Commute killing me…do I just need to MTFU or admit defeat..
Do you mean you’ve literally done it twice? Or the most you’ve managed to do it is two consecutive days?
If the former then stick with it. The £2400 annual saving would be enough to make me want to stick at it! You could get a very nice commuter bike with that!
If the latter then there’s no point overdoing it, you’ll end up hating riding a bike full stop. Why not do 3 days a week or something, and get return tickets from Tonbridge to Chelsfield on the other two, won’t need to spend more on a season ticket, but won’t leave you as knackered.Posted 3 years agoqwertyMember
My 12.5mile commute means awake at 04:30 out the door at 05:00, leave work at 18:45 (if I’m not late) and home at 19:45. Also includes nights where you can swap those AM & PM around. Requires military precision to do it. Really can’t be arsed any more. I love commuting by bike, but not enjoying the above. Bottom line is: are you enjoying it? If not pack it in.Posted 3 years ago
I’ve literally done it twice and staring down the barrel of the rest of year doing it makes me feel a bit anxious! But you’re right £2400 buys a whole lot of bike. How long will it be before I start feeling alive at the end of the day though? Feel great in the morning but pretty dead when I get in at 8ish…which might not make for a great social life!Posted 3 years ago
Good point prawny…my girlfriend might think just because I ride every day I don’t need a pass for the weekend…
Another idea I have is to do what njee suggested but make the 2 rides I do do a bit longer. So ride in as per and then ride back with a nice 50km route on better roads…Posted 3 years agoDaffySubscriber
My commute is almost the same distance, with almost the exact same elevation. It does get easier, but I usually only do 3 days (Tue-Thu) otherwise I’m knackered for the weekend.
Headwinds are the worst thing, narrow country lanes tend to funnel the wind. I check the general wind direction and speed before setting off. If it looks menacing (above 9m/s) I don’t bother.Posted 3 years agocookeaaSubscriber
First of all stop working in km, its only 15-1/2 miles, once you start working in proper units everything is less daunting…
My own commute distance isn’t much different from yours OP (16 miles) the major difference for me is I generally only get to do it on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to family commitments, it pretty consistently takes an hour in either direction on a geared or fixed road bike…
My initial question would be What are you actually riding this journey on? MTB, Road bike, fat bike BMX, Unicycle?
And what are you carrying? Rucksac full of bricks or a wallet and keys i na pocket?Posted 3 years agoti_pin_manMember
Nobodys mentioned fuel. you need to fuel up during the day or you will be toast.
I used to do 25 hilly miles each way 2 or 3 times a week and it was tough. I stuck with it, got fitter, ate more food than you can dream of, but still some days were just too much. It taught me to listen to my body. If it was bone weary then it was time for a break. Eat boy eat.Posted 3 years agoflangeSubscriber
You need to man up! I do that route but all the way into Canary Wharf…once a week.
To be fair, you’ve got two fairly big climbs on the way in, the one to Sevenoaks and the other up to Chesfield. Are you doing it on a road bike?
Its an interesting take on the commute too. I’d be more inclinded to get the train as far as Cheslfield then ride from there into the smoke, if only to avoid London Bridge at peak times.Posted 3 years ago
I’ve recently moved house and live out in Tonbridge and have just started to cycle from Tonbridge to Chelsfield at which point I hop on a fast train to the big smoke. It’s 25km each way with the way there involving 335m of climbing and the way back has 225m of climb, but seems to always have a headwind.
I’ve done it two days in a row so far and whilst I love being on the bike I’m finding it hard graft and it means I’m leaving the house at 7am and getting back at 8pm at the earliest. Do I keep doing it and MTFU (it would also save me £200 a month on as season ticket) or do I admit defeat and just do it a couple of times a week?Posted 3 years agosandwicheaterSubscriber
Started commuting in the last few months and found it hard to do back to back commute rides and still get MTB on an evening.
