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  1. #1
    Senior Member Drummerboy1975's Avatar
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    Is 12 miles too far to ride to work?

    That's one way. And my phones maps says it will take me 1hrs and 12min. I can do 12 miles like its nothing, but we are talking going to and from work.

    I need help deciding if I should.

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    Why is your PHONE telling you how fast you can ride? From what you say about 12 miles being 'nothing', I'd bet you're faster than THAT.

    I ride MTB exclusively -- commuting, errands, fun, family rides, whatever -- and I can do 12 miles faster than 1:12 ANY TIME.

    If 12 miles is nothing, then 24 a day should be little more; BUT, you may just feel a bit tired for a few days, that's all.

    Sounds like you're looking for 'permission'; hell, JUST DO IT.

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    I commute 11 miles each way. It is a bit chilly now that it is winter but still doable.

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    Senior Member MattFoley's Avatar
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    That's how far my ride is...takes me about an an hour and fifteen minutes due to city traffic that makes up the first/last 6 miles of my commute. I wouldn't do it if I wasn't able to shower at work, but it barely takes more time than driving and I actually have more energy throughout the day...and I don't have to add any additional exercise, so I have a net time savings. And last week, when it snowed unexpectedly in DC, I reckon the drive would've taken two hours due to traffic, but my ride time was unaffected, so there's that.

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    12.4 miles each way, right around 50 minutes depending on how the lights treat me. 590' of elev gain each way. Surley LHT with two panniers-one with laptop, small accordian file, and my man purse (wallet, phone, camera, flashlight); other with the day's clothing and lunch.

    No problem, just do it.

  6. #6
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    I used to commute 15 miles each way (in Maine), and now ride 8 miles each way (in California). I miss my Maine commute .

  7. #7
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Is 12 miles too far? That depends. I used to live 16.5 miles from work, or 20 miles if I took the scenic route.

    I rode about three days a week. I'm overweight and slow.

    How often do you want to ride? What kind of shape are you in? How dedicated are you?

    I now live car-free and have moved closer. I ride everyday, but my one-way commute is now 3.5 miles.
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  8. #8
    enginerd jeff^d's Avatar
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    Definitely a workable distance. Go for it.

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    mine is 11 miles, easily less than an hour on my mountain bike and thats including a few hills

    only issue sometimes is during the summer months, slowing myself down to make sure I dont work up too much of a sweat, since I ride like im racing pretty much all the time, on the way home though its pedal to the metal

  10. #10
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
    That's one way. And my phones maps says it will take me 1hrs and 12min. I can do 12 miles like its nothing, but we are talking going to and from work.

    I need help deciding if I should.
    I don't get it. If 12 miles is nothing, that's your answer. What has work got to do with it? And if I were you, I'd go by my typical riding speed, not what some phone app says.

    I don't understand why you need help deciding. Just try it. If it doesn't work for you, then you know, but if it does, then you know too.

    One relatively safe way to try is to ride on a non-working day to get an idea of the route and how long it might take you.
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  11. #11
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
    That's one way. And my phones maps says it will take me 1hrs and 12min. I can do 12 miles like its nothing, but we are talking going to and from work.

    I need help deciding if I should.

    12 Miles??? That's just a warm up. When I was working for TSU I was going 17 miles one way. Of course, terrain does factor into it. Houston is relatively flat and if you factor hills into it then distance could be an issue. I'd say ride a dress rehearsal on a weekend to see exactly how long it really takes you as opposed to GPS estimates.
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
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  12. #12
    Member dark_energy's Avatar
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    Yes, I would join the others in telling the original poster that 12 miles is a nice distance for a commute. My routes are 10 miles going to work and 12 miles coming home. I ride a mountain bike, and have done it as quick as 45 minutes, but it's taken me 55 minutes a few times.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ultimattfrisbee's Avatar
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    Mine's 11.5 with about 420 feet of climbing on the way there. These days I'm doing it on an MTB with studded tires. Takes me an hour, maybe an hour and 5 minutes.

    If you're worried about it, promise yourself you'll do it a couple days a week while you work out your route and logistics.

    But definitely do it. You won't believe how good you'll feel.

