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26 mile comute : crazy ?

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26 mile comute : crazy ?

Old 08-15-23, 06:35 AM
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26 mile comute : crazy ?

Hi everybody

Due to major changes in my job, I will probably have to work 26 miles from home in my relatively hilly place : home is at 2000 ft and work at 420 ft, with a pass in the middle.
The only bike in my "stall" relatively usable for this kind of distance is my High Speed Riese & Muller cargo.
I'm averaging 24 km/h (15 mph) in the area and the battery combo is lasting 60 km (38 miles). Plus I have a third battery
There's also a train but it's not reliable enough.
And of course my (ICE) car ....
At 63 I'm too young to retire, alas.

I had the luxury to chose my job by bike distance for more than 20 years.
Then during the last 5 years, I was working away from home for one or two months, I frequently made self supported week trips to get there.

I'm tempted to buy a lighter speed-bike, but my wife will kill me and I'm affraid the gains will be marginals.

Any thoughts ?
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Old 08-15-23, 07:51 AM
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When I was in my 30's and low 40's I could handle the 54 miles RT commute in a day. I did this maybe twice per week as I was also training hard on weekends. By the late 50's it was a bit much and I would leave the car at work, bike home, then bike back in the AM. That was much more managable, and I had a secure parking lot to leave the car. I would leave shoes and clothes at work, then I could use my lighter and faster road bike, which was easier then my 26 lbs touring bike. I would use a camelback to carry water and my lunch, etc.... Or I could RT it by driving part way and leavign the car in a public lot, then do 18 one way, the 36 RT was easiee then the 54, LOL.
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Old 08-15-23, 08:00 AM
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26 miles is a long way to go in each direction, even on an e-bike. It isn't just the pedaling that takes a beating. And then you'll be spending almost 4 hours per day on the bike, not to enjoy the ride but to get to work and back. I might do that as an occasional ride but not every day.
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Old 08-15-23, 08:09 AM
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Your talkin' 52 miles per day. That's quite a bit. I'd like to think a Dutch style commuter with a Gates Carbon drive and Nuvinci N380 hub would be ideal. The maintenance aspect of chains and gears killing cost on any bike including your current e-cargo bike is the deciding factor. I'm pretty sure a battery at both ends would be preferable because the depth of discharge is also a factor of battery life.

Back when I commuted that distance, I did it on an analog bike. I'd ride in in the mornings, the bus home in the afternoons. The afternoon bit actually was time equivalent to aa car because the roads were clogged with other cars. I still managed only 4 days/week with this arrangement.

