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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 02-18-05, 08:06 PM   #1
Machka 
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How far is your commute?

My commute used to be 6.7 kms each way for a total of 13.4 kms, and if I felt like it, I could extend the trip home. That commute was completely city riding, but for the most part the streets were fairly quiet. And that commute was almost entirely flat. I could take a different route home which would include an overpass ... and I did that fairly regularly to get some hill climbing in.

Now it appears that I will have a commute of 30 kms each way for a total of about 60 kms. The route is mainly in the country, which might be a nice change from city riding. It also appears that my commute will include at least 2 hills each way ... real hills, not just an overpass!

That's quite a different from what I was used to!!


But it makes me curious - what is your commute like? Length? City or country? Terrain?
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Old 02-18-05, 08:13 PM   #2
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Shortest possible route: 9 miles round-trip ... but who wants to take the short way?
Normal route: 21 miles round-trip
Longest route yet achieved: 25+ miles round-trip, but not in the winter.
Of course, they all get longer if I have to make other stops.

All of the routes are a mix of industrial neighborhoods, suburbia, and multi-use path (what 15mph speed limit?).

Average speed tends toward 16-17mph... it's pretty flat.

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Old 02-18-05, 08:28 PM   #3
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15 miles each way, but I generally only commute one way. It's pretty hilly overall with one or two decent climbs along with long stretches of just mild uphill. It's not overly strenuous, but it can be a challenge. I generally can average 12-13mph on my 32lb MTB with semi-slicks.
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Old 02-18-05, 08:55 PM   #4
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I go 8.5 miles. I start downhill as I head toward the beach. I ride along the beach, then it gently starts to rise. At the end is a steep hill. It begins gently for the first quarter mile, then the last quarter mile it is a granny gear affair. Twisty, no shoulder, no room to share, lots of frustrated short-cut seekers and diesel trucks--I can barely breathe--all lined up seething in anger behind me, waiting for their chance to make a break for it.

I think 8.5 miles is just right.
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Old 02-18-05, 09:18 PM   #5
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I guess its about a 1.5 miles or so each way. Just over to Lexington, down to 57th, over to Park, then down to 47th, 42nd over to 5th, then down to 38th. City traffic the entire way, lots of pedestrians crossing all over the place, busses and taxis galore
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Old 02-18-05, 09:52 PM   #6
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Five miles/9 km. Takes about a half hour to ride. Urban conditions -- stoplight every block or two.

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Old 02-18-05, 11:13 PM   #7
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17 miles each way. I normally do both ways. Commute about 4 times a week. I work 5 days though.
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Old 02-18-05, 11:21 PM   #8
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25 miles both ways in the city.
I average around 15.5-16mph in the winter with (I think I last counted) 74 lights plus a couple hills. Last summer I was averaging 15.5-16 in the warmth with a few 17 days. I think I can push close to 17-18 this summer. I'm so proud, I'm improving.
Ironically the speed's just about the same with my 18lb road bike or my 35lb mtb.
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Old 02-18-05, 11:40 PM   #9
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4 miles/6.4 km each way, and I usually ride home at lunchtime, so 8 miles/12.8 km for the round trip. The two circuits daily lets me have 16 miles/25.6 km daily. My 4 mile route is 1 mile on 2 lane country road then 3 miles on 4 lane suburban arterial. Marked bike lanes all the way. There are a couple bike paths that cross my route & in the Summer I frequently take a long detour on the path before resuming the trip home.
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Old 02-19-05, 12:00 AM   #10
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I'm lucky to manage 13.7mph going TO work if I opt to ride in. The problem is all our stupid hills... The entire way, there's absolutely zero flat ground. Everything is either uphill or downhill in some form or fashion. Seems that it's more uphill than downhill, too. Tennessee is a pain to ride, but makes for strong legs.
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Old 02-19-05, 12:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
25 miles both ways in the city.
I average around 15.5-16mph in the winter with (I think I last counted) 74 lights plus a couple hills. Last summer I was averaging 15.5-16 in the warmth with a few 17 days. I think I can push close to 17-18 this summer. I'm so proud, I'm improving.
Ironically the speed's just about the same with my 18lb road bike or my 35lb mtb.
??74 lights?? what's your technique for getting through all those lights without tanking your average?
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Old 02-19-05, 12:08 AM   #12
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14 miles each way. Combo of canal MUPs and streets, all basically flat. I've been finding more street routes lately, because biking on the sandy canal banks when its raining is grueling. Some days, I have detours to class or volunteering or appointments, and the total day stretches into 30 miles or more. My longest day recently was 42 miles.

