Author Topic: September Cycling Challenge 2015  (Read 26244 times)

jordanread

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September Cycling Challenge 2015
« on: September 01, 2015, 06:43:07 AM »
The cycling challenge for September 2015 is up and ready for you!!

If you logged miles last month, and selected "Remember Me" on the form, you have been added to this month's sheet already.

If you didn't log miles last month, or are a new participant
Click here to fill out the form.

You can access the sheet at this link.

I can manually grab your historical data too, so if it's off, just let me know.  If they aren't there within a day, or you have any other issues with the sheet, hit me up via email, Google+ Hangouts, PM, or just comment on this thread.

Happy Cycling!!

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 06:47:26 AM »
MMM has another biking post, although this one is about e-bikes. Since most everyone in this gauntlet is in camp # 1, what do you think? Have you seen the latest e-bike post from MMM? Thoughts?

Please note: we have previously had people with e-bikes in this gauntlet. By appending 'e-bike' to the user name when using an e-bike, they were able to differentiate between miles on the e-bike, and miles on a regular bike. You don't have to do this, but it's a way of keeping things separate. If you do ride an e-bike, you are still more than welcome to join in here, since you're not driving. :)

Nancy

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 07:13:19 AM »
Thanks, Jordan! I love biking in September.

b4u2

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 08:00:57 AM »
Last month was terrible for me. Hoping I get more miles this month. MMM article on e bikes was handy. My ride is short but an ebike, much like my motorcycle, would sure get me to work faster. It's hard to justify the total cost except to keep wear and tear off my other vehicles.

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 10:34:11 AM »
The lack of being sweaty was intriguing to me. Same with the time factor. Personally, I struggled a bit with both of those things, but was always using it as an opportunity to flex my frugality muscles. Once I figured out how to work within those guidelines, I don't even consider them a problem. For me it's almost always time. I need time to bike in, time to cool down/stop sweating (new job has a shower and lockers so I feel spoiled), and time to change. So I wake up earlier, and do my best to get everything done in the time I have. Being able to make the trip twice as fast without a car seems awesome, but I think I'm just going to eventually get myself conditioned to kick that much ass. Also, maybe get a lighter bike than a 26" Specialized RockHopper (I was going to find a link, but they only have 29ers now). But first, the conditioning!

The last few months were bad for me, mostly because I didn't have anywhere to go. Now that I have a solid 9.3 mile commute, I should be able to make this month pretty sweet. Might even break my record, but I'll see.

b4u2

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 11:26:07 AM »
Yeah I am a heavy sweater and even on a cold day I can really get soaked. My work has no showers so I need to air dry and hope my deo kicks in. I've toyed with the idea of a moped since I have a motorcycle licence but none have pooped up cheap enough for me to consider.
I would try riding in the winter as well if it wasn't for my hands. If an ebike would help cut my time down in winter I would give it a try. Need to find one I could borrow and test it out but not many here that I have seen.

AllieVaulter

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 04:12:41 PM »
Had a leisurely late start today, so biking was pretty easy.  We'll see how I do tomorrow when I have to be at work and ready to go by 8am.  :)

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2015, 05:02:36 PM »
Oh, it is raining like crazy. I'm about to head out for 9 miles of wet fun!!

ohyonghao

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 06:36:21 PM »
I read an article discussing the different classifications and people's comments on what classifications differences there should and shouldn't be.

http://electricbikereview.com/guides/electric-bike-classes/

It brings up some interesting points on multi-use paths and the use of e-bikes.  The question is should there be any regulation with that?  What criteria should we use?

I'll spend more time pondering this, as a cyclist but not an e-cyclist it can be hard to think from the e-cyclist perspective.  I'd hate to have speed limits on bike paths, but maybe it would be a good idea on multi-use paths.  In the bike lane I'd say just stick to the road speed limit.

Licensing is another consideration.  Most cyclists balk at this idea for pedal power, but should it be considered for e-bikes?  I think the article hits on it a little bit with the classification system and determining at which classification an e-bike should be considered as a moped/motorcycle.

I've also seen ones that take advantage of e-bike laws by having "pedals" that can move the e-bike, but are so short to be practically useless and are only there to satisfy the "bike" part of e-bike.

As a cyclists do I want purely electric powered e-bikes running by me?  I'm still torn on the issue.

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 06:39:41 PM »
I read an article discussing the different classifications and people's comments on what classifications differences there should and shouldn't be.

http://electricbikereview.com/guides/electric-bike-classes/

It brings up some interesting points on multi-use paths and the use of e-bikes.  The question is should there be any regulation with that?  What criteria should we use?

