Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Commuting 30+ miles each way

    Does anyone here commute more than 30 miles each way to work? My job is about 33 miles away, with some rolling hills, and half is on tight roads with little shoulder. I've been considering doing a commute, maybe 2 days a week. Can anybody here share their experiences with doing this type of trip?

  2. #2
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    My Bikes
    Too darn many.. latest count is 11
    Posts
    5,345
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How much saddle time do you currently have commuting? What kind of bike are you riding? Have you test ridden the route?

    It's doable, but not for the faint of heart which is why I ask. I frequently do 30+, but my usual is right at 25. Even two days a week (I do 4-5) will have issues and best case scenarios, so a bit more detail about the ride and your conditioning would help.

  3. #3
    Member from- uh... France pharasz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    St Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix, Bianchi Volpe
    Posts
    329
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was commuting 18.7 each way, and doing it two days a week. Then I moved 30 miles away, and got a great idea from other posters here: I drive in Monday morning with the bike in the car. Then I bike home Monday night, get up and bike in Tuesday morning, and drive home Tuesday night. Repeat for Wednesday and Thursday. It was a beautiful plan and I tried it for my first time yesterday. I was 25.5 miles into the ride, only 4 miles from home, when a Lexus hit me from behind. I'm going to compose a nice long post now and tell all about it. But I still think the arrangement was a good idea - I'm just going to need a week or so to recover. Nothing broken, just a lot of bad bruises.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am in better than average shape, and have done two 500 miles self-supported bike tours. I haven't ridden in a while, but I have done many high mile days. But I have never sandwiched a day of work in between two long rides. My ride would be relatively flat, with some rolling hills in between. The traffic might be a bit hectic at times as well.

    And man, sorry to hear about your bike accident. Hope all ends well.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've got a 27 mile one way commute and drive halfway park then ride. If I do the full commute it seems to eat up to much time out of my life. (Almost 4hrs a day). So yes you can do it but is that much time worth it?

  6. #6
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,354
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've had commute routes as long as 45 miles each way. Most days I would ether drive or take the bus part way then ride the rest, but in the summer I would do the full monty 1-3 times a week. Another tact I used to use was driving to work with the bike, then riding home on the bike, leaving the truck, riding back in the morning, then driving both back home...rinse and repeat.

    Your body can get used to it easy enough, just like it does on long tours...but the time that it takes out of your day is more problematic.

    My best advice is to stage as much as you can at work...toiletries, shoes, clothing, food, drink, etc., using driving days to replace/replenish, so you can ride light, fast and easy.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Cracker Factory
    Posts
    24,354
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by pharasz View Post
    I was commuting 18.7 each way, and doing it two days a week. Then I moved 30 miles away, and got a great idea from other posters here: I drive in Monday morning with the bike in the car. Then I bike home Monday night, get up and bike in Tuesday morning, and drive home Tuesday night. Repeat for Wednesday and Thursday. It was a beautiful plan and I tried it for my first time yesterday. I was 25.5 miles into the ride, only 4 miles from home, when a Lexus hit me from behind. I'm going to compose a nice long post now and tell all about it. But I still think the arrangement was a good idea - I'm just going to need a week or so to recover. Nothing broken, just a lot of bad bruises.
    Bummer...glad you are ok.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jon70 View Post
    So yes you can do it but is that much time worth it?
    One reason I'm considering this is because I cant seem to find enough time in the day to ride. And my car commute is already almost 2 hours a day. Might as well get the riding in on the way to work I guess.

  9. #9
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,624
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by pharasz View Post
    I was 25.5 miles into the ride, only 4 miles from home, when a Lexus hit me from behind. I'm going to compose a nice long post now and tell all about it. But I still think the arrangement was a good idea - I'm just going to need a week or so to recover. Nothing broken, just a lot of bad bruises.
    Hey man, you should be honoured to be hit from behind by a Lexus. After all, their slogan goes...

    Vancouver Modern Portrait Photography

    Zenfolio.com membership discount code: UBV-HJY-SCY

  10. #10
    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    O'ahu
    My Bikes
    Alex Moulton Double Pylon, Surly Big Dummy, Alex Moulton GT
    Posts
    870
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by allanmac00 View Post
    One reason I'm considering this is because I cant seem to find enough time in the day to ride. And my car commute is already almost 2 hours a day. Might as well get the riding in on the way to work I guess.
    Well if your car commute is two hours then you are getting four hours of exercise for two hours of your time. Anyway, two hours for 60 miles comes out to 30 mph average speed. Is this even throughout the route or is there one half that is much slower than the other. If so, you might be able drive the fast stretch and then bike the slow stretch and the biking won't cost you any net time at all and you will be getting the exercise. In this case you would be crazy not to bike commute at least the slow stretch.
    The more you drive the less intelligent you are. - Tracy Walter as Miller in Repo Man.

  11. #11
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    My Bikes
    Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina
    Posts
    2,813
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by allanmac00 View Post
    One reason I'm considering this is because I cant seem to find enough time in the day to ride. And my car commute is already almost 2 hours a day. Might as well get the riding in on the way to work I guess.
    Well then, try it. My hats off to you. I'm sure your body will adapt. Keep us updated. I do a 7 mile commute each way and it doesn't interfere much with my normal schedule. I just know that the afternoon commute takes a bit more out of me than the AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
    My Bikes
    Surly CrossCheck, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Scott SUB 20 (sold), Raleigh M20, Mongoose Decade (sold), Huffy (unknown model, sold)
    Posts
    399
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    40 miles each way. i've never ridden the full distance, opting most days to ride 15 miles and take a bus the rest of the way in (repeat on the way home). occasionally will ride all the way home in the afternoon if the weather is nice and i just want to chill. haven't ridden the full 40 into work in the am because i'd rather sleep an extra hour or 2 than ride the 3-3.5 hours into work.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Southeast
    My Bikes
    cyclotank
    Posts
    705
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK, let's review strategic and tactical gains and losses.

