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Preparing one's self for commuting

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by nethalus, 1 Oct 2007.

  1. nethalus

    nethalus New Member

    Location:
    In my house
    I was considering the possibility of getting a bike to ride to work and back (when I finally go back that is). As thinking about it, appart from replacing tyres every so often, cycling would be cheaper than using the car.
    Thing is being overweight and not having ridden a bike for about 4 years I imagine them muscles I worked up riding to work each day have gone back to sleep. The thought of riding all that way for the first time is a bit daunting like.
    Notice some of you guys (and girls) seem to commute fair old trots to and from work. I suppose after a while you get used to it?
     
  2. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    How far do you have to go?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    nethalus

    nethalus New Member

    Location:
    In my house
    Well if I need to start my shift in town I think it's about 3 or 4 miles. But if at the depot think it's about 8 to 10 miles. In the car I normally take a route via a motorway, so obviously I'd have to take a different, round the houses route on a cycle.
    When previously cycling to work I admit it was only about a mile each way.
     
  4. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    Just take it easy to start with, see how you feel and maybe don't ride every day if feeling tired.

    Must haves:- Mudguards, overshoes (depends upon what shoes you have), waterproofs, lights, reflective stuff.

    Don't forget a change of clothes for the job !
     
  5. OP
    OP
    nethalus

    nethalus New Member

    Location:
    In my house
    Suppose I could use the showers they have in the ladies toilet block at the depot too!
     
  6. ash68

    ash68 New Member

    Location:
    northumberland
    hi nethalus, it becomes part of your daily life and you think nothing of it,just naturally get on the bike in the morning.Might be an idea for you to get on your bike during your free time to get the old muscles working again.do a few rides and ease the mileage up a little now and again. Give yourself time to rest and recover and take it from there.You may find it best to commute 2 or 3 times a week by bike and find alternative transport the other days, to break yourself in gently.Suppose it depends how far you commute and how fit you feel.It certainly wakes you up in the morning and sets you up for the day. Go for it you'll soon get back in the swing of things.;)
     
  7. OP
    OP
    nethalus

    nethalus New Member

    Location:
    In my house
    Aye cheers for that.
     
  8. Stig-OT-Dump

    Stig-OT-Dump Über Member

    It depends on where you are, but it may be possible to combine using your bike with taking public transport. Some train companies don't mind having bikes on trains, others offer secure cycle storage for a bike version of "park and ride".

    Otherwise you could start by commuting every other day; or in one day and back the next until until you feel comfortable doing the whole lot.

    Of course, you may want to try cycling a similar distance one weekend, and may find it easier than you anticipate...
     
  9. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    Give it a go one weekend to see how long it takes. Don't try and blast it, but don't just cruise either.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    nethalus

    nethalus New Member

    Location:
    In my house
    I use either the car or the bus. I know that you can't take bikes on buses unless they are the folding type (or it's on rail replacement and the person has made prior arrangements for the bike to be carried on the train). Can you still get them folding bikes? Not that i was thinking of getting one like that.
     
  11. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    I would suggest you start off commuting only when you've got your 3-4 mile journey, and see how it goes from there. Depending on how that goes, you could then move up to the longer 8-10 mile journey later. Also, I would suggest doing a dry run on the weekend before to help sort out your route when you're under no time pressure. It's also worth looking on bikely.com to see if anyone else is doing a similar journey to you, because they may have found a good route already.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    nethalus

    nethalus New Member

    Location:
    In my house
    Nah I only know of two drivers who cycle to work regularily and I don't think they live near me. Aye the dry run sounds a good idea like. See how far I get before I'm puffed out LOL!
     
  13. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Nethalaus - I started commuting in just over a month ago - my commute is roughly 8 miles each way. My level of fitness wasn't/isn't terrific either, after a long gap from training (running and boxing) when my wife was ill.

    As the others have said, doing a dry run of the route is a good idea - a decent cycling jersey will make you feel more comfortable too (I did two days in cotton t-shirts, and arrived feeling distinctly dishevelled). If you don't like the idea of the snug road jersey, look for technical t-shirts, or "freeride" styles, which are a looser, more "casual clothing" type fit. Try to avoid denim for your lower half - too little give, and the seams rapidly become uncomfortable.

    I rode my first weeks in generic baggy 3/4 length shorts, and they were fine, altough I wear either Altura Ascent shorts or cycling longs now.

    A quick check over your bike if it's not been used for a while would be a good idea too - these two links give some simple visual checks to carry out;
    http://www.jimlangley.net/wrench/basicbikecare.html#tensteps
    http://bikewebsite.com/gettingstarted2.htm

    If you have a local bike shop, it might be worth asking them to service it for you - they can also sometimes be a good source of information for routes, my current commuting route was suggested by the guy in my bike shop, and is nicer than the one I was using.

    There's also some bike commute blogs/hint guides that are worth a look;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A689033
    http://www.runmuki.com/commute/
    http://www.bikecommute.com/tentips/tentips.htm
    http://commutebybike.com/cats/commuting-101/
     
  14. surfgurl

    surfgurl New Member

    Location:
    Somerset
    Work out what you need to take with you (clothes, lights, spare inner tube, lunch, keys etc) and then work out what kind of bag or panniers you will need. Me being a bit dim, got a bag first and then realised I couldn't fit everything in. I'm now on my third bag...
     
  15. OP
    OP
    nethalus

    nethalus New Member

    Location:
    In my house
    Haven't got a bike yet. Just asking a mate of mine, who cycles, who lives locally if he knows where I can pick up a fairly priced one like