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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-03-07, 01:47 PM   #1
tate65
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Do you mix up your routes

Typically about twice a month maybe less I will change my route for 1 day. Not really sure why but I just get the urge to go a different path. It is some times only a few blocks and no big deal other times it's the whole route. On occasion I have gotten into trouble, lost, or had to back track, but I enjoy all those, and once in a while I find a better way. Do you ever do this?
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Old 12-03-07, 01:59 PM   #2
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I have a couple different routes that I take under certain conditions:

My usual route.
The short route I take if I'm running late or if I have to fix a flat or whatever.
A little longer route that keeps me from having to ride in against a cold North wind on the way to the train.
And a variation of the short route that takes me past several groups of the TCU ladies' track/cross country teams when they're out training in late summer.
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Old 12-03-07, 02:00 PM   #3
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I usually like looking for new routes on my way home. When I'm heading to work or class, I rarely give myself enough time to adventure! Finding different ways to get around town is always helpful. I've pretty much got the most effecient routes down for my day to day needs, but sometimes a change of scenery is good for the brain.
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Old 12-03-07, 02:02 PM   #4
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When it has rained heavily, I'm pretty much forced to change my route. About 15% of my commute is usually on a bike path which floods quite easily.

I also change it up when I'm mentally tired. My alternate route is a few miles longer, but it is mostly side streets. If my head is not in the game, I stay off the main roads.

On a rare occasion, I'll ride downtown and hop on the train over to Irving. It knocks about 10 miles off my pedalling distance, but takes a half hour longer. Go figure.
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Old 12-03-07, 02:15 PM   #5
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I don't have as many options as I would like (I have to cross a river and there's really only 1 good way over it on the way home), but I switch it up a little bit from time to time. You'd be amazed at how much of a difference it can make to change just 1 or 2 streets. I didn't think it would make much of a difference until I was forced to do it one day because of construction. I've been a believer ever since.

When it's warm out I like to do different things in the morning (I'm a morning person), but now that it's cold I simply go for the fastest route. Within the next few months Mother Nature should throw enough things at me to keep things from getting too boring.
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Old 12-03-07, 02:20 PM   #6
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All the time. That's half the fun of bike commuting.
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Old 12-03-07, 02:29 PM   #7
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On the inbound route I had three different routes: 10, 13 & 15 miles. The longer routes I used during the summer when I didn't need lighting.

Going home was variable, from 10 to 50 miles depending on what I really wanted to do
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Old 12-03-07, 02:42 PM   #8
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I have routes from .5 miles to almost a 100. I am sure I could stretch a commute to a double century if I had the time.
However, 95% of the time I ride the same route over and over. It is a nice route with low traffic and nice scenery.
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Old 12-03-07, 02:43 PM   #9
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I have a few choke points in my route, but the last half mile home is a labyrinth and I make use of it. I try not to use the same way in that I did going out or for consecutive days.
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Old 12-03-07, 02:44 PM   #10
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I have different routes depending on which kid or kids I am dropping off/picking up, and other shopping I might need to do. There is a new MUP extension that is getting closer and closer to opening and I take that sometimes just for the heck of it.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:05 PM   #11
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I've pretty much refined my route to the most efficient possible over the last year or so and usually stick to it, although every once in a while I'll go in the other direction and just pedal. For the most part though, the adventurous stuff is reserved for the weekend road rides. When commuting, I usually just wanna get to work / home.

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Old 12-03-07, 03:06 PM   #12
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Sometimes, I usually ride the same routes because a) it's easier to not think about navigation some days and b) they're either fast, direct or both.

Times I'll vary are either if I've got time, if I feel like a change or if there's a situation forcing it (those are the fun ones when it's cold, wet and late and the main east/west road in town is closed right in the middle of the city )

An example for me would be the gentle slope heading upto Bloor on Sherbourne. This hill isn't very aggressive but the combination of wind, the hill, my fatigue and the lights stop/start really get to me - so I switch my north run to Bloor up quite a bit, though there aren't many choices I favour, there are plenty options I just choose not to take.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:13 PM   #13
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When commuting, I usually just wanna get to work / home.
Yeah this pretty much sums it up for me too, usually I'm on a time constraint of visitation or work, so I have to Just Do It(tm) without much meandering.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:32 PM   #14
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No. .3 miles up a big hill to the school. .3 miles down a big hill to home.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:37 PM   #15
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i vary it allot from day to day morning to night...

i am lucky and i have about 10 differenent ways i can go from 45 miles to 12.
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Old 12-03-07, 03:41 PM   #16
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I live in a rough area of town, and commute through a few different rough areas, so I like to vary my route. Just in case. Plus it helps so I don't get burnt out on riding and get to see different parts of town and maybe get some extra exercise.