It’s now getting easier and can do 3/4 times a week plus a night ride. is about 12 miles in, 13 back and 1800ft of climbing. Even added a 20 mile Cragg Vale loop last night. Did regret it as all i’d eaten all day was an apple and an orange.
So, MTFU and keep at it.Posted 3 years agorhidSubscriber
I agree with the 2-3 times per week. My commute is about 15km each way but with possible a bit more climbing and 3 times a week is plenty!
If its a fantastic week I may do 4 but honestly I’m tired out after 3. Its still saving you cash and does wonders for your riding.
I vary between road and MTB with different route to liven it up a bit but you know when you are tired and those are the days you don’t bother!Posted 3 years agobrooessMember
That distance and altitude gain sounds like quite a big ask to mePosted 3 years ago
A few thoughts:
1. It’ll take some time for yr body to get used to that kind of effort
2. Try and do it twice a week with at least one day in-between
3. You’ll need more sleep and a lot more to eat – night before/breakfast and during the day before you ride home
4. If you don’t enjoy it, find some alternative route – maybe train further into to London and then ride the last bit. London riding tends to be more stop start and I find that easiercloudnineSubscriber
3 or 4 times a week I do a 32km round trip with about 600m of climbing.. I’m the fittest and lightest I’ve been for years. Turn it into a challenge, give up drinking, go to bed early and eat healthy. It does hurt but you don’t get fit and healthy sat in a car. MTFU and get pedalling….Posted 3 years agorewskiMember
I do a similar distance, I built up to it though. I used to do 5 days a week but was a bit of a tired and grumpy dad at the weekend so cut it down to 3 days, sometimes 0-2 depending work commitments and gales.
Sounds like you dived straight into the deepend, why not just commit to 3 days a week and aim for Sevenoaks, then Chelsfield when your naturally ready.
Do you have to stand on the train from Chelsfield, that would do my head in after a 15+ mile ride, asking for cramps too, you must be a sweaty mess 😉Posted 3 years agoD0NKSubscriber
2 ways (maybe 3)
1 the hard as nails route, just MTFU and do it everyday you’ll be a wreck by weekend but after a month or two you should be reet.
2 the sensible route, start with mon, wed, fri, thn after 2-4 weeks do mon, tue, thur, fri. after a month of that consider going 5 days a week.
I ride Tuesday night and try to get out at weekend, I also don’t like carrying work gear with me so 4 days a week cycling and 1 on the train suits me.
It’s damned hard work at first but you get used to it. Been commuting years but 18months ago I switched from a road commute to same distance xc and that took me a good few months to get over and back up to being able to ride properly tues night and weekend aswell.
3 is give up, but you don’t want to do that, commuting is free riding time and training time, not to be given up lightly.
oh and if you’re used to playing the commuter race game, stop it, your legs really wont take it, learning to soft pedal recovery rides is importantPosted 3 years agomartinhutchSubscriber
Feel great in the morning but pretty dead when I get in at 8ish…which might not make for a great social life!
The fact you’re feeling OK in the morning suggests to me you could stick at it for a bit and see if the energy levels improve across the board.
Eat more.Posted 3 years agocookeaaSubscriber
The best way to make the commute bearable is to make it as efficient as you can, make the bike and kit you use suit the task, carry as little extra weight as you can manage…
If a Road bike isn’t an option at present, then consider some slick tyres, and maybe some bar ends to let you switch positions.
If you’ve got no possibility of storing kit/clothing at work, I’d still suggest you avoid using a rucksac/camelback, consider a panier bag, or a beam rack/bag to take the luggage off of your body and place it on the bike, the less crap you have hanging on your body the comfier you are and the better you operate on the bike.
