Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    387
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Long range commute, without a safety net of a car/public transport

    Roody's call to the lurker got to me.

    I submitted an application to a job that is about 30 miles away by roads. Thinking about the commute started making me nervous, especially after looking at cars for sale. Looking at motorcycles, and studded motorcycle tires (winter is inevitable) and thinking about moving.


    Anyhow, I'd rather not move if I get the job (probably won't happen, but could) and though I'm sure I am capable of 60 round trip miles potentially five days a week, I am not at all happy at that prospect. Who knows, maybe I'd love doing that, can't say for sure until I try. Definitely don't want to buy a car, not too happy about getting a motorcycle either.


    So I looked at some e-bikes. Purpose built ones seem too expensive, but maybe a conversion?

    If I got the job I couldn't predict being able to charge the battery once I arrived. Is there a reasonably priced conversions that has 70 miles of range?

    I could get by with 40 or 50 mile range if the conversion maintained a good pedaling bike, does an e bike conversion pedal well?

    Hmmmmm.

  2. #2
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Falls City, OR
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Fargo 2, Rocky Mountain Fusion, circa '93
    Posts
    1,497
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Brammo and Zero make electric motorcycles that would do that distance on one charge. I've never heard of electric bicycles that can do it. I don't know how they pedal but they are even more heavy than my Fargo.
    Ed Miller
    Falls City, OR
    1993 Rocky Mountain Fusion
    2012 Fargo 2

  3. #3
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Des Moines
    My Bikes
    1974 Huffy 3 speed
    Posts
    9,211
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You need to think about how you would want to travel in the most inclement weather. I'm not a fan of automobiles, but this might be one situation where it would be a good Plan B.

    However, before you sign on the dotted line, check out any van pools, buses, car pool opportunities that might exist. I recall my son found a co-worker who was very willing to take him to work for the price of gas.

  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,711
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Before advising a carfree person to buy a car, I would ask,
    1. Why are you carfree?
    2. And how important is it to you as a personal value?



    Since relocation is the "obvious" answer to your problem, I would add two similar questions about your housing situation,
    1. Why do you live where you do?
    2. And how important is it to you as a personal value?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NE OK
    My Bikes
    '06 Kona Smoke
    Posts
    8,031
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Relocation is the no-brainer, but if you don't want to for whatever reason (the kids' school is mine) and you are less than thrilled with the prospect of a 60 mile r/t commute every day, how about mixing it up with short term housing?

    Depending on what kind of financial gain (if any) that the potential new employer offers, you might see if renting/leasing an efficiency apartment close to work is possible. If not that, then an extended stay inn (though the rates can be as much, if not more than, an apartment- depending on age, location, and amenities- of an apartment). If nothing else, find a cheap motel that you can use once or twice a week to give yourself a break from the long commute, really bad weather moves in, or if you should come down ill at work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  6. #6
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Florida
    My Bikes
    '66 Raleigh Superbe, 80 Nishiki Maxima, 07 Gary Fisher Utopia, 09 Surly LHT
    Posts
    1,380
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would be less concerned about the choice of bike and range than how that time commitment would fit in your life. You are talking about perhaps 20 hours a week or so on your bike during the week. Are you willing to concede that much free time? Do you have other responsibilities, like taking care of your house/yard. pets, kids, etc.?

    I did 30 miles r/t for many years, and it was good training, but I don't think I would have had enough free time if I had to go any further.
    Campione Del Mondo Immaginario

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seville, Spain
    My Bikes
    Brompton M6R and mountain bikes equipped for touring.
    Posts
    3,291
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Where do you live? Isn't there any public transit there at all? If there's a bus that could get you part of the way, you could do the rest on a folding bike.
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  8. #8
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,711
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
    I would be less concerned about the choice of bike and range than how that time commitment would fit in your life. You are talking about perhaps 20 hours a week or so on your bike during the week. Are you willing to concede that much free time? Do you have other responsibilities, like taking care of your house/yard. pets, kids, etc.?

    I did 30 miles r/t for many years, and it was good training, but I don't think I would have had enough free time if I had to go any further.
    Good point. He can do the 60 mile commute, provided there is a healthy body, good pacing, and adequate rest and nutrition. But it's probably going to be more than three hours a day on a good day.

    I work with people who commute that long in cars. Three hours on a bike would be better than three hours in a car, but I personally would not like to commit that much time to commuting. His mileage may vary.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    39,569
    Mentioned
    38 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by moochems View Post
    I submitted an application to a job that is about 30 miles away by roads. Thinking about the commute started making me nervous, especially after looking at cars for sale. Looking at motorcycles, and studded motorcycle tires (winter is inevitable) and thinking about moving.

    Anyhow, I'd rather not move if I get the job (probably won't happen, but could) and though I'm sure I am capable of 60 round trip miles potentially five days a week, I am not at all happy at that prospect. Who knows, maybe I'd love doing that, can't say for sure until I try. Definitely don't want to buy a car, not too happy about getting a motorcycle either.

