Training for Monday, May 1 // How To Do Cycling To Work

Monday, May 1, 2017

I currently have what they call in the medical biz Tennis Elbow. I've actually had it for about a month now. It only really bothers me when I snatch, when I pick up anything heavy with my right hand, or when I shake someone's hand. I had softball tonight (first game of the season) and I made a few throws too many. So, I'm currently icing my forearm while I compose this.

Today's training:

Cycle to U of M and back: approx. 20 km

It was actually a lousy ride on the way home. The north wind has been killing me lately and there seemed to be more traffic than usual. I've been taking more of a residential street route to and from work so far this year. I thought it would be a better alternative than going on Pembina Hwy. (which I did last year). There's a bit too much construction happening underneath the overpass at the moment for me to feel comfortable riding through it. That gauntlet is a nightmare on the best of days, tbh. ANYWAY, hopefully the winds die down soon.

Lunch hour:

[light workout because of my softball game later that night]
Stretching + mobility work

Bench press: 4-5 reps of 135 lbs, 155, 185, 205
Pull-ups/attempted kipping pull-ups (I'm getting there ... so close!)
Attempted to run 3 miles but felt I didn't have enough time. I'll do that tomorrow for sure. 

OK, now for part two of this post. I wanted to share some tips about how to cycle to work. I love the way I feel after a solid ride in. I'm refreshed and extra focused. It's a big part of the reason why I bought an airbike for my house. I didn't want to lose that feeling over the winter months, so I air cycled at home before work. It was kind of hard though. The airbike is a tad loud and the absolute last thing I wanted to do was wake a sleeping new born.

I'm just going to get into it in point form. I tend to go on tangents with these posts. I just don't have time for that nonsense right now. I still have to cook some food and get my ass to bed. Anyway, this post is specifically about cycling to work ... as in you're going to have to work in your office and do work after you cycle in. 

  • Map your route. Google maps is great for this. If you select the bike option/icon, you'll be presented with a variety of routes which most likely feature protected bike lanes, residential options, etc. These alternative routes might not always get you to work faster, but they're usually safer and more scenic.
  • Check the weather the night before you leave the house and be ready to change your plans. Honestly, don't cycle in the rain or when it's snowing or even when it's going to be uncomfortably cold. It's not worth it. You won't enjoy yourself and it'll create a shitty start or end to your day. Have cycling as plan A for sure, but be ready to call an audible and go with plan B, which is either driving or taking the bus or whatever. If you are going to cycle when it's a bit frigid outside, make sure above all else to wear gloves. The hands tend to get cold first and stay cold the whole ride.
  • Drink water before you leave on your ride.
  • Wear sunglasses. Keeps the sun and debris out of your eyes.
  • Wear a helmet. It'll keep your brain safe and it shows respect for the road, fellow cyclists, and motorists. If you take your ride seriously, others will take you seriously as well. 
  • Leave your work clothes at work. Leave them in your office, in a closet, in a locker, or somewhere you can access them. I currently have two pairs of dress pants, three dress shirts, and my dress shoes in my office. This way I don't have to stuff my freshly pressed pants to my backpack for my ride. All that stuff takes up space and will get wrecked.
  • Have a shower plan. I'm lucky enough to have showers at my work, but I don't always have a full shower after a ride. It all depends. If you don't have a shower at your work, it's actually no big deal. Dress appropriately for the weather ... i.e. if it's going to be boiling hot, don't wear a jacket or sweater while riding. You'll cut down on the amount you sweat that way. Bring or have a towel to wipe your face, or even wash it in the sink. You can wash your hair in the sink too. There's always a way if this is something you really want to do. Again, just like in my second point, if you have a big meeting or whatever and want to look your best, maybe don't cycle that day.
  • Leave your lock locked to the bike rack. Locks can be (and should be) heavy. Putting one (or two) in your bag will really weigh you down. Some goes if you attach your lock to your bike while riding. Or, find out if there's safe area you can leave your bike, like in a storage area, your office (that's rarely allowed because of health/sanitary reasons ... but, hello, are shoes are just as dirty).
And there you have it. It's a pretty basic list now that I think about it. But these little things have helped me enjoy my ride a lot more than I have in the past.



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