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I want to ride my BIIIIIIICYCLE.....

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  • I want to ride my BIIIIIIICYCLE.....

    Ok, so I decided a couple of months ago that I needed to start going out on my bike. Only, I hadn't been on my bike in about 3 years. So I got it out and dusted it off, and I've been going down to the stables ever sunday on it (about half a mile) for the last couple of months. In the last few weeks I've taken it on the 3 mile walk as well, but because I go with a friend who walks, I go at a walking speed so it doesn't do a whole lot. I've taken to riding the same trail in the week as well at a faster speed.

    Today I rode it to work, which is just over a mile away, and I didn't get too knackered (The thing about me is I have got quite strong legs from walking and horse riding.. but apparently you use completely different muscles on the bike than on a horse... Go figure -_-) and heeeeere's the point I'm getting to!

    I just emailed a place in Evesham about doing some voluntary work, only to get there.. I'd have to ride the bike... 17 and a half miles. I've never gone that far on a bike in one go in my life, and I'd have to do it again i nthe evening to get home. There's no buses that go near where I'd need to go and no one in my house drives.
    I was wondering if any of you lovely lovely people could help me figure out how to get bike-fit in a very short space of time without completely-over doing it? I'd love to buy an exercise bike so I could still cycle when I can't go out on my actual bike, but you know. Broke teenager trying to save up for a trip to Africa here.
    Any advice would be well appreciated!!
    Bunny trainer extraordinaire!

  • #2
    Alright how long of a time do you want to travel on the bike an hour? It's easy or should be easy to manage 17 miles in an hour on a bike.
    Here's what I would do back when I use to ride my bike... I would peddle hard and fast and let the bike go as far as it could without stopping.
    I would begin to peddle again at a slower pace to keep momentum. Thus causing the law of motion an object in motion stays in motion unless something causes it to stop.

    If you want to spend eh 30 minutes on the bike to get 17 miles done, I am not sure what to give you for advice.
    I would just leave 30 minutes earlier and get there within an hour at 17 miles per hour on the bike.
    Sounds like a fast pace but on a bike versus running it's not really all that fast.


    • #3
      just get on your bike and ride. depending on what type of bike you have 17 miles can be pretty tough, also depending on your speed it could take a couple hours to get there. you need to get used to being on your bike for that long of a time otherwise your butt and legs are going to be killing you
      Primal Chaos
      37yo 6'5"
      6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
      current 338lbs 49" waist
      goal 240lbs 35" waist


      • #4
        I've been commuting by bike to work (11 miles each way) for about 4 years. You have to build up to it, I did not start doing that overnight and even being in great shape, I have never done more than 4 times a week. I'm getting ready to brave 102F temps and high humidity for my uphill ride home. I don't think you can just start biking extremely long distances with no build up because something will get sore, like leg muscles or worse yet you will get sore knees for a sore bum from sitting that much. You also need to be handy with tools and know how to adjsut things on your bike. The difference between your seat being a half inch higher or lower can sometimes be a huge difference in comfort.

        I will say though if the temps are moderate and the terrain is flat bike riding does not have to be that strenous on your leg muscles but still your knees and bum may get sore.

        Try a few 5 mile rides, then build up to 10 mile rides, then perhaps bike to work and try leaving your bike there overnight and take it back the next day and then try to build up to back and forth in the same day. I can tell you though from being an experienced bike commuter, a 17 mile one way commute is extremely long distance, I know very few people that would do that more than two, perhaps three times per week. Even if you have a blistering fast bike, it is at least an hour each way. Check out and the commuting subforum for more advice.


        • #5
          It's not about getting there as quick as I can Cpt Archer, just getting there, doing a lot of physical work while I'm there (they're expanding so there's a lot of work going on there!) and then getting back without completely dying O_o I don't want to push it into chronic cardio, but I dont want to be going mega slow either =/

          I'll be on it as often as I can while I wait for a reply. I need to take my accident prone bunny to the vet tomorrow for a broken toe so I'll be biking over there with her in her case slung over my back XD
          Bunny trainer extraordinaire!