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Old 12-03-07, 03:45 PM   #17
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I have found that it took several weeks to find the right route and have stuck with it for the entire time I have had to travel this distance (13 miles each way). Being consistent in my departure time and route has proven to be helpful in that I see the same drivers and they see me. When I am running late it is like a whole new group of drivers I have to train on how to deal with a cyclist on a road with zero shoulder.

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Old 12-03-07, 05:17 PM   #18
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I have a 14-mile commute that sometimes becomes 17 or 20. I don't think I've ridden the same route twice any two consecutive days in the past three years. Most of the city is laid out in a grid of 1/2 mile squares so I can go a mile south on this road or that one, and a mile east on that one or this one, and get to where I'm going. I also stay away from MUPs most of the time, because I can't stand the idiots with their dogs on 20-foot leashes. But on rainy days, those people are usually nowhere to be seen, so the MUP is a decent way to cover a few miles, even though it goes out of my way a bit. I would think that using the same route every day would be drudgery defined.
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Old 12-03-07, 05:27 PM   #19
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Not really possible for me. I take the most direct route, which is 10.8 miles. The smallest change in my route would result in about 2 extra miles, and results in 3 miles of travel on broken pavement with heavy, high speed traffic rather than the "1 car every 5 minutes" I get on my main route. The next one is also about 2 miles more, but results in 8 miles of gravel rather than 4. The next would be 5 extra miles, though all pavement instead of 4 gravel. Either way, I don't really have the time to spare.

I've done them all in the past when I had errands to run, or a road was closed or something, but I'm already pushing my time limit just riding at all.

Especially in the winter, with icy roads and hellacious headwinds; I don't really want any more miles.
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Old 12-03-07, 05:39 PM   #20
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Yup. I ride different routes from time to time unless I'm running late or something.
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Old 12-03-07, 05:54 PM   #21
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I take the same route every single day.

I can't be doing with thinking about new routes first thing in the morning.

Also between home and work in Sydney there are various harbour inlets / rivers, so my choice of route is dictated by where the convenient bridges are.
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Old 12-03-07, 06:43 PM   #22
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I have several parallel routes that don't vary in distance all that much. I've only gone through Shoreline Park on the Bay Trail on the way home once in 1.5 years. I did Foothill Expressway several times in the summer. And now that it's dark earlier, I am tending to take Central Expressway over my usual Middlefield route because of some intersections at the end that I don't want to take at rush hour AND in the dark.

So the answer is "yes".
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Old 12-03-07, 06:47 PM   #23
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On nice days I add length to the commute... actually going into areas with heavier traffic than the "ideal" route, but only because that is the only way to get to some nice fast roads (flat and straight, but longer) that are really enjoyable to spin on.

Other days I vary the route to include a view of the ocean, and a steep uphill.

But the bottom line is that my commute is constrained in a couple places by the local geography, and I must go through these pinch points no matter what. (or become an auto for freeway access... the only "alternative").

Sadly these longer routes are a bit risky in limited light... simply due to the heavier traffic and faster motor speeds.
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Old 12-03-07, 06:56 PM   #24
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My commute is a very short two miles. I bolt over to the school I work at from the school (University) I take classes from. On the way home I often stretch it out a bit, and when it was still light out I'd go hit up some trails or something.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:52 PM   #25
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It depends on the time of day or if it's friday. If I'm working late, then I'm going to take a longer route to avoid riding through some rough neighborhoods. On friday's, it's taking the beach path to wind down from the week and to avoid rush hour traffic, catch a bite at one of the local eateries, and might do a bit of grocery shopping on the way home.
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