I'll spend more time pondering this, as a cyclist but not an e-cyclist it can be hard to think from the e-cyclist perspective.  I'd hate to have speed limits on bike paths, but maybe it would be a good idea on multi-use paths.  In the bike lane I'd say just stick to the road speed limit.

Licensing is another consideration.  Most cyclists balk at this idea for pedal power, but should it be considered for e-bikes?  I think the article hits on it a little bit with the classification system and determining at which classification an e-bike should be considered as a moped/motorcycle.

I've also seen ones that take advantage of e-bike laws by having "pedals" that can move the e-bike, but are so short to be practically useless and are only there to satisfy the "bike" part of e-bike.

As a cyclists do I want purely electric powered e-bikes running by me?  I'm still torn on the issue.
I'll look at the classifications a bit later, but can't some scooters be driven without a license?

Edit: Fixed auto-wrecked stuff.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 06:18:07 AM by jordanread »

Thegoblinchief

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 07:37:52 PM »
There are a few trips I'd do almost 100% by bike (unless I needed to buy something that exceeded pannier+trailer) that I currently only do, say, 10% by bike. But that's only 100 miles/month tops. At a CPM spread of 0.25/mile I'm saving $25/month. I'm getting extra exercise and lowering carbon footprint, which are nice intangible benefits, but on pure money alone it's hard to justify the cost in our current financial position.

Plus, the ebike would be only used 1-2 days a week at most, since I couldn't exactly equip my kids with e-bikes too :P

But I totally applaud those who e-bikes work for.

For the legal aspect:

1. There are plenty of pedal powered bikes going over 20mph on multi-use paths. Most are sensible enough to back off when the paths are crowded. Or they often move over to parallel streets.

2. 20mph isn't all that fast compared to a good pedal cyclist, so I'd personally treat them as bikes. Ride in bike lane, share the lane, etc. Once your top speed gets to 25+ they should really be classified as a moped/scooter. Plus, a lot of these "lauded" builds with max speeds over 30 are super unsafe because of the frames they're using and the underpowered brakes. synonyk has a good treatment of some issues on his blog:

www.syonyk.blogspot.com/2015/05/my-second-ebike-properly-good-build.html

EDIT:
Forgot to add also to make even those 100 miles/month I'd need a kit with a load of at least 400lbs, and ideally more like 500-600, which really sends the price up.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 07:55:20 PM by Thegoblinchief »

Salivanth

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 02:42:06 AM »
Hi all. I'm new to the challenge, and the forum. I bought a bike a couple of weeks ago. My goal is to work my way up to being able to commute to my maths tutoring and my karate classes. It's 7.5 miles each way for the former and 9.5 for the latter, as I live outside of town. I'm not overweight and have some basic cardio fitness (Can run 5k's) so it's just a matter of putting miles on the bike to get my quads used to the work and my ass used to the seat.

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 06:17:20 AM »
Hi all. I'm new to the challenge, and the forum. I bought a bike a couple of weeks ago. My goal is to work my way up to being able to commute to my maths tutoring and my karate classes. It's 7.5 miles each way for the former and 9.5 for the latter, as I live outside of town. I'm not overweight and have some basic cardio fitness (Can run 5k's) so it's just a matter of putting miles on the bike to get my quads used to the work and my ass used to the seat.

Welcome, and glad to have you!

TrMama

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 12:07:10 PM »
Hi all. I'm new to the challenge, and the forum.

Welcome to the challenge!

As for e-bikes, I don't have a problem with them. Although they did take some getting used to when they became common on the bike trail. I'm not concerned about their extra speed as long as they pass me with enough space. And frankly, it's not the e-bikers who suck at this so much as some of the lycra-clad roadies.

I think e-bikes are great for people who want to bike, but are intimidated by some aspect of regular biking. DH has had one for a couple years now and it was just the ticket to get him to take on his 17km (34km round trip) commute. We'll probably also get e-bikes for our kids when they're teens so they can have the mobility without the risk of driving a car and the cost of insuring it.

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 10:40:01 PM »
Couple of things. In the lower right hand corner of the screen, there is a little button that says explore (on a computer). Kind of cool, ad hoc charts. Not perfect, but they don't slow things down.

I have a trunk bag and a pannier that I use regularly. The trunk bag always stays on, but the pannier comes off a few times a day. It's gotten to the point where the soft sided trunk bag really screws up putting on my pannier. Have any of you folks had that issue? I might get a new trunk bag that is a bit sturdier, but the few that I've looked at all have the special racks (slide on locking stuff) that I'd need to get to. I was initially going to take off the outside pockets on that side, but today I realized that it was the bag itself (and the straps) that gets in the way, so even that is out.

