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  1. #1
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Lengthening my Commute

    I'm looking to buy a house and I've found what would otherwise be the perfect little house for me.....affordable & I like it.

    Problem is its twice as far from work as I live now. I currently commute 7 miles each way, 5 days a week. If I moved to this house my commute would grow to just under 15 miles.

    I do longish rides on most weekends of 30+ miles, and I try to do something of 60+ miles at least once a month..so more distance isn't an alien concept to me.

    How big a deal is a 15 mile commute? I often laugh at how quickly my 7 mile commute flies by and I frequently take an extra turn to add a few miles on just for fun. I'm just really concerned that 15 miles is like just a little too far out, and I really enjoy commuting by bike. I'm not sure i'd want to give that up just to live in a house.

    I'm looking for some words of warning/encouragement or any experiences anyone's had with lengthening their commute.
    ...or from a bunch of people who commute 15 miles each way telling me to pipe down and HTFU.
    --Don't Panic.

  2. #2
    sɹɐʇsɟoןןnɟsʇıbɟɯo jdgesus's Avatar
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    i do 15 or more each way.
    adds two hours of commute time a day. do you have that extra hour?
    Quote Originally Posted by yummygooey View Post
    crabon/campy/rapha/roadie-bro.

    next step is recumbent.




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  3. #3
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Yep, Time is the one thing I've got lots of.

    I figure a 15 mile commute should take me around an hour at my usual pace.
    --Don't Panic.

  4. #4
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    Plenty of people commute 15 miles each way. Mine is 12 miles each way which is no problem. If you are healthy and in good shape a 15 mile commute should not be a problem due to the distance.

    Depending on what you have now you may want a different bike. You'll be getting home later and leaving earlier which could be a problem depending on your situation. (I know my wife wouldn't like it if I told here I would be home 20 minutes later every day)

    Paul

  5. #5
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    No wife, just cats.

    Its good to hear from some folks who do longer commutes. Its good inspiration.

    I may want a different bike....that's OK with me.... I'm always in need of an excuse to get another bike
    --Don't Panic.

  6. #6
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    I go 12 in the morning, and almost 15 in the afternoon, to avoid the traffic.

    I often add miles for training or to run errands. If time is not a big issue for you, then I would say go for it.

    Would your new route be safe, and fun to ride?
    Campione Del Mondo Immaginario

  7. #7
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I thought this was going to be a thread about looking for longer routes to work so that you CAN legthen your commute.

    Going 15 miles is no problem at all. By the most direct route, my commute is 10 miles. Often, especially if the whether is nice, I take a different route that makes it a bit over 13 miles. I'd go further if time were no issue, and I often head out at lunch just to enjoy some extra saddle time. It happens that my 13 mile route is on more open roads and usually doesn't take more than a couple minutes longer than the stop-and-go 10 mile route.

    That said, you may have a brief adjustment period to get used to the extra mileage. Be sure to get proper rest when your legs are tired and it will be no trouble.

  8. #8
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
    Would your new route be safe, and fun to ride?
    Approxmiately Equal in Safety. At least double the fun. I currently head up towards this area when I'm just looking to go exploring on bike. It would be nice to actually live up there.
    --Don't Panic.

  9. #9
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the encouragement folks. Its easy for me to get set into my ways having been commuting the same 7 miles for over 3 years now. It helps to think of it in absolutes...15 miles really is more fun than it is far.
    --Don't Panic.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    11 miles from work, average ride is 45 minutes. I could definitely go longer, except when it's below 0F and i wish it was shorter
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  11. #11
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    My bike portions of the commute are just about 15 miles each way (I have a half-hour train ride thrown in the middle of each way too). Exercise-wise, that is about perfect for me. Only doing 7 miles each way would not be enough excercise for me to be able to say that I am saving time by not needing to run, go to the gym, etc.

  12. #12
    Descends like a rock pallen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubcap View Post
    Only doing 7 miles each way would not be enough excercise for me to be able to say that I am saving time by not needing to run, go to the gym, etc.
    I do about 10mi and that's exactly how I see it. I no longer get frustrated about coming home and not being able to work in exercise time. The 40 minute commute for me is about 20 longer in the morning and about the same in the afternoon as driving and exercise is done when I get home. 15miles would still be very doable.

    Bottom line: I absolutely would not let this stop a great deal on a house unless there is just not any kind of safe route to get you from there to work.

  13. #13
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Why not figure a 15 mile route from current abode to work and ride it a few days or weeks to see how the longer commute feels?

  14. #14
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    16 mile commute from NJ to NYC over the GW bridge.
    3 or 4 times a week, defintely more fun in the summer
    compared with the current temps in the 20's/30's F.
    I've been doing this for about 5 years now.

  15. #15
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Thank you so much folks, this really is the only thing that's been nagging me and making me hesitant to put an offer down. I feel much more confident, thanks.

    I'll be sure to post back with pics if I get the house!
    --Don't Panic.

  16. #16
    nashcommguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    ...I may want a different bike....that's OK with me.... I'm always in need of an excuse to get another bike
    Would recommend some sort of cyclo-cross w/disc brakes, maybe. Good, flat resistant tires, 700x28mm, Topeak Road Morph w/gauge frame pump. Depending on your terrain you may want an IGH(Internally Geared Hub). Shimano Alfine 8 sp generally accepted as the best option.

