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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 01-17-05, 05:02 PM   #1
notfred
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So I finally rode the entire distance from home to work.

I know I've been coming here for several months now, but yesterday I finally rode the entirely of my regular commute. I did it on a Sunday as a test run, to make sure I had a suitable route and everything.

Here's some stuff I found out:
The route is LONG. My computer showed 27.93 miles for the entire trip. I did make a couple wrong turns figuring out the route for the first time, but the route is still around 27 miles even. I averaged right around 13 mph, and it took just a few minutes over two hours to get to work. This is a problem. This coming semester (I work at a university) I will have to be on campus by 8:00AM four days a week. Another thing I discovered was that even at 13mph, I'm going to need a shower after a 27 mile ride. I end up with salt dried on my face from sweating. I have the facilities to take a shower and change at work, but if I'm going to do that, I will have to leave my house around 5:30 every morning to get to work, shower, change, and be ready by 8:00. That means that to eat breakfast and everything, I'd have to wake up at about 4:30 in the morning. That's just plain too early for me.

However, there's an upside. On tuesdays, I don't have to be at work until 9:30. That means I wouldn't have to get up till about 6:00 to ride on tuesdays, which I think is acceptable. Also, the other four days I will be carpooling to work, meaning that I could strap my bike to the car, and ride home after work. I'm thinking of riding in to work on Tuesdays, and riding home on Wednesdays, and carpooling otherwise to start. Then as the weather gets warmer, I get in better shape, etc, I can start bringing the bike in the morning, and riding it hime more than one day a week. After the spring semester ends, I'll be able to come in at 9:30 everyday, and by then I may be ready to ride everyday.

Even when I don't commute towork, I'll still be using the bike for errands and things near my house. There are lots of 3-7 mile trips I take that I have been trying to do on the bike, so I'm sure I'll get some miles in that way.
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Old 01-17-05, 05:14 PM   #2
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you already have the solution: just do it once a week. or maybe twice. and then ride more on the weekends or around your house. you'll just burn yourself out trying that everyday.

and just for clarity: it's 27 miles each way, right?
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Old 01-17-05, 06:34 PM   #3
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I get up at 5:00 when I drive to work. I get up at 3:30 to ride in, but I have no shower facilities at work. Can you go to bed earlier in the evening? If you can ride home a lot, and ride in twice a week, I think your metabolism will change enough for you to be able to ride more, maybe three days a week. Mine changes in the summer when I ride more.
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Old 01-17-05, 07:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
you already have the solution: just do it once a week. or maybe twice. and then ride more on the weekends or around your house. you'll just burn yourself out trying that everyday.

and just for clarity: it's 27 miles each way, right?
Yep, 27 there, 27 back.
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Old 01-17-05, 09:04 PM   #5
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If you want to make this commute more often, you should be able to cut at least 30 minutes off your time before leaving the house. The trick is to have everything ready to go before you go to bed the night before. Have the bike packed, lights connected and have your cycling clothes laid out. Since you are going to take a shower at work, you don't need one before you leave. Consider something quick for breakfast - maybe something you can eat on the bike.

I can be out the door on the bike in 15 minutes if I don't eat first. I try to have everything in place so I don't even retrace my steps through the house. I ride to a vanpool pickup and if I'm late, they don't wait so there's no time wasting.
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Old 01-17-05, 09:09 PM   #6
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I bet as you become more familiar with the route, you'll be able to cut that two hour time down. Maybe you can find the challenge in getting the ride down to like 1 hour and 20 minutes each way.

I remember when a ride all the way north from my apartment in Chicago to Wilmette was something like two and a half hours for me when I first started riding that route. But once I got fitter and faster and more familiar with the route, I was able to drop some of that time off. I can now do it in an hour.

It can be something for you to work on. You'll never be bored with riding to work!

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Old 01-18-05, 10:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by supcom
If you want to make this commute more often, you should be able to cut at least 30 minutes off your time before leaving the house. The trick is to have everything ready to go before you go to bed the night before. Have the bike packed, lights connected and have your cycling clothes laid out. Since you are going to take a shower at work, you don't need one before you leave. Consider something quick for breakfast - maybe something you can eat on the bike.

I can be out the door on the bike in 15 minutes if I don't eat first. I try to have everything in place so I don't even retrace my steps through the house. I ride to a vanpool pickup and if I'm late, they don't wait so there's no time wasting.
you sound like me when i have to do an early morning ride. i have to be able to wake up and immedatiely start doing the tasks that will get me out the door. no time to screw around. i even pour a glass of water ahead of time and put out a bananna and a clif bar or something. it's all business in the morning, otherwise i'll just jump back into bed and wuss out.
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Old 01-18-05, 11:14 AM   #8
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I have a 30 mile commute myself. And yea, it takes me two hours. Fortunately, my wife works at the same office, as well as a friend who live nearby. So I am able to pedal into work and get a ride home. In the summer time I ride the bike home the next evening, or truck it home for a pedal the following morning. Even if I wanted to try riding both ways, I don't have 4 hours a day for pedaling.

I find that if I shower before I leave I can get by with rinsing my face and hitting my upper body with a couple baby wipes then touching up the ol' deorderant.

I also find that I enjoy getting on the road early - I get up at 5:30 AM and leave by 6:30 in order to allow time for sprucing up. But I'm definately a fair weather flyer. So it's a good thing I live in Southern California. Depending on where you live, you might have some issues weather wise.

Keep it up. All the best. DanO
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Old 01-18-05, 01:09 PM   #9
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I agree that having everything ready to go the night before makes all of the difference. I find that if I'm up at 5:10 am, I'm out the door at 5:30 for my 15 mile one way with a cliff bar hanging out of my mouth. If I have to think about getting everything together at 5:00 in the morning, it doesn't work too well. I like to have my pannier on my bike the night before and ready to roll.

Also, that is a big commute. I wouldn't be too ambitious at first. I think it is noble to start out with one day a week or maybe two if it is convenient. That way you can really plan for the commute and start figuring out what works. You begin to figure out want to pack with you or what you want to leave at work etc...It is better to ramp up to more days/week when you are ready rather than force yourself to do it right away.
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Old 01-18-05, 01:31 PM   #10
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you work at a university and you need to shower?????

why be cleaner than everyone else????

at least when i worked at a university even if i managed only two showers a week, i was STILL cleaner than most of the students.... so long as your clothes are relatively clean and you don't stink too heavily of last nights intoxicants your probably better off than most!

sounds like a good distance to ride in one day and ride home the next (as someone else suggested).
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Old 01-18-05, 02:36 PM   #11
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Drive half way park and cyle the rest. From my side 45 mins each way is nice, anything more gets up there from a time point of view.
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