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10 Different Routes Challenge

Old 09-26-16, 08:59 AM
  #1  
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10 Different Routes Challenge

Without really verifying that it's possible, I pledged to commute by bicycle to work and back using 10 significantly different routes. The ultimate goal is to do this within a week. You are welcome to join me in this ridiculous challenge and tell us how it's going for you here or tweet using #10diffRoutes .

First route done. That was easy.
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Old 09-26-16, 09:04 AM
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I don't think there are enough roads for me to do 10 different routes all around the same distance. I could do it if I extended my commute by a bunch, but I'd much rather ride one of my more fun bikes if I'm going to be riding long distance.

I need to head north and west to get home from work. There are only 3 roads that go north between work and home unless I head in the opposite direction first.
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Old 09-26-16, 09:26 AM
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living within a dense city street grid, there are an uncountable number of possible routes for me to take; i still take the same route everyday because i'm a creature of routine and habit.
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Old 09-26-16, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
living within a dense city street grid, there are an uncountable number of possible routes for me to take; i still take the same route everyday because i'm a creature of routine and habit.
Same here, I optimized my normal commute to be short, minimal hills, and away from traffic. But you'd are in an optimal situation to spice up your commute.

Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
I don't think there are enough roads for me to do 10 different routes all around the same distance. I could do it if I extended my commute by a bunch, but I'd much rather ride one of my more fun bikes if I'm going to be riding long distance.

I need to head north and west to get home from work. There are only 3 roads that go north between work and home unless I head in the opposite direction first.
It's a challenge, so it's not supposed to be simple. I expect some of my 3.5 mile rides to be a bit longer, but I also need still to meet my obligations of dropping off/picking up kids from school and after school activities.

If you want to do something like that maybe you just accept that these three roads needed to be part of multiple routes and make other sections unique. Or you could do a totally different challenge like riding with different colored sock the next 10 days.

Keep in mind it's all for fun and totally optional.
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Old 09-26-16, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cbike View Post
Same here, I optimized my normal commute to be short, minimal hills, and away from traffic. But you'd are in an optimal situation to spice up your commute.
yeah, if i didn't have my two little ones to tend to, i'd probably try to spice up my commute more often.

raising a 2 year old and a 7 month old means that time is in extremely short supply for me these days.

so i have a route that balances directness and safety as best as they can be, and then i ride it everyday.
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Old 09-26-16, 11:54 AM
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Wow, I'm not sure I could think of 10 different routes. I can think of 3 alternates that probably at least double the distance, of course if I multiply the distance even more there are unlimited alternates, but that's not really a 'route to work' or 'route to home', it's going out of my way to have a long bike ride.

Does it count if for a few hundred yards I take a gravel jogging path which is about 6ft to the right of the bike lane I usually ride?
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Old 09-26-16, 12:03 PM
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I could probably come up with ten variants, but there's no way I could make ten significantly different routes. Most sections of the ride, there are only two or three options, of which only one or two makes any sense at all. But you know, that's my commute. If I had a lot of options, I would definitely mix things up a bit. So I give your project a big thumbs up but don't look at me.
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Old 09-26-16, 12:25 PM
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I have probably ridden 10 different routes to and from work. The only thing I can't avoid is there's a lake/river to cross. There are two bridges, so I'm always going to cross at one of those two, although the bridge further north necessitates a 25 mile plus minimum one way ride. Once I'm across my usual bridge though I have lots of different surface streets I can take, some with some KILLER hills.
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Old 09-26-16, 12:33 PM
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Here's a heat map of my area from Strava. Makes it kind of interesting to see what routes I take the most. I work in the southern part of the map near Manchester Meadows Park and I live just north of the state line near the lake (you can probably tell what road I live down due to all the pink).

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Old 09-26-16, 01:22 PM
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All alternates to the route I normally take are much, much worse than my normal one. They have busy streets with heavy traffic and impatient drivers. The noise level is high, and the air quality is poor. There are many lights on those alternates, and there are very few on my regular route.
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Old 09-26-16, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
all alternates to the route i normally take are much, much worse than my normal one. They have busy streets with heavy traffic and impatient drivers. The noise level is high, and the air quality is poor. There are many lights on those alternates, and there are very few on my regular route.
+1
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Old 09-26-16, 03:51 PM
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My route has two major variants... one requires a MTB. Other than that, it's just adding distance and not getting any more pleasant.
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Old 09-26-16, 07:05 PM
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I used to take a different route to work on a daily basis, with some common stretches, but then I just got too lazy to think about it, so now I just resort to the same old route with minimal traffic and shortest distance. It's another thing I don't have to think about. There are enough things to think about without worrying about my route--lights, clothes, lights, food, lights, and more lights.

