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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 01-27-14, 03:57 AM   #1
AGoodleyUK
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How many 40 mile commuters have we got?

I live in the UK and I've just started commuting from Deepcut, Surrey to Reading, Berkshire. Its about 22 miles one way and 45 miles RT. I have to wake up at 5.30am and for best part of one hour my commute is in total darkness during the winter! The reason I have started commuting by bike is because of a number of reasons. Fitness, money saving, no traffic and fun! Just wanted to hear about other peoples experiences and why they commute by bike!
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Old 01-27-14, 04:52 AM   #2
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I moved to the UK a few months ago and find it no so dark (compared to Stockholm) and really mild weather wise compared to Frankfurt.

It even rains much less than I expected.
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Old 01-27-14, 04:54 AM   #3
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I did it for a while. I hated waking up at 4:30, but I loved the ride home. Now my commute is too short.
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Old 01-27-14, 05:34 AM   #4
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I have lived here my whole life and winter this year has been very mild and windy compared to what it is usually like, usually it will be below 0 in the mornings this time of year but it is around the 10 degree mark (quite the opposite of what has been going on in the USA)

AcidFast7 where abouts in the UK do you live?
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Old 01-27-14, 06:25 AM   #5
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My ride is 40+ RT in Atlanta Georgia. I wake at 4, leave about 5:30, I'm at work in about 1:25. I like to stay in shape, I like living green (bicycle is my single mode of travel besides walking), I like looking sexy as hell at age 53, and it keeps me ready for bicycle tour vacations with no "training" involved.

You get used to waking early. You'll get a jump on the day. Go to bed early. If you wake at 4 you're taking a lesson from the Dali Lama.
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Old 01-27-14, 07:18 AM   #6
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I have lived here my whole life and winter this year has been very mild and windy compared to what it is usually like, usually it will be below 0 in the mornings this time of year but it is around the 10 degree mark (quite the opposite of what has been going on in the USA)

AcidFast7 where abouts in the UK do you live?
Windy is correct! I live a little south of Durham.
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Old 01-27-14, 07:57 AM   #7
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By my most direct route, I am a hair under your 40 mile limit, RT, but my preferred route is a little over 40. It takes me a hair under 90 minutes to ride to work, and five or more extra minutes to ride home. I love doing it, but family responsibilities tend to keep me from doing it much except during the summer.
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Old 01-27-14, 08:58 AM   #8
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I started commuting in Oct about 33km each way. I can shorten it to 31 on the way home if it's raining or I'm leaving late. It makes for longer days but it's a good distance for staying fit. I usually do about 4 days/wk. I think I'll start driving on Fri so I'm a little fresher for Sat morning group rides. When it warms up I hope to do a little more training on one of the legs and race on Thur nights. We'll see if I have enough energy I've also been trying to drop a few pounds but find it surprisingly difficult given the amount I've been riding.
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Old 01-27-14, 09:34 AM   #9
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My commute is between 36 and 42 miles RT depending on the route I take. It's about 1/2 gravel 1/2 rural roads. While I don't do it very often in the winter (my winter bike is not setup for paniers), when I ride, I get up around 4:00 AM and am on the road by 5:00 AM. From November through February, the morning commute is completely in the dark.
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Old 01-27-14, 09:41 AM   #10
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My office is just over 26 miles from home, so my roundtrip is almost 53 miles. My ride is right at 2 hours, each way so I get asked how I deal with such a long commute. It's more a mental thing than a physical one (fitness does play a significant roll, but it kind of takes care of itself). You need a mindset that is dialed into the task at hand. If you're in a hurry or anxious about it, you'll be miserable and probably not do it often.

The extended time between locations, combined with the physical exertion that comes along with it, you can have a unique advantage in separating your work and home life. By the time I get to work, I've put my home-life problems aside and I can focus on work. This goes both ways. It is rare that I come home from work and snap and my wife or kids because of a stressful day at work. It's another mindset thing that comes along with a long bicycle commute.
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Old 01-27-14, 12:07 PM   #11
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52 miles RT.

I cheat and drive my car for 22 of those miles, the hilly 2-lane road and somewhat dangerous portion at the beginning and end. On the bike for 30 miles RT mostly flat on MUPs along the beautiful Potomac River. Less than an hour each way. I'll do the entire ride if I have to work on the weekend and the weather is nice.
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Old 01-27-14, 12:55 PM   #12
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The extended time between locations, combined with the physical exertion that comes along with it, you can have a unique advantage in separating your work and home life.
There are a lot of things I like about cycle commuting, but this is maybe the biggest, and one that I didn't expect before I started riding every day.

My commute is only 22km each way, so I don't even make 30 miles round trip when I'm riding the direct route, but basically any time the weather's decent and I'm not pressed for time I'll extend the route on the way home by plenty enough to break the 40 mile mark for the day. I love the way cycling, particularly at endurance distances, takes you out of yourself in a very meditative way; and I feel very fortunate that I'm able to experience that almost every day.
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Old 01-27-14, 01:01 PM   #13
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32mi in 34 mi home-66miles total. I do this 2-4 times a week. Wake up at 3:30, leave at 4am(so I am in dark most the year). Arrive at 6am and leave at 3 to 3:30 pm. Home by 5pm
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Old 01-27-14, 01:34 PM   #14
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Wow, these are extreme bike commutes!
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Old 01-27-14, 05:21 PM   #15
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Wow, these are extreme bike commutes!
I'll say. Now I feel like a pansy crying about my 40 mile round trip in perpetually good weather.
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Old 01-27-14, 06:31 PM   #16
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My commute is about 22 miles each way, from Leesburg VA to Gaithersburg MD. I started commuting mainly for the health benefit, but grew to just love being outside. I usually wake at 5 AM and try to leave by 6:30 AM. I try to get to work between 8 and 8:30. I'm lucky and there is a gym and shower at work so I do a mini work out, shower, and get to my office before 9AM.

