Commuting - for exercise
I've been reading a lot on this forum, and notice a lot of talk about speed and shaving some weight off the bike.
I started commuting last summer, and have started up again this summer - I whimped out for most of winter, choosing other exercise indoors and riding on the better days after work for an interval similar to my commute..Of course, I'm very happy about the economics and ecology of riding vs driving.
My goal is a 40 minute ride, to get cardio exercise. My route is 7.5 miles one way, so I guess I'm riding about 10 MPH. I'm on a mountain bike with the chain pretty much down the middle - middle sprocket of 3 on front, and fourth sprocket of 6 in back. In this way, I have to pedal fast, and this puts my heart rate where it needs to be.
I'm just wondering if there is some advantage I'm missing by not riding faster sometimes- for instance, on the days I don't commute, taking a longer ride in higher gear?
I've read that you're supposed to mix it up. Push yourself hard one day, take it easy the next. Alternate back and forth a third day, etc. I have several routes to work and home mapped out, some relatively flat, some very hilly. I try to mix it up for variety, but also try to squeeze as much training opportunity out of it as possible. Some days I'll hammer up hill, other days I'll spin up them. It's important to try to get as much out of it as possible, but it is also equally important to have fun doing it!
R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010
Yep. I usually take the same route to work. I have about 2000' gain over 15 miles. Lots of rolling hills. I've set minimum mph I'd like to stay above climbing those hills. On more intense days, that min is higher, so I have to push harder. Closer to the city with more traffic lights, I'll sprint from one light to the next light. Or I'll try to catch a certain vehicle by the next light. Basically, anything to mix up the usual routine.