          • #6
            Oh as others have suggested you might want to also build up to 17 miles. If it was flat ground it would be easier, I didn't take into account that you could be going up hills and down hills. Since you say time is not an option I would try and travel at 5 to 6 miles per hour which is the average time most people can run at. While on a bike that shouldn't put you into chronic cardio going that fast, however because of the hills I would plan a 3 to 4 hour trip there and 3 to 4 hour trip back.


            • #7
              No, it's not reasonable. Sorry.
              It will hurt. A lot.
              Especially with physical work between the 35 miles of riding.

              No driver to call in emergencies:
              What if you get a flat?
              What if the bike breaks?
              What if it gets dark?
              What if its thunder and lightning during the trip?

              How 'near' does the bus get?
              It would be more realistic to walk 3 miles than ride 18.
              Is it a bike friendly bus? Bus + bike might work.
              Anywhere you could stash the bike nearer to the work location? friend or family?
              Bus to bike plus bike to work.


              • #8
                35 miles is too far to attempt without some training. More info on terrain / bike would be helpful?


                • #9
                  I agree that it's not reasonable to go ahead straight away, I was thinking more of a month or so of training.
                  My dad is on his bike every day doing work and going out to do photography so I could call him if I had a problem. I asked last night and he said the most he does in one day is about 40 miles. But then he's been off on his bike for as long as I can remember.. I'd love to be as bike fit as him!
                  The bus that goes to Evesham goes a helluva long way round, and long bus rides make me feel sick, and I'd like to be able to do without spending any more money! I just spent my last £30 on vet bills so I'd be stuck for buses anyway.
                  I do have a lot of days that I'm working in august anyway, so it wouldn't be every day.
                  I'm not going to pretend I know a lot about bikes.. All I could tell you about mine is it's purple O.o It's not like a BMX or a raciing bike.. It's your average everyday bike as far as I know!
                  However the terrain would be road, and slightly hilly I think. I'm not good up long hills so I'd end up walking up those anyway for a while!
                  Bunny trainer extraordinaire!


                  • #10
                    Set aside the issue of getting in good enough shape in a month to pedal 35 miles plus physical work in a day multiple times per week.

                    You're talking 6-8 HOURS of commute to do volunteer work.
                    That would suck real fast if you were sitting in a luxury car with A/C and a great stereo.


                    • #11
                      I completely disagree with Captain Archer. 17 miles will take you significantly longer than an hour, probably an hour and a half at best especially if it's hilly as you say, and it'll take you awhile to get that fast for that long and you'll probably be sweating at least a little to keep that kind of pace. That's assuming you have a road bike or commuter hybrid with multiple gears. Mountain bikes, bikes that don't have a variety of different gears, will be far more limiting speed-wise, and it's not going to feel fun at all.

                      On weekdays I bike commute 11 miles on a mid-price commuter hybrid (and after the first two months, I started beating the local bus by a couple minutes on most days =D). It takes me about an hour because of some hills. I wholeheartedly second everyone else's suggestions about ways to cut the milage you have to ride by using some combo of bus + bike. That said, 17 miles is long, but doable in the long term as long as it's only one day a week (it is, right?), if you're really committed and disciplined.

                      First things first: definitely make sure your current bike is fitted correctly with the seat and handlebars at the appropriate height. The more you lean over the handlebars (which many beginners find uncomfortable), the more pedaling power you'll have, and trust me, you want that power. If you plan to take anything with you besides food and water, get some storage solution on a rear rack so you don't overburdern your back for hours on end.

