Keeping the ride interesting

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Keeping the ride interesting

Postby Pax » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:46 pm

OK so comuting is great fun and a lifestyle choice and good for fitness etc etc, but it gets a bit repetative sometimes.

Just wondering what strategies people use to keep it interesting/fresh

For me the obvious ones are good (a few different routes, different intensities) but a couple of other things are good too eg ditch the lycra and ride in singlet and shorts instead & use the bob trailer.

Sounds weird but seriously just a bit of a change makes the ride different and keeps it fresh. It is funny how other people interact differently with you based on what you wear, and using the Bob always leads to a comment or two.

Does anyone else do anything in particular to mix it up
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by BNA » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:30 pm

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Postby martinjs » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:30 pm

Not having a set route, regualy change the way I go, sometimes depends on the wind sometimes I think what the heck? I'll go this way today. :D
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Postby uMP2k » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:28 am

martinjs wrote:Not having a set route, regualy change the way I go, sometimes depends on the wind sometimes I think what the heck? I'll go this way today. :D


This is pretty much my approach as well. I get pretty bored if I take the same route everyday!
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Variety

Postby cuttsnake » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:53 am

Variety spices up life.

There's an easy dirt track that gets me half way to work. It's good to be able to do it at my own pace from time to time, instead of having to stay slow for the kids. Mostly, I vary my route on the road (my MTB is too much like hard work).
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Postby colafreak » Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:53 am

Ride it faster :twisted:

Seriously, too hard to get bored when you're going flat out.

Raced a colleague home the other day (he was in a car), great fun.


Don't forget, if you think riding's boring, driving's worse.
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Postby Strawburger » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:14 am

There is never a dull moment in Sydney!
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Postby Kev365428 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:33 am

As the majority of my ride in on the M5, I find that studying the road ahead for debris keeps my mind focused. That and pushing hard to beat my PB.

Kev.
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Postby simonn » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:24 pm

Strawburger wrote:There is never a dull moment in Sydney!


+1, that's what I thought when I read the title.

I have steep uphills, views of the harbour, fast down hills and flats in heavy traffic on a couple of Sydney's busiest roads, bike tracks, 40km speed zones - great for confusing the smoke box operators - Cyclist, must over take. Speeding? What do I do? Cyclist must overtake! - all a good laugh.
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Postby 1st XV » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:21 pm

Kev365428 wrote:As the majority of my ride in on the M5, I find that studying the road ahead for debris keeps my mind focused. That and pushing hard to beat my PB.

Kev.

+1 concentrating enough on debris, and the thought of having to change a flat with trucks doing 115km/h past me on the shoulder keeps me awake enough... :D that, and as always, tryin to beat my previous time, top speed etc. other times, i just go to my happy place................ :wink:
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Postby lemmiwinks » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:28 pm

colafreak wrote:Ride it faster :twisted:

Seriously, too hard to get bored when you're going flat out.


Yep, absolutely!
"...for many people your life is not worth the effort it takes to pay attention or the extra few seconds they may need to wait before they can safely get around you."-BikeSnobNYC
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Postby ajh003 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:39 pm

Well flat out for me on my flat bar used to be about 25-27
I pushed on this morning and had a great ride with a lot on or above 30kms for much of my 25km trip (APART from the hills)

But I have done over 2500kms in the last 7 months and I actually stick to the same route most of the time and vary intensity and pace.
Sometimes I think I'll just take it easy but I always try and break my record to Mooloolaba on the Beach every morning.

I'm workin towards keeping up with the roadies more and more
Fewer people pass me these days which is inspiring
I also love to log my rides with my iphone and trailguru
But apart from that its me, my backpack and my Flat Bar
Gotta love it
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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:43 pm

Roadie
MTB
Fixie
Unicycle
Ordinary

Rinse/repeat.

All I need is the Fixie, Unicycle and Ordinary :wink:

Staying alive near taxis and skybus is enough for this little black duck.

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Postby eucryphia » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:40 pm

I can't say I've ever been bored. Finding the best, fastest line through the tilted paving slabs, broken glass, meanderthals, dish gutters, Action busses and some-such while chasing the slowpoke up ahead keeps me focussed. And ABC Classic FM is the appropriate background music.

If there's a strong headwind on the way home on Thursdays and I'm a bit tired, I'm keen to get home.
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Postby Burt 'Pigeon Racer' Jones » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:31 pm

I take the long way.

