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  1. #1
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    Unable to have a calm/relaxing work commute

    I've discovered I'm unable to have a slow, calm, and relaxing commute to work, and it's not because of traffic. Most mornings I'm tired and figure I'll leave a bit early and pokey-slow my way in. There's a hill for the first mile I'm not warmed up for that reinforces that desire. Then there's a nice downhill for two miles and my heart gets going and suddenly I have hopes for setting new PRs over the course of the last 8 miles.

    Coming home often has a similar mind switch. I'm done with the day's work and I often start with a headwind and I'm not on the clock for getting home. But then I'll occasionally sprint to make certain lights and when I hit that aforementioned hill I have certain gears I'm almost always in when going up and I'll often try to click to one harder until the peak and then a mad dash back down into the driveway.

    I find it funny that I've got this nearly uncontrollable internally competitive instinct when there are no competitors.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    LOL. For times I had to endure the slow ride I took the MTB out. Mental note was I don't want to be at that 70% HR level pushing the 28# bike with fat tires and low gear setup. That was when I could chug at 7 MPH and be at ease. Equally amusing was the school aged kids would pass me on their single speed beach cruisers. ;)

  3. #3
    Workin' for the Man
    Reputation: RotatingShifts's Avatar
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    Now that I use Strava I find that I get that competitive urge more often than not. But I commute through an area that has enough riders to make any KOM efforts futile.
    If you would please put your input underneath mine, that would be great. -- Steelflex

  4. #4
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    This happens to me also, especially on days when there is a tail wind.

  5. #5
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    I've been riding my bike to work for 27 years. The trick to consistency is to: (1) make it a habit, (2) make it fun, and (3) don't get hurt. The habit takes care of itself in time. Fun is about exploring new routes, testing yourself sometimes, enjoying the slow pace, and treating yourself to good equipment. Don't get hurt is the big one and it can be at odds with racing yourself or impressing your followers on Strava. I like to go fast, but I always keep in mind that arriving safely is the ultimate goal. If a red light or oncoming car or oblivious pedestrian blows my average speed, so what?

  6. #6
    your god hates me
    Reputation: Bob Ross's Avatar
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    I've got no answers for the return trip. But if you want to suppress your competitive Go Hard/Go Fast instincts for the commute to work in the morning, simply don't bring a change of clothes. Your coworkers will help convince you to dial down your efforts almost immediately.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    I've got no answers for the return trip. But if you want to suppress your competitive Go Hard/Go Fast instincts for the commute to work in the morning, simply don't bring a change of clothes. Your coworkers will help convince you to dial down your efforts almost immediately.
    Very true. Not there was much of an urge to hammer it though city traffic on an upright hybrid but being business casual with nice, not athletic, shoes also pretty much squashed that ever happening.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    The MTB Kuma601 mentioned should cure your impulses. If not, put on some cheap, heavy wheels and tires with an aggressive tread.

  9. #9
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    I started using Strava at the beginning of this year but I've been generally "afflicted" for a couple of years now.

    I don't really view it as a problem. I generally feel good when I get to work and home after a hard-ish ride and I'm happy to see the gradual progress. I just find it interesting how quickly my lizard brain takes over from my conscious planning and suddenly I'm flying, breathing hard, and feeling the burn before I fully recognize what's going on.

    And part of why I've really taken to riding over the past few years has been the advantages of turning off my brain. I've got depression and anxiety issues so it's good to know my brain is actually being switched off when I want/plan/expect it to be switched off.

    I do get some relaxing rides as my 10 year old daughter has ramped back up into riding more now that it's warm and school is out. It's fun to look at some of those Strava segments and seeing my estimated power hover around 30-40 watts with a 10 mph average on the flats. But that makes me happy for completely different reasons than my more fitness related outings.

  10. #10
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    Well, i've found myself not wanting to have commute, because it is silly to do it in lycra and not good enough without cleat shoes..or with a backpack on a road bike...or on a full suss bike, since i wouldn't want to ride knobby tyres on the road...or on a crappy bike - if i have two great ones that i adore...so...i still do biking just for sport...and drive a car even where and when bike commute would be most clever thing to do...
    ...also, it is hard to do pb's with two kids in a trailer behind the "carbon machine" that isn't made for towing (so wife happily does it, on a crappy steel 90's mtb - as only "sport" she does)..at 42 i still do have A LOT to learn about being modest and not so stubbornly stupid..since i've been always dreaming of having a commuting life style...

    ...i'll get the damn lame & borring bike and commute the life out of us both...
    Last edited by ROOTS; 07-16-2018 at 02:27 PM. Reason: proving the world how lame i am isn't a cool thing to do..

  11. #11
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    I have 2 goals when bike commuting, one is to spend time on the bike the other is to not be in a car stuck in traffic.

    I do NOT use my commute as my hard training ride, if anything I make a real effort to take it easy, as I know itís going to be hard and Iím going to be tired, note my commute is 26-28 miles, route dependent. I discovered long ago that riding the same route can make you complacent and you canít afford that as then you space out and that can be dangerous, so I vary it when possible. So I slow down, donít race to get thru a red light, donít hustle and fight traffic. I can wait behind a row of cars, no need to get ahead. Lots of tricks like leave the car at work, bike home, back the next morning, or partial drive (park and ride) then bike the rest, return same day.

    Anything beats driving, especially in the NYC metro area.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 07-16-2018 at 05:52 PM.

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