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Commuting to work.

Old 02-08-23, 01:46 PM
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Commuting to work.

Hello fellow Clydesdales/Athena’s.

Do any of you commute to work? If so, how far? What kind of roads/paths fo you have where you are?

I’m interested in possibly doing it some day, but I have a ways to go to get there physically. The routes Google Maps are showing me are 12-14 miles one way, with a lot of busy roads that I’d have to share with folks speed racing to work between 4-6am and that is the bit that frightens me the most. I wish I lived closer to work or at least if it wasn’t in such a “far out” space that has unfriendly bike routes.
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Old 02-08-23, 02:10 PM
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I commuted occasionally for 20 years. My one way was 27 miles, so I varied the method. When I was 40 and racing, I was able to do 2 RT's a week. When I was 65 I only did 1. Typically I would leave my car in a secure lot at work, bike 27 home, then return next morning. Sometimes I do a park and bike and would drive to a lot with free parking, ride 18 miles one way and return in the afternoon. Often and in the summers, I might extend on the way home and do extra miles, that was useful training. I had a shower at work, so would leave clothes at work, and ride a road bike with big and durable tires. Sometimes I used my touring bike with panniers, I could carry clothes and lunch. I would usually leave shoes at work as they are heavy and bulky. I was not commuting in the rain as I didnt need or want to. I also stopped in mid October when I lost daylight and never rode at night (too dangerous on this route). My commute had a lot of designated bike lanes in Brooklyn and Queens, NYC, as well as a 5 mile bike path, then about 11 miles of back roads and residential roads. I religiously stayed off main roads.

My advise is to drive the planned route and explore for alternatives, you can add a few miles if its off the beaten path but safer. The ride home for me had 50 something turns the last 8 miles. That was actually more tiring then the first 19 on bike lanes. Also think about driving part way and cycle the rest.
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Old 02-09-23, 05:48 AM
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I commute, but it's only about 2 miles...all downhill going in to work, but a significant uphill going home. Going home is only a problem in the heat of the summer afternoons...gets really hot here from mid-July to mid-August.

Riding on the street isn't an option...no bike lane, fast heavy traffic. I just ride on the sidewalk, as there's not a lot of foot traffic on it. The biggest hazard is riding by this one empty field that dumps a stupid amount of goatheads on the sidewalk. Schwalbe Marathons mitigate the goatheads.
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Old 02-10-23, 01:59 AM
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I commute by bike whenever I go into the office, which is only about 1-2 times a week. It's 5 miles one way and 80% is MUP, with the remaining being residential and bike lane. It use to be 3-4 times a week, then Covid hit.
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Old 02-10-23, 07:04 AM
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15 miles to work, 20 home, 2-3X times a week. I take a longer, safer way home. I am fortunate that I have flexible work hours and can commute early.
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Old 02-11-23, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by munkeyfish
Hello fellow Clydesdales/Athena’s.

Do any of you commute to work? If so, how far? What kind of roads/paths fo you have where you are?

I’m interested in possibly doing it some day, but I have a ways to go to get there physically. The routes Google Maps are showing me are 12-14 miles one way, with a lot of busy roads that I’d have to share with folks speed racing to work between 4-6am and that is the bit that frightens me the most. I wish I lived closer to work or at least if it wasn’t in such a “far out” space that has unfriendly bike routes.
I'm biased, but you probably have it harder than most when it comes to bike commuting. But I could do it where you live and would. So, while you work up to being able to do the miles physically you also have to work on your attitude toward sharing the road with the speeding cagers. I'm going to assume you drive at present. Could you not drive 1/2 way with the bike? Yes, your car would be six miles away all day. I'll bet it would be alright! It would be worth adding a mile or so of distance to stay off especially nasty stretches. You also have the option of e-assisting your bike so that a 12 - 14 mile one way is doable door to door!
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Old 02-12-23, 11:09 AM
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My commute is 7ish miles one way. On the way in it's half surface streets and half multi-use path (W&OD). Coming home is a bit longer but almost entirely on the MUPs. It's usually fairly easy and stress free, but somedays, like this past Friday, full of azzhats. I don't have to deal with riding with high speed traffic at all, though. That would be a strong deterrent.

I used to commute 11 miles one way on pretty much the same route. That was a perfect distance for me at the time. It would be tough right now. I do extend my morning commute to a little over 9 miles on days when I have the time.

Use Map My Ride instead of Google. I find it's better (at least in my area) for mapping out bike-friendly routes.

Good luck!
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Old 02-16-23, 05:22 AM
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I do about 100 miles a week of practical cycling. That is, commuting, to a store, out to lunch, to an appointment or out for a beer. It's 12 miles round trip to work and then any other practical use adds up to about 100 miles a week. Down to 210lbs from 254 in the past few years.

