Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-06-14, 11:22 AM   #1
Speedy24
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Your ideal commute distance?

Hi, I'm new to cycle commuting my commute is 9 miles each way to and from work, my fastest time is 38 minutes so far, my goal is to get it done in around 30 minutes. There's a couple of steep hills either way which take a bit out of me but I feel it's just the right distance to give me a workout but not too far to take up too much of my day.

So what would your ideal commuting distance be?
Speedy24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 11:48 AM   #2
schiiism
Yogi on Wheels
 
schiiism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Cypress, CA
Bikes: 2010 Orbea Diva Dura-Ace, 2012 Fuji Finest, 1986 Univega Gran Turismo
Posts: 138
Mine is 12 which usually takes 45 minutes with morning traffic. I wouldn't mind a few more miles, but anything that takes more than an hour is a little excessive. Anything under 30 minutes is not enough time to even get sweaty!

Also, 18mph average is pretty quick if you're going to be on urban roads. Be careful not to go so fast that you can't brake in time for common cyclist/motorist accident situations: right hook, left cross, parking lotted, etc etc

Last edited by schiiism; 07-06-14 at 11:52 AM.
schiiism is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 11:51 AM   #3
acidfast7
http://www.538.nl
 
acidfast7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid
Posts: 6,016
I'm 10km (6.2 miles) one way, which is right around 20 mins, most days ... which is too short ... but it's the nicest area close to my workplace.

I compensate by running 5k a few times/week near my work place.

Ideally, 20km (13 miles) or 40 mins would be perfect each-way.
acidfast7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 12:43 PM   #4
Speedy24
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
Mine is 12 which usually takes 45 minutes with morning traffic. I wouldn't mind a few more miles, but anything that takes more than an hour is a little excessive. Anything under 30 minutes is not enough time to even get sweaty!

Also, 18mph average is pretty quick if you're going to be on urban roads. Be careful not to go so fast that you can't brake in time for common cyclist/motorist accident situations: right hook, left cross, parking lotted, etc etc
True, I didn't do the simple math and just set a target of around 30 minutes, 18mph is a bit too ambitious, if I could average 16 mph I'd be pleased which would then mean my commute would take about 34 minutes. I'm satisfied with anything under 40 minutes really as their are a lot of traffic lights on my journey and the traffic can get quite heavy.
Speedy24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 12:57 PM   #5
wphamilton
rugged individualist
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Bikes: Nashbar Road
Posts: 9,455
Your 9 miles is a good compromise distance for the bike ride, long enough to feel like a real ride but not so far as to wear on you. When I was commuting 9.5-10.5 miles I often wished for four or five more miles, just for the ride, but you know lots of times you just want to get to work and shorter is better.

From that perspective I think that a little shorter is ideal. Mine is 7.8 miles door to door, almost a mile of which is parking lot, short for a workout but at 25 minutes just about perfect for a commute.
wphamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 01:30 PM   #6
poormanbiking
Human most of the time
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toledo, Ohio
Bikes:
Posts: 167
My 7.15 miles is nice, involves 3 cities, residential and country roads. I take my time rolling in so speed doesn't matter. It's one of those rides that the journey is great but destination isn't.
poormanbiking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 01:57 PM   #7
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes
Posts: 3,983
I ride 17-20 miles roundtrip through car-centric suburbs...Early morning is faster, because of less traffic I can run a lot of the red lights and stop signs...Afternoon rush hour is slower, I can't run reds and stops because there is a lot more faster moving traffic...We also get "real winter" around here for few months of the year and that can make my commute very slow at times.
wolfchild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 02:21 PM   #8
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Bikes:
Posts: 7,182
I think I'm about as far away as I'd like to commute, 33km one-way. I get about 11 hrs/wk of commuting plus whatever I ride (0-5 hrs) on the weekend.
gregf83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 02:35 PM   #9
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Orangevale CA
Bikes: '76 Paramount, 02 Hardrock, '98 C'Dale XR800, '04 Burley Samba, '15 Priority Classic
Posts: 5,370
9 would be on the limit for me with my heart trouble, I'm pretty happy with my 5.5, which also takes me about 35 min downhill in the morning and 45 uphill in the evening. No time for it to start feeling like drudgery.
Darth Lefty is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 02:47 PM   #10
jaxgtr
Senior Member
 
jaxgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Bikes: Trek ALR 6, Trek CrossRip, Trek X-Caliber 8
Posts: 4,354
My ideal would be less than 20 miles round trip , and lucky for me...mine is 15 miles and I typically ride the round trip in 50-60 mins based on the winds avg around 17-18 mph. Traffic is not a huge issue on my ride except for 2 intersections, but I am completely comfortable with them and know how to navigate them safely.
__________________
Brian | 2015 Trek Emonda ALR 6 | 2015 Trek X-Caliber 8 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.
jaxgtr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 02:49 PM   #11
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
I commuted at various distances from 8 miles each way (too short) to 29 miles each way (too long). My favourite was a 17-mile each way which took just over the hour. Long enough for a workout, and to do training routines of varying intensities, but not so long as to be too time-consuming. And I found two hours per day on the bike to be pretty much ideal for keeping me fit.

Of course, if one lives closer to work one can always throw in a loop in order to get a longer ride. There's no law that says you have to take the most direct route.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 04:29 PM   #12
Walter S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Decatur, GA. USA
Bikes: Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker
Posts: 2,679
I guess it's not a big surprise that most people like their person commute distance - it's why they are bike commuters! Mine is 40 miles RT. I think it is ideal. It takes me 1:15-1:30 to get to work, then I repeat that to get home. This keeps me in shape to go touring without "training" for it. And I like being able to take weekend camping trips up to the mountains and feel strong rather than like I'm pushing myself close to my limits.
Walter S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 06:00 PM   #13
257 roberts
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Lakeland,Fl
Bikes: Trek FX 7.3 Gaint ATX 740
Posts: 44
I commuted last week for the first time 9.3 miles one way (18.6 round trip) and it was tuff in the Florida heat/traffic but I plan on doing it more as the weather permits
257 roberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 06:19 PM   #14
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy24 View Post
So what would your ideal commuting distance be?
The whole way!





(That's also my answer when people ask how far I rode.)


Okay, seriously, I have routes that are 4.3, 4.5, 9.6, 13.5, and 16.5 miles, plus variations of each one. In foul weather the shorter routes get the nod. If I need some hills in my legs, it's the middle one. The longer routes are for when I want to stretch out and crank on a flatter route. No real favorite. It's all good.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 06:30 PM   #15
HardyWeinberg
GATC
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
Bikes:
Posts: 7,376
Quote:
Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
Also, 18mph average is pretty quick if you're going to be on urban roads. Be careful not to go so fast that you can't brake in time for common cyclist/motorist accident situations: right hook, left cross, parking lotted, etc etc
Yeah I don't know what is the fastest *feasible* commute rate. 15mph? 12mph? There's a lot of stuff to watch out for when the roads aren't closed by police for an event at each end.
HardyWeinberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 06:39 PM   #16
bbeasley 
Cat 5 field stuffer
 
bbeasley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hammond, La
Bikes: Wabi Lightning RE, Wabi Classic
Posts: 1,420
The first number that came to mind was 8. I think you've got it nailed. Mine is 6 one way and it's a bit short.
bbeasley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 06:59 PM   #17
schiiism
Yogi on Wheels
 
schiiism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Cypress, CA
Bikes: 2010 Orbea Diva Dura-Ace, 2012 Fuji Finest, 1986 Univega Gran Turismo
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
Yeah I don't know what is the fastest *feasible* commute rate. 15mph? 12mph? There's a lot of stuff to watch out for when the roads aren't closed by police for an event at each end.
Haha if only! Tour de Work?

