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At age 55, my commute might get much longer. Doable?

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At age 55, my commute might get much longer. Doable?

Old 03-03-21, 01:49 PM
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It's gonna be a question of time rather than ability. ~40mi. ~= 60km. It takes little effort to cruise at ~20km/h on a reasonable bike (road tires, not a heavy cruiser or old 3 speed), so assume you will be spending 3 hours in commute each day, 1.5h out, 1.5h back.
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Old 03-03-21, 03:19 PM
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It is doable!

Up until COVID-19 times, I did a 34-mile round trip commute once or twice a week. The route is totally flat (it is Florida) and about a third of the distance is on a nice shaded path along a small river. I did not ride during the worst heat of the day, but I did have to contend with the afternoon thundershowers during the summer, which made getting home more interesting some days. I changed things up sometimes by driving part way and taking the trail almost the whole distance, 12-miles each way. This ride was easier, but it actually took more time overall to drive, park, and bike. A couple of years ago I did the 34-mile round trip three or four times a week. The rides got me into shape and seriously helped my mental health.

COVID-19 has changed things up for me. I now average rides of about 15 miles a day about six days a week.
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Old 03-03-21, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Mostly flat in Pittsburgh? Where?
Well nowhere. I am heading down to FL for a while for a job for a month or so. Nothing much flat around here, but I do like hills.
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Old 03-03-21, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by randallr View Post
I ride all the way in and all the way home on my commute when weather permits. 46 miles round trip, I am 65. Don't do that every day, however.
Nice. Hope. I fair as well.
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Old 03-03-21, 10:52 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
It's gonna be a question of time rather than ability. ~40mi. ~= 60km. It takes little effort to cruise at ~20km/h on a reasonable bike (road tires, not a heavy cruiser or old 3 speed), so assume you will be spending 3 hours in commute each day, 1.5h out, 1.5h back.
Yeah, I figure about 1 1/2 hour each way due to all the bs. Traffic, red lights, stop signs and so-on. I rode 17 on the way in today and 5 back. Felt good. Maybe I can just do this and it won't be that big of a deal. Well, it probably will, but just keep going.
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Old 03-03-21, 11:40 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
Well nowhere. I am heading down to FL for a while for a job for a month or so. Nothing much flat around here, but I do like hills.
Okay, that makes more sense. Unless you are all the way north in Florida, flat, and easy to ride. I think time would be your only issue. Maybe do it only a few times a week.

When I had to relocate temporarily from Pittsburgh , I relocated to the Ozarks in Missouri, so I went from one hilly place to another. I commuted, but only about nine miles a day, so it was easy, despite the huge hills. Of course sometimes instead of turning left as I was leaving work, I would occasionally turn right, and that meant about 18 miles to get home, and lots of hills.
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Old 03-04-21, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
I rode 17 on the way in today and 5 back. Felt good. Maybe I can just do this and it won't be that big of a deal. Well, it probably will, but just keep going.
Great Job, h_curtis !

I am curious how your intermodal commute worked, with 17 miles in & 5 miles coming back ?

I live 25 miles from my work place, and when the last 5 inches of snow melt off the 10 mile rail trail, I will begin my hybrid commute. I recently purchased a Saris Solo bike rack that is well-designed and has had good reviews from cyclists who transported their bikes over 1000 miles with no issues.

I'll drive the highway for 15 miles from my home, "pawk the caw", and pick up the rail trail for 10 miles. I'm turning 59 next month and like the balance of riding for over an hour each way, but not exhausting myself from enjoying other activities in the evening.
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Old 03-04-21, 10:11 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Hybrid_Chaplain View Post
Great Job, h_curtis !

I am curious how your intermodal commute worked, with 17 miles in & 5 miles coming back ?

I live 25 miles from my work place, and when the last 5 inches of snow melt off the 10 mile rail trail, I will begin my hybrid commute. I recently purchased a Saris Solo bike rack that is well-designed and has had good reviews from cyclists who transported their bikes over 1000 miles with no issues.

I'll drive the highway for 15 miles from my home, "pawk the caw", and pick up the rail trail for 10 miles. I'm turning 59 next month and like the balance of riding for over an hour each way, but not exhausting myself from enjoying other activities in the evening.
On the way in I just add a loop. I am going to try and keep adding to it to build some confidence. There is a very huge steep hill I hope to add maybe next week and just keep making it harder and harder until I won't worry about a 20 mile in ride. It will probably close to 20 because of safe routes I will want to take. Hope I can do it. Would be a great head start into getting back in better form.