                      This might be unnecessary but the safety-first bike commuter in me can't not say it: Learn how to signal in traffic, how to fit your helmet properly, what the local laws say about reflectors and lights, etc. Riding a bike in traffic (you'll make much better time and in some cases be safer than if you were riding on sidewalks, and even if there are bike lanes, you are in traffic, and if there aren't bus lines out there, there's probably not bike lanes either), statistically, can be safer than driving a car, but only if you do it right, and if you do it wrong, your chances of dying are much higher. That sounds scary and it should, bike commuting isn't something you should just hop into on a whim, get informed about how to minimize risk.

                      Then just work up to it by going out on longer and longer rides at one time until you've worked your way up to 25-30 mile round trips with only short stops for water or small snacks. (I always keep a half pound of nuts and dried fruit, plus two bottles of water, in my bike bag for long rides.) Then on a day when you're not volunteering, do the exact ride you plan to do while volunteering to see how it feels, preferably at the same time of day so that you can see traffic patterns to watch out for.

                      As for "chronic cardio"...there's no getting around it, biking is cardio and at that distance you'll be doing a lot of it. You will need to eat more if you're burning that much, there's just no getting around it, and you may even want to bump up the carbs on days with long rides. That said, riding a bike is far less bad for you than running. It's much, much easier on your joints, except for your wrists (supporting your upper body). I try to take at least one, usually two, days off per week to give my body time to rest and repair, and that is even more important while you're working up to longer rides.

                      One more piece of advice: don't buy an "exercise bike". Instead, buy one of the resistance-adding stands for your existing bike. The first link one is $110 and the second is $45. As with everything, you get what you pay for, but those are both cheaper than any indoor bike worth buying, will take up far less space when you don't have your bike attached, and you can keep it and use it with the nicer bike that you might want to buy someday in the future.

             Schwinn Magnetic Bike Trainer: Sports & Outdoors

             Magnet Steel Bike Bicycle Indoor Exercise Trainer Stand: Sports & Outdoors
                      “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” -- Joseph Campbell


                      • #12
                        That's just the kind of thing I'd like to do, if I'm honest. Until I can afford to jet off to Africa, there aren't many places near me that have what I want. This place does. If I gotta pedal for 6-8 hours to get there and back... So be it. =]
                        Bunny trainer extraordinaire!


                        • #13
                          Erika.. Those are very good points I never thought of!
                          I asked my dad what kind of bike I had, he said it's a mountain bike, but it's got a gear thingy on each handle... (I sound like such a noob right now XD) The saddle comes just below my hip, I had been thinking of raising it a little. I shouldn't be taking anything more with me than food and water, and I'm used to cycling around with two bunnies on my back so no issues there! x] Today I did about 5 miles in total, and I'll probably do about 4 tomorrow, swapping from bike saddle to horse saddle and back to bike lol! I need to save up and get some lights for my bike, I know not to go out in the dark unless I've got them, though i haven't actually got a helmet =S
                          Bunny trainer extraordinaire!


                          • #14
                            It's good that you have gears, but a mountain bike will still slow you down because of the tires. They are generally wider with knobby bumps, to help with traction on loose dirt, but those tires will slow you down on pavement because they create more friction. Even with road tires, I would bet that your first round-trip will take you 4 hours or more. Can you ask your dad if you can switch to thinner tires that your family might already own?

                            As for fitting your bike, your dad could probably help with that too but as a general rule of thumb, the seat should be as high as possible while still allowing you to push your foot all the way down on the pedal when it is at its lowest without your leg ever becoming entirely straight (ie your knee should be bent a very small amount even when its pushing the pedal to the lowest point). When it feels just a little bit high as you're getting on or off the bike, that's usually about perfect for me. From there, adjust the handlebars to be about level with the seat. If that's really uncomfortable, bring the handlebars up a little bit until it's manageable, but work towards getting them as low as you comfortably can by adjusting them down a smidge every so often to let your posture adjust gradually as you're riding more.
                            “The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” -- Joseph Campbell


                            • #15
                              Definitely get in a bicycle-bootcamp and start working up to it - at least if you plan on going at fairly high speed; if you take off early, make sure you have plenty of time, it shouldn't be a problem...

                              Oh, and I love Queen too