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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 04-24-14, 09:42 AM   #26
mstraus
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Anyone else have wicked hills on their normal routes?

Screenshot by Lightshot

- Andy
Not sure if I would call it "wicked" but I have to climb up to the golden gate bridge each way. plus some other small hills. About 450 ft of climbing I guess.
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Old 04-24-14, 09:47 AM   #27
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My commute is ~32.4-34 miles round trip, depending on the route I take.

I don't get to ride every day. On good weeks 4 days (usually work from home one day but my legs usually need a day of rest anyway).

I often think the mental challenge is harder then the physical challenge of this ride. Its easy to make excuses, think your sore, etc. but typically once I get into my ride I wind up feeling great, and feel much better when I get to work.

I have the option of cutting my ride in half either way by biking to and from the ferry, but to this day I haven't done that yet. Not doing it is becoming a personal challenge now.

I will say longer commutes and foul weather aren't as fun. Slowing down on rainy days really adds time to the commute. It doesn't get that cold here, so it easy to layer a bit to keep warm if needed.
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Old 04-24-14, 10:14 AM   #28
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72 miles RT, most all of it on the W & OD trail and a few miles of DC traffic. Yes, I'm mostly a fair weather communter too, not a night rider so only do it as the days get longer in the spring to fall.
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Old 04-24-14, 10:19 AM   #29
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Anywhere from 24 to 60 miles RT, depending on whether I ride all the way from home on the C&O Canal Towpath route or park at one of several locations along the way. Usually go with the 30 mile RT bike commute. Nice to have options and to be able to vary the route depending on weather and traffic.
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Old 04-24-14, 11:19 AM   #30
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I had a really good summer last summer doing a 40 mile round trip that turned into a 50 mile (80.5 km) round trip after a move early on. I got lots of miles in last summer and finally starting losing some real inches. It was a matter of two things: 1) a VERY understanding wife and 2) routine.

I actually had a baby at home, so being gone 12 hours a day wasn't the best. As a result, I only did the trip 3-4 days out of the week. But the biggest thing was just being ready for it the day before so you weren't looking for your shoes for 10 minutes the next morning. Another interesting factor was the livetrack feature on the then recently released Garmin 510. That really helped put the wife at ease.

I've been back at school all year, so only a 9-13 mile round trip commute, but still working saturdays, so I might make the 50 mile run once or twice a month. I'll be back at that job in a few weeks, and will try to pick it up again. But I also need to find myself an actual engineering job, as I'm graduating in a few weeks. So I have no idea what that will bring commute-wise, or if a commute will even be feasible. Probably something I'll have to do 2-3 times a week, and take the motorcycle on other days.
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Old 04-24-14, 11:21 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
Anyone else have wicked hills on their normal routes?

Screenshot by Lightshot

- Andy
That picture made my legs cramp up. Here's mine. Lots of climbing but not as steep:

https://flic.kr/p/bdvq9B
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Old 04-24-14, 01:57 PM   #32
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4 1/2 miles one way. I often stretch the afternoon commute out to 10-30 miles.
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Old 04-24-14, 02:05 PM   #33
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887040 inches round-trip, give or take a few.

I enjoy being outside for the most part. I'm not a big fan on being cold, but rain I can deal with (Hey, wife bought me rain gear for Christmas, so I better use it I tell her...). I also try to leave very early in the morning, so I usually beat the heat on really hot days. In the afternoon, I could care less if I come home sweaty, or if I absolutely need to, I just throw the bike on the front of the bus and shave off about 5 miles of my commute.
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Old 04-24-14, 02:16 PM   #34
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66km RT (41 miles) with 900m (3000ft) of elevation gain. Back to 5 days/week now (was doing less in the winter). It's not hard to do, but it's a big chunk of time (3 hrs/day). I survive on podcasts.
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Old 04-24-14, 02:49 PM   #35
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52-miles, round trip. Used to be all season, but a few years ago, I started riding to the bus stop on cold and rainy days.
I found that doing it every day was too much. By Thursdays, I just didn't feel the love for the ride. Driving on Tuesday and Thursday as recovery days made all the difference.

My wife and I lived in rural East Texas for a few years, back in the early '90s. From there my commute was 90 miles, each way. This made for a two-hour commute, (I employed an every other day routine, then, as well -- I'd stay in town a couple of nights a week). What I did discover is having an extended commute does wonders for my attitude and focus.

This has carried over to my extended bicycle commute. Plus the bonus of physical exertion's positive emotional effects. By the time I get to work, I have put my home problems behind and I can focus on work. This works in reverse, as well. It's pretty rare that I get home from work and bite the heads off my wife or kids due to office stress.

It does sometimes suck, if I have to work past midnight.
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Old 04-24-14, 03:57 PM   #36
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It's not quite as dramatic as this makes it look, but Ryan Road Hill is a daily grind for me on my 23.6 km (14.6 mile) round trip commute.
Oh that looks fun!!! How does that work in rain?

