (£240 a year) but don't want to fall foul of the parking wardens if i can help it! (it's the Truro park and ride i'd be using)
  14. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Atop a Ti

    How would they know you got on the bus or not? Do they check tickets for the bus or the park?
  15. OP

    Kiwiavenger im a little tea pot

    I'm not 100% sure on the park and ride as I've never used it lol. I just assume that it records your reg number going in, you buy a ticket and type your reg in then get on the bus??

    I could be way off the mark though and they don't check but if I'm using the park and ride regularly then I suppose £20 a month isn't too high a price to pay
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