If you’ve not already get some Lycra kit, its clothing for cycling in, it minimizes drag, lets you sweat when you need to and dries out quicker if you get damp, cycling 30 miles every day certainly justifies wearing the most appropriate clothing… Piss takers can eff right off…
Also look at your route, it’s that there London, so lots of traffic to deal with I’d imagine, but the more “stop/start” any ride is the more it tires you IME, a longer route with fewer pinch points to slow you down, might actually mean you finish less knackered at the end…
But do crack on with it now and get yourself used to the regular mileage, because you’ve not had to do your commute through a winter yet…
Come November – February the Dark/Wet/cold mornings, and then the same in the evenings add a whole new dimension to commuting by bike and challenge your commitment much more than riding during lovely sunny June/July/August will…
If you can actually manage riding 5 day every week, you’ll be bashing out 600 odd miles a month (excluding losses from holidays, and gains from any weekend miles), that’s very respectable IMO, and you’ll be “Conditioned” to ride on a daily basis with minimal rest inbetween, the health benefits are potentially huge, plus there’s the obvious financial advantages…Posted 3 years ago
some interesting thougts here guys thanks.
I’m not sure about training to Chelsfield and then last bit on the bike into London though – surely the nice countryside bits are way nicer riding? Lived in London for 15 years and whilst I always commuted through town I never felt it gave me any real fitness…
Sadly can’t really ride in and train back. Can’t take bike on the train.
I’m riding a Singular Swift with Midge bars and 37mm hybrid type tyres with a fairly grindy alfine hub…Would love to do it on my road bike but on balance I’d rather the Swift was knicked than the road bike. Or maybe I’m being overly paranoid? Not carrying much. An ipad and some jeans and a t-shirt (work in w@nky tech world so smart not a problem…)
And not too bothered about a seat – I usually slump on the floor in a sweaty mess because I fel bad sitting next to anyone!Posted 3 years agogrenosteveSubscriber
When I started to ride a lot (about 7 years ago), I rode an XC MTB 14 miles each way, on the road, with a 200m + climb up to work each morning. Started with 2/3 times a week, then eventually every day.
Kept going for a couple of years (until work moved and the 2 mile ride didn’t seem worth it most days).
It was very hard, but I went from 19stone down to 13 and started riding with a local club. I haven’t been that fit ever since work moved and I started only riding at weekends.
It’s worth sticking with, but then again, I didn’t have a train or London at the end of my ride… I’m sure that would drain enough mental energy to make it almost impossible…
But if it’s not fun (most of the time), your probably just going to put yourself off riding…Posted 3 years agoTurnerGuyMember
folding ebike required…Posted 3 years agoMalvern RiderMember
The £2400 annual saving would be enough to make me want to stick at it! You could get a very
nice commuterKalkhoff pedelec with that!
Shame that pedelecs aren’t more widely championed in the UK as useful, range-extending timesavers yet so easily attract ‘burn the witch/MTFU’ commentary. Cycling should be enjoyable, long commutes too. Doubt I’d ever own one as an only bike (excepting serious mobility/health issues) but could definitely see the use if I was commuting 50 miles there and back in a day over hilly terrain
A. I’d hate to be defeated ie get in a car
B. I honestly rarely if ever enjoy turning up at work in a rushed exhausted sweat
C. Like to conserve time and energy for leisure/sport cycling on other bikes after work and weekends.
D. Like fun in general, and zipping across challenging terrain for 40-50 miles for a 10p charge sounds like fun
Seems the simplest and most effective solution.
I tried out a Kalkhoff Sahel compact recently, a total blast and grinningly well-made/engineered IMO. In fact am looking at somethign similar as a cargo option for carrying all my studio gear so I can get over the hills fast to further climes (= more work done quicker)Posted 3 years agomartinhutchSubscriber
This is what you need (best advert ever content):
The sense of impending doom will take your mind off your mere physical suffering. 🙂Posted 3 years agotraildogMember
I would build up. I worked out that if I rode three days a week then I would save on a weekly season ticket. So get two in, then recover and try for Thursday. You can then see how you feel Friday and either ride it or recover for the weekend. It gets easier and eventually you might look forward to it, especially if you haven’t had a weekends riding.
Just thinking of the money was motivation enough. But have a backup plan as the thought of having to do it can be spirit breaking.Posted 3 years ago
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