    Assuming you are giving up cardio time at the gym and have commute-specific attire:

    If (((Time riding + Time changing and cleaning) - Time driving) - Time at the gym) < 0, you are on top strategically.

    Tactically, it is an approximately 2.5 h chunk of time that can not be parsed out, in case of family emergency it can be a real problem.

    Only you can decide....

    Ride safe and have fun

    SF
    I take great pride in my humility.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    No. CA
    Posts
    347
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm 35 miles away from work. On the days I cycle (2 per week), I drive 10 miles to the end of our bike trail and cycle the remaining 25. It's mostly flat and takes about 1-1/2 hr each way. Since I don't go to the gym on the days I cycle to work, it works out about the same time. I also save a few minutes because my bike locker is 20 ft from the office door, versus car parking lot blocks away. We do have a locker room with showers.

    No worries about narrow roads and little shoulders since most of my trip is on a bike path. Biggest obstacle I have is the wildlife (turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, deer, snakes) and innattentive joggers with headphones.


    If I need to work late into the evening or something comes up I can always hop on public transit to get back to my car. I found it essential to have a backup plan to get home in case something happens (mechanical, weather, work, family emergency, or ???) that prevented me from cycling home.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    17
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It works better for me if I ride monday and friday with three days off. More than that and I can get wiped out if I have a bad week at work. Because you are wanting more time to ride, this could work to start. I second having a backup plan to get home, (or more than one) You never know when an emergency will come up. Now just try it and enjoy yourself. Let us know how it works out.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South East Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,090
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I ride 23 miles each way to work. I drive in on Monday and leave my truck at work and ride most of the week. I have another truck at home just in-case something comes up. It takes me about 1.5 hours to do 23 miles.
    Hybrid) Trek FX 7.2
    Road bike) Specialized Secteur Elite
    Mountain bike) Marin Bobcat trail
    Founding member of the Hybrid Forum
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    I have thoughts
    Charlie

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Lebanon, OH
    My Bikes
    Surly CrossCheck, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Scott SUB 20 (sold), Raleigh M20, Mongoose Decade (sold), Huffy (unknown model, sold)
    Posts
    399
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    on the topic of backup plans:

    having only a small window for taking a bus home (4:00 - 5:30pm), and being 40+ miles away from home initially was a concern for me. over time though i've become very good at managing my time. i have no problem dropping my work when it's time to run and catch a bus. additionally my coworkers know i need at least 1 day's notice before scheduling late afternoon meetings lest i'm fuc't. missing the last bus means a 3 hour ride home, and in some circumstances (i.e. leaving after 7pm) it's just not viable at all.

    for the OP: if you're worried about the backup plan, don't be. worst case scenario you can catch an expensive cab ride home if you really need to. but in 3 years of bike commuting long distances, i've never once had to rush home for an emergency.

  18. #18
    Senior Member KLW2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    White Bear Lake Mn
    My Bikes
    88 Schwin Voyageur, 84 Schwinn World Sport, 85 Univega Alpina Uno, 85 Fuji Espree, 09 Novara Strada, 06 Jamis Durango, 03 Specialized Expediton Sport, 09 Surly LHT, 12 Novara Gotham
    Posts
    758
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mine is 25 each way and last year I rode it 5 days a week. I found that after a while, I started to get less efficient and more tired...I normally carry about 23 lbs of stuff (laptop, clothes, lunch, etc) as well. Last fall I finally decided that 20 each way would be better and drove part way...made all the difference in the world...

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,056
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In the summer, I ride 22 miles each way 5 days/week. On nice days, I sometimes take the "long" way home and end up with 50-60 total miles for the day. Physically, it's not very challenging anymore as my body is used to this kind of riding, but I think 30+ miles each way would be hard to maintain if you're not already cycling 200+ miles/week. The main thing, as several posters mentioned, is the time involved. I spend about 3 hours/day on my bike, which is big chunk of time on a work day.

    akohekohe made a great point about minimizing your commute time. I work in a city that has nightmarish traffic jams every day. Driving to work takes 90 minutes. Biking to work also takes 90 minutes. However, if I drive the fast part and park just outside of town, then take my bike the last 5 miles, I can get to work in under 50 minutes. I rarely do this, though, since we're a one car family and my wife uses the car most days.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    My Bikes
    2006 Raleigh Mojave 2008 Specialized Roubaix Elite
    Posts
    415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i do 22 miles each way from march to december- given my busy schedule it's the only way i can accumulate mileage.
    i typically will do 3 days a week, i tried for 4 this week but i had a flat tire this morning and couldn't get it changed in time (hard case tires are a bear)
    30 miles is certainly doable if you have the training
    __________________________________________________
    "No, I do not wear tights. I wear the required uniform"

  21. #21
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    My Bikes
    Trek 830 Mountain Track Drop bar conversion
    Posts
    2,053
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by benda18 View Post
    for the OP: if you're worried about the backup plan, don't be. worst case scenario you can catch an expensive cab ride home if you really need to. but in 3 years of bike commuting long distances, i've never once had to rush home for an emergency.
    Or, if you're in a big metropolitan area, you may be eligible for a guaranteed ride home program as a bike commuter. Here in the DC area, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Commuter Connections service has such a program. It extends to cover cycle commuters - not just transit users or ride sharers, etc. I have signed up for it just in case, but have never needed to use it. (Knock on wood.)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •