July 1, 2004

It's Just Not Possible

POST #    1130

I'm ready to say that it's simply not possible for me to bike to work every day. Tuesday and Wednesday were the first two days I rode my bike on consecutive days, and three times that I rode to work in all. It's not that I don't want to ride everyday, but more that I can't. If I have plans after work, I'm not at the stage where I'm ready to ride to said plans.

Example - if I'm going to dinner in Manhattan, do I ride my bike all the way from work? I suppose it's possible for the experienced rider, but I'm just getting back on the proverbial horse. It's a mere 2 miles to work, but my thighs get sore from the 16 minute ride. That's right, I'm in poor shape to be riding around. While the solution may be to ride more and for longer distances, I also feel I would run into something if I rode for a longer time or in more crowded situations. And if were riding to said dinner, I would show up sweaty and exhausted.

So the real question is if I can go one week, biking every day to and from work. It will have to be a week where I have no after work activities. I think I can do it, but the over/under for consecutive days riding has to be 3.5.

Posted by tien mao in Sports at 7:26 AM



well, bikes are allowed in subways, so there is always the possibility of biking to a subway station and then taking the train in....

or dropping the bike off at home and heading out.

i thought part of the reason you're biking to work is because the public transportation to get there isn't convenient from your place?

Posted by: dahl at July 1, 2004 8:13 AM

Dragging your bike onto the subway is a bit of a pain, though (and I always feel sorry for the people having to maneuver around the bike).

Tien, take it slow. You muscles have to remember their elasticity. It takes some time. You'll be riding everywhere in no time. Plus, you could always just chain your bike up in front of where you're going out after work. Of course, if you get sloppy drunk then that might constitute a problem.

Posted by: corie at July 1, 2004 9:21 AM

16 minutes = sore muscles? wow.

my advice...do the bike thang because its good for you, but dont bother bringing your bike out with you after work. drop it off at home and then head out. or find "pitstops" in the city...friends apartments, et al you can temporarily stash your bike at. if youre in alphabet city, feel free to stash it at my place.

Posted by: halo | veritech pilot at July 1, 2004 9:34 AM

I am not very familiar with NYC, but biking allowed in Central Park? Why not allow your body to get used to the excercise by biking around in the Park on the weekends?

BTW, I really admire you for biking in the city. The drivers in NYC are even crazier than the ones here in Philadelphia. Atleast from what I've seen.

Posted by: Sam at July 1, 2004 10:31 AM

Your thighs will strengthen. Don't push yourself too hard. It's actually good to take days off to let your muscles recover.

For after-work stuff, you could park your bike at a train that goes to the city (L?), then ride it home from the station when you're done. Just be sure you have a good lock and your wheels and seatpost are secured.

As for sweatiness, it's a definite problem. What I usually do is take off all but one layer, put them in my bag, and reassemble at my destination. It's also nice to have a frozen water bottle for core-temperature reduction at the destination (and for hydration, of course).

Posted by: Mike at July 1, 2004 10:55 AM

your post-work issue with the bike is one of the main reasons why i haven't gotten a bike. it would definitely be the fastest way to work (taking 2 buses is uberslow during rush hour)--somewhere near 2 miles i think. when it's nice out i walk.

you are pooped after 2 miles on a bike? is it all uphill? :)

Posted by: el at July 1, 2004 11:09 AM

yes everyone, two miles and my muscles build up some healthy acid. what can i say? painful out of shape. that said, my muscles are already returning to their bulging form.

in order to bike in central park, i would either have to bike there and back or take the subway there and back. both not ideal situations.

i still have yet to make the changes to the wheels that were outlined by several commenters before, but i do have at least one lock. i'm thinking of picking up another one too though.

Posted by: tien at July 1, 2004 11:16 AM

oh, and dahl, public transportation isn't too bad by my apartment or near work. i just think having a bike would be a better (more fitness, free in a way) way of getting to work. that and it's faster.

Posted by: tien at July 1, 2004 11:18 AM

if you're going to become a bike commuter, "uglifying" is a must. i.e. duct tape or some type of wrap to cover the brand name and such...or...get a shit bike for the city and use the other for the mountains. are there good mtn bike trails near the city?

i used vetwrap for my mtn bike. it sticks and does not damage the frame. if you have a friend in the veterinary field, you may be able to get some.

Posted by: stam at July 1, 2004 2:50 PM

do you get a chance to listen to music at all during your ride? When I work out (ride the bike, run, w/e), I find that the music usually "tunes" out the pain and aching until the endorphins kick in, which bring me even more comfort, haha. Yet again, Idunno if one should ride his/her bike in the city listening to music. Might not be the smartest idea. Anyway, yeah man, that sucks. the bike is definitely an inconvenience when it comes to plans. I would say ditch the bike for work, and then just catch up on the miles during the weekend!

Posted by: Chris at July 1, 2004 3:17 PM

i don't have any vetwrap but i would be glad to uglify your bike for you.

Posted by: el at July 1, 2004 5:04 PM

When I first got my bike 8 years ago, I thought a 5 minute ride on the street was difficult. I started riding much more when I joined Critical Mass. Now, I use a bike as transportation, where a 10 mile ride with a full bag of groceries is normal. My 2005 goal is to do the AIDS Life Cycle ride.

If you don't plan to ride off-road, some slick tires can make your biking much easier. It helped me gain almost 5mph on a mountain bike. Or you can just pedal slower to make your ride easier.

Posted by: jason at July 2, 2004 4:25 AM

i hear there are a few trails in new jersey and i'm sure there are some right outside nyc. there might even be some in the city. even the bike trails in the city don't seem too bad. i mean, it's city riding, so it's different.

chris, i wish i could listen to music while riding, but i think that would be tempting fate. as it is, i turn around frequently to see if there are any cars coming.

jason, that aids life cycle thing sound like a trip. i don't think i could do 1/100th of that race at this point.

oh, and thanks for the offers, but no uglifying of the bike will occur.

Posted by: tien at July 2, 2004 8:41 AM

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