One nice thing is you can cycle a long time. Low friction compared to a lot of other exercises. Sure is fun and always has been since I was a wee lad.
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Old 03-05-21, 09:38 AM
  #34  
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At 53 years old, I started a job 13.5 miles from home (27 miles round trip). It was too hard for me to do every day, so I did it two or three days a week. But everyone is different. You might find that you enjoy doing this commute every day.

By the way, it's a common misconception that narrower tires are faster. They are actually slower at a given weight. Narrow tires feel faster because of how they respond to steering input, but it's an illusion. If you can get a lightweight tire that is wide and with a supple sidewall, you have the best of both worlds.
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Old 03-06-21, 10:43 AM
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When my office moved, my round-trip commute grew from 20 to 25 miles. At my normal level of effort, this meant about 3 hours a day on the road. When I moved to my current job, the commute dropped to 10 miles found trip for about an hour a day. That was faster than driving, given local traffic and parking conditions, and felt like a sweet spot. Then the pandemic hit, and we all had to work from home. Zero miles of commute is way too short. For a while, I did a 44 mile round trip by car, which required an hour on the road, and felt that was too long to drive. I'd conclude 1) 38 miles is possible by bike, 2) not really practical, as a car is faster, 3) however, too long to drive, 4) still better than working remotely and not commuting by any mode.
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Old 03-06-21, 09:16 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
I am thinking of riding for fun most of the time and one day a week ride in to work with the 38 mile round trip. What do you think? It does seem like a lot, but is it?


Thanks.
Keep it fun. I used to ride 25/day. I had fun but some days!!!! I always thought if my commute was longer I would drive to work, bike home, then bike back to work the next day and drive home. A compromise but might work.

Never-mind, just read all of the posts. This doesn't work for you.

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Old 03-07-21, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
Keep it fun. I used to ride 25/day. I had fun but some days!!!! I always thought if my commute was longer I would drive to work, bike home, then bike back to work the next day and drive home. A compromise but might work.

Never-mind, just read all of the posts. This doesn't work for you.
Well my hope is to ride 3 days a week. It isn't a super safe ride for about 7 miles. That part sucks, but just have to ride and be as careful as I can be.
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Old 03-07-21, 09:42 PM
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That sounds like a good long commute to try and get used to, ride a few times and I bet you'll know more.

Good luck

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Old 03-09-21, 08:41 AM
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I am in a very similar situation as you. 55 year old, 35 mile round-trip commute - albeit I live in San Diego, so less weather issues.
I try to ride as much as possible, but it is a large time commitment. I landed at 2-3 times per week most weeks. Occasionally 4, and occasionally 0.
I also have a mass transit train that I can take if I have to (almost never do, but good to have in-case).
One of my motorcycle buddies back in the day rode 70 miles to work and back daily. He burned out on riding during the week, and didn't want to ride on the weekends. I want to avoid that on the bicycle - Too much riding to work might dull my motivation to ride on weekends or go on bike tours.

Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
I have been commuting about 10 miles round trip with a nice long hill on the way in. (Pittsburgh). I am moving and my commute would be about 19 miles one way or 38 miles total on mostly flat. I used to ride one 20 mile ride a week last year to keep myself in better shape. On top of that my job is working on my feet and lifting mostly light things for 8 hours, so I am physical there too.

I am thinking of riding for fun most of the time and one day a week ride in to work with the 38 mile round trip. What do you think? It does seem like a lot, but is it?

Another point is my main commuting bike has 700x40's with a Shamano 8sp, but I have a road bike with 700x25's. Do you think it would make a huge difference in effort? The 40's are very good tires with easy roll, but some tread. All weather.

Thanks.
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Old 03-12-21, 07:53 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
That depends on what you'll be carrying. There are seat packs that are very good at storing a lot of things. For example, Ortlieb makes light and waterproof ones, and even the smaller size (11L) was big enough for me to carry anything I wanted.
So I have been looking to follow your advice. I have a little issue. My seat post is a vintage Record carbon fiber one.

This one.https://www.ebay.com/itm/Campagnolo-...AAAMXQfvlSc-k7

I don't know if a carbon fiber seat post is a good candidate for a mounted rack? I searched that and all I got was mixed reviews. I suspect if I kept the weight down, it would be fine.