50km vs 20km.

Ride a different bike.

Mtn vs S/Speed vs Roadie.
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Postby Kev365428 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:37 pm

Seeing as how this thread started when the rain was falling (in Sydney), it didn't really occur to me what I do to keep my sanity while riding. During the commute for the last two days, I remembered what it is I do to keep my mind active and on the job.

For the most part I find these work quite well: -

1. Lookout for debris (already said that earlier, but wanted to reiterate it).

2. I have ''check points'' along my commute route - 18.30 minutes at the M7 underpass, 33 minutes at the toll gates, and 57 minutes at Slade Rd. If I hit these, or come in under time, I know it's a good ride. Generally I only do this on the ride in for some reason.

3. On the ride home I ''race the peleton''. The peleton rides at a constant 30km/h in my race. I calculate the peleton's position by doubling the distance travelled, ie. - I need to have covered 12km in 24 minutes. For the first part of my commute which is through the back streets of Wolli Creek and Bardwell Valley, maintaining 30km/h average is quite hard due to hills and tight corners. I usually hit the M5 in 18 - 19 minutes, with the distance being around 8 - 9km or so. This means I'm usually a minute or two behind. Once on the M5 I can ramp it up and if all things go well I can be back in the pack inside of the next 2 or 3km or so. My target then is to gain a 10 minute break on the peleton, so I need to hit the 30km mark within 50 minutes for example. I have managed the ''10 minute break'' on a couple of occasion, but with the last 6km home being all up hill, the pack usually brings it back to a 5 or 6 minute gap. Once again, I only tend to do this on the ride home. Funny that.

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Postby Pax » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:07 pm

Kev365428 wrote:3. On the ride home I ''race the peleton''. The peleton rides at a constant 30km/h in my race. I calculate the peleton's position by doubling the distance travelled, ie. - I need to have covered 12km in 24 minutes. For the first part of my commute which is through the back streets of Wolli Creek and Bardwell Valley, maintaining 30km/h average is quite hard due to hills and tight corners. I usually hit the M5 in 18 - 19 minutes, with the distance being around 8 - 9km or so. This means I'm usually a minute or two behind. Once on the M5 I can ramp it up and if all things go well I can be back in the pack inside of the next 2 or 3km or so. My target then is to gain a 10 minute break on the peleton, so I need to hit the 30km mark within 50 minutes for example. I have managed the ''10 minute break'' on a couple of occasion, but with the last 6km home being all up hill, the pack usually brings it back to a 5 or 6 minute gap. Once again, I only tend to do this on the ride home. Funny that.

Kev.


Love it :D !!! Isn't it great to have imaginary friends (or is it enemies :? )
Looking forward to the peleton coming to Brisbane next week.
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Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:55 pm

Yesterday on the way home I noticed my left knee was a bit sore so this morning I put the bike in granny gear and rode all the way to work in that gear (only 9km). Admittedly the gearing isn't that granny (40-23) so I wasn't pedaling furiously the whole way!

Anyway, I found it didn't stress my knee at all and it was quite relaxing and interesting to be able to just ride along without worrying about gears. The funny thing is that it only added 3 or 4 mins to my normal commute time.
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Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:01 pm

Yep, been there done that. Mine was when the gear cable snapped. I rode to and from work single speed. Now I have a single speed bike and another one being built.

It's an interesting challenge to pick a gear and stick to it no matter what.

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Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:05 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:Yep, been there done that. Mine was when the gear cable snapped. I rode to and from work single speed. Now I have a single speed bike and another one being built.

It's an interesting challenge to pick a gear and stick to it no matter what.

David


yeah. I found it really interesting. It helped a lot that its a pretty good gear for cruising on flat ground and is ok ish for hills. Of course it is useless for going down hill but that is what coasting is for isn't it?
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Postby Vivifyer » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:17 pm

I tried a different route this morning, actually an old one, i used to go on about 6 months ago.. and saw a bunch of hippies (actual hippies playing bongos with no shoes and dreadlocks) out the front of some building in belmont, there was also a few of them being arrested. I've no idea why, there was also a camera crew there.

that was kinda interesting :P
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Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:26 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
bigfriendlyvegan wrote:Yep, been there done that. Mine was when the gear cable snapped. I rode to and from work single speed. Now I have a single speed bike and another one being built.

It's an interesting challenge to pick a gear and stick to it no matter what.

