Well, I've done it...

Tony Sutton

Active Member
Location
Norfolk, UK
After a few weeks of delay, I have finally rode to work this morning. At first I thought it was 10 miles, but after studying the routes on Google Maps, I have managed to cut it down to 8 miles which is much better.

As some of you may know, I have not rode a bike for over 10+ years so this was an challenge. Here's my endomondo stats. Good? Bad? Average?

Distance: 8:32 miles
Duration: 45m 57s
Avg Speed: 10.9 mph
Max speed: 22.2 mph

Few things I've learnt from this:

1) I need better bike seat!
2) I need better backpack!
3) Don't wear jeans. :smile:
4) Vehicles overtaking me not leaving me enough space - inches between their side mirror and my handlebar is NOT acceptable! :/

Hopefully, over the time I will be learning how to position on the road to protect myself. These cycling videos on YouTube does help. :smile:

I already protect myself on the pinch points, BTW

Thanks all.
 

simon.r

Person
Location
Nottingham
Good stuff:smile:

Personally tho', I think that you should concentrate on riding safely - coping with traffic, lane positioning etc - before worrying about average speeds etc. We all do it to some extent, but I'd argue that a good commute in traffic is one where you get to your destination safely, regardless of speed!

The only time I got knocked off by a car was when I was concentrating too much on speed and not enough on my surroundings. Not my 'fault', but I was the one who ended up on crutches:sad:

And definitely ditch the jeans - got to be shorts at this time of year, surely?!
 

Jdratcliffe

Well-Known Member
Location
Redhill, Surrey
Good stuff:smile:

Personally tho', I think that you should concentrate on riding safely - coping with traffic, lane positioning etc - before worrying about average speeds etc. We all do it to some extent, but I'd argue that a good commute in traffic is one where you get to your destination safely, regardless of speed!

The only time I got knocked off by a car was when I was concentrating too much on speed and not enough on my surroundings. Not my 'fault', but I was the one who ended up on crutches:sad:

And definitely ditch the jeans - got to be shorts at this time of year, surely?!
+1 to all the above - would add just focus on getting to and from work and building the days up 1 day a week -2 3 then mayde soon all 5 :-) and then you have the bug!!

and also a HUGE well done! go you dont be dishearten at people whose commute is alot longer than yours you have the advantage of being flexible and adding as many miles as you want ( and soon you will be wanting!!)
 

Andrew_P

In between here and there
Bloody brillant mate, you will get more accustomed to the traffic. I remember every car felt like it was about to swipe me, it is just every other car now ^_^

Jeans not my idea of fun cycling get some baggies. Now you have done it once keep it going and prepare for the winter this time next year Rodders you will as good as Wiggo!
 

BentMikey

Rider of Seolferwulf
Location
South London
Tony, I'm really impressed! Jumping into an 8 mile commute is a big one. You're an awesome road user already, as we all know from your dashcam videos.

I suggest getting some Endura FS260 shorts, and either panniers or a saddlebag like a Carradice with SQR to carry your stuff. Both of those should reduce suffering on the rear a bunch.
 

Andrew_P

In between here and there
Oh and it took me two months to get hooked on stats looks like it took you 45m 57s! Careful they can start to take over, enjoy the ride. <slides off to Endomondo then Garmin Connect and finally my Favourite Strava!>
 

BSRU

A Human Being
Location
Swindon
Well done, my first commute to work almost killed me off.
 

hillrep

Veteran
Really good, well done.

Speed doesn't matter - ride safely and sensibly (as I'm sure you do anyway). Speed depends so much on things outside your control such as weather, traffic so concentrate on enjoying the ride :-) (It has taken some of us years to learn this :blush: )

Cycling shorts are good.

I prefer panniers to backpack, but that may nor suit you.

Lots of good and bad cycling videos around. Cyclecraft http://www.cyclecraft.co.uk/ is also well worth reading even if it is a little pedantic in places.

Most importantly - enjoy.
 
OP
Tony Sutton

Tony Sutton

Active Member
Location
Norfolk, UK
Thanks all, this does help me to boost my confidence.

The reason why I wore my jeans was that my backpack is too small... nowhere to put them after filling it up with spare clothes, towels, etc, so I had to wear it! So I will be looking into getting a better backpack.

And the other reason why I asked about the stats was that I wanted to ensure that I am meeting the average speed so I can plan my day around it. I usually leave the house around 8am - 8:15am and get to work about 8:30am by car. Now that I am riding my bike, I left the house about 7am. And my wife is unsure about the time that I have to leave because we have a little boy. That also would mean I would be getting home later than usual.

As long as I am meeting the average speed and improve from that to reduce the time it has taken me to ride to work & back home, then I would be happy.
 
Congrats. I found building it up slowly worked well for me. Wednesday 1st week, Tuesday & Thursday 2nd week, Mon Wed & Fri 3rd week, Mon Tues Thurs Fri 4th week, and then effectively a month in, full time.

+1 on panniers
+1 on shorts/leggings.

Also try a little wobble every now and again - great for getting cars to think swear words and give you more space! I also stuck a few inches to the right of the double yellow lines (or imaginary ones), so avoiding all grids and usually forcing drivers to acknowledge you are there and go around you rather than trying to force their way through without altering their line.

I also have the 3M Spoke Reflectors on all our bikes (every other spoke to save money) - they light up something amazing even when dirty. Not sure who is cheapest at the moment, but being hit from the side rather than behind was the greatest risk on my completely unlit commute and these apparently made me shine according to collegues who would meet me on route.
The piccie of them below is after 5,000km of them not having been cleaned.

IMG_2068_800.JPG
 
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