Commuting = Training?

As readers of this blog will know I have a slightly complex relationship with cycling. I do, like many non-racing cyclists, have an interest in maintaining and improving my cycling-specific fitness, and like many regard my riding as ‘training’, although given my lack of engagement with randonneuring at present, I am not quite sure what I am training for…

Limited time means that I have in the past used my commute to work as ‘training’. Unlike many commuters, this ride involves about 1200m of ascent, with little flat road at all. The distance is OK (about 80km round trip), but the amount of climbing makes a day at work plus commute pretty tough, hence my infrequent use of this ride, even when I was childless.

Many commuters who choose to cycle do so for cost or environmental reasons. The hills between myself and work (and believe me the route I take is probably the flattest possible) would make such justifications fairly loony. However, on my road bike I can do the ride there in about 1 hour 40 minutes (usually takes 2 hours plus on the way back), which given that my train commute takes 50 minutes plus 30 minutes total walking makes the ride fairly efficient in terms of time.

So, it keeps me fit, and doesn’t waste too much time. All I have to do now  is (a) figure out how to read and answer emails whilst cycling up a 6% incline and (b) figure out  how to go just a little bit faster and I am sorted… as long as my knees hold up.

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