- Andy
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Old 04-24-14, 03:59 PM   #37
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That picture made my legs cramp up. Here's mine. Lots of climbing but not as steep:

https://flic.kr/p/bdvq9B
I like that valley tucked in there to give you a break before/after those climbs!

- Andy
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Old 04-24-14, 04:00 PM   #38
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Not sure if I would call it "wicked" but I have to climb up to the golden gate bridge each way. plus some other small hills. About 450 ft of climbing I guess.
I hear the bridge is sometimes closed due to fog, if so, what is your alternate?

- Andy
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Old 04-24-14, 04:27 PM   #39
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I hear the bridge is sometimes closed due to fog, if so, what is your alternate?

- Andy
I don't believe they ever closed the entire bridge due to fog, but maybe it was closed to pedestrians (not sure). The entire bridge has been closed 3 times in history for high winds, and twice for anniversary celebrations.

Even still, if the winds are high enough i don't think its safe to bike across. The cross winds could blow you over or into the rail and turning around the towers is a scary experience. Twice I have been at about my limit. I think at 40 MPH I wouldn't ride across, maybe even less.

There is no land alternate, it would have to be multi-modal and/or be hundreds of miles around the bay to bridges/roads that allow bikes.

For me if it is too windy, I could take a ferry across (though at some point it would be so rough they don't run the ferry) or take the bus.
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Old 04-25-14, 03:16 AM   #40
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29 mile round trip here , a little under 2 hours a day with unfortunaltely not the best commuting route in the world with lots of steep bridges and viaducts to cross and almost all of it is open terrain and the scenery is industry... so yeah could be better. I survive by taking the scooter half the days in the week to get a break but i have done this every day of the week also but with strong headwinds or constant rain it gets annoying real quick. In rain or strong wind the scooter is a lot better as i can wear a full face helmet and motorcycle clothes which prove to be extremely weatherproof. Now that the weather is getting better im taking the bike more and more again.
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Old 04-25-14, 08:34 AM   #41
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newbie commuter here. 55 miles round trip. hoping to do this twice a week. This is my first week :-)
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Old 04-25-14, 08:51 AM   #42
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40 miles round trip. Basically 3 times a week since February. I carpool with my fiancee on Tuesdays and Thursdays because someone (she works late hours Tuesdays and can't get off before 5 on Thursdays)has to pick up her daughter from school on those days. No traffic, all rural back roads which include 1200-1500 ft (some seem larger) climbs. Next week my commute will change to 50 miles round trip when the company relocates. As much as I like commuting by bike, 40 miles a day for 6 days (I work Saturdays sometimes) would seem too much of a chore so I'm satisfied with this schedule (for now).

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Old 04-25-14, 09:01 AM   #43
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My wife and I lived in rural East Texas for a few years, back in the early '90s. From there my commute was 90 miles, each way. This made for a two-hour commute, (I employed an every other day routine, then, as well -- I'd stay in town a couple of nights a week).
Wow! 45mph average for two hours! Must be a constant tail wind on a very long downhill.
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Old 04-25-14, 09:05 AM   #44
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School commutes about 30 miles RT, depending on the job my work commutes vary from 3.5 miles RT, to 40 miles RT (40 being very rare), and I am a multimodal commuter.. so if the weathers bad and for instance I need a lot of tools, I drive a work truck.
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Old 04-25-14, 09:23 AM   #45
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Wow! 45mph average for two hours! Must be a constant tail wind on a very long downhill.
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Old 04-25-14, 09:42 AM   #46
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Wow! 45mph average for two hours! Must be a constant tail wind on a very long downhill.
LOL - I did have to commute by car, back then.
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Old 04-25-14, 10:35 AM   #47
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For the last 5 years I did a 45 minutes (~18km) single trip every working day.
I'm used to that distance and perfectly fine with it.

In 3 weeks my commute to work will be a new challenge of 27km single trip.
I'm not looking forward to it but I will try it and hope I get used to it again.
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Old 04-25-14, 10:42 AM   #48
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Anyone else have wicked hills on their normal routes?

Screenshot by Lightshot

- Andy
I dont have hills but a lot of bridges and viaducts, i just measured the elevation levels on the way back: 157 meters / 515 ft gain, 146 meters / 479 ft loss in total so even though i dont have hills, i still climb quite a bit.
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Old 04-25-14, 02:21 PM   #49
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My current commute is 45 miles round trip. 22 miles to work with 575 feet of climbing, and 23 home with 1700 feet. I generally commute 2 days per week, but with the longer days upon us, I'm shooting for 3.
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Old 04-25-14, 05:43 PM   #50
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My current commute is 45 miles round trip. 22 miles to work with 575 feet of climbing, and 23 home with 1700 feet. I generally commute 2 days per week, but with the longer days upon us, I'm shooting for 3.
That's the kind of dedication some people i think find difficult, especially when the weather is less than ideal. Glad to have someone like you on a forum like this to aid, educate & encourage!

- Andy
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