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My partial bike commute is a complete success.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My partial commute is a complete success.

I became enlightened in May and decided to partially commute by bicycle. I live on the North side of Chicago near Lincolnwood and travel 30 miles to my management job in Schaumburg. I knew the city and the suburbs have adequate bike routes, however a 60 mile round trip commute is impossible for me, a middle aged Clydesdale.

I also knew my vintage Road Race bike was not up to the job, so I purchased a basic commuter bike with plans to upgrade eventually. Next, I purchased the hideous yellow shirts and a few spares items to be carried in a Dakine backpack.

How does my partial commute work? I still travel by car 19 miles with the fully assembled bike inside my Mazda 6 station wagon. I begin the ride at the Busse Woods forest preserve. I can park from dawn to dusk in a safe & legal spot. I travel about 5 miles on a great quality bike path that is wide and mostly deserted at 6:30AM. I only see a handful of people on the path at that hour. I really enjoy the clean & natural environment, an inconceivable upgrade from my usual commute.

Using the map below, I travel from the north at Golf Road down within the forest preserve, I then cross over I-290 using a pedestrian bridge and pick up Wise Road. I’m able to travel a route through some quiet neighborhoods. I eventually head south on Mitchell Blvd until I’m at the office.

Once at work I’m able to park the bike in the warehouse and take a quick shower before heading to my desk at 7:30am.

My goal is 60 miles a week commuting plus another 30 miles on the bike during the weekends. My only annoyance is with my own procrastination. I should have started bike commuting years ago!

Michael
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post #2 of 19
Glad to hear it's working out. Can you get the bike in without removing the front wheel? Rear seat folded flat I assume?

The routine reminds me of a thread in the food forum today about eating less meat as opposed to full vegetarian. Whether absolute or incremental, change in the right direction feels good.
post #3 of 19
How much longer does it take to get to work now compared to driving the whole way?

Unless you enjoy the shower, I think it's a waste of time. Apply deodorant, change into work clothes, no one will know the difference.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post
My partial commute is a complete success.

I became enlightened in May and decided to partially commute by bicycle. I live on the North side of Chicago near Lincolnwood and travel 30 miles to my management job in Schaumburg. I knew the city and the suburbs have adequate bike routes, however a 60 mile round trip commute is impossible for me, a middle aged Clydesdale.
Hmm.

Are you sure you wish to shut and padlock the lid on that box quite so fast?

How about a slightly more ambitious goal, with possibly greater reward at success: one ride the entire way in per week, on Fridays (then a 40 mile ride on Sat) and no riding on either Sun. or Mon. to allow your legs a chance to recover?

I bring this up because, if you are consistent with your current program, you will notice changes in your body and outlook by, oh, 5 weeks from now i.e. first-week August. The accustomed body will need more, possibly a lot more, intensity or duration to derive the same benefit it gets now.

Notice that the 2-day intense program I outline gives you the same distance benefit per week as your original plan, and it leaves you the option of doing lower leg or cardio workouts or more cycling on the other days of the week as you see fit.
post #5 of 19
I have no doubt that within a year, you will be riding the whole way at least once a week either on the Schwinn or a brand new carbon road bike. Welcome back to biking, Michael!
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks TS, T-rod & Comprex.

I can increase the ride to 18 miles one-way. It starts from home on my bike. After a 7 mile ride, I can hop on an express bus that travels 12 miles to the Busse Woods path. I would then complete the same 11 miles I ride now. I'll try this by September.

I'm starting to make progress in terms of speed and efficiency already. Even with the knobby 700cx38 tires I rode 10 miles in 35 minutes on the way home tonight. Some guy on a fully enveloped recumbent bike could not get around me until I slowed a bit to let him by!

Michael
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
How much longer does it take to get to work now compared to driving the whole way?

Unless you enjoy the shower, I think it's a waste of time. Apply deodorant, change into work clothes, no one will know the difference.
I'm only adding 20 minutes. I leave earlier (no shower & shave) and the traffic is lighter, saving a little time. I'll try to ride rain or shine, cool or hot. A shower will be needed on most days .