AllieVaulter

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2015, 08:22:32 AM »
I have a trunk bag and a pannier that I use regularly. The trunk bag always stays on, but the pannier comes off a few times a day. It's gotten to the point where the soft sided trunk bag really screws up putting on my pannier. Have any of you folks had that issue? I might get a new trunk bag that is a bit sturdier, but the few that I've looked at all have the special racks (slide on locking stuff) that I'd need to get to. I was initially going to take off the outside pockets on that side, but today I realized that it was the bag itself (and the straps) that gets in the way, so even that is out.
I've never used a trunk bag, so I haven't had that problem.  However, I did stumble across this instrucable a while ago.  http://www.instructables.com/id/Lockable-bicycle-trunk/  Not sure if it will solve your issue...

aetherie

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2015, 11:52:28 AM »
I left for work at 6:30 instead of 7 this morning and there was SO MUCH LESS TRAFFIC! I'm going to try to do that from now on.

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2015, 04:53:07 PM »
Did my first ride today that replaced a drive! I needed a couple of small things from the grocery store so I grabbed a light backpack and rode over there. It was a whopping 1.3 miles but in 95+ degree heat so I was sweating before I made it out of the garage.
That's how it begins... Muahahaha

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2015, 09:15:00 PM »
It was pouring rain on the way home, and I was soaked all the way through within a few minutes. The only words I can think of right now for my ride:

Unfettered Joy. I couldn't stop smiling all the way home. A great ten miles ish.

Salivanth

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2015, 11:06:51 PM »
7 km (4.5 miles) today. Couple km further than last time, so I'm getting there. I never realised just how many hills there were in my area. Somehow, you don't really notice them when you drive across them. I'm not sure if biking up a hill is harder than running up one (relative to biking/running on flat ground) but it feels like it. On flat ground I feel like I could ride all day.

Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?

meg_shannon

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2015, 01:46:47 AM »
I don't bike that far because everything is very close (and I'm usually hauling a trailer with a kid), but my goal for September is to only use our car for things outside of our town. For example, we'll probably drive to Berlin and/or Rügen this month for family trips, and my husband has to drive Frankfurt to deal with leasing issues of the car. Note: we didn't lease this car, his employer did. We just have to deal with the headaches.

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2015, 06:19:52 AM »
Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?

Hills definitely make it clear how much you are carrying, and the weight and efficiency of the bike. It will be one of the spots where a new (to you) bike will really make you realize the differences. That being said, yes...they get much easier over time. Since it eventually starts getting a bit easier, you might (as I have) begin to look forward to the hills, and then try to break personal records as you go up. With me, I started getting comfortable with them, and slowly but surely decreased my time to get up it. And then, day before yesterday, some 60+ year old racer with a multi thousand dollar bike (and no love handles) passed me on said hill like I was standing still. I shouted encouragement and envy at him, and we both laughed. And then next time I hit the hill, I tried to go even faster. I was dying a little at the top, but think I set a new record.

So yeah, it will get easier the more you do it.

Nancy

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2015, 07:56:34 AM »
It was pouring rain on the way home, and I was soaked all the way through within a few minutes. The only words I can think of right now for my ride:

Unfettered Joy. I couldn't stop smiling all the way home. A great ten miles ish.

Fantastic! I love riding in the rain. Ever since I started biking, I relish experiencing the weather conditions, be it getting wet or hot or momentarily cold. I used to leave my house and try to construct a bubble shield via umbrella or air conditioning/heat. Allowing myself to just be while outside on ye ol' bike = unfettered joy, precisely.

7 km (4.5 miles) today. Couple km further than last time, so I'm getting there. I never realised just how many hills there were in my area. Somehow, you don't really notice them when you drive across them. I'm not sure if biking up a hill is harder than running up one (relative to biking/running on flat ground) but it feels like it. On flat ground I feel like I could ride all day.

Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?
.
I also notice the slight rises and dips in the terrain while riding, which I would not notice in a car or while walking. From my experience, hills definitely get easier the more you bike/build up your muscles.

When I first started biking up my hill,  my barrier was mental (the feeling/thought I would get while at the bottom looking up was "I. Just. Can't"). So I told myself as I biked up the hill that I would only stop if I died. I would have to die off my bike to stop. The exertion of biking up a hill isn't going to kill me (luckily), so I always reached the top feeling exultant. It might sound crazy, but it works for me.

Punky Bikester

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2015, 09:26:28 AM »
7 km (4.5 miles) today. Couple km further than last time, so I'm getting there. I never realised just how many hills there were in my area. Somehow, you don't really notice them when you drive across them. I'm not sure if biking up a hill is harder than running up one (relative to biking/running on flat ground) but it feels like it. On flat ground I feel like I could ride all day.

Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?

As Greg LeMond would say: It never gets easier, you just go faster!

Of course, this means the hills will end sooner... :)

FoundPeace

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2015, 09:52:05 AM »
I have a trunk bag and a pannier that I use regularly. The trunk bag always stays on, but the pannier comes off a few times a day. It's gotten to the point where the soft sided trunk bag really screws up putting on my pannier. Have any of you folks had that issue? I might get a new trunk bag that is a bit sturdier, but the few that I've looked at all have the special racks (slide on locking stuff) that I'd need to get to. I was initially going to take off the outside pockets on that side, but today I realized that it was the bag itself (and the straps) that gets in the way, so even that is out.

Jordanread I've had this problem lately too. I've taken to wrapping a bungee cord around my pannier and the rack to keep them more secure. It seemed to stop my problem.

Lady Fordragon

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2015, 09:59:42 AM »
Just joined in the challenge!  :-)

TrMama

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2015, 10:34:19 AM »

Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?
My problem with hills is that my breathing gets all out of whack and I start acting like I'm having an asthma attack. I probably just need to learn to shift appropriately and watch my breathing but wanted to point out that it's not always the legs that cause problems (though I do slow way down and need to practice going faster too)

Do you actually have exercise induced asthma? I do, and without treatment I just don't get any fitter, no matter how much I exercise. With treatment I breathe a bit less like a freight train, but more importantly, I actually get fitter in response to exercise.

Regardless, you need to slow down so you don't redline so badly. The trick to hills is to anticipate. Before you hit the bottom of the hill, try to ride as fast as possible to build up some momentum while it's still easy. As you start up the hill, gear down before you need to. Keep gearing down as necessary until you're in the lowest gear. Then sit down and just keep slowly grinding away.

Long distance bikers (like road racers) pedal at about 90 rpm. Most recreational riders pedal way slower and in too high of a gear. In bike racing there's a saying, "Spin to win." It's true. You'll go faster and feel less tired if you pedal faster in a lower gear. This is especially true for hills.

jordanread

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2015, 11:05:06 AM »
Jordanread I've had this problem lately too. I've taken to wrapping a bungee cord around my pannier and the rack to keep them more secure. It seemed to stop my problem.

I could see that. My issue isn't that stuff doesn't stay secure (there is a reason I spent a stupid amount of money on an older version of  Arkel Commuter pannier), it's that it takes ridiculously long to move the trunk bag out of the way and hook up my pannier. It's more of an annoyance than anything else.

Just joined in the challenge!  :-)

Welcome!! Happy cycling.

Long distance bikers (like road racers) pedal at about 90 rpm. Most recreational riders pedal way slower and in too high of a gear. In bike racing there's a saying, "Spin to win." It's true. You'll go faster and feel less tired if you pedal faster in a lower gear. This is especially true for hills.

After that entire cadence discussion a few months back, I shoot for 75 - 80 rotations per minute. Makes a lot of difference for me.

I definitely do need to anticipate hills better but I'm so new in getting back into biking that I'm too focused on the immediate area and forget to look far enough ahead and I end up reacting late. On our long ride last week DH kept reminding me after the fact that I need to accelerate before hills

My SO is the same way. She's more oblivious than focused on her immediate surroundings, but she always shifts once she needs to pedal easier as opposed to right before. That also puts some major wear on the derailleur, sprockets, and chains. Not exactly what you are talking about, but similar.

AllieVaulter

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2015, 11:46:18 AM »

Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?
My problem with hills is that my breathing gets all out of whack and I start acting like I'm having an asthma attack. I probably just need to learn to shift appropriately and watch my breathing but wanted to point out that it's not always the legs that cause problems (though I do slow way down and need to practice going faster too)

Do you actually have exercise induced asthma? I do, and without treatment I just don't get any fitter, no matter how much I exercise. With treatment I breathe a bit less like a freight train, but more importantly, I actually get fitter in response to exercise.

Regardless, you need to slow down so you don't redline so badly. The trick to hills is to anticipate. Before you hit the bottom of the hill, try to ride as fast as possible to build up some momentum while it's still easy. As you start up the hill, gear down before you need to. Keep gearing down as necessary until you're in the lowest gear. Then sit down and just keep slowly grinding away.
I've wondered if I have exercise induced asthma since I heard about it a couple of years ago but haven't seen a doctor about it. Is treatment any different than normal asthma?

