CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Commuting

decreasing enthusiasm for commuting....

(23 posts)

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  1. rider73
    Member

    Hi All,

    After an initial enjoyment of cycling across the bridge commuting 3 to 4 times a week, i find my enthusiasm for it dropping quite a lot...
    i'm trying to pinpoint why and its proving difficult.

    in context, before moving to Edinburgh 6 months ago i commuted from nairn to inverness 30km one way 3 to 4 times a week for 2.5 years and before that Nairn to Forres again same distance same time. through most weathers & winters, except high winds or severe ice warnings.
    99% of it was on B roads and some busy fast car sections too.

    now its 22kms , 70% cycle paths and much shorter in time.

    one part of me thinks its the bad run of punctures and mechanical issues i've had - worst i've ever had -- but why is it worse here!? doesnt make sense in reality - but it seems each ride brings another problem (today for example my rear brake disc is warped!, last week, my front light wouldnt stay on my bars etc etc)

    another part thinks its the highly stop / start nature of the commute, bumpy bridge, constantly crossing into the paths of roads, barriers and pedestrain crossings, other cyclists etc etc - the need to always be totally alert!!!....my previous commutes were pretty much straight lines , same road, 2 sets of lights and done (and never saw any other cyclists 95% of the time!)

    i'm clearly still enjoying weekend rides as i get out and explore fife and edinburgh area (weather & legs permitting!) but where as before i would relish the 6am set off on the bike, now i secretly want to slip into the car, and thats as much as i hate the driving and hate the traffic home!

    its a bizzare feeling and i expect no answers from the CCE's but i wonder if others have had any kind of similar experience!

    i also wonder if its going to pass when perhaps i get more positive commutes and the sun is shining and i dont have to repair something at least once a week....

    Posted 1 week ago #
  2. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    @rider73

    Have you considered the possibility that you might be missing Moray and the Highlands? I know I would.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  3. morepathsplease
    Member

    I dislike having to stop on the bike, frustrating when I've used up energy to get going in the first place. Maybe that's just a mental block though, unless I'm a bit lazy.

    Is there anything about your current commute that you favour over the old ones?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  4. crowriver
    Member

    Maybe you just need to treat yourself to a new bike and some puncture protected tyres in the January sales? Might restore some enthusiasm?

    Otherwise, as above.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  5. rider73
    Member

    @IWRATS - its a possibility i guess, certainly lower traffic volumes - although i had become very bored up there, and try and get anything delivered on time, or any kind of plumber/electrician, or any kind of choice or variety in shops, supermarkets, decent pubs, beer, food .... any kind of choice in jobs too.....flights, public transport, housing....
    Edinburgh is like a different world (in a very good way!)

    @morepathsplease - i had a really good think about it now you mention it - the odd view from the bridge across fife, there isnt anything much i do favour - its nice to be on cycle paths off the main roads for sure, but they are never for a long time...and i hear you when you talk about frustration!
    ....and after writing the post, the more i think about it, the more i guess i felt i was a "bike rider", enjoying about 1 hour of my time on the bike CYCLING, and then 10mins of "city".....
    and now i'm just constantly dodging through paths, alert.... and constantly frustrated with stopping and starting ....

    hmmmm

    Posted 1 week ago #
  6. rust
    Member

    Have you tried driving in, or managed to avoid it and stay on the bike? I find driving sitting stationary in traffic is often the answer to any lack of enthusiasm for cycling.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  7. rider73
    Member

    @rust - yes i drove in a week before christmas for a good few days in a row (3 i think it was) and i hated it in terms of the time it took to get home (longer than the bike some days) but the feelings are still with me...thats whats really prompted me to get it off my chest today....

    Posted 1 week ago #
  8. ARobComp
    Member

    Could you look at doing Bike+Train one way and then Bike the other. Always the option of bike and train both ways if weather is miserable. You have had a rather higher level of nasty weather than I'd usually expect (or remember) over the last 2 months.

    Another thing to do would be to look at alternate routes once you get across the bridge. For example could you head along from cramond onto the promenade and up from there? Could you head into the west of the city on the road from Dalmeny?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  9. Ed1
    Member

    Another option still is an electric bike as better in stop start cycling in my view but a bit expensive

    Posted 1 week ago #
  10. LaidBack
    Member

    @rider73 The stop start thing is the problem as you say.

    @gibbo made suggestion on the other thread 'Ravelston to Holyrood' that it was better to use NEPN as it's fast and continuous.
    Not relevant to your commute maybe but an indication of why some routes can be settled into and other ones are a succession of ever changing challenges with no real rhythm.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  11. wingpig
    Member

    "....and after writing the post, the more i think about it, the more i guess i felt i was a "bike rider", enjoying about 1 hour of my time on the bike CYCLING, and then 10mins of "city".....
    and now i'm just constantly dodging through paths, alert.... and constantly frustrated with stopping and starting ...."

