I started in a new job almost three weeks ago at vzaar.com. Their office is near Wandsworth Town station, the area is really nice, Old York is is a lovely road. My only problem with this location is the distance from the place I live, which is a bit north of Manor House. Yes, it’s the other side of London.
The length of the route is approximately 12 miles and it takes me roughly an hour to get there on my Trek Soho bike. Interestingly, getting there by tube isn’t slower, it takes 55-65 mins to get there, even though I have to change 2 times.
For the sake of speed, I tend to use main roads as traffic doesn’t really bother me.
I was bit late from work the other day, so I decided to make a little experiment. I decided that on the way to work, I would pedal full on, and might jump the odd red light if it seemed safe. On the other hand, though, I promised to myself that I won’t hurry on the way back home, I would pedal casually, would act responsibly and would stop at each and every red light. I was curious how much difference is there between the two approaches.
Data from my Polar heart rate monitor. The speed measuring unit is still somewhere in my luggage so I cannot provide that data.
First leg: riding to work
I started rather strong and stormed to the top of Finsbury Park quite quickly. The experiment didn’t allow me, however, to roll down the hill idly, I was pushing the pedals all the way to Finsbury Park Station. After a brief flat section, I eagerly climbed up on Camden Road until York Road, which is the last big climb, from there on, only downhill and flat sections were ahead of me. I couldn’t really enjoy the downhill, as I was pushing hard to get back some time I lost at a crossing. The rest of the ride was quite uneventful, Regent Street was quite crammed, as usual but King’s Road, after Sloane Square, was really empty, which was a nice surprise as it’s usually really busy and the narrow road doesn’t give cyclists much space to manouvre through the traffic.
It took me 55 minutes to get to my workplace, my average pulse was 146 bpm, my speed average was 12.9 and I burnt 769 kcal. It’s nice but there were two problems with it: I had spent almost 60 per cent of the time in high or maximum intensity thresholds, so I was really sweaty and I had to take a shower. I also jumped few red lights which is a bad thing for obvious reasons. Let’s see, what happened on the way home.
Riding slowly and casually.
Second leg: cycling back home
I was really looking forward to the ride back home in the afternoon. I started really slowly, I wasn’t in a hurry and I stopped at each and every red light, just as I was supposed to. I didn’t put much effort into climbing the ascents fast, I chose a convenient pace, the average heart rate was 117 bpm. It took me 1 hour and 4 minutes which is 9 minutes slower compared to my morning ride. I thought about it for a while but it’s not that much, only 16 per cent.
I was thinking about this for a while, but I concluded that it doesn’t really make sense to ride through London like crazy when you can’t gain much time and if you’re stopped by the wrong red lights, you might lose a lot if time, so decreasing the amount of time it takes to get to you destination depends on the luck as well. I, for one, won’t push myself that hard anymore during commuting, it just doesn’t make sense.