But more power to you, if it helps keep you motivated. All the best.
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Old 09-26-16, 08:05 PM
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I probably could do this, but it would require a little thought - There's always going to be some overlap, but with my normal 3-4 routes ranging from 17-20km, I'm pretty sure I could do it.

Today, for instance, the ~8km closest to work was completely different, but the rest was about the same (both ways were 18-19km today). I recently mapped out a route with the cleared winter routes map from one of the cycling groups here in town, and there're definitely a couple other routes that aren't just looping around for no reason. I am limited by 2-4 sensible (non-death wish) routes north past the highway, and there are only 4 bridges to choose from (major river to cross).

Interesting exercise - might find some new options that work out, too. Friday afternoon I tried a new route for the first time, and I think it may become my go-to.
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Old 09-26-16, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cbike View Post
Without really verifying that it's possible, I pledged to commute by bicycle to work and back using 10 significantly different routes. The ultimate goal is to do this within a week. You are welcome to join me in this ridiculous challenge and tell us how it's going for you here or tweet using #10diffRoutes .

First route done. That was easy.

Been there... done that. I vary my route to not get bored. I think it is a good thing to do all of the time. Good luck!
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Old 09-26-16, 08:14 PM
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The end points of my routes are often fixed. But, I have a middle section that goes through a section of city about 20 blocks wide and 42 blocks long.

I usually like to add an open loop in the middle of my RT ride. But, will mix it up a bit. Maybe 3 or 4 main routes through town, but I'll occasionally do something like a stair-step diagonal through town.

1/4 mile from my house, I could, in fact, make a big loop, and enter the city from a different direction, but that road is just miserably busy, so I avoid it like the plague.

Sometimes I'll add a couple of extra hills in if I'm headed out to Mom's house, and I suppose I could change my route to hit them from either direction.

So, 10 routes? Maybe, but mostly variations of the same.
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Old 09-26-16, 08:21 PM
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You don't always have to have boring routes either...
https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...-drawings.html

I had fun with this one.

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Old 09-27-16, 08:00 AM
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Uh, how did you do that?
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Old 09-27-16, 10:12 AM
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Challenge met and exceeded.

https://www.strava.com/athletes/7461...2847/-71.10592
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Old 09-27-16, 10:38 AM
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I learned my current route after a lot of experimenting with routes. I found a great one. No point in going back to the bad choices so I can meet a challenge.
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Old 09-27-16, 11:37 AM
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I can come up with a few mildly different routes, but certainly not 10, and not 10 vastly different routes. The bulk of it will still have to be on the one road that goes from my part of town into the city that has a bike lane. I have or 3 options to get to that road, but they also all end up on the same connecting road. The only way to really change it up is to run our club ride backwards going from home into work, or normally going the opposite direction, but I would rather ride that route on my road bike.
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Old 09-27-16, 12:45 PM
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I was poking around with routes.

My normal route to work is 5.3 miles. It's about 1 mile of residential, 1 mile of minor artery, 1 mile of dirt road, and 2 miles of bike path along a lake. It has a couple of climbs up bridge footings and a pedestrian overpass, 75 ft up total, but it's overall downhill. Reversed, it has about 190ft of climbing. Google doesn't give this much credit but my bum ticker and how it feels in the afternoon makes it a solid 5 minutes longer, maybe more.

Just for fun I plotted another route... on the other side of the lake. This one is almost entirely on a major artery roads (Greenback and Folsom), no bike path. It's steady downhill overall. Google Maps says it's 1.1 miles longer but estimates about the same ride time. In the morning, because it's clockwise around the lake, it's nearly unobstructed. There's one dangerous spot where the route would cross an onramp if I stayed on the road, or would add some elevation and distance if I moved onto the MUP. In the afternoon, ccw, it would not be suitable due to many large intersections. I'll have to give it a try if I'm ever able to ride a bike again.
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Old 09-27-16, 04:34 PM
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It's looking good so far.


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Old 10-03-16, 07:36 AM
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Yeah, I finished the challenge last week. Quite the variety or routes. Some out of the way ones, some gravel road, some rec path that wiggles all across, plenty of narrow roads with no shoulders, bridges, tunnels, ... Photos are on the 10diffRoutes Twitter stream.

Now it's your turn.


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Old 10-04-16, 07:40 AM
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I'm a bit more obsessive. I see those unmarked roads in between the routes and want to color them all in.

Commuting my way through the streets of Boston, all the streets of Boston.

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