Any other ideas. I would LOVE to get the weight off my back for a lot of reasons and I really thank you for your advice.
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Old 03-12-21, 12:27 PM
  #41  
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I don't know if a carbon fiber seat post is a good candidate for a mounted rack? I searched that and all I got was mixed reviews. I suspect if I kept the weight down, it would be fine.
[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't worry about it, the force on it for a reasonable amount of weight isn't going to damage a seatpost. A seatpost is designed to support rider weight when clamped, after all. You can put some electrical tape around the post as protection from scuffs to keep it looking nice.
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Old 04-06-21, 05:17 PM
  #42  
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Okay, so I wanted to update this story a bit. I have worked two days so far and commuted my 1 1/2 hour ride each way twice. I honestly love it, but it is long after working physically in the middle. I have been scheduled hard shifts in the physical nature since I am an outsider here. My blinky was stolen while at work, so I had to make the return trip without a rear light. My shift ends at 11PM. lol. It was okay though as I am very careful knowing I am invisible to all.

I have only ridden my commuter bike with the 700x35 tires so far, but will try the road bike soon.

So far I love the commute. I had a couple of beers on the second day on the way home and that didn't work very well as I cramped up when I got home. Learning as I go.

Thanks for all the replies on here. I hope to continue to ride every day. Most people at work think I am out of my mind, but on here, it is no big deal. Nice to know a 6'2" large man of 200 lbs and 55 years of age can just ride and work hard for so long. You young people are lucky to know there are people like me out there to show you how long you can "just do it".

Enjoy all and will update as I go. I have a 3 days in a row coming up and then 4 days in a row from there on out. I think that will be pretty hard.
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Old 04-08-21, 11:31 AM
  #43  
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Thanks for the update!

Many of us have found that as nice as beer is, it doesn't mix well with cycling. It's often welcome after a ride.
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Old 04-09-21, 10:56 PM
  #44  
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So I have ridden my road bike this time and it was 10 minutes faster. That is 20 minutes off my round trip commute time. Think I will be riding my road bike more.

So far so go, I haven't driven my car to work yet. Got some tough shifts coming up however and two 4 days in a row weeks, that will be interesting. I hope to pull the commuting off, but if it is crazy rain or something, I think I am going to drive. I still have to work and don't really want to be that wet with sweat.

Enjoy your commutes. Best thing ever.
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Old 04-13-21, 05:17 AM
  #45  
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I missed a day due to very strong winds and lots of rain. It wouldn't. have been smart to ride, so. my idea of riding every work day is blown. I can live with that. On a bright note I felt really good last night and made it home in 1 hour and 10 minutes, which is my fastest time and I took a wrong turn in there. I think I could make it an hour and 5 minutes if everything was working well. I do like the commute, but it is a long time in the saddle. Hoping to ride the rest of the month, but the weather in Florida can. sometimes be a little crazy. I don't mind riding home in the heavy rain, but I can't really stay dry on the way in due to sweat and some rain getting in due to the amounts.

All and all, it is a good experience. I came across a gator on the road that scared the crap out of me. Small one, but fast. He didn't like me getting as close as I did, but I didn't see him until I was close due to me paying attention to a car in my rearview.

Feeling pretty good and I seem to sleep less which is odd. I certainly shouldn't be up now since I got home after midnight and didn't wind down till 1AM.

Enjoy your rides.
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Old 04-13-21, 01:52 PM
  #46  
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You're in Florida? Your profile says Pittsburgh.
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Old 04-14-21, 05:54 AM
  #47  
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Try riding every other day. One day for two weeks, two days for two weeks,...etc. Build yourself up. An ebike would help a lot if you get tired. I know you're not interested but it's a great alternative. Good luck!
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Old 04-14-21, 07:09 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
You're in Florida? Your profile says Pittsburgh.
Yeah this is a temporary job down here. I just didn't change my profile location because I'll be back in Pittsburgh soon.
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Old 04-14-21, 07:11 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by alloo View Post
Try riding every other day. One day for two weeks, two days for two weeks,...etc. Build yourself up. An ebike would help a lot if you get tired. I know you're not interested but it's a great alternative. Good luck!
I am enjoying the rides, so no reason to ride every other day. I do have a. rash in a rather lousy location, but I will deal with that.....in private. lol
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Old 04-14-21, 07:29 AM
  #50  
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My Father in Law started riding to work when he was about 55. Shorter trip - I think it was 30km round trip, but he did it every day that there was not snow on the ground. And he didn't even quit smoking - not until the lung cancer diagnosis, which was too late.
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