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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 12-29-09, 04:58 PM   #1
Lamabb
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Longest commute?

I am thinking about possibly finally biking instead of driving for my commute, but I am reluctant since it is pretty long. Before giving it a shot I wanted to hear what long commutes you guys have.

If you don't have a long commute, what would be your cut-off point?

Also, what type of ride is it? for me it would be very hilly with very populated narrow roads. I am willing to do it after all I have read on these forums.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:09 PM   #2
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70 minute average each way was my longest. I probably wouldn't want one any longer than that unless I only worked 3 days a week. I moved to get closer to my work a few years ago. Sometimes I think about moving closer still.

Your proposed commute sounds like a nightmare unless you roll in to work around 5 am.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:11 PM   #3
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If you don't have a long commute, what would be your cut-off point?
My longest commute was 17 miles each way. I found it really cut into my life. Currently, it's 9.6 each way. Thats about as long as I'd like it. I think that 5 miles is about ideal.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:13 PM   #4
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My commute's a little over 9 miles each way, probably 5 miles suburban streets, 2 miles MUPs, 1 mile rural road, and 1 mile downtown. It's Sacramento so it's flat as a pancake and winters are easy (summer afternoons can be a drag tho).

With all the stoplights/stop-signs (and my weak engine), it takes me 45-55 minutes. That's a pretty good distance for me. I wouldn't mind about 3 miles shorter, but 9 is okay. I probably wouldn't do it if it were over 15 miles.

Partly for traffic reasons and partly for day care reasons I go in early (6:30 arrival) and leave early (3:00 leave). That means I ride in the dark every morning. That's okay too, in my book it's safer than the higher traffic at rush hour.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:14 PM   #5
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My longest was 15 miles each way... I found that while I could do it, It was not to enjoyable. Now I ride our train (NCTD Sprinter) and ride about 5 miles. Much more enjoyable and keeps me wanting to ride everyday.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:41 PM   #6
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It depends if you have a car or fast mass transit.

I am car free and don't like anything over 10 miles.
I figure 10mph.

Right now my commute is 12 , but it might be temporary so I am not moving.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:44 PM   #7
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Wow. I must really have no life left and have a sucky commute reading others posts

24.8 miles. One way. It's "my time" and while sometimes I have downer days I love it.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:50 PM   #8
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I have a pretty short commute. I think I would drive if it is over 10miles. However it really depends weather conditions, traffic, safety of the route, the time it takes, and especially the terrain. If I had a longer commute I might consider driving part of it and biking the rest.
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Old 12-29-09, 05:58 PM   #9
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I do about 9.5 miles each way, but I will add 1/2 to 3 miles most days just for fun. I like to change up the route. The longest I would go is probably 20 miles. After that it just takes too much time. As to the route, it is almost all uphill to and all down hill home. The ride breaks down almost exactly half MUP and half rural frontage road. Most of my alternate routes add quite a bit of climbing and take me through subdivisions. At it's shortest, my commute takes about 45-50 mins to and closer to 30-40 from.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:06 PM   #10
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My commute lasts about 1/2 hour each way. That's about as long as I'd want to commute. Long enough to give me some exercise, but doesn't take up too much of my time.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:28 PM   #11
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Wow. I must really have no life left and have a sucky commute reading others posts

24.8 miles. One way. It's "my time" and while sometimes I have downer days I love it.
+1 more or less the same distance--and I wouldn't trade it for anything (except in the winter--when they don't plow the bike paths...and I'm stuck on the bus/metro)
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Old 12-29-09, 06:36 PM   #12
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Mine is 10 miles each way and takes about 40-45 minutes. Could be as short as 6 but I like the extra distance. Any longer would cut in on my free time too much.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:45 PM   #13
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My last commute was 2.5 kilometres -- way too short. I think about 15-20 kilometres is ideal as you can actually make training out of that.

Working from home for yourself is the ideal ideal though, as long as you can drag yourself out and put some distance in ... but then that wouldn't be commuting.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:53 PM   #14
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In my college days I commuted something like 45 miles to school. This was one way. I actually lived about 5 miles from the school, but I would go around the back way and take a long country route on the way... Took me over 2 hours.

Then I would shower in the college gym locker rooms, go to class (basically spend the day at college); then go to work a few miles away and finally ride the last 4 miles or so home. So my entire round trip was about 50 miles.

