I've trained myself to get up a little early over the years. When the alarm goes off I just get out of bed and get ready. Hop on the bike and off I go. Don't really feel awake until after I get to work and have breakfast.
Since I have plenty of time I don't worry about pace. Fast or slow, my mind is still in la la land, my body is in control. 'tho sometimes I am reminded of the old George of the Jungle theme, "Watch out for that tree!" That wakes you up.
I think really depends ... I have only one speed (44x16 w/23-622) and a short commute of roughly 9km and flat with one climb at the beginning.
I usually average between 28 and 32km/h depending on weather ... so about 30km/h or 18.6mph ... according to Strava.
That's what speed the bike feels comfortable at (somewhere around 90rpm cadence).
I haven't reset the "trip" average speed since I bought the bike and with the walking around and everything ... over the first 900km it's at 26km/h average (16 mph).
On the long part of my commute :
Easy pace = 25 minutes. Pushing it = 22 minutes
The time difference of three minutes is not much of a factor, and that's for a bit over 7 miles so an even shorter commute would be even less difference. It depends totally on what I feel like doing. That's usually an easy pace in the morning or when it's cold, otherwise almost always I'll pick up the pace.
about two months ago my GF moved into a house about 4.5 miles from work, so when I commute from there I like to leave early, miss traffic and cruise in the mornings. After work we usually like to meet up for a beer about 9 miles from my office, which I usually get a little faster on. Then it is 4.5 miles back to her place or 8.5 back to mine. Depends on my mood. I have not actually thought in terms of trying to train for anything, it is just transportation. The bike I choose in the morning has a lot to do with how much I feel like pushing. The Fargo, if it is windy or I feel like moving a little faster, the graduate is just getting from A-B, and on fridays in the summer I will do the whole thing on a 50 LB steel cruiser just taking in the sights and smells. I like getting up early enough in the morning for options.
Speed depends on the traffic light synchronicity. My sharktoothed sprockets sharply restrict my acceleration, so you'll only see me speeding if I've had a few green lights in a row.
I live very close to work (less than 2.5 miles) and I've never liked working hard on my commute even when I lived further away. If I want to train (and I do), I ride for that specific purpose.
I'm only commuting on the bike two or three days a week, but it's always a PUSH. I get on in the morning, and keep it slow for the first mile or two, but as I warm up, the speed goes up. The terrain here is very flat, and I ride a recumbent with a fairing attached. That said, I make the 15.5 mile round trip commute in one hour or less every day. Mornings are cooler with less wind, but the muscles are stiff from the night. Afternoons are warmer and windy, but the speed is usually a bit higher. I consistently run from 15.1 to 16.1 average, call it a 15.5 most days.
Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
My commutes are about enjoying the ride from point A to point B. My goal is to get there, not to get there fast. I think thats why I look forward to my commutes so much; I don't care about Strava PR's, or being racy; I simply enjoy the ride.
When on a single-speed, I tend to just chill and go at an easy pace. But when I'm on a geared bike, no matter what, I always seem to push myself to the limits without intention. But then again, my commute is only 2.5-miles.
In the summer I push. In the winter I just try to get from point A to B with all my extremities intact.
i love speed and lactate burn so i push myself as hard as traffic and weather conditions allow.
Depends how long ago I took my heart pills.
I give myself enough time to ride slow... then push the pace anyways. I like going fast, and I can take the extra time to cool down before starting work.
I do a mix and it depends on if I'm riding several days in a row or just that one. If just that one I turn it into a body killer. If I am going to be going more than one day I take that into consideration. Part of riding, for me, is pushing it. Just meandering about isn't what I like to do.
I generally take it easy, leaving early enough so that I don't have to push it. The days that I leave late and have to push it, I don't seem to enjoy the ride as much.