Your cargo bike will not be welcome on a bus. Hence my thoughts leaning towards a an appropriately equipped (Gates/Nuvinci) Gazelle C10 with additional battery for peace of mind.
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Old 08-15-23, 08:58 AM
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I have horrible traffic on the last few miles of my commute. Took 20 minutes through city traffic to go 3 miles. What I did for a while was to drive most of the way, then biked the last few.
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Old 08-15-23, 09:03 AM
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The idea of supporting the commute with a car is inventive, but not for 26 miles. Primarily, you're mixing business and pleasure. A flat on a car is one thing, but telling the company you had a flat on a bike is another. Sooner or later, something will occur using a bike that would not occur using public of personal vehicles. However, as long as you're not traveling to a hospital to deliver babies or do surgery, maybe it will work.
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Old 08-15-23, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster
26 miles is a long way to go in each direction, even on an e-bike. It isn't just the pedaling that takes a beating. And then you'll be spending almost 4 hours per day on the bike, not to enjoy the ride but to get to work and back. I might do that as an occasional ride but not every day.
As you can imagine, there's only one sealed road, all the others rare alternatives are at are the very best gravelled.
To be honest, I'm just fed up to work for a living ! Even if it's just obscene to complain !
I think it's going to be a day ICE and a day electro-bike, depending on the weather.
The village where I live was famous for a healer, Cyprien Vigne, in the last century they even thought of building a train line from Geneva to Vialas !!!
Too bad, I'm such a sucker at advertising !!
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Old 08-15-23, 09:32 AM
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That's three and a half hours a day riding. I don't have that kind of time to spend on it, but my kids are still little. Also will be in full dark in a few months here
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Old 08-15-23, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck Naill
The idea of supporting the commute with a car is inventive, but not for 26 miles. Primarily, you're mixing business and pleasure. A flat on a car is one thing, but telling the company you had a flat on a bike is another. Sooner or later, something will occur using a bike that would not occur using public of personal vehicles. However, as long as you're not traveling to a hospital to deliver babies or do surgery, maybe it will work.
I will be on my own, mostly taking care of nerds. One can divide them on two sub groups : those able to wait half an hour or more, and the others : either they flee or destroy absolutely everything around.
I have a few pals in Germany, UK, Sweeden and the US. There's an absolutely world crisis on the health systems : most of the money is spent on non productive people : the old, the disabled.
So welcome to Soilent Green !
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Old 08-15-23, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster
26 miles is a long way to go in each direction, even on an e-bike. It isn't just the pedaling that takes a beating. And then you'll be spending almost 4 hours per day on the bike, not to enjoy the ride but to get to work and back. I might do that as an occasional ride but not every day.
Yes I find it extreme. And possibly unreasonable. I just wanted to make sure posting.
That said :
one of my great great grand father was a stone cutter in the end of the XIX century, He travelled by foot 2 hours from the suburbs to central Paris everyday.
Those people had certainly another vision of spare time.
And another one was selling latakia cigarettes by the unit in the Balkans : I suppose he did'nt made a fortune either.
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Old 08-15-23, 06:37 PM
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I have an 11.5 mile commute to work so I'm doing 23 miles a day, three or four days a week, when the weather permits (not above 85 degrees, not pouring rain, not both). I'm turning 47 next month and by the end of the second day of riding, I'm ready to do the commute in the car the next day. When I manage to get in three days per week, the evening of that third day I'm just about dead. Mentally it still beats sitting in traffic in the car, and my commute home is always quicker on a bike. Doing 52 miles in a day would be rewarding once in a while, but as a sole means of transport, it would get really tiring (pun intended) really quick.
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Old 08-16-23, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by PhilFo
I have an 11.5 mile commute to work so I'm doing 23 miles a day, three or four days a week, when the weather permits (not above 85 degrees, not pouring rain, not both). I'm turning 47 next month and by the end of the second day of riding, I'm ready to do the commute in the car the next day. When I manage to get in three days per week, the evening of that third day I'm just about dead. Mentally it still beats sitting in traffic in the car, and my commute home is always quicker on a bike. Doing 52 miles in a day would be rewarding once in a while, but as a sole means of transport, it would get really tiring (pun intended) really quick.
I did a 10 mile commute each way in NYC 2 or 3 times a week and that was completely within my energy level, even at 64 up until I retired. In fact towards the end I was riding even more frequently as work just started taking a back seat to the rest of my life. I never had to drive though, the alternative was the subway. I was also in kick-ass shape, so I'd be blasting up the bridge and the small hills.
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Old 08-16-23, 02:57 PM
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Is the train reliable enough to get you home? Bike to work train home might be feasible two or three times per week. You could try biking it on a day off, see how you feel about it.
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Old 08-18-23, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Is the train reliable enough to get you home? Bike to work train home might be feasible two or three times per week. You could try biking it on a day off, see how you feel about it.
If this train was reliable enough, I could use my Bompton : it would be a total of 10 miles by bike each day with a steep gradient. Unfortunately some days there are no trains and no announcement : I must go to the station to check.
I did the round trip once : but it was just a test for the batteries. I lacked 12 miles of autonomy on the round trip. pushing the 90 pounds cargo added a bunch of hours !
That's why I bought a third battery.
I plan to try with the 3 batteries in a few weeks. I think it's doable in an hour and a half.

As for mechanical problems : on 4000 miles I just had one flat with the Schwalbe Big Ben.
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Old 08-18-23, 04:13 PM
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Hey, it is a major dumbass move to commute that far on any e-bike or bicycle!!