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Old 02-16-23, 07:52 AM
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I started commuting 5 miles each way, 2-3 times a week that quickly increased to 4-5 times a week. After five years, my office moved and I continued riding 10 miles each way, still 4-5X/week -- that wasn't a problem by the time I started the longer ride. The ride home was sometimes 25 miles longer on nice spring/summer/fall afternoons! That was BC (before Covid); now I'm mostly WFH, but there's an impetus to get us back to the office.

Most of my routes are suburban roads and streets, though there are a few exceptions. One route through "downtown" I'm on a main street for 3/4 mile, followed by ~2 miles of minor arterial. TBH those streets are overbuilt for the direction and time I'm riding them, so there's no problem for most drivers to pass me. (There are exceptions, of course, but I can't do anything about other people's mental state!) The other route has a 4 mile stretch of divided highway, mostly through a swamp, with a nice, wide shoulder. No issues riding there, except sometimes traffic's backed up and I pass some folks I work with on the shoulder. Not my problem!

There's usually a decent biking route available if you can handle a small (1-2 mile) additional length. There've been a number of threads discussing how to stretch and improve a commuting route in the Commuting forum.
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Old 02-21-23, 09:55 AM
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fwiw - in my area we have park & pedal lots. as mentioned above, one drives to the lot then rides to work. not sure what the cycling infrastructure is like, in your area, but you might have safe places to park

https://www.parkandpedal.org/
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Old 02-21-23, 11:50 AM
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230lb Clydesdale here commuting 10 miles each way on a three-day week (61 and semi-retired). Mainly quiet roads and bike paths with a bit of rush-hour craziness on the way home getting across one roundabout.
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Old 02-22-23, 04:35 PM
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I commute most days. Shortest distance is about 4 miles. But depending on time, weather and mood I do de-tours of up to 20 miles one way. I avoid streets with fast traffic wherever possible. I try to stay on trails, neighborhood roads, alleys, parking lots... I take longer routes on purpose if they are quieter and safer.
When I scout new routes I use a mix of Google Maps with Trails, Google Streetview, Google Satellite View. This way I can see traffic, existence of bike lanes, trails, sidewalks and or shoulders. Sometimes office, retail, church or school parking lots can be used to cut between neighborhood road and stay off the very busy roads. Yes there is still traffic but much slower.
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Old 02-23-23, 10:51 PM
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Don’t anymore but I spent 40+ years either commuting 12 miles one way between my home in the suburbs and college in the city (5+ years), less than 2 miles away from my work for about 5 years (but I rode around a mountain to get more miles, and then 30+ years riding 10 miles one way from the city to the suburbs. I’ve ridden at least once in each month since 1977 which includes getting hit by a car and spending 6 weeks recovering from my knee being made into hamburger. I also broke my ankle (a second time) and had to have surgery with 6 weeks of healing. Luckily both of those incidents occurred such that I got out of the cast/brace just in time to get the last few days of the month.

Total mileage (since 1988 because we didn’t have computers before then): 76,000 miles. More importantly, I saved north of 60 tons of carbon dioxide and about $12,000 in gas at $1.75/gallon average price. My vehicles saved $24,000 in wear and tear.

Get out there and ride. Your wallet will love you for it!
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Old 02-24-23, 07:26 AM
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That is a fantastic idea! But unfortunately, I'm not aware of anything like that in my area. But I will be searching.
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Old 02-24-23, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by munkeyfish
That is a fantastic idea! But unfortunately, I'm not aware of anything like that in my area. But I will be searching.
Back when I was a productive member of society (two long years ago) and, more importantly, when I had regular interactions with working people, I endlessly heard people say that they couldn’t ride a bicycle to work. The problem is that people tend to look at the world with car eyes and all they see are other cars. Fear takes hold and keeps people from riding a bicycle to work. You have to learn to look at the world with “bicycle eyes”. Look for those paths, short cuts, trails across open fields, etc. that a bicycle can go on. You may not be taking the most direct route like cars can but, then, you don’t want to. Where cars go in large herds is not where you want to go.

Google maps has a bike feature that will show you the quieter ways to go. For the most part, we clever monkeys like grids and a block or two over from the busiest roads is usually a parallel road that is far less busy.
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Old 03-16-23, 01:44 PM
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Well done for even considering it. I think the best way would be to start slow and maybe do it once a week and build it up from there. I have been planning to commute for 4 years and never got round to it, not even once so my plan is to start this year. I have no excuse apart from the distance. It is 17 miles one way and over hilly ground but I have a choice of beautiful country lanes or flatter straighter dual carriageway hard shoulders. It would be amazing on a lovely morning to commute. I also work 13 hour shifts and some half days so the plan is start on the half days and build it up. For me now, my fitness the way it is, it could take 2 hours to do but then I wouldn't be long cutting that to 90 minutes if I kept it up. I must do an elevation to see the height, probably not half as bad as I think!
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Old 03-16-23, 05:37 PM
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5 miles in on local streets, biggest hazard if I don't time right (depends on meeting schedule) is parents, running late dropping kids off at at schools 7 in total)
15 to 18 miles back on combination of local streets and a MUP

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