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  1. #1
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    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?

  2. #2
    Yogi on Wheels schiiism's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    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.
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  4. #4
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    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.

  5. #5
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    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.
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  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    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.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #12
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    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.

  13. #13
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    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

  14. #14
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    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.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  15. #15
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    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.

  16. #16
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    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.

  17. #17
    Yogi on Wheels schiiism's Avatar
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    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.

  18. #18
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    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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    1 Mile in the morning, twenty five in the afternoon. In reality mine is 5 in the morning and 5-30 in the afternoon.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  20. #20
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    I would love to have my commute down to anywhere between 15-20 miles each way.

  21. #21
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    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.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  22. #22
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    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.

  23. #23
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    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.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    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!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  25. #25
    imi
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    Your ideal commute distance?

    45 minutes each way would be my optimal commute time.

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