I definitely do need to anticipate hills better but I'm so new in getting back into biking that I'm too focused on the immediate area and forget to look far enough ahead and I end up reacting late. On our long ride last week DH kept reminding me after the fact that I need to accelerate before hills

I have exercise induced asthma.  I have an albuterol inhaler that I use when my breathing gets tight.  I pack my inhaler whenever I'm anticipating doing anything athletic.  I've also gotten pretty good at anticipating it - allergies make it worse, certain weather conditions can affect it.  Depending on how active I am, my lung capacity can actually end up getting pretty good.  I'll never be a marathoner (for many, many reasons) but if I'm working on my cardio conditioning I find myself depending less and less on the inhaler. 

Another thing that helped me was focusing on mental aspects for impeding asthma attacks.  It's scary not being able to breathe, if you let it freak you out, your fear will compound the problem.  Try to slow your breathing, deep slow breaths.  Keep your chest upright (put your hands behind your head to open your lungs), don't bend over - it compresses your lungs. 

TrMama

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2015, 11:52:58 AM »
I've wondered if I have exercise induced asthma since I heard about it a couple of years ago but haven't seen a doctor about it. Is treatment any different than normal asthma?

I definitely do need to anticipate hills better but I'm so new in getting back into biking that I'm too focused on the immediate area and forget to look far enough ahead and I end up reacting late. On our long ride last week DH kept reminding me after the fact that I need to accelerate before hills
[/quote]

The first step is to go talk to your Dr. If you do have exercise induced asthma, the first treatment is to take a basic rescue inhaler before you exercise. If that's not sufficient then you can talk about adding a "maintenance" drug that you take everyday, plus the inhaler before exercise. On a MMM note, the rescue inhaler (ventolin) is cheap. Some of the inhaled corticosteroids are more expensive and the newer combo corticosteroids are more expensive.

If you think you may have this, I'd go get it checked out. My exercise induced asthma progressed to viral reactive asthma pretty badly several years ago. That just means that sometimes when I get a respiratory bug (cold, flu, etc.) it triggers a bad asthma flare (a sharp increase in symptoms that lasts days to weeks). I'm glad I had at least a bit of experience in treating it before that happened since it was a bit hairy. It also helps me anticipate situations when I need to increase my dosing, so I stay healthy and don't end up in the ER.

As for gaining awareness of when you'll need to change gears, that just takes time. Keep riding consistently and you'll start to become more comfortable on the bike. When that happens you'll be able to concentrate on more than just the patch of road in front of you. In the meantime, try to "look where you want to go" instead of staring at the ground right in front of your wheel.

Salivanth

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2015, 09:08:13 PM »

Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?
My problem with hills is that my breathing gets all out of whack and I start acting like I'm having an asthma attack. I probably just need to learn to shift appropriately and watch my breathing but wanted to point out that it's not always the legs that cause problems (though I do slow way down and need to practice going faster too)

Do you actually have exercise induced asthma? I do, and without treatment I just don't get any fitter, no matter how much I exercise. With treatment I breathe a bit less like a freight train, but more importantly, I actually get fitter in response to exercise.

Regardless, you need to slow down so you don't redline so badly. The trick to hills is to anticipate. Before you hit the bottom of the hill, try to ride as fast as possible to build up some momentum while it's still easy. As you start up the hill, gear down before you need to. Keep gearing down as necessary until you're in the lowest gear. Then sit down and just keep slowly grinding away.

Long distance bikers (like road racers) pedal at about 90 rpm. Most recreational riders pedal way slower and in too high of a gear. In bike racing there's a saying, "Spin to win." It's true. You'll go faster and feel less tired if you pedal faster in a lower gear. This is especially true for hills.

Intriguing. I'll have to try these tactics. Thanks!

For another data point, I start breathing harder when going up hills, but have no breathing problems. My quads feel like they're on fire though :)

Thanks to all who responded.

johnny847

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2015, 09:20:31 PM »
7 km (4.5 miles) today. Couple km further than last time, so I'm getting there. I never realised just how many hills there were in my area. Somehow, you don't really notice them when you drive across them. I'm not sure if biking up a hill is harder than running up one (relative to biking/running on flat ground) but it feels like it. On flat ground I feel like I could ride all day.

Do hills get easier over time, or do you just learn to deal with the feeling?

You've gotten a lot of good advice about hills already. I just wanted to jump in and say that many cyclists I ride with say that you get faster at hill climbing with practic,e but it never gets easier.

Salivanth

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2015, 02:35:20 AM »
Well, today I decided to just go for it :) It was the perfect opportunity, as circumstances allowed me to get a lift back home. Thus, I only needed to do the commute in, not the commute back. Total distance was a little less than 8 miles (12.5 km) to town, plus another 2.5 miles (4 km) later that afternoon to get to a tutoring session.