I would not recommend choosing to use a motorcycle or a scooter instead, as those will get you killed just as quickly as a bike or e-bike.

You are an idiot to consider such a lengthy commute!!!

I am certain that you must be in great physical shape to ride your bicycle as much as you do, but TIME & SPENT ENERGY is what will severely reduce the QUALITY OF LIFE that you could otherwise enjoy with loved ones and family upon returning home each evening.

86,400 SECONDS..............24 HOURS that is all that there is in a day..................HUMANS must EAT, SLEEP, AND DO THEIR DAILY THINGS, so you've got perhaps maybe somewhere between 16 waking hours and perhaps 19.5 waking hours on those days where you can get by on 4 1/2 hours of sleep.
Lack of sleep is not good.
Though you must be in incredible shape, you WILL BE GIVING UP TOO MUCH...............you'll be dead tired each day upon returning home AND YOU WILL HAVE WASTED HOURS that could have been enjoyably spent with loved ones and family.

Just DRIVE THE CAR back and forth to work.
The MONEY spent to do so will be worth more than you could ever imagine.
Don't be a dumbass. TIME is your most valuable commodity. You also will only have about 20% of your usual energy upon arriving home after work because of your extremely harsh ride to and from work everyday. You will not only be extremely fatigued and depleted of physical energy, you will have pissed away precious hours too.
Use the damn car..............ARRIVE ALIVE..........ARRIVE HOME SAFETLY, WITH ENOUGH ENERGY TO HAVE QUALITY OF LIFE AT HOME.
The weather is not going to be perfect everyday.
Don't be an idiot like those backwards cave-man types that live out in Oregon, Colorado, and California, smoking way too much marijuana who just want to live in a shack in the woods like a frikken cave man and profess that internal combustion engines, and paved freeways and paved roads, along with big oil, big pharma, and anything perceived to be opposite of the ideals of those brainless grass tokers who would want to see everybody travelling and commuting only by bicycle, and the goverment sending them a large monthly check for doing nothing but getting stoned all day..

If you don't feel like your current car is Economical & RELIABLE enough to do the commute every day, than this should be your priority, ....first priority to buy a newer, much more reliable car that is most economical. Until such time, commute via public rail transportation or find someone to car pool with.
Buy an electric vehicle if you really are adamant about using internal combustion engine cars. Chances are that they are not cost effective just yet without goverment subsidies encouraging adoption of EV's. Hey, if they are, then go the EV route, as at least among the first five or six years of an EV's life, all of them have proven extremely reliable and the needed repairs are very very few unlike some ordinary cars but nobody yet really knows what costs might arise once an EV becomes 15 years old.............the current assumption is that no one will hang on to an electric vehicle that gets really old as they currently do with traditional gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. The world is in the early stages of electric vehicles.
They are bound to get better in terms of both overall range , total cost, and total expected life span.
You may not wish to be an early adopter given the current shortcomings that they have as compared to a new traditional ICE vehicle.
It might not be cost effective to purchase such an inferior all-electric vehicle (based on limited range and lack of charging locations) at this moment in TIME

.....Remember TIME.......................yesterday is GONE............................Tomorrow is a mystery and tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Some folks often say that TODAY is a gift.........and that is why it is known as the Present.

..........We can only make the choices to Make The Best Use Of Our TIME..
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Old 08-25-23, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn
Hey, it is a major dumbass move to commute that far on any e-bike or bicycle!!

I would not recommend choosing to use a motorcycle or a scooter instead, as those will get you killed just as quickly as a bike or e-bike.

You are an idiot to consider such a lengthy commute!!!

I am certain that you must be in great physical shape to ride your bicycle as much as you do, but TIME & SPENT ENERGY is what will severely reduce the QUALITY OF LIFE that you could otherwise enjoy with loved ones and family upon returning home each evening.