That mostly depends on how many blind turns and intersections you have along the way. I go through primarily businesses with parking lots and school zones, which are both areas that are not safe to ride too fast depending on the time of day and year. My commutes are faster during summer because I don't have to wait for five signal-happy crossing guards, and they're slower going home because motorists act stupid during rush hour.

I use MapMyRide every day--my average commute speed stays within 13-14mph.
schiiism is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-14, 07:07 PM   #18
zacster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brooklyn NY
Bikes:
Posts: 4,953
10.02 miles one way. No more, no less. I can cover it in an hour in NYC traffic. That doesn't sound fast, but I can't do much better even on my road bike.
zacster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-14, 04:45 AM   #19
CommuteCommando
Senior Member
 
CommuteCommando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Southern CaliFORNIA.
Bikes: KHS Alite 500, Trek 7.2 FX , Masi Partenza, Masi Fixed Special, Masi Cran Criterium
Posts: 3,009
1 Mile in the morning, twenty five in the afternoon. In reality mine is 5 in the morning and 5-30 in the afternoon.
CommuteCommando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-14, 05:26 AM   #20
hyhuu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NoVA
Bikes: Specialized Allez Sport
Posts: 1,377
I would love to have my commute down to anywhere between 15-20 miles each way.
hyhuu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-14, 06:21 AM   #21
MMACH 5
Cycle Dallas
 
MMACH 5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Land of Gar, TX
Bikes: Lucinda--2010 Jamis Aurora Elite & a few others
Posts: 3,600
My commute is 52 miles, round trip.

I wouldn't mind living about 10 or 12 miles closer to work.
15 miles in the morning and 15 miles in the evening would be about right.
MMACH 5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-14, 06:41 AM   #22
mgw4jc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mooresville, NC (Charlotte suburb)
Bikes: Trek 5000 TCT, Giant OCR
Posts: 1,104
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Of course, if one lives closer to work one can always throw in a loop in order to get a longer ride. There's no law that says you have to take the most direct route.
This.

And I really can't grasp how someone could think their commute is too short. Really? You can't figure out a way to make it longer? Go the opposite way for 3 miles, turn around and come back. Tour a couple of neighborhoods on the way in. Do your commute twice. Just ride!

Mine is 12 miles. I enjoy it, but some days I wouldn't mind if it was a bit shorter, maybe 10. If I want more miles that is easily done by leaving earlier, getting home later or getting out on the weekend.
mgw4jc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-14, 08:16 AM   #23
wphamilton
rugged individualist
 
wphamilton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Bikes: Nashbar Road
Posts: 9,455
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
This.

And I really can't grasp how someone could think their commute is too short. Really? You can't figure out a way to make it longer? Go the opposite way for 3 miles, turn around and come back. Tour a couple of neighborhoods on the way in. Do your commute twice. Just ride!

Mine is 12 miles. I enjoy it, but some days I wouldn't mind if it was a bit shorter, maybe 10. If I want more miles that is easily done by leaving earlier, getting home later or getting out on the weekend.
Partly mindset, especially if you've had it ingrained for many years of long commutes by car and if you're exercise averse which believe it or not is part of the reason some of us commute by bike. If your commute is 15 miles you have no choice. Another factor is that some of our commutes end in areas which would be unpleasant to extend due to traffic or terrain.
wphamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-14, 09:44 AM   #24
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint
Posts: 13,809
for me, 13 miles is perfect. I get it done in under an hour in optimum conditions, and under adverse conditions it's still doable. it's perfect for nutrition and hydration reasons too. not to mention in the winter longer rides would result in a frozen water bottle. also an hr of exercise is worth the hassle of commuting clothing food washup routine etc etc. however if I got a new job 9 miles from home I would jump at it!
rumrunn6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-14, 10:09 AM   #25
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour (touring) and a Miyata 100 (commuting)
Posts: 2,810
Your ideal commute distance?

45 minutes each way would be my optimal commute time.
imi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:10 PM.