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Old 02-19-05, 12:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
??74 lights?? what's your technique for getting through all those lights without tanking your average?
I go through 20 or so... the difference is, my speedometer is auto-start so stopping doesn't tank my average at all. When I state my average it doesn't include stops (since my stops will often include lunch or something to drink at a convenience store).
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Old 02-19-05, 12:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
??74 lights?? what's your technique for getting through all those lights without tanking your average?
Bike as if my life depended on it lol.
My computer has a little arrow showing if im above or below my average speed. So I just try to keep my speed above the average as much as possible. The steep hills I go up around 15, the bridge I go over, I hit near 30 on the way down and hold it for a while and eventually stay at 20 till I get to a light a mile away.
One trick at lights though, look at the pedestrians. At stop signs and lights, I look for pedestrians jay walking in my same direction, if they stop and look, I'll keep my speed up and jam on the brakes at the last minute then stand and get back up to speed. If they cross, that means a car isn't likely to get into the intersection, so I just run the light at full speed.
I think this summer I'll save myself for taking out the road bike on weekends and stop treating my commute like a time trial.
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Old 02-19-05, 04:20 AM   #15
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I ride at a pace which doesn't kill me. Our hills are steep enough that I'm lucky to mash 9mph up them. TN is full of mountains and hills, so that kills anything resembling a good average speed. I don't mind it TOO much but it does get kind of old when I'd just like to go tool around on some flatland, there ISN'T ANY!
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Old 02-19-05, 09:25 AM   #16
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My commute's about 16 miles each way with the short route, 19 if I take the scenic path along the river. The short route is a blend of multi-use paths and busy streets (although I avoid the busy streets in WA, as the drivers there are maniacal and don't ever seem to notice bikes). I hit 3 pretty decent hills along the way (including crossing the Glen Jackson bridge over the Columbia), but they just make the ride home that much more fun. Unless there's a headwind. It generally takes me about 1:10 to get in and 50 minutes to an hour to get home. With the short route, of course.

I bike in 2-3 times a week (working on keeping it closer to 3) out of 5.
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Old 02-19-05, 09:36 AM   #17
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20 miles each way- 40 RT... I ride fixed on a bike I built myself for next to nothing... normally it takes about 1:15 there, and a bit longer getting back, although I did make it in less than an hour once when I had a good tailwind (and going to work has a net drop in elevation).
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Old 02-19-05, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Bike as if my life depended on it lol.
My computer has a little arrow showing if im above or below my average speed...treating my commute like a time trial.
Me too. Hey, who wants to spend years getting into work...sleep in-pedal hard! Hey which bike computer is that?
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Old 02-19-05, 12:49 PM   #19
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16 miles if I bike the whole way. I usually let lite rail help me. mostly flat, but I am slow, so it takes more than an hour if I don't use lite rail.
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Old 02-19-05, 01:33 PM   #20
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I'm not here to add My distance of commute. I definite (My commute) for when I have to go to the grocery store, etc. When I go to a grocery store, in which I drive My bike on My return trip (to where I began from). ----And using those plastic grocery-store bags---- I make sure that AT LEAST ONE of those bags will be hanging on the left-side handlebar. The BULKIEST / HEAVIEST BAG. >>>So if / when any car attempts to get too close to Me, that it will bang onto its door. And it works; when I hang that bag there, I get more space given between Me and those oncoming/passing motor vehicles.
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Old 02-19-05, 03:29 PM   #21
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4.8 miles there, about 5.2 back. On the way there: 2 miles of hellish 35-mph strip mall and interstate overpass, followed by a lovely tranquil 3 miles of trails onto campus. On the way back: a bit of trail, a bit of residential roads. I have two big downhills on the way there, one big uphill on the way back. And I'm riding a fixed gear.
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Old 02-19-05, 06:08 PM   #22
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7 miles each way, all flat,on streets that can sometimes get busy.
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Old 02-19-05, 06:24 PM   #23
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Well, I drove the route today just to see what it is like.

I don't think there's more than about 0.5 of a kilometer that's flat. It's very gently up and down to the first time I drop into the valley ... and climb back up. Then it rolls for a bit, then starts to gradually climb, until the second time I drop into the valley ... and climb back up. That climb is a good kilometer or more and probably about a 8-10% grade. Then it continues to roll the rest of the way until it finishes with a gradual climb to the plant.

On the way back, the first valley I reach has a climb of about 1.5 kms long at an 8-10% grade, then it just keeps going up more gradually for the next 5 kms before I finally reach the top and plunge down to the city where I live, up and over some more rolls, down into the valley, along the river, and back up and out of it.

It's beautiful, but looks like it will be quite a challenge!!
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Old 02-19-05, 06:29 PM   #24
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That sounds pretty similar to my commute... It's not really that bad once you do it a few times... and it makes for strong legs. I doubt you'll have any problems doing it given the other rides I've seen that you've entered. lol
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Old 02-19-05, 06:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
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That sounds pretty similar to my commute... It's not really that bad once you do it a few times... and it makes for strong legs. I doubt you'll have any problems doing it given the other rides I've seen that you've entered. lol

I figure it will be good training. It's just that I moved here from Manitoba where it is tabletop flat and the biggest things I climbed were overpasses. Riding hills every day should improve my hill climbing skills.
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