Where does the motivation go when commuting

Discussion in 'Cruzbike Class (Riding & Refining your Technique)' started by bazzawill, Jan 12, 2018 at 4:24 PM.

  1. bazzawill

    bazzawill Well-Known Member

    I have just started commuting to work which is great as it gives me much more time on the bike than it did before however I find my motivation to ride hard wanes and is highly variable. This is understandable as I am going from riding 40-80km every 1 to 2 weeks to 2x 20km per day. Also the rides are early in the morning after a broken sleep from 2 8 month old babies or after a days work.

    What frustrates me however is there are a number of conditions in which I instantly find motivation no mater the sleep deprivation or end of the day tiredness. these are

    1. A bike up a head particularly a DF road warrior so I can show the superiority of the V. Unfortunately this is short lived as I quickly catch up and see them disappear in my rear view.
    2. Any favorable condition that makes me go faster without effort on my part leads me to want to go faster and put more effort in ie. tail wind, long gradual decent with green lights all the way that enable me to pick up speed, bus to draft behind :p
    3. If I am running late because of baby I will often make it up on the road
    4. There are probably others
    So how can I simulate these mental conditions to motivate me to ride harder all the time. Obviously I cannot go all out all the time, and I am happy to have "rest / slower days" to recover or if it's a particularly bad baby night but I feel myself meandering along often on commute rides. Don't get me wrong any time on the bike is good (I am not training for any particular event or condition so I do not need specificity of training) but more effective training could be better.
  2. Mark B

    Mark B Zen MBB Master

    Been there, done that. The best thing to do is realize that even an easy day is better than driving the car. So what if you have a slower average, or don't go as hard as you like? Trust me, you'll burn out on hammering, too, when the gains start coming harder. I'd suggest picking sections of your commute to test yourself on and pretty much relax the rest of the time. That makes your ride more or less like intervals.

    bazzawill likes this.
  3. PeteClark

    PeteClark Active Member

    Getting psyched up for a 20km time trial every commute sounds impractical, and the results would be very dependent on traffic. How about a nice segment or two, mid-way through the commute, that you could use as a daily challenge? If you're feeling good one day and conditions are favorable, go for a personal best. If you're having an off day, try to get within 10% of the PB.
    Mark B likes this.
  4. bazzawill

    bazzawill Well-Known Member

    Good thinking fella's sound like the way to approach it :)
  5. Mark B

    Mark B Zen MBB Master

    This thread has spiked my interest in commuting again. At least one way. I was riding really well when I was putting in all those miles.
  6. mzweili

    mzweili Guru

    When I was much younger, I commuted many years. Now I remember how fit I was.
  7. bazzawill

    bazzawill Well-Known Member

    When I was younger and didn't have a family or any responsibility I commuted 30km each way everyday then road 120km+ on the weekend. This is why I feel disappointed at my current performance, but times change and that's OK
    mzweili likes this.
  8. benphyr

    benphyr Active Member

    1000 apologies for stream-of-consciousness-writing:

    Another motivation is to occasionally take another bike, no matter what the other one is: diamond frame road bike, mountain bike, Sofrider, unicycle.

    I switch to my mountain bike with studded Nokian tires when the weather turns salty (Roads turn white from salt about as frequently as they do from snow most years) in order to save my road bikes (slowly changing from diamond frame touring to cruzbike conversion kit to QX100 - old ones to be passed on once they are not used) and the change of bikes always makes me notice what I like about that bike and what I have learned without noticing from a season on the other. This winter it has been quite snowy and I have noticed two huge things that snuck up on me. My balance is much improved over the course of riding the conversion kit for a couple summers as demonstrated by slow speed maneuvering on bumpy ice and snow with the mountain bike and I am so in touch with the clipless pedals now that I prefer to clip in right away and stay clipped in until the foot is going down where I used to unclip in preparation if there was something awkward coming up.

    Commuting on my own power is wonderful and a huge blessing to me. De-stress instead of traffic-stress! Start the day on a positive note no matter what, virtually the same time as traffic, faster than bus. Scenery, birds, people that wave and say hi, et cetera.

    Another motivation is to accept the challenges that weather provides. I find that the worse the weather the more I enjoy the accomplishment of the travel. Monday, I rode through 2-3" of blowing snow, up the sidewalk because the road was not cleared (neither was the sidewalk but at least it didn't have steel dragons breathing out their exhaust down my neck) and then on Thursday on the way home I had my left pedal finally give up and seize so I finished the last km or two with the right foot clipped in and the left leg dangling and swinging providing pendular momentum, and some through snow too. It was great.