    Write in a couple weeks and tell us how well it's going! See you on the 2012 mileage thread, and soon!
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  14. #14
    Saving gas on my commute Scooby214's Avatar
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    My commute, using my shortest route, is 13.5 miles each way. I didn't think I could do it, due to traffic and other logistics. I did a trial ride of my route on Martin Luther King Day 2011 (today is my one year commuting anniversary). The trial ride was useful in many ways. I quickly discovered that my backpack-bungee cord-rack setup wouldn't keep the backpack securely on the rack. I also discovered that my morning commute was faster than my evening commute, due to traffic patterns. Now that I am used to commuting to work, I vary my morning route to keep things interesting. My favorite route is about 20 miles, and allows me to watch the sun rise over the lake. I have significantly more energy when I get to work on a day that I ride my bike than on a day that I drive the steel cage.

    I'd suggest doing a trial route on a day off. Do the ride as though it would be a work day, with any bags you plan to carry being loaded.

    Good luck, and enjoy the ride!

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    I ride 11.5 miles one way and my route is pretty flat. I can ride that distance in anywhere from 40 minutes to as long as 50 minutes, depending on wind, or other weather. If you're saying you can ride 12 miles like it's nothing, just give it a try one or two days a week and see what you think. You might eventually get like me and feel like you're cheating if you get to work any other way than by bike.
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  16. #16
    tsl
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    Certainly it's doable.

    I had to work my way up to it, but these days, my preferred route to work is 16¼ miles. My typical time is 57-58 minutes "ride time" on the cyclometer, 8-10 minutes more counting stoplights.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
    That's one way. And my phones maps says it will take me 1hrs and 12min. I can do 12 miles like its nothing, but we are talking going to and from work.

    I need help deciding if I should.
    Unless it is very hilly, or regularly very windy, that distance should be just fine.
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  18. #18
    Junior Member hacksaw35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattFoley View Post
    I wouldn't do it if I wasn't able to shower at work
    I think that is the biggest difference with riding to work. Do you sweat much? After a 12 mile commute I would be a sweaty mess at my desk.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Drummerboy1975's Avatar
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    My biggest worry is the hills.

  20. #20
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Perhaps a google map with your approximate commute would be helpful? I commute 8.7 miles each way in about 40 minutes. I wish it were longer. My only hills are two overpasses and one underpass. You may have to work your way up to that mileage. When I started commuting (and riding after 8 years off the bike) I struggled. I started out with twice a week, then every other day until my fitness improved. This may take several months depending on your starting point (age, fitness, ride, etc). You should try doing the ride on a weekend and see how long it takes and see how you feel once you have ridden that far.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  21. #21
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
    My biggest worry is the hills.
    The up hills or the down hills?

    I'm assuming you live in NW Arkansas, so those hills are to be dealt with. But the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks is pretty active, so lots of other folks are finding their ways and they may have tips for you.

    Ultimately, the only way to know is to try. What have you got to lose? The hills may slow you down a bit, but they won't stop you. And the more you ride them, the faster you will get up them.

    My last commute had one hill that was steep with a 20% grade for part of it's climb. It was a challenge, but I always made it to work. The secret is leaving 15 minutes before you need to. That gives you time for reduced motivation days and flat tires.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 01-16-12 at 09:17 PM.
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    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Drummerboy1975's Avatar
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    No I'm in Sherwood. Hwy 107 gets a bit hilly. Ill look more on the Net and I may try it out on weekend.

  23. #23
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    Like you suggested, try the ride out and see how long it takes you and if you are comfortable with it. My commute is 10 miles, but I am lucky in that nearly the entire ride is on paved trails, I have no hills, and I can shower at work. If it is too long or strenuous with the hills my suggestion, if possible, would be to drive a bit closer until the distance becomes manageable. You can always increase the distance when you feel the need. Last year due to flooding I had to take an alternate route and decrease my distance to 6.5 miles, but the important thing is I was still on my bike.

  24. #24
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Only you will know if it's doable for you. And there is only one way to find out.

  25. #25
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    If you are asking if it is possible... yes... I do 16-20 miles one way each day. 1500-2000 ft climb. Takes combined about 2 hours not necessarily going that fast... but I am on road bike after all.

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