Michael
post #8 of 19

18mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post
I'm starting to make progress in terms of speed and efficiency already. Even with the knobby 700cx38 tires I rode 10 miles in 35 minutes on the way home tonight. Some guy on a fully enveloped recumbent bike could not get around me until I slowed a bit to let him by!

Michael
flats or cleats?
post #9 of 19
Eeew.
post #10 of 19
Disturbing the acid balance? I learned it from you.
post #11 of 19
Don't ever respond to one of my posts without quoting it first. Most of my postings disappear within minutes.

Comprex said "Eeew." in response to a short lived post where I admitted to bathing less than once a week. When I first told him this, he asked if it was because I didn't want to disturb the acid balance of my skin. I said "Hunh?"
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
flats or cleats?
Flats with a toeclip & strap, no spandex!

Michael
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
Don't ever respond to one of my posts without quoting it first. Most of my postings disappear within minutes.

Comprex said "Eeew." in response to a short lived post where I admitted to bathing less than once a week. When I first told him this, he asked if it was because I didn't want to disturb the acid balance of my skin. I said "Hunh?"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_mantle
post #14 of 19
Acid mantle. That's what I meant.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
Unless you enjoy the shower, I think it's a waste of time. Apply deodorant, change into work clothes, no one will know the difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
Comprex said "Eeew." in response to a short lived post where I admitted to bathing less than once a week...
Oh man. And you live in a pretty warm climate, yes? I'm guessing people DO actually notice. But probably they can't figure out a nice way of saying, "Dude, you REEK!"



(or maybe you're just drunk posting again and yanking everybody's chain )
post #16 of 19
Good for you, dude. I hope you keep it up. Lifestyle changes like this can be difficult to sustain once the "vanity" of it wears off. Hopefully you'll just start doing more riding and less driving as the vanity wears. You're very luck to have a shower at work. You must feel awesome by the time to get to your work station.
post #17 of 19
Congrats on making the bike commute work for you. Hope you stay safe and continue to enjoy it.
Similarly, I started a partial bike commute spring of '06`. I'm in my mid-50s and it was first time ever doing any regular biking. This is the third year now that I am doing approx 50% of my commute by bike between mos of Apr-Oct. I spend about an hour a day on the bike and I'm slow and ugly, but for me it's all about gainful exercise and a sense of liberation that is very motivating. My commute is now a positive activity in my life rather than part of the negative drudgery.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post
Oh man. And you live in a pretty warm climate, yes? I'm guessing people DO actually notice. But probably they can't figure out a nice way of saying, "Dude, you REEK!"

You'd be surprised.

The trick is two fold:

1) to be sure to get up a really drenching sweat, not just a mild heating, so that the sweat rinses the bacteria off. If you can't wring your shirt/jersey out afterwards it's probably not enough. Then don't let yourself cool down before toweling off.

2) to be dry and cool before putting on the work clothes, (including sox!) so that neither on-bike sweat nor after-ride sweat is carried over for bacteria to munch on.

Two clean dry towels (one body, one feet) a day are worth more than a crate of baby wipes.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Congrats on making the bike commute work for you. Hope you stay safe and continue to enjoy it.
Similarly, I started a partial bike commute spring of '06`. I'm in my mid-50s and it was first time ever doing any regular biking. This is the third year now that I am doing approx 50% of my commute by bike between mos of Apr-Oct. I spend about an hour a day on the bike and I'm slow and ugly, but for me it's all about gainful exercise and a sense of liberation that is very motivating. My commute is now a positive activity in my life rather than part of the negative drudgery.
Hi James,

Thanks for the support. Now that I'm old enough to understand the merits of taking good care of my health, I'm motivated.

Between the good food served at home, and my job (that requires more meals out as I travel), I need to burn some calories on a daily basis.

Glad to read of your good experience going into your 3rd year now.

Michael
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