86,400 SECONDS..............24 HOURS that is all that there is in a day..................HUMANS must EAT, SLEEP, AND DO THEIR DAILY THINGS, so you've got perhaps maybe somewhere between 16 waking hours and perhaps 19.5 waking hours on those days where you can get by on 4 1/2 hours of sleep.
Lack of sleep is not good.
Though you must be in incredible shape, you WILL BE GIVING UP TOO MUCH...............you'll be dead tired each day upon returning home AND YOU WILL HAVE WASTED HOURS that could have been enjoyably spent with loved ones and family.

Just DRIVE THE CAR back and forth to work.
The MONEY spent to do so will be worth more than you could ever imagine.
Don't be a dumbass. TIME is your most valuable commodity. You also will only have about 20% of your usual energy upon arriving home after work because of your extremely harsh ride to and from work everyday. You will not only be extremely fatigued and depleted of physical energy, you will have pissed away precious hours too.
Use the damn car..............ARRIVE ALIVE..........ARRIVE HOME SAFETLY, WITH ENOUGH ENERGY TO HAVE QUALITY OF LIFE AT HOME.
The weather is not going to be perfect everyday.
Don't be an idiot like those backwards cave-man types that live out in Oregon, Colorado, and California, smoking way too much marijuana who just want to live in a shack in the woods like a frikken cave man and profess that internal combustion engines, and paved freeways and paved roads, along with big oil, big pharma, and anything perceived to be opposite of the ideals of those brainless grass tokers who would want to see everybody travelling and commuting only by bicycle, and the goverment sending them a large monthly check for doing nothing but getting stoned all day..

If you don't feel like your current car is Economical & RELIABLE enough to do the commute every day, than this should be your priority, ....first priority to buy a newer, much more reliable car that is most economical. Until such time, commute via public rail transportation or find someone to car pool with.
Buy an electric vehicle if you really are adamant about using internal combustion engine cars. Chances are that they are not cost effective just yet without goverment subsidies encouraging adoption of EV's. Hey, if they are, then go the EV route, as at least among the first five or six years of an EV's life, all of them have proven extremely reliable and the needed repairs are very very few unlike some ordinary cars but nobody yet really knows what costs might arise once an EV becomes 15 years old.............the current assumption is that no one will hang on to an electric vehicle that gets really old as they currently do with traditional gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. The world is in the early stages of electric vehicles.
They are bound to get better in terms of both overall range , total cost, and total expected life span.
You may not wish to be an early adopter given the current shortcomings that they have as compared to a new traditional ICE vehicle.
It might not be cost effective to purchase such an inferior all-electric vehicle (based on limited range and lack of charging locations) at this moment in TIME

.....Remember TIME.......................yesterday is GONE............................Tomorrow is a mystery and tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Some folks often say that TODAY is a gift.........and that is why it is known as the Present.

..........We can only make the choices to Make The Best Use Of Our TIME..
Thanks for these words of wisdom !
Driving a car is driving me totally crazy : apart from claustrophobia, you always end up with an enormous truck, or worse a foreign motorhome up front, erratically cruising at 20mph. I'm still waiting, as anyone of our generation, for the flying cars they promised in the 70's ! I also looked at electrified velomobiles, given the regulations we have here in europe it's a total dead end, not to speak about the phenomenal price.
I don't even dare talking about a motorcyle : it's a one way ticket to the cemetary.

All that said, you're right : it's going to be a car commute everyday. I have a relatively recent standard european cheap and hideous sub compact 40mpg (on a flat freeway ).
As for the cave man : I must admit, it's still a tempting path ! My house is heated, hot water included, by a log furnace. I once tried to "make" my own wood by myself : it's a tremendous and dangerous task. We're trying to grow our own vegetables, but it's also a quite a learning curve, same for hunting quadruped (boars) proteins.
A few years ago one of our neigbours compared us to "Bouvard & Pecuchet" from a Gustave Flaubert novel (worth a reading).
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Old 08-25-23, 11:31 AM
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What are the local E-Bike regulations and enforcement?

