Friday Commute

posted Jul 26, 2015, 12:28 PM by Megan Niño   [ updated Jul 26, 2015, 12:28 PM ]
I learned a very big lesson on planning and preparation this past week. I bought a bike Thursday, which I then used on Friday to commute. The commute to train my first client was challenging but felt good. Biking home was a lot more challenging. I did not mentally or physically prepare for the hills. In turn my commute time was lengthened because I had to walk up a lot of the hills. Coming from Chicago, commuting a total of 15 miles was a lot easier because Chicago has flat terrain. I am sure that if I knew how to properly use my gears a lot of the ride would have been easier too. On top of that I was still recovering from a cold. By the end of the day I was fatigued and more sick than I was in the morning. I share this story not to complain, but to empower.  
Here are a couple of ways to plan and prepare for a commute such as the one I did:

1. Find an appropriate leveled route for your experience: If you can find a trail! There are many trail maps available online. Many of the trails connect in various locations and some lead as far east as Philly and as far west as Reading. 

2. Train to conquer distance and hills: Time trials and long distance rides can help increase your endurance and power. Also, specific plyometric and strength training will help conquer those steep hills.

3. Tune up your bike: Tuning up your bike can help prevent injury and accidents.

4. Become familiar with your gears: There is a strategy to maintaining energy efficiency while biking. Don't burn yourself out using the heaviest gear.

5. Carry spare equipment to repair your bike: Carrying inner-tubes, patches and alan wrenches can limit the amount of time wasted. 

6. Wear a helmet: Safety first.

7. Be aware of your surroundings and wear bright colors: Many of these Pennsylvania roads can be narrow, winding, and can be dark. These things can impair or distract a driver especially if it is raining. Stay alert, wear neon colors, and follow the rules of the road. Also, be careful with hanging branches, debris in the roads, and deer.