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Commuting both ways

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Commuting both ways

Old 05-31-19, 11:02 PM
  #1  
alloo
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Commuting both ways

I've started commuting one way to work over the last two weeks. My one way distance is about 13 miles. I usually take about 1 hour. My question to the forum is when should I start commuting both ways? Should I wait another two weeks before trying to commute once a week? I have a mental block of riding for two hours a day. What are your thoughts? I ride a beach cruiser with forward pedal position. I want to be comfortable going in both directions. They're a little more uphill pedaling going home and through a graveyard. I even thought about getting an ebike to cut my one way commute time down. I also alternate between riding a 7 speed and a 21 speed to work. What are your thoughts? Any advice is appreciated it. Thank you.
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Old 06-01-19, 06:42 AM
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Today is Saturday. Maybe your day off? Go both ways this morning and see how it goes. My commute is 18 miles and sometimes I run out of fuel towards the end of my return trip but I know the kitchen awaits.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:51 AM
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I have a similar commute to yours. In my case, I know if I do it both ways, I'll run out of juice, or my knees will start to hurt by the end of the week. I'm lucky that my wife works 2 blocks from where I work, so in the morning I slap the bike on the car, she drops me off, and I can bike home at night knowing I'll be able to do it every night of the week. It's also nice not having to drag around shower gear, work clothes, etc.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:08 AM
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When? Monday.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:41 AM
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Do the two way once a week, one way the rest. Begin adding two way days as you get comfortable with the initial plan.
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Old 06-01-19, 09:57 AM
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I also commute 13 miles one way in the (southern) Denver area on the C-470 trail, and it takes me about 1 hour too Unless you have a knee pain or an injury that makes it painful to ride up steep hills in Denver, I'd recommend NOT getting an e-bike for commuting. After you've commuted by bike for a few months or a year, you'll be a lot fitter and will be able to easily handle commuting both ways, and maybe even 5 days in a row. It just takes time and dedication on your part. You may also want to think about doing a longer 2 hour ride on the weekend to increase your stamina, or maybe stretch out that ride home to 20-25 miles. Eventually those 13 mile commutes will feel a lot shorter and easier.

As far as you not enjoying rides for multiple hours a day (aka "mental block") try putting in an ear bud in the curb-side ear (not both ears) and listening to music or talk radio to make the time go by easier. I do almost 100% of my riding like this.
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Old 06-01-19, 11:46 AM
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I commuted 11 miles / 22 miles round trip for six weeks last winter. The only plus was that I finished all my cardio by the time I got home and didn't need to work out after!

My suggestion is to use the weekend or the google maps to find the safest possible routes. Sometimes this will even mean taking a "short cut" that you hadn't thought of before. If the alternative route adds miles to your route but is safer I would suggest considering the safer alternative.
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Old 06-01-19, 11:53 AM
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Just wondering how you get the bike and yourself home after work if you commute one way?
I agree with Classtime and try riding on a Saturday (or day off). When I first started to commute in the town I wasn't familiar with, I did some Saturday scouting runs. Suggest you do the same. Ride in on a Saturday morning, take a bit of a break and then ride home. When you are up to it, make your first round-trip on a Friday. This way if it takes more out of then you expect, you can sleep in a bit and recover the next day. Also, if you can spend some time on Saturday's just to do some longer rides, you will build strength and endurance that will help on your commute. Keep at it and soon the round trip will not be an issue.
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Old 06-01-19, 12:31 PM
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My advice is build up gradually, but don't sell yourself short either. When I got a new commute about 9 years ago, it was 11 miles each way. I'd been riding 2-3 on a short commute, and wasn't sure I could handle the long one long term so I bought a car at the same time. I knew I could do it, but every day?


I started out about 3 days each week and pretty quickly increased that to 4, 5 days and pretty much 100% over the past 6 or 7 years. I didn't really need to have worried - it was much easier than I anticipated and I got stronger over time, more than I thought would happen. It depends on the commute of course, and mine is easy. It would take me around 40-45 minutes when I first started and it was kind of hard, but I eventually could do it in 30-32 minutes if I pushed it. I didn't do anything special; you just naturally get stronger. Most likely your potential is greater than you suspect and you can do 2 or 3 times per week right now if you want to.

My advice is to step the bike up from a cruiser and get something more amenable to endurance. It's partially about what you're used to, but for me a road bike is vastly easier to ride than a cruiser for anything more than a few miles.