    We've been in similar situations ... we're in that sort of situation now! It's easy for some people to say "move" but in real life, it's not that easy. There are all sorts of reasons why moving is not an ideal answer. Sometimes it is financial. Sometimes it has to do with family. Sometimes the neighbourhood near the place of employment is not desirable. And sometimes there simply aren't any places available closer to a place of employment.

    Several years ago, my place of employment was 35 km out in the country ... far from any residential areas. It was located there for safety reasons, among other things. And there was absolutely nothing in the way of public transportation. Not even part way there. Even car-pooling would have been a challenge because of all the different shifts and start times.

    So ... I had to get a car. But I rode my bicycle anywhere from 1 - 3 times a week.

    Right now Rowan works about 35 km from where we live. And the bus services out that way are expensive and impossible to work with. They'd get him to work about 3 hours late. So ... he's using our van. We are entertaining the idea of moving, but as mentioned, in real life, it's not that easy. We're locked into a rental for several more months, and if we were to move, there's my job to consider. I work close to home now.

    These things require careful consideration ... looking at all the options.


    Quote Originally Posted by moochems View Post
    So I looked at some e-bikes. Purpose built ones seem too expensive, but maybe a conversion?

    If I got the job I couldn't predict being able to charge the battery once I arrived. Is there a reasonably priced conversions that has 70 miles of range?

    I could get by with 40 or 50 mile range if the conversion maintained a good pedaling bike, does an e bike conversion pedal well?

    Hmmmmm.
    You might ask the question on the E-Bike forum. The people in that forum would probably know the answer to your questions.

    Electric Bikes


    You might also check out the commuting forum. I think some over there do a commute of a similar length to the one you're considering. They might have some tips.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,150
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Relocation is the no-brainer, but if you don't want to for whatever reason (the kids' school is mine) and you are less than thrilled with the prospect of a 60 mile r/t commute every day, how about mixing it up with short term housing?

    ...If nothing else, find a cheap motel that you can use once or twice a week to give yourself a break from the long commute, really bad weather moves in, or if you should come down ill at work.

    Quote Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
    There was a thread a while back on the Commuting forum asking how people get to work if they don't bike. The most common answer was driving.

    So, car-free (and light) folks: let's expand the topic a bit! What's your plan B (or C or D) if you can't bike? What circumstances might make it impossible or undesirable to bike places? Does your location lend itself well to a lot of backup plans, or does it limit your options?.
    That novel idea of short term housing is IMO a pretty good alternative to cycle-commuting (plan F?) if available. It certainly would depend on the situation both at work and home, as well as the financial and availability considerations.

    My cycle-commute is 14 miles one-way with Commuter Rail from work back home (no night time riding after a cycling accident; I had to promise family and friends). I don’t punch a clock and have a lot of flexibility, within reason, to accomplish my tasks. If I am really busy, and wind up working late, the last train home is 10:39 PM, eventually to bed at almost midnight. I would also have the intention to leave home at ~5:30-6:00 AM to ride in the next day.

    So I fortunately have the possibility to stay over at my work place. I have a place to sleep, shower, and eat. So I go to sleep about 11:30 PM and get up about 4:30 AM (I’m a lark) and get to work, saving about 4-5 hours of transit time, and working during a very peaceful, uninterrupted stretch. I do have various amusements at work like posting to BF, and Netflix on my I-pad so I don't go crazy. Plus I don't have to expend any money or time to stay over.

    The children are grown so I don’t miss that all-important time with them, and my wife is often at her afternoon job til 10:00 PM, so this works for me. Fortunately I also enjoy my job. The only downside is missing the morning ride.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-14-14 at 07:57 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    387
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am car free as a matter of choice, and obvious superior financial sense.

    I live where I do out of necessity of expenditure, and because of family.

    To elaborate: I lost my job a while back, and was out of work too long. I was/am living with my father, who provides for me. I live for free, but do have chores. All in all, I'm very thankful for his generosity. I still own a car but it is not drive able. I could fix it, but I don't need it at all currently, 8 miles to work is easy.


    Nasty weather doesn't scare me, as long as it's not lightning, round here that is rare,

    The time constraint doesn't seem so bad, as I already spend near that amount of time cycling/running. I'm training for my first triathlon!

    The new job would be approximately four times the pay, and benefits that I currently do not have,

    I'm a little over qualified for my current job, and I elected to take only part time. Being out of work, I am thankful for my job.


    A few caveats: I have been losing weight in order to pursue enlisting in the military. I am still too heavy, but getting near to appropriate weight. Also, very near to home is a government building which has yet to initiate food service for it's workers (what I do is food service, interested in continuing that) and I am under the delusion that it will potentially soon begin food service. I suspect this job would be on par with the far away one.



    So, taking a new job with a funky commute could distract me from pursuing military options, as well as look bad on my resume if the local food service operation begins. However, I can't refuse a good thing, when all I have are day dreams.

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    39,569
    Mentioned
    38 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by moochems View Post
    The new job would be approximately four times the pay, and benefits that I currently do not have,

    I'm a little over qualified for my current job, and I elected to take only part time. Being out of work, I am thankful for my job.

