I have been practicing this commute for a couple months to work and back (4.2 miles there and 4.8 miles return).
When I started practicing on my old Trek 7100 I was dying and made it in 35 minutes. Had to rest a lot along the way, but hey, it's better than taking a car, even with the walking.
So, after getting my time down to about 30 minutes I decided to trade up and get a better bike. I bought a Trek Soho 1.0. I like it because it's durable, quick, and fun. It's a very solid bike and was $700 (plus I bought a computer and a pump).
Anyway, I practiced the commute a couple times on the new bike, and am pretty much hitting it consistently at 25 minutes each way and am confident that eventually I can get to 20 minutes when I'm in better shape).
I forgot to mention that I'm a teacher, which is why I was practicing the commute to work and back. Nobody was there.
So today I had a great commute there and a great ride home.
One thing that never occured to me until today was that I'd be rested for the ride home. Previously, when practicing, the ride home seemed quite difficult. I can't believe I didn't stop to think that I'd have all day at work to recover from the morning ride.
On the way to work I have three sizable hills to deal with (sizable for me at least), and on the way back I have three hills to deal with, two of which are small and one which is an intense climb. On the way home today I was able to sprint up the hardest hill. I was thrilled.
So, I'm digging this. I got home and gave my car in the driveway a little smile.
9 miles round trip. I should have been doing this sooner.