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How far do you ride?

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How far do you ride?

Old 06-03-08, 07:56 AM
  #1  
cupcheck
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How far do you ride?

I want to start riding to and from work...but I'm afraid it may be too far.

How far do you ride to and from work/school everyday? And how long does it take you? How much earlier do you have to get up and prepare in order to make it to your destination on time?

Thanks guys
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Old 06-03-08, 08:11 AM
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(you'll probably get better answers in the Commuting forum)

My usual daily riding ranges from 20 mile round trips to 2 mile round trips. An average day is 6 miles. Since I am carfree, I don't do anything special to prepare. Either it's ice-free enough that I take my bike, or it's icy and I walk or take a bus. Walking takes a bit longer than bike or bus, but not a whole helluva lot longer since I can walk a mile in 15 minutes or so. I can bike a mile in 7ish minutes. From back when I used cars, for short trips they took about the same time as my bike... so for my usual sorts of distances there's just no difference.

I would not deliberately set myself up with a work commute much longer than a 10 mile round trip. Farther than that, and I might not have the fallback of bus service and walking distance grocery stores.
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Old 06-03-08, 08:17 AM
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It would be helpful to have more specifics about your proposed commute. Distance alone isn't usually the limiting factor. Hills? Traffic? Weather? Darkness in winter? Heat in summer? Schedule constraints? Sickness/injuries? Cleanup & hygeine facilities available at work or not?
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Old 06-03-08, 09:49 AM
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There are no hills through this commute, but the first half (getting to work) will be almost all dark (am). It will also be during Texas heat, with no schedule constraints or injuries. There is a shower at my place of work, so I can clean up after my ride.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:26 AM
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Well, I wrote a good webpage on riding in the heat. Hot Weather Cycling

My commutes have ranged from a mile or so to 17 miles each way. They have included a variety of road surfaces from dirt trails through nature preserves to freeways. I tailor the bike to the ride, so it changes as the commute changes. I'm pretty pokey, so the 17 miles to an hour and a half. 9 miles across the desert was 45-50 minutes.

Get yourself good lights, a rack, fenders, a good pump, patch kit and tire levers. Wear sunblock.

If it rains and its warm, I just wrap up a change of clothes in plastic and change at work. If it's cold, I use a rain coat. Keep a set of shoes at work, they are bulky to carry. I usually keep a set of nice clothes at work anyway.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:28 AM
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That sounds like a good deal!
I ride three miles each way. My morning ride had been in the dark until recently, when the sun started coming up earlier. Get some good lights and a reflective vest, and enjoy the cool riding weather.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cupcheck View Post
There are no hills through this commute, but the first half (getting to work) will be almost all dark (am). It will also be during Texas heat, with no schedule constraints or injuries. There is a shower at my place of work, so I can clean up after my ride.
Is there a reason why you are being secretive about the distance? Whether the distance is too far depends on your fitness level and how early you are willing to leave for work.

Morning temperatures are cool enough that even in Texas summer, riding before dawn is pretty pleasant. Afternoon is a different story, but chances are that you should have some opportunity to take advantage of air conditioning at some point along the route home should you need to do so.
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Old 06-03-08, 10:57 AM
  #8  
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Started out at 6 miles each way, now up to 10 miles each way with a safer, quieter route. The six miles took me between 20-25 minutes. The same drive took 9 minutes. The longer route takes me about 40 minutes. I get up at 5:45 instead of 6:15 so really not much difference there. I get more than double the work out I used to, and am done by 5:45PM instead of after 6:00 with my old routine, so I am feeling great about the decision to start commuting by bike.

You have to do what your comfort level allows. I would definitely recommend trying out any planned commute on a weekend or during off hours with your anticipated load to make sure that you can do it, and to figure out your timing, etc.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:08 AM
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My commute is 7miles one way. I thought about it for a couple of months before I started, but after the first morning, I had to wonder why I gave it any thought at all. It was immediately no big deal.

All your questions will be answered the first time you ride your route.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:11 AM
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30 miles r/t for me, with over 2000' of climbing if I take the really hilly route. I do this 4x a week.

I spend between 1.75 and 2.25 hours a day on my commute, depending on how hard I push it. Sometimes 2.5 hours if I stop at the grocery store on my way home, because then I have 20 extra pounds to lug up the last 2 mile long hill.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:13 AM
  #11  
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I got my start with a six-mile round trip to and from the bus stop. Now, I'm riding the whole 29 mile round trip when it's nice out (and sometimes even when it's not!)

Suggestions for getting started:

1) Talk to other cyclists around the area. Maybe start at bike shops. Get some route suggestions.

2) Ride the proposed route on a weekend when traffic isn't as bad so you have a feel for how much work it will be, how sweaty you will get, etc. Ride the commute "fully loaded" with all the stuff you'd bring to and from work to make it more realistic. Take note of difficult intersections, road hazards, and flaws in your plan.