If you want to make this work, I'd think of a few options:
  1. Invest in a new E-bike that can maintain 20 MPH to 30 MPH. Get the right safety equipment to go with it, as well as spare batteries (charging at work).
    .
  2. Try some kind of hybrid commute as mentioned above. Train, car, some days ride, others not, park and ride, etc.
    .
  3. Go to a part time job. 50% of time commuting, 50% working. That is still a lot.
    .
  4. Get a city apartment for at least a few days a week.
    .
  5. Telecommute

Are you ready for the rain?
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Old 08-25-23, 11:47 AM
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It's amazing how the mass majority of working folks are so locked into their job routine.

They will sacrifice to make big changes to their daily life just to keep their job.

They should sacrifice to make big changes to their job to keep their life.
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Old 08-26-23, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
What are the local E-Bike regulations and enforcement?

If you want to make this work, I'd think of a few options:
  1. Invest in a new E-bike that can maintain 20 MPH to 30 MPH. Get the right safety equipment to go with it, as well as spare batteries (charging at work).
    .
  2. Try some kind of hybrid commute as mentioned above. Train, car, some days ride, others not, park and ride, etc.
    .
  3. Go to a part time job. 50% of time commuting, 50% working. That is still a lot.
    .
  4. Get a city apartment for at least a few days a week.
    .
  5. Telecommute

Are you ready for the rain?
As for E-bikes : under 15mph no regulation, under 28mph considered as a moped. And over, like a motorcycle.
To begin with, I'll try to open a practice within a 7 miles radius from my home and advise after 6 months if it's commercially livable or not.
I don't plan to work full time anyway.
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Old 09-05-23, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by yves845
...I will probably have to work 26 miles from home in my relatively hilly place...
I did 36 miles round trip for 18 months in my late 40s on a road bike no assist. Somehow I pulled that off without overuse injury. It was too much. I'm a pretty serious rider but still, 5-8 miles is my comfort zone. But I'm not You! If you don't have anything better to do with your time and you love cycling, why not? It helps if your boss gives you flexibility to be late or not there on terrible weather days. If you MUST get there on time without fail, likely a recipe for disaster commuting that distance.

On long bike tours I average 60 miles/day and can do 100+ if necessary BUT....I don't have to be productive beyond that. Wouldn't want to sandwich those distances with an 8 hour day at work.
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Old 09-05-23, 10:45 AM
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I did a 39.2 round-trip commute 3-days a week (when there wasn't rain in the forecast) and there were definitely a few stressful mornings. One morning, of course when I was slow out of the gate, I had a double puncture and foolishly forgot a 2nd cartridge, ultimately having to call an Uber and miss a critical meeting.

I gave myself 2 hours for the commute, so I didn't have to crush it and still had plenty of time to clean up on arrival. I would have commuted full time if I had convenient access to a shower. But changing into a suit that I also had to haul was a miserable (tried it a few times, hated it every time).

Ultimately I stopped commuting via bike, the route I took had 2 bike commuter fatalities in a span of about 6-months and it became a point of contention with my spouse at home over my safety. For the numbers critics, over a 5-year span of commuting 3x a week, there were 0 fatalities along my route that I drove and at least 8 (I believe 2 of those were pedestrians) along the bike route.
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Old 09-05-23, 11:15 AM
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current bike commute is 22 miles each way. haven't done it since covid. & even before covid I maxxed out at maybe 10 times in any year, on good weather, summer days only. I experimented w/ 1/2 commutes, meaning drive car to work, bike home, then bike to work, then drive home, etc. but even that, I only did once pr week for just a few weeks

I once had an ideal commute, 13 miles each way. that was Heaven
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Old 09-11-23, 12:00 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
I did 36 miles round trip for 18 months in my late 40s on a road bike no assist. Somehow I pulled that off without overuse injury. It was too much. I'm a pretty serious rider but still, 5-8 miles is my comfort zone. But I'm not You! If you don't have anything better to do with your time and you love cycling, why not? It helps if your boss gives you flexibility to be late or not there on terrible weather days. If you MUST get there on time without fail, likely a recipe for disaster commuting that distance.