It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Most of the ride (barring the hills) was actually quite nice. After the first couple of kilometres, it was almost all flat ground or downhill, so it was very pleasant. Perfect weather as well. I expected my ass to be more sore from the seat, but it was totally fine...until it came time to get back on the bike. Then I could feel it! Still, I made it without incident, and I should be able to make the same arrangement a couple of times a week for a bit, until I get used to the commute in. Then I can start to ride both in and back on the same day, and virtually eliminate my dependence on car-based transport.

I'm looking forward to doing it again on Thursday. There's something extremely satisfying about looking at a distance 99% of people would consider impassable without a car, and saying "I can just bike that". Still, I'll have to see how things go long term. I don't foresee any problems, especially since the commute should only get easier and faster as time goes on.

Next milestone: Make the commute in twice a week for a month or so.

Butterfingers

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2015, 03:27:21 AM »
Joined the spreadsheet. Currently I only bike to commute so I won't be matching some of your impressive mileages. Aiming to cycle at least three days a week in September.

I've adjusted my sheet to reflect reality in the UK in terms higher running costs (particularly fuel, which is over US$6 per US gallon). Also my round-trip commute distance changes quite a lot depending on whether I drive or cycle (14.4 miles vs 22.9 miles), so I've changed it to show money saved versus my car commute, rather than using the distance cycled to calculate savings. If that buggers things up on the summary sheet, please let me know.

Is it odd that I'm looking forward to "badass" conditions so I can note that down on the spreadsheet?

C. K.

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2015, 04:45:37 AM »
This thread is exactly what I need.

COMMUTE 20 MILES PER DAY...?

I am planning a bike commute that is 10 miles one way. It will begin as soon as my safety gear arrives this week. I live in a remote area outside of the town where my job is located. Trying to see if this will work for me.

...OR MOVE CLOSER TO WORK?
I might need to move closer to work for a shorter commute, but I don't like the town where I work. By January, I will have a location-independent job and I'm thinking of moving to a certain college town -a place that is equipped for cyclists. So maybe a short term move to the town I don't like might be a good thing. But then to pack up again so soon after moving there...

C. K.

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2015, 04:48:18 AM »

Is it odd that I'm looking forward to "badass" conditions so I can note that down on the spreadsheet?

In the MMM community, that's normal. :)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2015, 06:37:06 AM »
CK- I did 10 miles each way for a couple years before I quit to SAH with my kids. Especially if there's a good path or greenway along the route, it can be quite fun.

b4u2

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2015, 07:42:02 PM »
I did some mt bike riding but didn't take my phone and track it because I figured, knowing my luck, that I would break it. So not sure how many miles we did. It was a blast though!

C. K.

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2015, 01:27:20 AM »
CK- I did 10 miles each way for a couple years before I quit to SAH with my kids. Especially if there's a good path or greenway along the route, it can be quite fun.

Thanks, Thegoblinchief.  I look forward to it.

Riding a bike for that length of road takes a lot of time out of the day, time that could be spent at home. Did you dislike this aspect of your long commute?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2015, 06:47:14 AM »
CK- I did 10 miles each way for a couple years before I quit to SAH with my kids. Especially if there's a good path or greenway along the route, it can be quite fun.

Thanks, Thegoblinchief.  I look forward to it.

Riding a bike for that length of road takes a lot of time out of the day, time that could be spent at home. Did you dislike this aspect of your long commute?

No, not really. I'm a morning person and the rest of my family is NOT. Having to leave earlier didn't lose me any quality time at that end. Coming into work with endorphins rushing helped stave off depression at being there, at least for a while into the day.

Getting home later made cooking harder but lets do some math. My 10 mile drive would take at least 15, often as much as 25 minutes with traffic and lights. My general average biking with lights is 14mph, so about 45 minutes. I was really only "losing" 20 minutes of time and came home in a much better mood, so I didn't need to decompress as much once home.

You may be slower on the bike at first but you have to view the time 'lost' in a similar fashion :) Keep in mind also that you've now gotten an excellent cardio workout - no need to duplicate that with a gym trip or whatnot.

Butterfingers

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2015, 07:03:59 AM »
My situation pretty much mirrors Thegoblinchief's. No "together time" lost at the beginning of the day, and only 20–30 minutes extra on the journey in the evening. No additional workout needed.

In addition to all that, I find cycling time offers thinking time, an opportunity to clear one's head and prepare for/decompress from the day. Don't feel like that when driving (or even taking the bus/train). Maybe running would offer a similar opportunity, but work is far too far away to be attempting that kind of nonsense.

jorjor

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2015, 09:54:07 AM »
I bought a cheaper singlespeed bike yesterday. It was $200. I have to do less prepping to commute in the morning than I did when I was riding one of my nicer bikes. This bike will also require less upkeep and maintenance which is nice for riding to work day-to-day. I'll feel less concerned that it gets stolen or stripped and will take it out for more errands. I like it. Getting to work takes a few minutes longer now. Other bikes will be used for recreation and not commuting/errands. I should probably sell one of my other bikes to make up for it. I probably won't. I like bikes.