Later after I graduated, I bike commuted about 24 miles each way... took about an hour and a half each way. I decided that was as far as I ever wanted to ride though the city on a regular basis.

All my most recent commutes have been under 12 miles each way.

At one point I heard of a guy that commuted 65 miles each way... most of it was country road. Never met him though... so perhaps an urban legend.
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Old 12-29-09, 06:58 PM   #15
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+1 more or less the same distance--and I wouldn't trade it for anything (except in the winter--when they don't plow the bike paths...and I'm stuck on the bus/metro)
If you're commuting from Reston, we're probably on the trail together
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Old 12-29-09, 07:10 PM   #16
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I like to commute by bike but I'm sure it's not always viable. It would depend on several factors. In a big city commuting by bike is usually faster than anything else: distances are shorter - I ride 8 miles each way, few people ride more than 10 miles - and traffic makes driving unbearably slow during rush hours and mass transit is unreliable.

So as long as my other commuting options are not significantly shorter and more convenient I'd ride a bike. Let's say it'd take 30 minutes by subway and 1 hour by bike I'd still ride a bike. If I could drive to work in 10 minutes (and have a free parking spot LOL) versus 1 hour by bike, I'd probably couldn't resists and would drive, so I'm glad that's not the case

In rural areas commute distances are longer and driving is usually quicker so my cutoff would be probably be 20 miles each way in flat area and in hilly areas probably 10 miles each way. Also the quality and safety of the road would be a big factor.

Also, if my job provided a shower facility, lockers, etc. I'd opt for longer commute by bike.

The ride is supposed to be fun. If it becomes frustrating and dangerous I wouldn't ride to work.

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Old 12-29-09, 07:36 PM   #17
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On the streets, 11 miles round trip. 14 by MUP. If it was much longer than that, I'd consider moving.
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Old 12-29-09, 07:37 PM   #18
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I go 20 miles one-way to work about 3 times a week when the roads are clear. I really enjoy it and it keeps me sane. When it's really bad winter conditions, it can go down to about 1 day a week, and the lack of exercise can leave me feeling a bit depressed (or maybe its just the lack of daylight... who knows).
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Old 12-29-09, 07:51 PM   #19
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I frequently read that 10 miles one way is somewhat the cut-off. I have a 7.3 mile one way commute and find it just perfect, wouldn't want it shorter or longer. And while a lot of people have 10+ miles commutes and seem to manage just fine, I understand the (somewhat arbitrary) cut off at 10 miles one-way.
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Old 12-29-09, 08:06 PM   #20
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Mine was 10 miles each way to school and 4 each way to work. If I didn't work I would usually do another 8 each way to a friends house and a few more if he felt like riding, but I still haven't done more than 60 in a day.. Now that I live in Chicago my commute has become a lot less and a lot less fun with all the traffic
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Old 12-29-09, 08:08 PM   #21
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Length of commute = how often I'd want to ride it. At 12 miles one way, I average 3 days a week most months of the year. If it was shorter I'd do it more often, longer less often. Even a 30 miler would beg me to do it a few times a month.
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Old 12-29-09, 08:18 PM   #22
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My Commute would be 30 miles.. 4 days a week. that's 60 a day. i could probably manage it, but I would most likely hate it. it would be hilly and on main roads. I'll probably do it a few times but never as my actual commute.
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Old 12-29-09, 08:21 PM   #23
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But home demands are a crucial bit of the equation. I'm nearly 50 and have a 7 year old daughter. If my commute ran much longer than an hour each way, I'd be stealing time from my family and I don't want to do that. (In fact, I quit a perfectly good job because I had to DRIVE an hour each way).

If I was 20 and single again, a 2 hour commute might seem very reasonable. In that case it's more a matter of: what do you want to spend your time on?
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Old 12-29-09, 08:34 PM   #24
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Mine was 28 miles each way and about 3-4 days a week. Now it is 0.0 miles.
I would rather work from home and go out when I want.
56 a day resulted in frequent burnout. Especially with a young child and a lazy (now ex) wife.
For me the perfect distance would be 15miles each way 5 days a week.
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Old 12-29-09, 08:47 PM   #25
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10 miles one way would be my cut-off for a daily commute.
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