    Anyway, I do 40 mi rt(when I'm not laid-off) on a cyclo-cross. Got it from www.bikesdirect.com for 500.00. It's got over 12,000 miles w/minimal maintenance and one minor truing. 30 mi rt is a good distance. Not too long not too short. Btw, when I got my bike it had Kenda cross tires that are too soft for pavement. I swapped them out for a set of Schwalbe Marathon Plus and have been riding on them ever since.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    ...I'm looking for some words of warning/encouragement or any experiences anyone's had with lengthening their commute.
    ...or from a bunch of people who commute 15 miles each way telling me to pipe down and HTFU.
    I have a year round basic and pleasant commute of 14 miles and from May to September I expand it on a progressive training schedule of up to 32 miles. The comfort level of the commute may be a factor in assessing the distance. In addition, I have the luxury of taking a comuter rail back to within two miles of home. I have a long workday and by about 8:00 PM, the train ride beckons more strongly than the bike ride. Nonetheless, while the return trip of 14 miles is not too burdensome if done earlier, I'm probably more psyched to ride in the morning since I don't have to do the reverse.

    People at work who mostly live around my suburban workplace ask me why don't I move closer, but I tell them 14 miles is a perfect cycle commuting distance. (In my head I think, "Why do you think they call it sub-urban living? )

    There have been a few threads about commuting length and my impression is the concensus that 20 miles each way is a reasonable limit.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-22-10 at 06:55 AM.

  18. #18
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    I thought this was going to be a thread about looking for longer routes to work so that you CAN legthen your commute.
    That's what I do in the nicer weather. I have a long loop that starts with six miles in the wrong direction. It ultimately adds 11 miles to my 4˝ mile commute. I miss it in the winter.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  19. #19
    One Man Fast Brick hubcap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    I miss it in the winter.
    Are the conditions such that you don't feel you can safely ride it in the winter?

  20. #20
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    I used to have a 12 mile commute (each way) and it felt too short in the summer, but "a little long, yet doable" in the winter. I bought a house last year and now my commute is 22 miles each way. 22 is fun from April to October, and I'll even stretch it to 30 or more when the weather is really great. However, 22 is not so great November to March especially when it's snowing or raining. Fortunately, I have the option of taking a train, which cuts the riding down to just 10 miles each way. So, I take the train most days from November to March.

    If I didn't have the option of taking a train or bus with my bike, then I would say 10-15 miles each way is the perfect distance (for me) for year round commuting. 15 might seem too far in December when it's cold, wet, and dark but it'll seem nice 7-8 months of the year.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Consularrider's Avatar
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    For the past two years, my commute has averaged between 12 and 15 miles (one way), and I haven't driven once. Like tsl, this is an extended commute from my one way direct route of 4.5 to 5 miles. However, during heavy snow falls, I have had to revert to my direct route because that is what gets plowed. We had a small snowfall last week, and the MUPs are still slick in spots so I have been adding different loops on cleared streets so I can keep up a minimum 25 miles per day ride. What would your contingency plans be if there is too much snow to ride (or wind/rain/hail/etc)? The 30 mile round trip would not keep me from choosing the house if I had some other way to get to work in the worst case scenario.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    … I have the luxury of taking a commuter rail back to within two miles of home. I have a long workday and by about 8:00 PM, the train ride beckons more strongly than the bike ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
    ..I bought a house last year and now my commute is 22 miles each way. 22 is fun from April to October, and I'll even stretch it to 30 or more when the weather is really great. However, 22 is not so great November to March especially when it's snowing or raining. Fortunately, I have the option of taking a train, which cuts the riding down to just 10 miles each way. So, I take the train most days from November to March…
    Whereabouts do you ride? (I’m not familiar with your location of UTC+1. ) I ask because it doesn’t seem there are many parts of the country outside of the Northeast Corridor that have commuter rail service. Here in Metro Boston, one can bring a bike only during non-peak hours; I have such a non-peak reverse commute from home downtown to work in the suburbs.

    Fortunately, it takes me only a two minute ride from work to the train station so I know exactly when to leave and not have to wait, especially in the winter. My trains are usually on time too. From your post it seems you have a 12 mile ride to the train. That seems like a much harder connection to make. How does it work out for you?

  23. #23
    no one cares -holiday76's Avatar
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    my commute is 15 miles each way. Like was said, two hours or riding a day. That said, I'd never even consider not making an offer on a house because it would make my commute longer.
    Mmmm, bicycles.

    I prefer emails to private messages - holiday76@gmail.com

  24. #24
    Senior Member Maxxxie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    ...or from a bunch of people who commute 15 miles each way telling me to pipe down and HTFU.
    That'd be me 15 miles (24 Km) is a touch shorter than my "short" commute. Just do it, mate! More time on the bike = more time being happy!

    Max
    One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
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  25. #25
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubcap View Post
    Are the conditions such that you don't feel you can safely ride it in the winter?
    Yes. It includes an eight-mile unplowed MUP.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

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