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2015, 11:00:42 AM »
CK- I did 10 miles each way for a couple years before I quit to SAH with my kids. Especially if there's a good path or greenway along the route, it can be quite fun.

Thanks, Thegoblinchief.  I look forward to it.

Riding a bike for that length of road takes a lot of time out of the day, time that could be spent at home. Did you dislike this aspect of your long commute?

No, not really. I'm a morning person and the rest of my family is NOT. Having to leave earlier didn't lose me any quality time at that end. Coming into work with endorphins rushing helped stave off depression at being there, at least for a while into the day.

Getting home later made cooking harder but lets do some math. My 10 mile drive would take at least 15, often as much as 25 minutes with traffic and lights. My general average biking with lights is 14mph, so about 45 minutes. I was really only "losing" 20 minutes of time and came home in a much better mood, so I didn't need to decompress as much once home.

You may be slower on the bike at first but you have to view the time 'lost' in a similar fashion :) Keep in mind also that you've now gotten an excellent cardio workout - no need to duplicate that with a gym trip or whatnot.

This is one effect I wasn't quite expecting. The mental health benefits of cycling to work should not be discounted :)

C. K.

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2015, 09:06:55 PM »
CK- I did 10 miles each way for a couple years before I quit to SAH with my kids. Especially if there's a good path or greenway along the route, it can be quite fun.

Thanks, Thegoblinchief.  I look forward to it.

Riding a bike for that length of road takes a lot of time out of the day, time that could be spent at home. Did you dislike this aspect of your long commute?

No, not really. I'm a morning person and the rest of my family is NOT. Having to leave earlier didn't lose me any quality time at that end. Coming into work with endorphins rushing helped stave off depression at being there, at least for a while into the day.

Getting home later made cooking harder but lets do some math. My 10 mile drive would take at least 15, often as much as 25 minutes with traffic and lights. My general average biking with lights is 14mph, so about 45 minutes. I was really only "losing" 20 minutes of time and came home in a much better mood, so I didn't need to decompress as much once home.

You may be slower on the bike at first but you have to view the time 'lost' in a similar fashion :) Keep in mind also that you've now gotten an excellent cardio workout - no need to duplicate that with a gym trip or whatnot.

Thanks, Thegoblinchief!


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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2015, 04:40:04 AM »
The 11.5 mile route I did on Monday just kicked me in the gut about half the way home (after having managed it fine on the way to work), so the rest of it was like pedalling through honey. I am badly out of shape. Today I took the faster-but-less-pleasant direct route (7.2 miles) along a major road. I'm not a big fan of mixing it with bastard lorries doing 60, so I'm only doing the direct route for a couple of weeks until I can do the scenic route without corpsing on the way home.

Boiler was on the fritz at work this morning, so there was only cold water available. Quickest shower ever.

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2015, 06:07:31 AM »
The 11.5 mile route I did on Monday just kicked me in the gut about half the way home (after having managed it fine on the way to work), so the rest of it was like pedalling through honey. I am badly out of shape. Today I took the faster-but-less-pleasant direct route (7.2 miles) along a major road. I'm not a big fan of mixing it with bastard lorries doing 60, so I'm only doing the direct route for a couple of weeks until I can do the scenic route without corpsing on the way home.

Boiler was on the fritz at work this morning, so there was only cold water available. Quickest shower ever.

I've had a couple of days like that, especially when I first started riding. Something will happen. Sometimes it seems like hitting a wall (or if you are a fan of The Oatmeal, the Blerch rears it's ugly cherubic head). For me, it's never quite like complete exhaustion, but I can't find my rhythm and cadence. I can't seem to get up to speed, so yeah...honey is a good example. Good for you finding a way around it though, even if it's not ideal. One of the things I've noticed is that being on a bike (especially with SPDs...cause walking in those shoes sucks), you still have to ride to get to your destination. Your feelings, your mood, your efficiency are all pretty much moot points. You still have to ride. After a few times just sucking it up and riding through honey (and 'wasting' time), you get to where you are going. When you start the next ride, the Blerch just shakes it's head while making snarky comments. But you've already won. You have already put yourself in the situation where you'll have to do it again. Not only do you adjust, but you learn to shrug off times when it's wonky, and don't waste a lot of time feeling bad about not being as good as you can be...you just move on, and keep riding.

I heard a saying last week, and it kind of resonated with me in regards to biking in the rain.

Quote
There is this interesting thing about getting wet: Most of the time, you'll eventually get dry, and you don't even have to do anything.