Oh, the one-way thing. Get a bike rack for the car, drive the bike into work then ride home. Ride up the next morning and drive home. Then repeat.
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Old 06-01-19, 08:39 PM
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I started bike commuting again this year after a few year layoff. I ride 14 and 1/2 miles each way, at least three times a week, with a 12 pound backpack. I have worked my riding time down to about 54 minutes so I am averaging better than 15 MPH. I like to use the commute, (particularly the return trip), as a training ride. I am trying to get my ride time down to 45 to 50 minutes and, weather permitting, I plan to ride 4 to 5 times a week and maybe a longer ride on the weekend.
However, I am riding a road bike, not a beach cruiser.
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Old 06-01-19, 10:00 PM
  #11  
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So I rode both ways today. I felt good going to work. Coming home, I was a little slower because of the wind, and the rain that we had today. The cherry creek trail was flooded so I rode on surface sidewalks. Followed google maps. I even rode through the graveyard. On the way home, I stopped at a Freddy's steak burger and rehydrated with an Arnold Palmer. I am a type 2 diabetic. Since I've started commuting one way my blood sugars have been <100. I am so happy and have more energy when I ride to work. Someone asked how I get home when I commute one way. I take public transportation home. I haven't owned a car since 2005, I usually ride my scooter to work and try to alternate days. On my days off, I try to ride my bike within a 5 mile radius of my home. For trips that are time sensitve or outside the radius, I ride my scooter. My Saturday is on Wednesday. I sometimes worry about cramping which hasn't happened yet. I drink water before, during and after my ride. I took an hour and 20 mins commuting home on my seven speed. Saturdays and Sundays I start work earlier so I feel more comfortable commuting in during sunlight.

Thank You for all your great advice. I've been commuting one way three times a week for two to three weeks now. I think one of my Saturday/Sunday I will ride both ways from now on. It will be interesting. I would still like to cut my commute time by 20 mins. I remember the first time I rode to work it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes. My legs feel good after I warm up, usually getting started the first 15 to 20 minutes I feel tight and tired. Once I hit the main bike trail, I go into high gear and cruise to work. For music, I have a hanging bluetooth speaker that I play reggae on. I like the Pedal forward beach cruiser because I can maintain a great posture, I get bend forward at work at my desk job.

Anyway, I continue to improve weekly, weather permitting. I think I found my new lifestyle/sport.

Last edited by alloo; 06-01-19 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 06-02-19, 07:35 AM
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Go hard mate, your body acclimitises to whatever you throw yourself at.

I'm 147kg currently and doing 42km a day 2-3 times a week - 21km each way.
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Old 06-02-19, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
As far as you not enjoying rides for multiple hours a day (aka "mental block") try putting in an ear bud in the curb-side ear (not both ears) and listening to music or talk radio to make the time go by easier. I do almost 100% of my riding like this.
Me too, except no music, just talk.
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Old 06-02-19, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
So I rode both ways today. I felt good going to work.
That's great to hear! When you approach working up to a ride with some caution, and then get to the point where you feel ready for it, it usually goes pretty well.

Someone asked how I get home when I commute one way. I take public transportation home.
Being able to do that is really useful - since there will no doubt be a day when you planned to ride but the weather deteriorates or something unexpected makes riding home less comfortable.

I sometimes worry about cramping which hasn't happened yet. I drink water before, during and after my ride.
It can be possible to pedal slowly through minor cramping until it goes away, if it gets serious dismounting and walking the bike a hundred yards will use your muscles differently and probably solve it. If you were going to be out several hours in hot weather, just water would not be enough as you sweat out key minerals and electrolytes, but in less than 90 minutes you are probably ok, that said I'm not sure how this would interact with blood sugar management.

Saturdays and Sundays I start work earlier so I feel more comfortable commuting in during sunlight.
It is indeed easier to ride with natural light; towards fall you might start thinking about getting some lights, not just to see but also to enhance how you are seen. I actually really like rides that span dusk; I feel like I get a second wind when the sun goes down. And I almost always have at least my smaller lights, even if only out for a daytime ride, because they give flexibility to change plans and not worry if I make slower progress than I thought.

I would still like to cut my commute time by 20 mins. I remember the first time I rode to work it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Getting there is the first step; but getting there faster can be a fun ongoing goal. A cheap bike computer like https://www.amazon.com/Bell-Dashboar.../dp/B01BNFZ0H8 will let you see how fast you are going at any given time, and can help you ride more consistently. Also consider using Strava - doesn't matter that you aren't trying to capture rankings, it will just let you see how you did on various segments of the ride compared to your own past efforts, whatever they may be. You can be in 3000-th place but still feel great that something that usually takes you 15 minutes took 14:30. Plus all your miles get tallied. I prefer to have my phone tucked safely away during the ride, so I only see this after but it's fun to peruse the data when you're done.

