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Who commutes, how far, how often and how do you organise?


I'm thinking of starting to commute to work next week? I work 25 miles away from home and thus would have to set off pretty early as I start at 8am.

I'm hoping to kick my bike training into touch, and thus thought this would help, plus save me some much needed cash in the process, plus as my training will be incorporated into my day, I should have more time to do other things.

So I was wondering, does anyone else commute this far? How do you organise your day? I ask as I will have to leave at 06:15 to make it to work for 07:45, which gives me time to shower/wash, get changed to start work. Now I am awful at getting up, and thus thought if I get up a 6am, get ready a go, I can eat once I'm at work at my desk. Is this too long a period between getting up and eating? Essentially I don't want my body going into starvation model and retaining fat. As that is another reason I thinking of doing this, lose more weight.

Basically I was thinking of riding Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as Monday is normally a rest day and I thought if I have Friday off I can make the club Saturday ride.

So I'm really just looking for advise on commuting and organising my self.

Sorry for babbling!


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    agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    In terms of getting yourself organised, I would say do it all the night before you go to bed. Lay out your kit, mix your drinks, make food etc. Then you can just get up and go. I would suggest eating something before though, an hour and a half on an empty stomach might be too much. If youre commuting straight after then you want simple carbs, like white toast and jam, to get the fuel immediately. Though it depends how strong your stomach is, if you can stomach it then have some toast and just go straight after. Some people may find this uncomfortable, though being on the bike, its easier to digest your food.

    Also expect to feel quite tired for the first couple of weeks (depending on your current mileage), but otherwise go for it!
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    MGMG Posts: 470
    I commute to london about 2-3 times a week, its a 40 mile round trip. As a shift worker I sometimes need to be in work by 0530 so I generaly get up at 0345 alowing me 1hr45 to get ready cycle in, shower, and arrive at my office looking not too disheveled.

    I usualy dont eat before riding in as I find it hard to stomach stuff at that time of day, but once I'm at work, a bowl of porridge or some toast is what I'll eat.

    If I run home (not 20mile, ill get train a couple of stops to make it 14ish mile) then I need to fuel up first, so I'll have a potnoodle or some pasta (bit wierd eating these at 0900 in morning) and that sees me right.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Used to have a 38-mile commute 3 days a week, though it was more normal for me to take the bike in on the train then cycle home. On the days I cycled in it was up at 5:45 having prepped everything the night before.

    The only food I could handle before riding that early would be something like a single slice of wholemeal with peanut butter on it, then I'd get through around 1 litre of Lucozade Sport during the commute to keep the energy up. Breakfast at the office, of course.

    If you're driving in on Monday can you take all your work shirts, undies etc for the week and keep them somewhere? Then you can take it all home on a Friday? Saves you carrying too much luggage on your morning ride? Personally I can't stand going any distance with a big rucksack on my back, just because of the sweaty back syndrome. Also, it ruins your aero profile [8D]
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    grant1974grant1974 Posts: 262
    Thanks for all the advice.

    Do you think upping from my two one hour sessions during the week and one long ride on the weekends to the above schedule will improve my cycling in terms of feeling stronger, faster and thus improve hill climbing?
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    Wow been off the forum for ages due to no internet! Good to be back [:)]

    I can't believe how far some of you cycle before and after work! I used to cycle 17 miles there and back last summer and I have to admit I found it very very hard. I was exhausted!!!

    One thing toward the end I did find useful was necking ack a diet shake before my ride in the morning as this was't too heavy for cycling but gave me at least some form of food to fuel me. I even used those old women slim fast shakes!! actually not too bad. At least when I am an old woman I know what to use!

    Thankfully I now live closer to work. The only thing is obviously now my cycling fitness is rubbish. Queue the turbo!!

    Hope the commute goes well. No falling asleep at your desk mind... apparently this does not go down well..... hmmm. [;)]

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    graham33graham33 Posts: 265
    Luckily for me my comute is only 7 miles each way. I sometimes will take a longer route home to take in some hills!

    I'm luck that I have changing rooms and showers at work....
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    Hi Grant,

    I live about 10miles away from work and try to commute as frequently as possible. I personally don't like cycling home in the rush hour in the dark too much, as it's mostly country roads and the drivers aren't too observant....anyway moan, moan, bloody drivers.......

    I organise myself using most of the advice above.. drive to work Monday morning with lots of kit and cycle home from Monday night - added benefit I can't not cycle in the next day due to car being at work..

    I have pannier rack on my old bike which makes taking a few bits and pieces to work more bearable.. I always make lunch to take with me the night before and go so far as to layout my clothes and put everything I need somewhere obvious so I can't forget it. I also literally tend to get out of bed changed and leave - I'm normally starting my commute within 15mins of my alarm going off (there is probably a good reason not to do this although it works for me..)...

    Strangely I'm more of a morning person so I tend to do a long cut on my way to work and up the mileage to about 18M on the way in - I will increase this as the weather warms up and it gets lighter... just got new bike and I'm loathed to add a Pannier rack - I might go for a seat post rack...

    I don't normally eat before the commute, I have breakie at work when I've arrived...

    I started to cycle lots last summer as I was injured from running (shin splints) and found at first, it became quite difficult by the 3-4th consecutive day, my legs felt really fatigued, although back then, I used to cycle in a manner I can only describe as frantic (everywhere I went I tried to beat previous times..), I have yet to get an answer to a simliar questions about the benefit of commuting every day and the effect on my fitness and more important quality training.. I await more responses from experienced members...

    Been typing for a little while now and can't really remember if I've answered your questions?


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    Hi mate, been commuting to and fro for bout year and half now, and re:improvements, deffo notice how much easier cycling is all round, to be fair..-my route is (16m)rolling so chance to work over all types of riding! As for organisation, make it as simple as poss-I have to leave 3am on earlies sometimes, so straight outta bed, have an energy drink ready and by the time you get to work and freshen up you'll be ready for normal-time brekkie..On a day when you can drive/train-in, get as much stuff into work as poss(cereals/shower stuff/clothes etc.) so the actual ride in is as unladen as poss..Finally be flexible, if it's pourin(or snow like i had 4weeks back)change days...good luck..[;)]
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    BARNYBARNY Posts: 157

    I have a few things that no one seems to have picked up on -

    Only cycle twice a week if you dont want to do it on monday or friday.. tuesday and wednesday - you can do swiming and running the other days!

    Twice would work very well as you could extend your route home to a 40mile ride once a week which will really start to improve your fitness.

    A slice of maltloaf before you go and you will be fine.
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