First Commute ever!

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First Commute ever!

Postby 1kmodem » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:06 pm

Hi All,

I've recently bought a flatbar road bike and today was my first day at commuting....
if anyone saw a lad chuckin up over the halfway point of the Sydney Harbour Bridge this morning? that was me hahaha
as you can tell didn't end up too well, did about 4km which is almost nothing... but I think the inclines/hills seriously killed me... and maybe because I had breakfast beforehand?
I've been told to ride on an empty stomache, is that correct?
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by BNA » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:38 pm

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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby FuzzyDropbear » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:38 pm

:D Firstly, congrats on deciding to start commuting to work, it's a great way to get rid of all that work stress before you get home!

I wouldn't say that you're supposed to ride on an empty stomach, probably not the greatest idea to have a massive cooked breakfast before you ride. I have 4 wheatbix and then prob 20 minutes later I'm on the bike peddling to work. So you may have just over exerted yourself on your first ride (I'm not sure how fit you currently are?). Possibly next time, don't try and smash it up the hills, just knock it back a couple of gears and just cruise up the hills. Doesn't matter if you're not as fast as some others, everyone starts somewhere!

It may seem like 4km is nothing, but 8km round trip, if you do that 3 times a week over a year, it's surprising how fast it adds up! Plus, once you get fitter, you may find that you extend your commute home because there's a nicer way to go, rather than just going the quickest route.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby 1kmodem » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:58 pm

Cheers, forgot to mention the full commute to work is 17kms, I managed 4-5km before I caught the train from Milson's Point into North Ryde :lol:
I put it down to the fitness and conditioning of my body... had a light breakfast, just a small bowl of cereal
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby bychosis » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:04 pm

First one is always the hardest. I'd recommend a trial run when you don't have to be at work. Gives you a chance to practice. Maybe plan a couple of 10km rides on the weekend before committing. Definitely take it easy up the hills and allow heaps of extra time for the first few commutes. I'd prob allow at least 1hr of riding and some cool/shower time to start. I could cycle the commute distance easily when I started commuting but didn't realise how long I needed to cool down before showering at work. First day I needed another shower about 10 min later because I hadn't cooled down enough first and kept sweating.

I always have breaks before leaving. 5-6 weetbix with milk, but as above I don't finish it and jump on the bike. Takes about 20-30min to get out the door after breaky. In the morning it's breakfast first then make lunch, shave, gather clothing, get shoes on etc.

#edit: my commute,6.5km takes 14-18 min riding to work, but 30-35min door to desk for cooling and showering time etc. home commute takes an extra 2min due to it being more up hill and more likely to have a headwind.
Last edited by bychosis on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby gretaboy » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:05 pm

little bit by little bit...will take time

as to breakfast before hand...just depends how hard you want to push...take it easy and brekkie shouldnt repeat..push hard and unfit say hello to brekkie

next commute aim for a little bit further....and enjoy it, its not a race :)

##EDIT: I dont have breakfast before my ride, but thats just me..I have it at work afterwards and I certainly need it by then
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby HappyHumber » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:16 pm

bychosis wrote:I could cycle the commute distance easily when I started commuting but didn't realise how long I needed to cool down before showering at work. First day I needed another shower about 10 min later because I hadn't cooled down enough first and kept sweating.
I sweat shedloads at the best of times. Come summer I have this problem consistently. What I do is hop under the shower with it warm at first, do the soapy bit and then turn off the hot water - leaving the water cold for a minute or two. If you can HTFU and handle this, it not only cools your core body temperature to lower the chance of further sweating it's actually quite invigorating. Kinda like a more Aussie, budget version of some of those Scandanavian looneys who go jump in a lake or ocean after a Sauna in in the depths of a frozen winter :D

Might even teach you better water conservation showering habits and save a bit on your hot water bill ;)
Last edited by HappyHumber on Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby rkelsen » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:18 pm

Welcome aboard!

It took me ages to build up to the point where I could ride every day. And when I say ages, I mean about 18 months. I was extremely unfit and overweight. While I'm a lot fitter and slimmer than I was, I'm not at my goal yet.

Take it slowly, you will get there.

Oh, and I always have a [reasonably] light breakfast before leaving the house. Usually a cereal bowl's worth of cereal, which equates to about 4 Weetbix.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby newie » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:25 pm

Woo-hoo!!
Well done.
You sure picked a warm one for it.
As the others have said, keep at it, don't flog yourself and you will be surprised how quickly the improvement comes.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby Ozkaban » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:08 pm

Well done!