Part of my commute is a ferry ride over the Potomac River. This has been a brutal winter here in the States, and when it doesn't get above about 25oF, I'll drive the car. This past week was so cold the river froze and the ferry did not run. In that case it is a 45 mile each way trip (far too far for a bike). I find it amazing that there are very few bridges over the Potomac River.

On a usual day, including the ferry ride, it takes me about 1 hour and 45 minute each way.

FYI- I recently bought a fat bike (Surly Pugsley) for use in the winter. I feel much safer riding in snow and ice on 5 inch tires. The rest of the year my commuter is a Merlin titanium road bike.
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Old 01-27-14, 06:35 PM   #17
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My office is just over 26 miles from home, so my roundtrip is almost 53 miles. My ride is right at 2 hours, each way so I get asked how I deal with such a long commute. It's more a mental thing than a physical one (fitness does play a significant roll, but it kind of takes care of itself). You need a mindset that is dialed into the task at hand. If you're in a hurry or anxious about it, you'll be miserable and probably not do it often.
I agree. I used to be an impatient car driver. Commuting by bike has brought out the Zen in me. I watch idiots in cars race ahead to get to the next red light, and just laugh to myself. My biking has made me a better driver. I am no longer in a rush and am very mindful when driving.
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Old 01-27-14, 07:13 PM   #18
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I agree. I used to be an impatient car driver. Commuting by bike has brought out the Zen in me. I watch idiots in cars race ahead to get to the next red light, and just laugh to myself. My biking has made me a better driver. I am no longer in a rush and am very mindful when driving.
same here. i used to commute by bike, and now when i drive im a much more observant driver.
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Old 01-28-14, 02:48 AM   #19
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Wow thanks for all the replies guys, Its so great to see so many people doing long distance commutes. Today was my first week of commuting by bike and I am absolutely loving it, I covered exactly 21.5 miles on the way in this morning and it took me about 1h 30mins, I have yet to calculate the exact mileage back home this evening.

I too have noticed that I am calmer in general, I used to be stuck in the car for an hour each way to work and I used to feel wound up when I got to work and got home, I am not an angry person at all but I just found the traffic/roadworks frustrating. I don't get that when I come into work after a cycle and I feel like I'm ready for a whole days work.
It is mostly a mind game covering these types of miles on a commute, my first week I was paranoid about most things. What if my light runs out of battery, what if I get a puncture, what if I'm late for work, what if I don't make it? But in reality it is very doable and you just have to have a little preparation and confidence in yourself, it is a great feeling when you complete your ride in. Today my chain came off on the darkest road, fixed in 30 seconds ... no problem!

I can defiantly see myself becoming a bicycle nut!
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Old 01-28-14, 09:06 AM   #20
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My 5 day commute is only 10 miles per day round trip (hardly a commute compared to the rest of you). I treat it as a time trial and try to beat my last time or practice my spinning. My 6th day is 37 miles one way 74 RT to my second job. On that day I try to keep a good pace and it takes me about 1.5 hrs with factoring the traffic lights. The thing now is I can hardly wait to get on the bike now to ride home or leave to work in the morning. Now that its dark in the morning and dark at night when I get home I use two Niterider 350's on the bar and a surface light on the back. This makes it even more motivating to go out in complete darkness!
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Old 01-28-14, 11:31 AM   #21
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I was doing a 50, 2400 feet of climb rt., just once a week.
Had to stop because Gout trashed my cold tolerance. My hands and feet get cold they hurt incredibly badly, swell and become non-functional. Working on the gout. I don't tolerate the meds, so it is up to diet, fluids and traditional remedies (lemon juice, cherries, bicarb of soda, and hyper hydration...).

I've acquired gear like riding boots and gloves which help immensely!

I will commute again as soon as weather improves.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:56 AM   #22
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My trip to work is 22 miles, the return is 26 because I take a more scenic route home that keeps me off busy So Cal streets.
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Old 02-03-14, 03:39 AM   #23
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My trip to work is 22 miles, the return is 26 because I take a more scenic route home that keeps me off busy So Cal streets.
How many times a week do you manage to do this trip?
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Old 02-03-14, 04:28 AM   #24
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I used to think my commute was 50 miles round trip...GPS proved me wrong, 18 miles each way. I'd do it at least 3 days a week all year. My only puss out had been when it gets too cold to change a flat. I can ride in any temp, I can't change a flat below 25 deg F...my hands get numb.
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Old 02-03-14, 08:26 AM   #25
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I used to think my commute was 50 miles round trip...GPS proved me wrong, 18 miles each way. I'd do it at least 3 days a week all year. My only puss out had been when it gets too cold to change a flat. I can ride in any temp, I can't change a flat below 25 deg F...my hands get numb.
My problem below 30F is my feet, do you use over boots?
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