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  1. So I was panicking for a little there, worrying about what I was going to do to replace kettlebells when classes end for the summer - I couldn't find another reasonably priced class that I was interested in. But I've decided to just roll with it, and change things up for the summer, and become more of a Scout/Druid hybrid. I'll still attempt to get some 'Belling in a home, to prevent total annihilation come Fall, but the focus this summer will be logging miles (biking and walking) and improving flexibility (yoga). And that's okay. Goal the First: Bike Commute! I've been mostly bike commuting since the start of May, and probably averaging a little under 4x per week. The aim is to bike EVERY day that I work, although realistically weather and needing a car directly after work interfere on occasion. For the length of this challenge,I should be working on 18 days. I'm going to allow myself to make up for any missed days additional rides, evenings and weekends. A = 18 B = 15 C = 12 D = 9 F = <9 +3 END Goal the Second: Be Bendy and Strong! My usual workout routine includes kettlebell classes, 2x per week. That will be wrapping up at the end of June, so I'm transitioning to a yoga-based workout schedule during this challenge. There's a $5 drop in "Yoga in the Park" that runs after work, 3x per week, weather permitting, and incidentally is right on my route home. Between both activities, I'm aiming for 2-3 workouts per week. A = 10 B = 8 C = 6 D = 4 F = <4 +2 DEX, +2 STR, +2 INT Goal the Third: Walk a bunch! It's time to resurrect the step goal. It's (generally) gorgeous out, it's light out late, and I have hour long lunches once again. The target is 70,000 steps per week. I'm hoping Hiroro is still up for our Weekend Step Challenges!? A = 280,000 B = 255,000 C = 230,000 D = 205,000 F = <200,000 +2 END Goal the Fourth: Eat so good. The usual metrics - if I can actually follow this, I have wonderous success! The plan is designed for one YAYFOOD day per week, plus two misses on one of the items, which gives me a little wiggle room if I feel like I need more calories or carbs on a workout day... or just need some flexibility for no terribly good reason Carbs >100g Protein >80g Calories >1800Kcal 3pts per item per day, 16 points per week A = 64 B = 56 C = 48 D = 40 F = <36 +1CON +2CHA BONUS GOAL I have a bad habit of ghosting from the forums in the middle of a challenge, so I'm adding a check-in goal: 6x per week:Comment on someone else's thread 3x per week:Update my own thread A = 36 B = 30 C = 24 D = 18 F = <18
  2. Guys, I'm actually really excited about this challenge! I feel like I mostly start challenges feeling like I need to reset; respawn. But I was just picking up steam as the last one ended, and I gotta tell you, it feels really good to start with some momentum! I just started bike commuting again this week - it's going WONDERFULLY well! I have honestly barely been on my bike since I stopped biking to work last fall, and I thought it was going to kill me. But, it turns out that I'm actually in much better shape than I was at this time last year. Whaddaya know?! 8 months of kettlebell classes might just be paying off. Which isn't to say it's not getting my heart rate up, or anything, but I actually still have energy to do stuff after I get home. Major win there. And it took very little time for me to get back into the routine, and I really enjoy it. It's a great way to get the blood moving before my desk job takes over (although I did get one of those fancy sit-stand desks, so that mitigates it a little.) I promised (someone? Who was that... ) a while ago that I would do a Hot Rod themed challenge... but I think I'm just going to make it a Andy Samberg theme, since that'll give me a little more material. Thus, without further ado: Goal the First: The part with the biking and the butts Actually, I don't want my butt to go anywhere. I like my squat butt. But I could really stand to lose the spare tire. I digress. The goal is to bike to work. On all the days I work. For the length of this challenge, that ought to be 18 days (I've got a 4 day weekend in the middle). I'm going to allow myself to make up for any missed days with cycling outings of greater or equal length of the round trip commute, however. A = 18 B = 15 C = 12 D = 9 F = <9 +3 END +1CHA Goal the Second: The part with the balls of iron and the sweat So the other day, as I was leaving class, one of the guys stepped out of my way, and was like "After you". So like the lady I am, I said "Thank you." And he said, "No sweat." And I was like "Hahaha but actually - a lot of sweat." Because that room is stuffy AF. Even when we open the door. So, as readers of my last challenge may recall, the place I do kettlebells at is having a promotion right now that involved unlimited classes. Now, there are really only a couple other classes that I can make it to, beyond the ones I already do, but it's feasible to do at least three classes a week at the moment. I'm not really wanting to commit to going 3 times a week though. But I'm going to aim to do so at least twice this month. A = 10 B = 8 C = 6 D = 4 F = <4 +2STR+2END Goal the Third: The part where we eat more better and less worse Maybe one day I will formulate this goal in the perfect way that will lead to unprecedented success. In the meantime: Carbs >100g Protein >80g Calories >1800Kcal 3pts per item per day. Aiming for 16 points per week. Obviously (you would think) I need to be tracking properly for this to work. A = 64 B = 56 C = 48 D = 40 F = <36 +2CON +2CHA Goal the Fourth: The part where I get my sh%t together, or whatever In the interests of accountability, I'm porting over the items that didn't get done from my last list, and adding a few to replace the ones I did do. -Prep garden beds for planting. -Build raised bed in back. -Take donations in. -Organize entry way and front closet. -Take in cardboard recycling. -Clean out broom closet. -Organize hall closet. -Plant the front bed -Plant the new raised bed (see item 2) -Remulch apple tree A : 8+ B : 6+ C : 4+ D : 2+ F: 1 or less +3INT Because I'm too legit. Too legit to quit.