    A few caveats: I have been losing weight in order to pursue enlisting in the military. I am still too heavy, but getting near to appropriate weight. Also, very near to home is a government building which has yet to initiate food service for it's workers (what I do is food service, interested in continuing that) and I am under the delusion that it will potentially soon begin food service. I suspect this job would be on par with the far away one.

    So, taking a new job with a funky commute could distract me from pursuing military options, as well as look bad on my resume if the local food service operation begins. However, I can't refuse a good thing, when all I have are day dreams.
    1. Why would any job with decent pay and benefits look bad on a resume? Just about any job will provide you with transferable skills at the very least.

    2. Why would it distract you from pursuing military options? With a commute like you would have, chances are you'd lose the weight so that you could enlist. And if you got this new position ... and then this food service thing did happen to start up, you could still apply for a position with the food service and see what happens. But I've worked in government for several years, and nothing happens quickly ... it could be 2 or 3 years before this food service thing starts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    387
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I imagine if I submitted a resume showing 6 months here, 4 months there, it would reflect poorly on me. Flaky.

  14. #14
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3,072
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    IMO, it's not flaky if it shows socio-economically upward movement. Lateral moves a few months apart look bad, but 4x pay plus benefits? It'd look flaky if you didn't take that.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NE OK
    My Bikes
    '06 Kona Smoke
    Posts
    8,031
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Job hopping used to look bad at one time, but in today's market... not so much*. It is usually easier for someone to land a new job if they are currently employed than if they have no job. Also, if you are in food service, turn over is on the high side (or it was when I was in it- though I was in fast food while it sounds like you're into institutional).

    *Looks better if each move can be considered an advancement opportunity within your chosen career field.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  16. #16
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Where the Detour takes me
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Detour 4.5
    Posts
    676
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been commuting 40 miles r/t sometimes six days a week for the last month, with the exception of a few days I carpooled with my girlfriend due to inclement weather. I should also point out the roads near me are almost all hilly and windy, I ride a heavy hybrid. I own a car, but it's currently in pieces due to having to replace the head. I told myself when I found out what was wrong with the car that I wasn't going to buy a new one this close to spring, as I don't drive much from April - October anyway. Winter riding isn't for everyone, it surely takes a toll on me once in awhile hence the reason to set up carpool opportunities if possible. The thing that most people can't believe is the fact that I can ride a minimum of 40 miles a day all week and still have the energy to ride for leisure on my days off.

    If you are apprehensive about commuting 30 miles everyday, my advice would be to not do it. One could buy a 10 year old car with low mileage, do only the basic maintenance, acquire minimal auto insurance and be good for a couple decades. Owning a car doesn't have to be expensive though bicycling will always be an cheaper alternative, you won't see me argue that fact. Sometimes it's better to own a car rather than rely on public transport(cabs, buses, subways, etc.).
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  17. #17
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,711
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by moochems View Post
    I am car free as a matter of choice, and obvious superior financial sense.

    I live where I do out of necessity of expenditure, and because of family.

    To elaborate: I lost my job a while back, and was out of work too long. I was/am living with my father, who provides for me. I live for free, but do have chores. All in all, I'm very thankful for his generosity. I still own a car but it is not drive able. I could fix it, but I don't need it at all currently, 8 miles to work is easy.


    Nasty weather doesn't scare me, as long as it's not lightning, round here that is rare,

    The time constraint doesn't seem so bad, as I already spend near that amount of time cycling/running. I'm training for my first triathlon!

    The new job would be approximately four times the pay, and benefits that I currently do not have,

    I'm a little over qualified for my current job, and I elected to take only part time. Being out of work, I am thankful for my job.


    A few caveats: I have been losing weight in order to pursue enlisting in the military. I am still too heavy, but getting near to appropriate weight. Also, very near to home is a government building which has yet to initiate food service for it's workers (what I do is food service, interested in continuing that) and I am under the delusion that it will potentially soon begin food service. I suspect this job would be on par with the far away one.



    So, taking a new job with a funky commute could distract me from pursuing military options, as well as look bad on my resume if the local food service operation begins. However, I can't refuse a good thing, when all I have are day dreams.
    The commute should be good training for both the triathlon and the military. Too bad there isn't a river you can swim across on the commute route.

    I agree with Machka and no1mad that it won't look bad on your resume. My impression is that food service has pretty high employment turnover rates, so employers are probably used to lengthy resumes. In fact, if a quick promotion would be likely at the new job, nothing could look better on a resume. (I'm not an expert, just some guy on the Internet, so don't take my word on this employment stuff.)

    The timing couldn't be better. You would be starting this long commute just as the weather is getting nice, and likely quitting by the time it sucks.

    It does sound like the time commitment shouldn't be too much of an issue under your circumstances. Your dad will miss you, but he will also be happy that you're moving on with your life. You seem to be a sensible person so I'm confident that you will make a good decision, whatever you decide.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  18. #18
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Odenton, MD
    Posts
    661
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For a while I did a 15 mile commute three times a week. It was a lot for me. If I had to live 30 miles from work I would not be car free. (Although 'had to' would have to be some pretty specific circumstances)


    Are you interested in joining the military or interested in beefing your resume? What branch? Have you taken the ASVAB and spoken with a recruiter yet?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •