Your Bicycle Training
once read somewhere about a USAT coach saying that age
groupers who do triathlons and work full time jobs are
the real heroes. And
if you think about, there is a lot of truth to that
statement. The pros do it for their job, but the rest of
us work 40 hrs. per week and still manage to find time
to train and travel to races. Working class heroes have
to manage their time better than the average person and
many times their just isn’t enough time, motivation or
energy to go out and train after an 8 to10 hour work
why not incorporate your job with your training and
specifically your bicycle training? Why not do what many
people do already - commute to and from work by bicycle?
can be done and is a great way to get in those miles
that might otherwise be put off.
If you take the extra time and effort and plan
accordingly, your trip to work (and home) by bicycle can
be more enjoyable than sitting in an automobile stuck in
how you decide to ride can be a reflection of your
training! You may choose to ride slow that day if you
are in need of a recovery ride or you can make your ride
to work or home a quality day by doing sprints (I have
fun chasing the green lights). If bicycling to and from
work sounds like something you might consider, here are
some tips to that will help get you started:
possible, avoid routes with heavy traffic. Find a
less traveled upon route that will still get you to
work in a timely manner.
by riding this route during a weekend or when you
are off work and time how long the trip takes. Ride
one way FAST and one way SLOW.
This will allow you a better idea of the time
frame allotted for travel.
Ahead! Think about any items you may need for you
commute beforehand to insure a safe and responsible
trip. Items such as a pump, spare tube(s), levers,
tire patch kit, small multi-tool, cell phone, etc.
should all be considered as part of your emergency
if you are going to use a backpack or panniers (bags
that fit on the front and back of your bicycle).
Setting up your bike for panniers may require some
And because most people do not have an extra
bike just for this purpose, a good backpack will
suggestion getting a pair of cheap 700X26 or 28
tires for you “commuting” tires. I just
purchased some Specialized 700X26 tires at
Nashbar.com for $6.00 each! Save your lightweight,
expensive tires for racing. These tires may be
bulkier but the extra rubber and larger size helps
prevent flats when you are toting a backpack and
dodging chunks of rebar on the side of the road!
a headlight and tail light if you ride during
flashing Red blinker lights can be found at Nashbar
(yes I shop there a lot) for about $6-$10.
Headlights can range from $10-$200. I have a small
one made by Cateye that works fine.
your area is prone to nasty, wet weather, get a set
of snap on fenders (also found at Nashbar – Hey
Nashbar, where’s the commission check?!).
extra layers of clothing and be prepared to shed any
layers if necessary.
If you live and travel in a typically colder
climate, I recommend a pair of neoprene booties.
the time to plan what you will wear on the bike as
well as what you will wear at work.This can take
some forethought and a checklist might be a good
you have a place to change at work?
You can drive the car on Monday and take a
few days worth of clothes to leave at the office. Is
there enough room in your pack for your clothes?
are two benefits to not wearing work clothes on the
bike: 1) you won’t get them dirty and 2) you can
get in some additional miles before or after work if
realize that everyone’s work situation is different
and some of you travel very long distances (good
opportunity for that LSD ride) making commuting by bike
very difficult. But if at all possible, I highly
recommend it. I find that when I get to work I am WIDE
awake with my blood pumping like a freight train. Only,
it is pumping with vigor rather than road rage after
being in stuck in wall to wall traffic! Those mornings
where the sun is just rising and the temperature outside
is cool and crisp…well, they are truly magical.
you are like me, I have a severe need (addiction) for
coffee, So, I have a stainless steel thermos that I
carry my pack. I
can almost smell it as I ride down the road. I also throw in an extra water bottle and snacks for work.
you curious about the financial trade off of cycling vs.
driving? Well, try this. List out the things you will
need to buy for your cycling commute and then compare
that figure to a month’s worth of gas. I don’t know about your town, but here in Idaho, the price
of gasoline is about $2.00/gal. So commuting to and from
work by bicycle has proven to be a very practical means
hope these tips and ideas will convince some of you of
the overall joy of cycling to and from work. The BIGGEST
hurdle is deciding if you are indeed in the mood to
travel by bike! And becoming acclimated to this new form
of travel can be frustrating at first. But after you do
it a few times, you will develop a routine that will
leave you mentally ready.
I know most cities have an alternative
transportation agency that have an agreement with taxi
companies that will give you one free ride home per year
in the case of a problem. All you have to do is sign up.
If you are eternally searching for ways to get in
extra time on the bike for your training, give it a try.
You get exercise, save $$, and don’t
have to spend you time looking at the car in
front of you.