I cycle 20 miles total per day, on 3 or 4 days week, commuting between work and home.

Will this get easier? as stupid as it sounds.

I start work at 6:30am and can't drive so I cycle until I can afford a moped and cbt training (?). Right now I find it mega hard in the morning.

I bought a new hybrid bike with slick tires etc. I go at easy pace and take about 50 minutess each way. I suppose I am looking for encouragement as will need to do this for least another 2 months. And I have a few heavy inclines to battle also.

I am 32 and not really fit.

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    Greg LeMond: "It doesn't get easier, you just go faster." ;-) – Alex Jul 10 '17 at 12:34
  • Welcome to stackexchange! It's unclear what you're asking. We're a question and answer board and I don't see a question. You might want to take the tour and if you want encouragement you might want to visit the Bicycles Chat room where we'd be happy to cheer you on. – RoboKaren Jul 10 '17 at 16:00

My personal experience: I (re)started biking on commute last October, 26 km both ways.

Though I believed I was not rusty (I was able to cycle 80 km in one day without complaints), the first few weeks it was really demanding. I was able to cover the one way trip in somehow 45-50 minutes, and when it was Friday I could feel really empty and craving for rest.

Now I do the same distance in 30-35 minutes and it has become my substitute for morning coffee.

Long story short: your body needs time to get used to the routine and also to the different post-effort routine. Try to keep a constant pace until you get used to it, and then try to push your effort a bit further. In this way you won't get worn out.

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What you are feeling is normal, the feelings of fatigue will lessen over time.

Part of what you are feeling is likely genuine fatigue from lack of fitness, while another part is likely your body playing tricks on you. The simple perception of effort has a lot to do with how much fatigue we feel (there is fairly new research demonstrating this). If you perceive a task to be difficult you will actually feel more fatigue than if you perceive a task as being easier (the task itself hasn't changed - nor your ability to complete the task). As you ride more, you will likely perceive the task as being easier (since you have successfully completed it) and for all intents and purposes it will now be easier even if your fitness hasn't changed. Luckily, over the same time your fitness will improve which will actually make the task easier. Now not only is the task feeling easier, but it is becoming easier too. Both combined will translate to further reductions in the perception of fatigue.

This is why there is truth in the colloquialism that it gets easier over time. Conversely if you feel that this is becoming an arduous task, your perception will actually increase your feelings of fatigue (again the task hasn't changed - nor has your ability to complete it). This is why taking actions such as improving how easily your bike rolls can help reduce the feelings of fatigue (the actually task hasn't changed much, but your perception of the task has changed, translating into lower a perception of fatigue).

The long and short of it is that 50 minutes twice a day is not a trivial amount of exercise, but is definitely manageable (assuming you are otherwise healthy). Personally, my commute takes about the same length of time (bit longer distance) and find it quite sustainable at 5 days a week. At 3/4 days a week I usually feel rested and ready to tear things up. Occasionally, I will feel days of fatigue but I find strangely enough I get re-energized by working through it (i.e., listen to your body and slowing down, but not giving up). I think this again plays back into the perceptions of fatigue vs true physical fatigue.

Again assuming you are healthy, perception may be a large component of what you feeling. If you are able to ride out the tough spot, it most likely will get easier. In two months time your perception may have totally changed. Rather than longing for a car, you will feel like a trapped animal whenever you find yourself stuck in one staring out at people riding by wondering why you didn't ride that day.

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20 miles in 50mins each way? I make that an avg of 24mph going as you describe "fairly easy pace" on a hybrid bike. That's impressive. It's almost not worth buying a car.

But on a serious note - if you are "not really fit" - I would suggest your times or distance are wrong.

It takes a good few weeks (3 to 4) to get used to that kind of distance with that kind of regularity. Persevere with it and your legs will build some serious strength. You'll also burn off any excess weight.

Recommend clip-in pedals and decent cycling shoes. Pack for all-weather - ie. a decent packable rain jacket, waterproof shoe covers. Decent lights. CO2 cannister for punctures - you might want to "slime" your tubes for added puncture resistance.

Keep at it.

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    I don't know if I'd go with clip in pedals. Kinda pricey + need to switch shoes at work depending on the dress code. – Batman Jul 10 '17 at 12:06
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    I think we're talking 20 miles total distance and 50 minutes each way, which is only 12mph. – David Richerby Jul 10 '17 at 12:14
  • I'd go with clipless in some conditions but not if it's stop-start (at those speeds it isn't). For anything short of suit and tie you can get clipless shoes but a change of shoes is a good idea anyway because staying in wet or sweaty shoes all day isn't good. – Chris H Jul 10 '17 at 12:22
  • I think it's 20 miles total in 50 minutes each way so half that speed. – Chris H Jul 10 '17 at 12:24
  • Question clearly states miles a day – paparazzo Jul 10 '17 at 17:27

You will quickly get in better shape and pick up 3+ mph.

My experience is out of shape working out is work. In shape working out is fun. Push through it.

At the end of 2 months I hope you decide you want to ride. For a short commute a bike can be faster than a car. Especially if you need to deal with a parking garage.

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  • Hey folks thanks for replying. And sorry if i was not clear. I cycle 50 minutes to work and 50 minutes from work to get home.. around 10 miles each time. Just curious as been at it 3 weeks plus and still feel same way in regards to its hard ass cycle to do.. but i must as bills need paid lol. Loving the recomendations and tips. Also i have many inclines and when going up i put gear on easiest gear were legs turn quicker... instead of hard gear were you need to put more power in... dors that make sense and is that right way to tackle steep up hill inclines? – user12775 Jul 10 '17 at 20:26
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    Three weeks you should be starting to get in shape. Give it a few more weeks. – paparazzo Jul 10 '17 at 21:40
  • Yes, an easier gear for going up hills is right. Keep at it. Even when you get in shape you'll have easier weeks and harder weeks. From what you're describing I wouldn't recommend clipless pedals yet. They do keep your feet in place and transfer power more efficiently, but they're not necessary for what you're doing. I ride with flat pedals on my commuter (8 miles each way) and clipless on my faster road and mountain bikes. More important would be fenders, lights (some people even use them during the day to be seen better), and rack with bag or basket (so you don't have to carry a backpack). – Noah Sutherland Jul 11 '17 at 23:52

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