Keep at it. You'll be surprise how quickly you improve endurance and performance.

Cheers,
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby isabella24 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:27 pm

Congrats on your first commute and may it be the first of many! My commute is anywhere from 25kms (bit over halfway then rest on the train) to 42kms one way, if i ride the whole way. I leave home on an empty stomach and have brekky at work. If I do the 25kms I'm fine on no brekky but if I do the 42km I take a banana or similar to eat on the way and then have a proper brekky at work. I do find i feel sick if I ride after having eaten. I don't seem to take as long to cool off as some of the other posters on this thread, about 15mins, but maybe that's cause I'm female or im just not going hard enough! :D In terms of time, it's taken me almost a year to be able to ride to work approx 4 days a week, normally doing at least 1 full ride-in per week (84km return) + at least 3 days of half rides + train (50km return). When I started, I could only get to the nearest major train station - 8km each way, once a week, before feeling like I was going to die!
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby jasonc » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:45 am

welcome to the club. I don't have breakfast before I ride, most of the time. Before an extra long ride, I'll have a piece of toast with vegemite or jam. I'll then have brekky at work.

+1 to the shower comments above. warm for the firsts bit, then cold only.
my standard commute is ~22kms each way. it took 6 months of me riding around my area before I could do the full commute in a day to and from work. I now commute to work every day. I do extended commutes a couple of days a week (100kms yesterday).

keep at it, don't give up.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby The Walrus » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:39 am

[quote=]

It may seem like 4km is nothing, but 8km round trip, if you do that 3 times a week over a year, it's surprising how fast it adds up! Plus, once you get fitter, you may find that you extend your commute home because there's a nicer way to go, rather than just going the quickest route.[/quote]

Wise words....

I'm not hard core like some of the riders here and my old commute was only 5k each way. But 5 days a week meant I'd clocked up 50k's before I had ventured out on any recreational rides.
Never underestimate the power of ignorance
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby BrownBike » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:41 am

1kmodem wrote:Hi All,

I've recently bought a flatbar road bike and today was my first day at commuting....


Me too! My commute is a bit shorter (10km each way) but gonna start lurking on here and have joined the Strava thing to keep the momentum going. Here's to a biked 2013!
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby 1kmodem » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:21 am

thanks for all the tips and tricks! i'll have to find a cooler day this week to ride it back.. left my bike at work over the weekend
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby Timeonabike » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:58 pm

Good onya!
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby bychosis » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:17 am

Tried the 'finish with the hot off' shower technique today. As a self confessed shower sook it was bracing to say the least, however I think it helped. Our current showers are getting a makeover so we've got a portable shoebox with not enough insulation. The temp showers are also located an outdoor walk from the locker room so there isn't as much undressed (mostly) while cooling time. I had been continuing to sweat after the shoebox shower, but not as much today. Tomorrow will try an extended cold period in the shower.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby Red Rider » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:50 am

Nice work on the first foray into bike commuting :)

Take it like a man and stand under a cold shower straight up, just pretend you're jumping into a pool... I put my head under first as the head doesn't seem to be a wuss like the torso is. And then I work my shoulders under, slowly. The back is the hardest for me. But I find the hotter I am, the easier it is to take the plunge under the cold water, so it's added incentive to ride hard. 8)
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby TraceyG » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:03 am

Congrats on your first commute. I find it is a great way to start the day, especially as I am lucky enough to have a largely rural commute. My ride is 30km each way and took me a long time to build up to. I shower at work and then breakfast.

Keep it up.
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby JohnJoyner » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:33 pm

Excellent stuff. Welcome to commuting.
I started out with a 7km commute & used to have brekkie neforehand, until I pushed hard & felt sick... So I then changed to just having brekkie at work.
I've moved & my commute is now 21km each way. I sometimes have a banana before leaving, sometimes nothing.

You'll figure out what's best for you as you go along.

But definitely take it easy & slowly build to the full commute. If you go too hard too early, you won't enjoy it.

But keep it up. I feel great when I arrive at work after my ride. :D
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Re: First Commute ever!

Postby clackers » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:06 pm

1kmodem wrote:m
I've been told to ride on an empty stomache, is that correct?


Don't eat less, just take the ride easier, Tiger! :smile:

Congrats on your decision. Looking forward to the day you can ride the full distance.
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