Saturday, April 21, 2007

Commuting by bike - Is it for me?!?

My 25-35mile training ride isn't happening today. Short story - other commitments, bad weather, blah, blah, blah. Basically life got in the way of my training plans.

I didn't want the day to be a total waste, so I decided to commute by bike to and from a 2 hr meeting that I needed to attend at church this morning.

Thoughts and observations from my first commuting attempt

  • First and foremost, I had a BLAST riding this morning for some reason. Maybe because I left the Garmin at home and had no training expectations from the ride.
  • I had planned my route so as to avoid too much traffic. I only had one traffic light to contend with, and cut through several parking lots to get off the road where it made sense. That was a success.
  • It only took me about 5-7 minutes longer to ride there, than to drive (speed limit is 25-30mph most of the way there).
  • Bike spedometer says it was 10.25 miles round trip, 15.6 MPH avg speed. Is it possible that focussing on fun (rather than speed and distance) is a critical piece that I've been missing?
  • The sling backpack we got from a baseball game a few weeks ago was perfect for carrying my books, paper, pens, etc. Would be good for going to pick up a few light groceries too.
  • Good thing it's a 'come as you are' church...I showed up in tights and had forgotten a change of clothes. OOPS!!
  • I did remember a head band to try to disguise helmet hair as an intentional hair style.
  • I brought a lock, but ended up parking the bike inside the building.
  • I enjoyed riding to/from my meeting soooo much that all I could think of when I got home was riding my bike to/from work one day this week to see how that goes.
  • I better not forget a change of clothes though!!
  • Also, it will be a little trickier because I'll have to bring my laptop which is heavier/bulkier than what I was carrying today.
  • And there will be no parking the bike inside the building, it will have to be parked and locked on a rack outside.
  • What if... I like it and decide I want to ride to work more often? My current bike was really intended to be a commuter bike, not a race bike. Maybe after my races in May I can set it up better for commuting if I get serious about using it that way.
  • And maybe, just maybe... I might be able to justify getting a better bike for racing for next season...


  1. Sounds like you had fun and maybe this will work for you! Last summer, I rode 45 minutes a couple of mornings before work, and that was just mainly for fun and to get some miles in when it was busier after work hours. And it seems to be a nice way to enjoy the early mornings. Good luck! Just be careful!

  2. Have I commented on your blog music yet? It's great!

    In reference to the comment you left on my blog - I think I missed what your situation is...what kind of problems are you having on the bike (or questions do you have)?

  3. I wish I could commute to work. Unfortunately, there is a huge mountain range between me and work. It would either be go over (ummm, no) or go around (take too long), but I would love to do that.

    I do ride my bike whenever I have meetings close to home and I just love it. There definetly is something different about riding for training and riding for fun.

    Glad you had a good ride.

  4. My only beef with commuting by bike is in summer, I need a shower before changing into my work clothes. And of course have to deal with helmet hair.

  5. I do like commuting to work on my bike. But it can be kind of dangerous going thru downtown for me... Be careful out there..

    Sometimes I leave the watch at home (or ignore it on my training days).. Even at IronMan level people race with no watch. So trying to train without one and see how that feels..

    I think the more you enjoy it, the more you can't wait to get out there again..

    ps. I always think you could always treat yourself to a nicer bike for racing :). You train hard right..

  6. I thought about riding my bike to work as well, but its 21 miles. That might be a bit much :-) Nice job! Fun is absolutely an essential component of all training, is it not?

  7. Sounds like a great way to sneak in a ride! Way to go!

  8. I think commuting to and from work on the bike is a great idea. I wish I could do the same, but running instead. That might not work as well. Give it a try.

  9. I would love to commute to work, and it is something I'm looking into after we move. I currently have my mountain bike in my office for running around town errands...

  10. Good job trying it out! I was thinking that if I ever commuted by bike it would be a good excuse to leave the laptop at work that night and not have to carry it.

  11. I keep thinking about it commuting by bike, but no sure how to carry the change of clothes and office gear (laptop).

    Keep us posted!

  12. Oh, I did commute on a bike to my first job in Abq, when I did not have a car. The circumstances were fortunate - the place was casual, close enough, and the morning ride downhill, so I got there cool, and did not need to invest too much effort in changing. Coming back uphill in the heat of the afternoon was a different story, but once home I could walk directly into the shower.

    The best part though was the route.
    On Osuna street, along the golf course, the mountains in the background. It was so beautiful the morning ride invariably made me high. I always told myself that if my whole life could be like the morning commute, I'd be the happiest person in the world. I almost was, anyhow.

  13. lisa, sounds like a good time and a lot of lessons learned for the next time! way to go!

  14. Commuting by bike is a great way to get bike mileage. Two things stop me from doing so in Singapore (1) traffic, (2) fear that my bike will get nicked. We even have a shower in the gym at work, so one day I will work up the courage to do it.

    Well Done!

  15. There is only one thing keeping me from commuting to work. The 60 miles of traffic that I have to go through to get there. But it sounds great that you might be able to. Good luck and let us know when you eventually do...because you know you will.