    I put up with the non-advantage of my commute only being a mile and a half through the city centre for a couple of years on the grounds that I could take seventeen mile detours round the NEPN and Innocent on the way home, when there was more time than on the way in. I never measured it but I assume walking in took about the same time as cycling once the additional stop-start-parking-changing was taken into account, particularly with a fast walk.

    When I moved up here I never really trusted buses, having not been exposed to them much as a child, whereas I knew cycling got you where you wanted to be on time, even when it was along busy cobbly streets with traffic lights rather than rural lanes.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  12. bax
    Member

    @rider73

    ah come on, you love it really

    KY to EH

    shurely the best commute in the central belt

    Posted 1 week ago #
  13. rider73
    Member

    @bax - better with other CCE'rs to natter to! ;-)

    i think laidback has got it, its just not a rhythm to it nor a relaxing ride...
    perhaps i'll get used to it eventually and starting the commute mid Sept might not have helped because i've not really got the positive association with the summer / warm weather commutes which will hopefully come this spring/summer if i get a contract extension....

    Posted 1 week ago #
  14. gembo
    Member

    @rider73, lot of mechanicals can bring you down, I had commuter fixed Monday by the lovely Chris at the bicycle service. Cheered me up. I have the winter road bike in being fixed by the lovely Matt. Just bike repairs. Some discussion of rebuilding the pivot or just replacing the rear mech.

    WoL path quite muddy this morning.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  15. Diarmid
    Member

    Got back on my bike this morning after a two week break + I must have put the bike away with a wet and salty chain because when i got back on the bike this morning the chain was absolutely solid! Currently soaking chain in wd40 - would be embarrassing taking that into PEDALS.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  16. Trixie
    Member

    If it's a grim drive and becoming a chore on the bike - maybe look to move to this side of the bridge when/if your contract is expended? Your location seems to be the most flexible part of the equation. No point punishing yourself daily if you don't have to. You get far less for your money this side but if it makes your day to day life better, it might well be worth it.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  17. paddyirish
    Member

    @rider73

    Have you tried varying your route? You have a lot of options, and if a little extra distance is not a problem you can have a lot of fun.

    On the North Side, have you tried adding on the North Queensferry Loop?

    On the south side- you can go several ways (road or 4WD track depending on how rugged your bike is) through Dalmeny estate, which is beautiful and I rarely see anyone on foot or vehicle- most recent encounter was with a fox!

    Once you have reached the Cramond Brig , have you tried the Cramond foreshore - an uninterrupted cycle path of several miles which takes you into Granton then several path options to take you where you need to go in the city. it's maybe a mile or two longer, but no interruptions.

    Both of the above are amazing just before and at sunrise

    Buying a Spokes Edinburgh map (£5.95 from any good bike shop) will show you some of the options.

    Exploring all of these will let you learn a lot more about Edinburgh and maybe inspire a more extended non-commuting visit to a cafe, pub or site of interest you discover on the way.

    And if you get the bug, no reason why you can't extend your commute further - I've been known to go from Dalgety Bay to work via the Bathgate Alps, the Kelpies, the Falkirk Wheel or even Stirling, though that requires an early start, an enjoyment of cycling in the dark and maybe a hint of madness.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    "and maybe a hint of madness"

    Surely not.

    It's a well known fact that CCEers are saner and more rational than average...

    Posted 1 week ago #
  19. rider73
    Member

    ...thanks for all the replies everyone and suggestions and advice - much appreciated!!!!

    need to ponder and think - its defintley a mental thing rather than fitness/duration....

    doesnt help that after thursdays ride and constant problems with rear mech shifting i used the barrel adjuster on the trigger shifter ----- there was a horrible crunching noise and its all broken up inside--- thankfully i was already at my front door as the rear mech stuck on the small sprockets!

    oh cycling gods, what have thou done to deserve such fury!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  20. deckard112
    Member

    @rider73 the cycling gods are indiscriminate in their vengeance...sometimes it's just your turn ;)

    Posted 1 week ago #
  21. acsimpson
    Member

    I remember Beano having a whole series of puncture issues while riding Dunfermline to EH a couple of winters ago. There's probably a thread about it somewhere.

    I wonder if some routes are harder of bikes than others. Your old commute sounds great after loosing that it's not surprising your mourning it.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  22. wingpig
    Member

    My mishaps/repair opportunities are usually reasonably well-spaced, but often occur just after I've had just a couple of journeys on a perfectly-adjusted bike.

    Posted 1 week ago #
  23. rider73
    Member

    well i spent an half an hour fixing it - resulting in opening the shifter and discovered somehow a kink in the cable at the "ball" end where it goes into the shifter - i suspect a series of downshifts didnt release the cable and it kinked itself inside the shifter and then it went and mangled itself up
    bit lube spray, reassemble shifter and new cable and hey.... 9 speeds are us again!

    just discovered on setting up the road bike for a long ride tomorrow

    A REAR EFFIN PUNCTURE

    Posted 1 week ago #

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