I think I found my new lifestyle/sport.
You chose a great one!

Last edited by UniChris; 06-02-19 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 06-02-19, 08:21 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
So I rode both ways today. I felt good going to work. Coming home, I was a little slower because of the wind, and the rain that we had today. The cherry creek trail was flooded so I rode on surface sidewalks. Followed google maps. I even rode through the graveyard. On the way home, I stopped at a Freddy's steak burger and rehydrated with an Arnold Palmer. I am a type 2 diabetic. Since I've started commuting one way my blood sugars have been <100. I am so happy and have more energy when I ride to work. Someone asked how I get home when I commute one way. I take public transportation home. I haven't owned a car since 2005, I usually ride my scooter to work and try to alternate days. On my days off, I try to ride my bike within a 5 mile radius of my home. For trips that are time sensitve or outside the radius, I ride my scooter. My Saturday is on Wednesday. I sometimes worry about cramping which hasn't happened yet. I drink water before, during and after my ride. I took an hour and 20 mins commuting home on my seven speed. Saturdays and Sundays I start work earlier so I feel more comfortable commuting in during sunlight.

Thank You for all your great advice. I've been commuting one way three times a week for two to three weeks now. I think one of my Saturday/Sunday I will ride both ways from now on. It will be interesting. I would still like to cut my commute time by 20 mins. I remember the first time I rode to work it took me 1 hour and 10 minutes. My legs feel good after I warm up, usually getting started the first 15 to 20 minutes I feel tight and tired. Once I hit the main bike trail, I go into high gear and cruise to work. For music, I have a hanging bluetooth speaker that I play reggae on. I like the Pedal forward beach cruiser because I can maintain a great posture, I get bend forward at work at my desk job.

Anyway, I continue to improve weekly, weather permitting. I think I found my new lifestyle/sport.
I don't know about cutting your commute time by 20 minutes, so don't get discouraged if that doesn't happen entirely. In fact, I've been bike commuting for 27 years and my average speed has dropped slightly as I approach 60. But my cardio is great, and while I don't "train" the biking has kept me fit enough to enjoy life.

And then there's the mental health benefits!

Whatever you choose to do, two-way, one-way, whatever...it sounds like your attitude will keep you going and achieving most of your goals.

Remember, ride YOUR ride, don't judge yourself by others. This is what has kept me going for 27 years.
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Old 06-03-19, 06:15 AM
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Good job. I always find the ride home a bit harder than the morning just because my energy levels aren't as high and I do feel like my legs just aren't as strong. Since you take public transportation home sometimes could you just ride until you feel like you can't really go much longer and then pick up public transportation from that point?

The one thing I always remind myself is on the ride home, I'm not pressed for time so if I needed to take a break then I can. I also am not in any hurry to push myself to go faster. My ride is 7.5 miles one way so not as far as you but I do have a few hills to deal with. The one thing I'm bad at is making sure I eat enough during day's I ride. I think that is part of my problem with the lower energy, I eat the same lunch on ride and non-ride days and I probably need to up my calories a little on ride days to help replenish for the calories I burn, at least maybe a snack shortly before I head home to make sure I have a bit more energy.
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Old 06-03-19, 07:04 AM
  #17  
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I can't really relate as my commute is about 4 miles total. What I can tell you is that, while I enjoy every second of it, I always look forward to the ride home the most even though it is almost entirely up hill and I won't get to enjoy the downhill side until the next day. Currently I am sitting here, looking out the window, looking forward to 4pm - which is still 7 hours away . This is not because I want to leave work, but because I get to enjoy a bike ride on a beautiful afternoon. Heck, I even look forward to the rainy ones.
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Old 06-03-19, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by beachball42 View Post
Good job. I always find the ride home a bit harder than the morning just because my energy levels aren't as high and I do feel like my legs just aren't as strong. Since you take public transportation home sometimes could you just ride until you feel like you can't really go much longer and then pick up public transportation from that point?