  3. It's both wonderful and also rather annoying how much my mood improves once I start getting regular doses of sunshine. This beautiful weather has me playing outside, getting the yard/garden in order, and generally energetic and optimistic about life. I think you'll find that reflected in this challenge! Goal One: Move it! Part A: Kettlebells 2x per week Same old, same old here. Tuesdays and Thursdays, we kettlebell. Go muscles! Part B: Go for a bike ride 2x per week My bicycle situation has been resolved! (Bike was stolen in the fall. I am taking over hubby's bike - which was actually too small for him, and fits me just fine - as we have found a new-to-him bike.) I'm planning to start bike commuting full time in May - my bus pass runs out at the end of April, and I don't want to buy a new one until September at the earliest. I need to get my cycling muscles back! The 2x per week thing is a bare minimum, and ideally should include one longer ride (10km+) per week. My commute is just over 4k each way, so that should be good. I also plan to bike in to work a few times before the month is over, but that will be in addition to these rides. A : 16+ B : 14+ C : 12+ D : 10+ F:<10 Goal Two: Eat it! Good food, that is. Hiroro reminded me of something I said a long time ago about fighting cravings with deliciousness, and it made me realize I was missing an opportunity there. I kept making these healthy, but uninspired meals, and then not feeling satisfied and either eating something else entirely or in addition. So I am going to combine more interesting, healthy meals with some good old fashioned food prep to minimize room for error. That's the strategy in order to get to the following goal: Metrics: 3 points per day, 6 days per week Carbs: <100g Protein: >80g Calories: <1800 A : 70+ B : 64+ C : 58+ D : 52+ F: <50 Goal Three: Step it! Get over 222,222 steps in the next four weeks. Just for fun. A : 222,222+ B : 202,202+ C : 180,180+ D : 167,167+ F: <159,159 Goal Four: Live it! This is a laundry list of things I'd like to accomplish in the next month. -Remove all leaves and other dead vegetation from the yard, front and back. -Prep garden beds for planting. -Prune trees. -Build raised bed in back. -Organize spare room closet. -Take donations in. -Organize entry way and front closet. -Take in cardboard recycling. -Clean out broom closet. -Organize hall closet. (Can you tell I have a closet problem?) A : 8+ B : 6+ C : 4+ D : 2+ F: 1 or less
  4. Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.... - Thomas Edison Look at that, an inspirational quote! When I got up this morning, I thought, "Oh yeah, the new challenge starts today." But it was gray and rainy and I was sleepy and my hair was doing weird things and I thought, "Well ... maybe I'll take a break from challenges. I haven't really had that much success. My last one was a complete failure. Even the things I succeeded at for the challenges didn't really stick." Then I said to myself, "Hold on, Self! We've learned a lot of stuff. You conquered your fear of joining an anonymous online forum. You haven't had soda pop in five months. You completed a whole30, which is something all by itself. Let's not give up just yet." "Okay, okay, fine. You're so pushy and cheerful, Me. Very well; we shall slog onwards." Onward I slog - this time, on wheels! Pros of Bike Commuting: Not spending money on gasoline Exercise is automatically built into your day. People think you're crazy, always a plus. Cons of Bike Commuting: My town likes to think it's bike-friendly. It isn't. My bike is not in the best shape. I don't actually like riding a bicycle. Goal Work up to biking to work every day. My regular commute is a mere 5 miles round trip. My summer job is 10 miles round trip. I've done both distances before, during my year without a car, but they never seemed to get any easier. I think this is because I never biked any further than I had to so I was always exhausted when I got to work or home. Steps to Goal: 1. Increase frequency and distance First week: Bike to work 2 times. Bike double my regular commute (10 miles) on the weekend. Second week: Bike to work 3 times. Beat my previous distance on the weekend. Third week: Bike to work 4 times. Beat last weekend's distance this weekend. Fourth week: Bike to work 5 times. Beat last weekend's distance this weekend. Fifth week: Bike to work 3 times. Bike to work 2 times, adding distance on my way home. Beat last weekend's distance this weekend. Sixth week: Bike regular commute distance 2 times. Bike summer commute distance 3 times. Beat last weekend's distance this weekend. 2. Add strength training I've done the beginner bodyweight workout before, and it was good, but I'm going to try something different this time and use a workout from darebee - still bodyweight, but alternating days of lower body (squats and so on) and upper body (pushups and what have you) work. I think it will be more habit forming to have a short strength session every day (six days a week, one off). 3. Fix my bike My bike is a low-end, Wal-Martish bicycle. The gears never have shifted properly, so I just leave it in a middle gear. It's a bit too small for me - no matter how high I raise the seat, I can still put my feet flat on the ground. And the chain occasionally falls off for no apparent reason. But there's no way I can afford a nicer bike right now - even a nicer Wal-mart bike is outside my budget; forget a really nice bike from a bike shop. However, the wheels go around when I push the pedals, I live in a really flat place where changing gears isn't that important, I can slide to the very back of the seat to get better extension, and the chain has actually only fallen off twice ... The few times I've attempted to fix anything it has only made the problem worse, so I will save up to have a professional take a look at my bike and see what can be done to make it better. I have no idea how much it costs to have a bike serviced/repaired, so if it turns out to be ridiculously expensive I might slog on with this bike as is and save up for a better bike instead.
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