I kind of think this type of phrase will lend itself to creating one for biking. Work in Progress.

Quote
An interesting fact about biking: No matter how you feel or how you ride, with no other option, you will almost always reach your destination (eventually).

Butterfingers

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2015, 06:32:04 AM »
One of the things I've noticed is that being on a bike (especially with SPDs...cause walking in those shoes sucks), you still have to ride to get to your destination. Your feelings, your mood, your efficiency are all pretty much moot points. You still have to ride. After a few times just sucking it up and riding through honey (and 'wasting' time), you get to where you are going.
Very true. I have SPD pedals and after a couple of minutes by the side of the path sucking down water and feeling sorry for yourself, you realise there is no Plan B. And if that means crawling along at 10 km/h, then so be it.

Thanks for the Oatmeal link. The Blerch will be henceforth be my mental model for exercise/food-related bastardry. Alternatively, for the cycling fans: Shut Up Legs.

Nancy

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2015, 08:02:45 AM »
Quote
After a few times just sucking it up and riding through honey (and 'wasting' time), you get to where you are going. When you start the next ride, the Blerch just shakes it's head while making snarky comments. But you've already won. You have already put yourself in the situation where you'll have to do it again. Not only do you adjust, but you learn to shrug off times when it's wonky, and don't waste a lot of time feeling bad about not being as good as you can be...you just move on, and keep riding.

I used to struggle against conditions, like tired legs or strong winds, thinking I should be biking in a particular way, hitting a particular speed, feeling a particular way in my body, and making it to work in a particular amount of time. But then I realized that was silly. For me there isn't one way to ride; it isn't a game where I'm constantly leveling up and needing to maintain that level. Every ride is exactly as it should be. It happens as it happens, and not only do I get where I'm going, I enjoy the trip instead of fighting against it. So now there is no feeling bad about a ride and no blerch. Whatever the conditions, I ride. This has affected other areas of my life as well. I used to think that unless I struggled and strived and tried really hard to make myself absolutely awesome, that I would not accomplish anything and sort of slip into a giant puddle of lazy uselessness. I can say that I had it completely backwards.

ohyonghao

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #48 on: September 09, 2015, 10:12:44 AM »
Quote
After a few times just sucking it up and riding through honey (and 'wasting' time), you get to where you are going. When you start the next ride, the Blerch just shakes it's head while making snarky comments. But you've already won. You have already put yourself in the situation where you'll have to do it again. Not only do you adjust, but you learn to shrug off times when it's wonky, and don't waste a lot of time feeling bad about not being as good as you can be...you just move on, and keep riding.

I used to struggle against conditions, like tired legs or strong winds, thinking I should be biking in a particular way, hitting a particular speed, feeling a particular way in my body, and making it to work in a particular amount of time. But then I realized that was silly. For me there isn't one way to ride; it isn't a game where I'm constantly leveling up and needing to maintain that level. Every ride is exactly as it should be. It happens as it happens, and not only do I get where I'm going, I enjoy the trip instead of fighting against it. So now there is no feeling bad about a ride and no blerch. Whatever the conditions, I ride. This has affected other areas of my life as well. I used to think that unless I struggled and strived and tried really hard to make myself absolutely awesome, that I would not accomplish anything and sort of slip into a giant puddle of lazy uselessness. I can say that I had it completely backwards.
If you read the beginning of my journal, which is helplessly out of date now, it starts with me riding to work every day.  I would get to work with what I described as "Zombie Legs" because I could barely walk.  Mind you, my ride is merely 3.5 miles taking the scenic route.  I'd recover on the weekends and get back to Monday and tear it up getting to work.  Slowly I could keep it up through the entire week, and now I continue to ride 50-100 miles on the weekend.

It took about a month to stop getting zombie legs every morning, and it wasn't until the Summer when I started doing longer rides, and by fall I had found a cycling group.  My first 30mi ride was insane, heart beating so hard it felt like a cartoon, breathing heavily, and being the last one up the mountain.

The big turn about for me in the first month though was when I stopped racing myself.  I used to try and beat my time every day, looking at my little cycling computer and testing how fast I could go.  Even now, just as Nancy says, I still have rides that go really slow, ones that go really fast, depending on the day, how I feel, and other conditions.  Today I tore it up, speeding along at 20mph, others I'll take it slow.

One thing I do sometimes is take the short route to work, and then the longer route home, and on the longer route it's a bit more slow and relaxed since I'm not sharing the lane with cars for most of it.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: September Cycling Challenge 2015
« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2015, 03:16:55 PM »
Nancy - that was an excellent post. I haven't quite accepted that but I'm definitely on the way to forming a similar mindset.