On long bike tours I average 60 miles/day and can do 100+ if necessary BUT....I don't have to be productive beyond that. Wouldn't want to sandwich those distances with an 8 hour day at work.
I'm my own boss (I work alone as a psychiatrist), but I must have a somewhat professional appearance on arrival !
At the moment, I'm gathering infos about where I could have enough inpatients as near as home as possible. There are 2 places : one at 6 miles, the other at 18. With my electric assisted cargo, 20 miles is a bit less than an hour (tried and tested at every time of the year). There's real a big difference between 20 and 26 miles : after 20 miles I'm able to work, but 26 mi. needs at least one hour to recover...

When I settled here, in my small village, I never imagined that temporary work in hospitals would be so harshly regulated : from September, it's going to be paid 30 euros per hour. If I settle, I'll earn at the very least 25 euros per consultation, it's a net income. I think it's even worse in the UK.
I know these sums are totally ridiculous compared to US doctors, it's probably the reason in France we had a very affordable and really efficient health system. But our salaries in hospitals are at nearly the same level since 30 years ... I can compare with my dad.
Many young doctors are quitting.
It's worsening at an extremely high speed : last week, near Nice/Saint-Tropez, a German tourist died in his car from a heart attack in front of a closed emergency ward.
A lot of small hospitals in touristic areas are "semi-closed", the official word is "regulated" : you have to call before arriving, the people taking calls are not necessarily fluent in foreign languages.
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Old 09-11-23, 09:51 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by yves845
I'm my own boss (I work alone as a psychiatrist), but I must have a somewhat professional appearance on arrival!
At the moment, I'm gathering infos about where I could have enough inpatients as near as home as possible...
My wife is a psychotherapist in the USA. She worked for the state then a large hospital and finally opening her own office in a professional office building just 5 minutes (in a car) from our house in such a location that rush hour traffic does not affect her. She planned this very carefully. Sadly, she doesn't cycle to work but my point to you is perhaps a strategic move both where you live along with where you work can be figured out with time and patience.

I was car free for 30 years but never had a job where I had to dress formally, although through dumb luck most of my workplaces had a shower. I always strove to be within easy cycling distance from my apartments. It wasn't even that much of a hassle as my hometown has many apartment locations (and homes) readily available. One time I got a job about 2 miles from home and that company moved less than one year after I started there. I easily found another apartment just one mile away from their new spot.

I have no idea your situation but there are many ways to adapt in most cities. As for how much you get paid, my wife certainly made more money in her private practice but that has different headaches. She does still prefer being out on her own. Her space holds three professionals - two social workers and one psychiatrist. Also some part time social workers share office space at times as people's lives change. Very flexible situation as compared to her state and hospital jobs. She works strictly with outpatients BTW.

If you are determined enough I am certain you will come up with something suitable.

Cheers.
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Old 09-18-23, 12:44 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by yves845
Hi everybody

Due to major changes in my job, I will probably have to work 26 miles from home in my relatively hilly place : home is at 2000 ft and work at 420 ft, with a pass in the middle.
The only bike in my "stall" relatively usable for this kind of distance is my High Speed Riese & Muller cargo.
I'm averaging 24 km/h (15 mph) in the area and the battery combo is lasting 60 km (38 miles). Plus I have a third battery
There's also a train but it's not reliable enough.
And of course my (ICE) car ....
At 63 I'm too young to retire, alas.

I had the luxury to chose my job by bike distance for more than 20 years.
Then during the last 5 years, I was working away from home for one or two months, I frequently made self supported week trips to get there.

I'm tempted to buy a lighter speed-bike, but my wife will kill me and I'm affraid the gains will be marginals.

Any thoughts ?
I'm newly 55 and my commute is 32 miles round trip between 2 and 3 times a week; however, Houston is a pool table . Any "hills" around here are either man made or so slight you don't notice them.. I'd look at the economics of it. If a lighter bike will get the job done then your wife should support you especially if it keeps you healthy. If cost is her sticking point, then I'd look at converting something under-used to cash to help finance the new bike.
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