David


yeah. I found it really interesting. It helped a lot that its a pretty good gear for cruising on flat ground and is ok ish for hills. Of course it is useless for going down hill but that is what coasting is for isn't it?


Didn't work on the way home. Too much down hill. I want to try 'second gear' next time. It will be interesting to see how it goes and if it is any faster.
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Re:

Postby Pax » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:09 am

casual_cyclist wrote:Yesterday on the way home I noticed my left knee was a bit sore so this morning I put the bike in granny gear and rode all the way to work in that gear (only 9km). Admittedly the gearing isn't that granny (40-23) so I wasn't pedaling furiously the whole way!

Anyway, I found it didn't stress my knee at all and it was quite relaxing and interesting to be able to just ride along without worrying about gears. The funny thing is that it only added 3 or 4 mins to my normal commute time.


Hmmm, does raise the issue of whether the knee problem is actually a cadence problem...what sort of cadence do you usually aim for and how does that compare with your "granny gear" cadence...perhaps you need to spin more (perhaps you have already thought of all of that and I am not saying anything you haven't already thought of :oops: ).
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Re:

Postby Pax » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:23 am

Vivifyer wrote:I tried a different route this morning, actually an old one, i used to go on about 6 months ago.. and saw a bunch of hippies (actual hippies playing bongos with no shoes and dreadlocks) out the front of some building in belmont, there was also a few of them being arrested. I've no idea why, there was also a camera crew there.

that was kinda interesting :P


Gotta love hippies I recon :D

Never ceases to amaze me the interesting things I see on commutes :shock: ....but I rarely have a camera with me...have been thinking that I should buy a cheap digital and always have it with me (or of course a better phone than the very old one I have...it came out well before cameras were common on phones).
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Re: Re:

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:22 pm

Pax wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:Yesterday on the way home I noticed my left knee was a bit sore so this morning I put the bike in granny gear and rode all the way to work in that gear (only 9km). Admittedly the gearing isn't that granny (40-23) so I wasn't pedaling furiously the whole way!

Anyway, I found it didn't stress my knee at all and it was quite relaxing and interesting to be able to just ride along without worrying about gears. The funny thing is that it only added 3 or 4 mins to my normal commute time.


Hmmm, does raise the issue of whether the knee problem is actually a cadence problem...what sort of cadence do you usually aim for and how does that compare with your "granny gear" cadence...perhaps you need to spin more (perhaps you have already thought of all of that and I am not saying anything you haven't already thought of :oops: ).


Ok. Well, today I rode in all the way in 'second' gear which is prolly 40/21 (have to double check) which was better than 'first' gear. Remember I am taking it easy so don't laugh at my 20.80km/h average speed. Interestingly, this is my second fastest average speed ever, so it looks like I am really not good at the gears.

I don't have a cadence computer but do try to keep a high cadence as it is less tiring. According to Sheldon's gear calculator for yesterday and today at my top speeds of 25km/h on 40/23 my cadence would have been about 110 and 27km/h on 40/21 my cadence would have been around the same. I find over 100rpm is a bit too high for me, but as I said my knee has been fine yesterday and today.

I am just going to cruise around in 'second' gear (40/21) for the rest of the week and then think about what I am doing for gears next week.
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Re: Re:

Postby Pax » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:43 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:I don't have a cadence computer but do try to keep a high cadence as it is less tiring. According to Sheldon's gear calculator for yesterday and today at my top speeds of 25km/h on 40/23 my cadence would have been about 110 and 27km/h on 40/21 my cadence would have been around the same. I find over 100rpm is a bit too high for me, but as I said my knee has been fine yesterday and today.


OK I am sticking with the cadence theory. 110 is highish but not OTT by any means. I aim for about 102 or a bit higher on the flat, plenty of other experienced cyclists also aim for that kind of rate, some aim higher and plenty also aim a bit lower (there is a element of personal choice rather than a perfect cadence that we all should aim for). The fundamental issue though is the spin, and it sounds like you are reaping the benefit of spinning a bit more than you ususlly do. Experiment a bit but try to keep it highish you'll get used to it and the ongoing benefits (to your knees, your speed and your endurance) may surprise you :D

PS...you don't need a computer with cadence: just use the stop watch/timer function and count your reloutions for 10 seconds then multiply by 6...(ie 17 revs = 102, 18 revs = 108 etc)
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