    I second the motion that was raised earlier All commutes are better by bike, and even a low motivated, sluggish feeling, worn-out commute is better than inside a vehicle. And the benefits of automotive and bike as a vehicle of transportation are wonderful - whether one is taken one day or another learning how to appreciate them for the benefits without second-guessing the motivation or should I have taken the other today - that is always my greatest challenge.

    Many rewarding commutes, thanks for making me think,

    super slim and bazzawill like this.
  9. RojoRacing

    RojoRacing Donut Powered Wise-guy

    My commute is 30 miles each way and my dad who has done the return trip lots of times with me made a strava segment for the direction called Beer:30. I'd say about 50% of the time we try and push hard going home to try and improve our time. I guess because my commute is so long that when I do it via bicycle I tend to push a strong pace simply because I have to in order for it not to take all day.
    super slim likes this.
  10. Bill K

    Bill K Well-Known Member

    Another motivation is food.
    If your commute is an hour and you burn 500 calories getting to work or getting home, you "owe" yourself a reward.
    Pick something you really like (that is good for you) and you can only have it when you ride.

    I agree with the others: when commuting every day you need to pick your battles (implicit interval training). When riding alone just enjoy the moment, don't look at your speed or power, just look for cool birdies, nice sunrises, squirrels, whatever. When you see a roadie (and I mean this in a good way) then it's time to show them what the V can do.

    I've found that the more miles I ride, the more I learn to pace myself, and the better I am at picking my battles (or, burning my matches when it matters the most).
  11. super slim

    super slim Zen MBB Master

    How fast is your dad???
    How OLD is you dad?
    Is he as OLD as Larry at 67???
  12. nobrakes

    nobrakes Well-Known Member

    That coffee when you get to work is going to be a beauty after a ride. Endorphins and caffeine are a fine combination!
  13. bazzawill

    bazzawill Well-Known Member

    With 8 month old twins coffee is my life. I have 2 before I get on the bike then another one when I get to work, one in my morning break, lunch arvo break and finally one to power the ride home.
    Concentrated cold brew I make myself. Hoping to get a iKeg to infuse it with nitrogen soon to make it even more delicious
  14. bladderhead

    bladderhead Zen MBB Master

    Commuters and non-commuters have a different relationship with the bike. I like the challenge of getting through the gaps without stopping or getting off to push it across the road. I like the slow tight wobbly turns. The Silvio is better in the pedestrian underpass than is the Grasshopper because the Silvio bends in the middle and snakes through the barriers. I like finding the short-cuts that are not open to motor-vehicles. I have had my share of ice, lying snow, flying snow, roads white with salt. Snow is preferable to salt because salt eats all the oil and grease off the bike.

    But the one thing I hate is the traffic lights. Long, straight dual-carriageway, slightly downhill, and I can see the green light from miles away. You know what happens. There is a speed-camera on top of the traffic lights. Inside is a demon who controls the lights. He is in there, rubbing his hands together and going "heh-heh", and waiting for exactly the right moment to change the lights. Then he gets the video of me swearing from the speed-camera and puts it on u2b. The commuter's curse.
  15. Bill K

    Bill K Well-Known Member

    LOL. And I thought he was out to get me, and only me. I think his name is Murphy, and he creates laws that nobody likes.
  16. RojoRacing

    RojoRacing Donut Powered Wise-guy

    Dad is 60 this year and he's slower than me but faster then the average rider. His ability to dig a deep hole in the pain cave makes up for his lack of physical ability. He'd be a great candidate for the vendetta because his back always hurts when it comes to pushing hard on a climb but he'd never be caught dead on my super dork mobile :rolleyes:.

    He's in second place
  17. trplay

    trplay Zen MBB Master

    Looks like the Perez family owns that climb. Ride on, ride on! BTW I thought Larry was 97.
    super slim likes this.
  18. McWheels

    McWheels Well-Known Member

    Allow me to introduce you to 'The Game'.

    But I shall summarise:
    Don't get caught.

    You're on a Vendetta, so if you're passed by anyone, pretty much ever, then your soul hires a kudos remover to lower your self-worth.
    Oh, and show no pain, unless you just look like that.
    bazzawill likes this.
  19. bladderhead

    bladderhead Zen MBB Master

    Do not say that. Some motorist might just do it.
  20. bazzawill

    bazzawill Well-Known Member

    So how do we calculate FCN or do we automatically get a FCN of 1. I do not have shaved legs I do take panniers (that I hack together for the V). Does the V count as aerobars? Also should I count the Giro Air Attack? I don't have a power meter ... yet.

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