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Cycling to work

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Kennedy84, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Hi all.

    I am about to start a PGCE, and I am planning on cycling to uni, which is about 12 - 15 miles away (depending on how lost I get/which route I take). I am 26, female, and about 65kg.

    I have done a couple of practices so far, and it is taking me about 3 hours to complete a round trip (and I am not overly exerting myself). I'll only be cycling 3 times a week, and I am used to doing 1-1.5 hrs exercise 3-4 times a week already (I know this isn't super fit, but at least I am not starting from nothing!).

    I have a few questions that I thought people here might be able to help with.

    1) Is this a sensible amount of exercise to combine with the PGCE, or is it likely to be too much?

    2) Can anyone recommend foods that will keep me awake, particularly in the afternoon? I'm also trying to shed a few pounds, although I imagine going from a desk job to teaching will help with this, and my main priority is staying awake, energised, and focussed!

    3) Do I really need to buy all the gear? I have some sports wear, and waterproofs, but given that this is quite a distance would it be advisable to buy specific cycling shoes and trousers? Can you recommend anywhere online to buy these from. I also enjoy cycling for pleasure/relaxation, so if I can't cycle to my placement schools I'll still get use out of them at weekends etc.

    Thanks a lot :)
     
  2. Hi all.

    I am about to start a PGCE, and I am planning on cycling to uni, which is about 12 - 15 miles away (depending on how lost I get/which route I take). I am 26, female, and about 65kg.

    I have done a couple of practices so far, and it is taking me about 3 hours to complete a round trip (and I am not overly exerting myself). I'll only be cycling 3 times a week, and I am used to doing 1-1.5 hrs exercise 3-4 times a week already (I know this isn't super fit, but at least I am not starting from nothing!).

    I have a few questions that I thought people here might be able to help with.

    1) Is this a sensible amount of exercise to combine with the PGCE, or is it likely to be too much?

    2) Can anyone recommend foods that will keep me awake, particularly in the afternoon? I'm also trying to shed a few pounds, although I imagine going from a desk job to teaching will help with this, and my main priority is staying awake, energised, and focussed!

    3) Do I really need to buy all the gear? I have some sports wear, and waterproofs, but given that this is quite a distance would it be advisable to buy specific cycling shoes and trousers? Can you recommend anywhere online to buy these from. I also enjoy cycling for pleasure/relaxation, so if I can't cycle to my placement schools I'll still get use out of them at weekends etc.

    Thanks a lot :)
     
  3. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Wow, i'm impressed! I think it's a good idea, and some people spend that sort of time getting to uni and back in a car, so the time isn't a problem. You might find when its cold and raining you're not up for all that cycling though, plus if you have a massive folder and other bits to bring in.
    I did my PGCE at a uni 30 miles away from where i lived, so i drove in. Well, i got the train for the fist 3 days, and it was packed, and delayed etc so i got fed up and decided to drive.
    I started back at the gym about half way through my PGCE and felt so much better for it, and lost some weight. If you start off fit and healthy you will feel so much better.
    I have 2 small children and go to the gym regularly and actually feel less tired for it, despite the night time wake-ups!
    You might find your placement schools are quite far away, i know some people on my PGCE had to travel 30+ miles. Also, i was always at school for about 7:45 so if you're a bit of a distance you'd have to leave really early.
    I would try the cycling to uni for the first couple of weeks and see how it goes before you buy loads of new stuff for it.

     
  4. Thanks for the advice :) yeah, I think on public transport with the transfers etc. it would take about an hour, so it is not that much longer.

    I used to cycle when I lived in Southampton (and tried a couple of times in London), but I always found it much more pleasant to cycle than get the bus when it was raining because the bus would be damp, packed, and smelly. The only problem with rain is that a lot of the route is along the river, so I have to be careful with flooding.

    Luckily, round here it is all beautiful country paths, so I don't have to contend too much with crazy traffic like in London.

    So I will see how it goes :)
     
  5. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Where are you doing your PGCE?
    The route sounds nice anyway. Anyone who cycles in London is brave! Same for anyone who drives there too come to think of it!
     
  6. I'm going to Oxford Brookes.

    London is terrifying. I actually tried to learn to drive there before easter, it was one of the worst experiences of my life!
     
  7. You'll be fine. I commute by bike whenever I am in the office. That's 18 miles each way, usually 3 or 4 time a week. I actually arrive more switched on and with added energy. Having a shower when you get to your Uni will be useful, although if you take it easy not essential. Maybe different if it's hot though!
    You will find a dozen miles will fly by, well under an hour even if you take it easy.
    I don't know if you have gone and got your stuff yet, but Lidl are doing their cycling stuff this week (started yesterday), they have ladies gloves, long cycling trousers, shirts and waterproofs, as well as some rather decent lights and a pannier set. Much, much cheaper than other shops, and ideal if you are not sure it's really for you. Get in quick though, especially around Oxford.
    Good luck.
     
  8. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi Kennedy
    My son cycled in the under 18s Scotland team when he was a student, so I feel a bit qualified to offer advice! You sound switched on and fit - just make sure you have a repair kit, hi-viz covering, lights on your bike and a mobile, so if you are going to be late you can phone ahead. Beware of Mercs, BMWs and roundabouts - some drivers have no idea how fast good and experienced cyclists can cycle.
    But I'm sure you're aware of all this - Good Luck!
    [​IMG]
     

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