32 Mile Commute

My round-trip commute is 32 miles.  I decided to do the whole thing by bicycle yesterday.  The ride in was pleasant, and took about 85 minutes.

The ride home had a brutal headwind, and it’s a bit more uphill.  I got home in about 105 minutes.  I also had a spoke break on my rear wheel.  I kept riding anyway.

After arriving at home, I removed the rear wheel, threw it in the car, and drove to the bike shop.  It’s $2.00 for a spoke, and $20.00 to “true” the wheel, and it won’t be ready until Wednesday.

I got a nice amount of exercise, but unless this bike quits breaking, it won’t save me any money.  I had planned on riding today also, but I’m almost glad for the break.  I’m rather sore.

5 thoughts on “32 Mile Commute”

  1. I know nothing about bikes. Is it common to have alot of breakdowns or parts failing like the spokes and flat tires? When I was a kid I had one of the first mountain bikes. I used and abused it with no breakdowns.

    Anyway 32 miles commute is great. Is your butt soar or have you gotten over that by now?


  2. Joe,

    I have no idea how common bike breakdowns are. I think I’ve had bad luck, combined with not knowing a lot about bikes.

    It might also be the bike I bought. It’s a hybrid, which means it can be tougher than a road bike, but not as tough as a mountain bike. It’s lighter and easier to ride than a mountain bike though.

    The bike was also inexpensive. Although it’s made by a quality manufacturer (Giant), it’s a low-end model (steel-framed Cypress ST), so it may have used some cheaper components. I am considering buying a better bike, and letting this one be a spare.

    My first flat was my fault. I had too little pressure in the tires, and I jumped a curb too hard.

    The second flat was caused by a small sharp piece of debris. It was too small to easily be seen, so basically just bad luck.

    The bent axle is minor, and is due to the curb jumping. I don’t jump curbs now.

    The spoke breaking… well honestly I don’t know. The guy at the bike shop said it’s usually due to improper tension on the spokes. The bike isn’t very old, so I don’t know why that would be the case. It could also be due to weight. My bike is pretty loaded down with a rack, panniers, and other accessories. Add my 260lbs to it, and it may be a bit much.

    If I continue having wheel issues, I’ll replace them with stronger ones.

    Is my butt sore? It was immediately after the ride, but it got better soon. My legs are still sore though. Actually my legs have been sore to some degree ever since I got the bike.

    I love riding, and I think the sore legs is more than worth it. Eventually I’ll be able to ride without getting too sore. It’s a matter of getting stronger, and getting everything on the bike adjusted properly (I’m still playing with seat height).

  3. Joe,

    Just an update, my bike seems quite reliable now. Replacing the rear wheel seems to have fixed the broken spokes issue. Watching where the hell I’m going seems to have fixed the flat tire problem.

  4. It’s a tough call getting into biking.. the low end bikes often border on being toys.. or.. to analogize into the computer world.. like an “e-machine”.. it looks like all the others.. but .. well..

    You have a couple of things working against you.. and it isn’t the wieght of the parts on the bike. The curb-jumping really shouldn’t matter once you’re a better curb-jumper.. meaning you “bunny-hop” the bike and don’t hit the curb with the rear wheel.. the other thing is your weight.. they ain’t gonna tell you that right out.

    If I was selling you a bike.. well.. I’d want to get you something “like” a hybrid.. but that would fit your size better.. not your height..

    You may need stronger wheels.. but a hybrid frame may be too narrow to fit a mountain bike rim.. which is made stronger.. the hybrid idea is a thinner tire rolls easier and you put a road tire on it and it rolls even easier..

    Well.. you can get road-like tires for mountain bike rims that would keep things rolling well and be stronger.. and.. well.. wider tires are easier to control.. that’s part of why mountain biking took off.. big tires are easier to ride on.

    As to the seat.. well.. a lot of men find “cut away” seats that have a spot missing where the blood to your manhood travels to be better in the long run.. if your goods go numb.. get another seat… as to the gel things to add to a seat.. my experience is they seem like they should work.. but the don’t.

    Sore legs may just mean lactic acid.. which is the product of working out.. which is the “pain” in no pain no gain.. if it’s the knees.. get your good shop to help you set up your bike.

    Show em you mean business and like biking.. they do too… ask questions.. you’re doin’ good.

  5. Dave,

    The leg pain is just the normal working out pain. It’s usually a “good” pain, but after weeks of your legs feeling that way, it’s not good anymore.

    My bike is a hybrid. I’m considering a mountain bike later, with road tires. It’s also possible to get stronger wheels for my current bike. I’ll wait and see if I have more problems.

    I’m not having any problems with my knees.

    I’ve got the seat height set pretty good now. I’m still working on the angle. Completely flat is not comfortable. I still haven’t found a position where I don’t A) slide forward, or B) have the front part of the seat pressing on a tender spot.

    My “sore spots” are mostly due to seams in my shorts. I really don’t want to wear the lycra stuff. I may consider it when I’m 200 lbs, but it would really look bad now.

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