The one thing I always remind myself is on the ride home, I'm not pressed for time so if I needed to take a break then I can. I also am not in any hurry to push myself to go faster. My ride is 7.5 miles one way so not as far as you but I do have a few hills to deal with. The one thing I'm bad at is making sure I eat enough during day's I ride. I think that is part of my problem with the lower energy, I eat the same lunch on ride and non-ride days and I probably need to up my calories a little on ride days to help replenish for the calories I burn, at least maybe a snack shortly before I head home to make sure I have a bit more energy.
Great observation. If I take public transportation part way, it takes me longer to get home. I am commuting home from 8-9 pm, after peak transit time. I have rode a part of the way and cut 10 minutes from my public transportation commute time. Most of the time, I can beat public transportation home because I spend about 30 minutes waiting for my train and connecting bus. Public transportation is free for me so Public transportation is always an option for me. I went into bicycle commuting for health reasons. Previous to this, I surfed and swam alot. Now I need a land sport. I also practice Tai Chi and Qigong for energy and balance issues.

I'm riding to work again today. I'll see how things are since on weekends I get off at 6 pm and Weekdays I get off at 8 pm. Thank you! The journey continues.

I take breaks when I need to. I will take your refueling advice.
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Old 06-03-19, 08:37 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
I also practice Tai Chi and Qigong for energy and balance issues.
I love your shout-out to Tai Chi. I studied the Yang method for a summer about 10 years ago. I still remember much of it. I found it to be very calming and helped my thought processes as well as teaching balance.

Have you ever seen the movie "Tai Chi Zero"? It's about a young man who fights with Kung-Fu, then learns that he will die if he continues to fight with Kung-Fu, so instead he seeks to learn Tai Chi. But the Tai-Chi practicing town bans all outsiders, and they "repel" him from town using Tai-Chi methods.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:24 AM
  #20  
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Aloo, love your persistence, keep it up. A lot of good advice given.
For me I need to try and keep options open so I don't talk myself out of riding. Having public transportation available is a great back-up, even if it takes longer. Also, knowing where a good place to stop for a break also helps. Again, the more you ride and develop a habit, the easier it will be. As BobbyG said ride your ride. Don't compare to others, especially with speed and any other metrics. Keep it fun and safe.
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Old 06-03-19, 02:10 PM
  #21  
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Maybe try a more efficient type of bike, and see if you like it? It might make the effort that much more manageable.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:06 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
I love your shout-out to Tai Chi. I studied the Yang method for a summer about 10 years ago. I still remember much of it. I found it to be very calming and helped my thought processes as well as teaching balance.

Have you ever seen the movie "Tai Chi Zero"? It's about a young man who fights with Kung-Fu, then learns that he will die if he continues to fight with Kung-Fu, so instead he seeks to learn Tai Chi. But the Tai-Chi practicing town bans all outsiders, and they "repel" him from town using Tai-Chi methods.
Yes, I take Yang Style 24 and also Sun Style.
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Old 06-04-19, 07:19 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Maybe try a more efficient type of bike, and see if you like it? It might make the effort that much more manageable.
Yes, I have thought about a more forward leaning bike, however I spend more of my day hunched over and want to open the back, and shoulders up, also improve my posture. which is why I chose a pedal forward design. A forward leaning design would let me increase my speed. Thank You for the advice.

I rode home again last night, yes I am a little more tired. It was nice, I had to change my route since the gate was locked, it was ok though. On weekends, I try to ride within a 5 mile radius of my place, but sometimes I need to get somewhere faster so I ride my scooter. I haven't owned a car since 2005, so I'm using cycling as a utility rather than a workout. I'm not training for an event, just trying to improve my health and lose some weight through exercise and diet. Being a type 2 diabetic, I have seen my blood sugars decrease and my insulin dose decrease too.

My goal is to lose 100 lbs by next summer and possible get of my medication. I am looking at ebikes, I want a good fit, comfortable ride, and some back up on those days that my body needs a little help. Mortality sucks, but is in evitable. Thank you for the encouragement and advice.
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Old 06-04-19, 11:28 AM
  #24  
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Way to go!
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Old 06-04-19, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
Yes, I have thought about a more forward leaning bike, however I spend more of my day hunched over and want to open the back, and shoulders up, also improve my posture. which is why I chose a pedal forward design. A forward leaning design would let me increase my speed. Thank You for the advice.
I'm not training for an event, just trying to improve my health and lose some weight through exercise and diet. Being a type 2 diabetic, I have seen my blood sugars decrease and my insulin dose decrease too.
Hey, whatever you are riding is good so long as it gets you out there. And yes, you don't have to be riding with the specific goal of fitness in order to get the benefits. And I think you will find it has compounding returns, as the fitter you get the easier and more enjoyable it becomes to ride, causing you to ride more and get fitter still...
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