3) Spend the next few years enjoying your commute and refining your bicycle, accessories and route.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cupcheck View Post
How far do you ride to and from work/school everyday?
28 miles, round trip, if I tow my kids to preschool in a trailer.

26 miles, round trip, if I don't.

And how long does it take you?
2 and a quarter hours each way if I take the kids.

1 and a quarter hours each way if I don't.

How much earlier do you have to get up and prepare in order to make it to your destination on time?
None earlier.

If you've got a bike, lights, and a shower at work, you've got everything you need.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:18 AM
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From varying jobs and where I've lived in relation to, I started with an 8 mile ride to work (16RT), then it came down to around 6RT, now I work out in a suburban town, taking it upto a 66RT journey which I mostly split between commuter train and bike to give me a 20RT minimum. My commutes have taken anywhere from 11 minutes to 2 hours 30 (for a full 33 mile ride to work). I don't get up any earlier unless I'm riding all the way in, and that's so I can stomach a breakfast before I leave.

Ride your proposed route on a Saturday, take lots of water/food - be vigilant in noting how you feel, how long it's taking you by certain landmarks along the way (saves watching the clock) and if that time/effort is worth it vs. a bike/bus/train solution (if an option). If you're not used to riding bikes, go slow and steady at first - your body WILL get conditioned to it, it just takes a week or two for most.

Rest/eat properly to refuel and recover, don't over do it and most importantly - have fun.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:19 AM
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Started out at 12 miles each way and now do 20 miles each way. Most of my trip is flat but now that it is summer I have to deal with temps of 110+
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Old 06-03-08, 11:27 AM
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My commute is 10km (6miles) each way. If I take it easy then it takes just over 30 minutes including stopping for traffic signs, lights etc. If I really push and blow through stop signs then I can do it in ~20 minutes. But then I show to work all sweaty, and really, who wants to do that?
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Old 06-03-08, 11:27 AM
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I used to commute 26 miles. It would take me from one hour 40 minutes to 2- 1/4 hours. I could have completed it faster, but I had two big long, hills to climb.That slowed my average down to maybe twelve Mph. If only it had been flat, 26 miles would not have been all that tough. I had my bike ready to go the night before. Not much more trouble than driving. It really made me happy when I passed all the backed up traffic at 15 mph. Considering gridlock, at best ; it only took me an extra half hour on the bike. Gridlock was horrible. You might sit at an exit ramp getting off the freeway for as much as 15 minutes. That just being the one freeway exit . Traffic backups at red lights would probably be at least another 20 minutes during the worst of commute traffic. Yes, cycling can be much more rewarding.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:34 AM
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My commute is just under 15 miles each way, rolling hills. I commute year round, so often it is dark, wet or cold. The ride takes about 1 hr each way - longer in the winter, shorter in the summer (unless the weather is just tooo nice and I take a long detour on my way home I do have a shower at work, and I shower when I get to work, and again when I get home. I do tend to get up early, and ride to work early for a few reasons - less traffic early in the morning, and it gives me time to shower, get dressed and fix breakfast at work.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:38 AM
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I'm sorry for not posting the distance, I did on another forum and I didn't realize I left it out on here. The distance round trip should be between 36-40 miles. I haven't tracked it out yet to be precise. Thanks for all the replies though, gives me a good base to start from.
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Old 06-03-08, 11:49 AM
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30 miles round trip
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Old 06-03-08, 11:49 AM
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4 miles round-trip. about everything i need - even on this Little Town on the Highway - is within about 2-4 miles!
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Old 06-03-08, 12:06 PM
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My bike commute is about 22 miles round trip, and it takes me about 90 minutes total on average. My route is pretty hilly with about 10 traffic lights along the way. It's dark in the mornings from fall through mid-spring. The biggest challenge is heat (and thunderstorms) in summer afternoons. Winter mornings were a piece of cake compared to riding home in 105-degree temps.

A 35-40 mile commute is very doable if: you're in shape; riding a road bike that fits; roads are mostly flat (as you said); you budget your time well; you don't feel the need to hammer all the time; your schedule is flexible if unforeseen difficulties arise.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by cupcheck View Post
I'm sorry for not posting the distance, I did on another forum and I didn't realize I left it out on here. The distance round trip should be between 36-40 miles. I haven't tracked it out yet to be precise. Thanks for all the replies though, gives me a good base to start from.
If we estimate 40 miles, that means you're doing 200 miles a week. For a novice cyclist, 10mph is a reasonable speed estimate. Even for an experienced cyclist, much over 15mph is unlikely. This is a doable commute, but I'm not sure it's sensible. A lot depends on what the rest of your schedule is like.

If you're not already doing 60 or more miles of riding in a day, this will be an exhausting commute.
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Old 06-03-08, 12:37 PM
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11 miles round trip everyday...i tend to meander through the cemetary and down some side streets on the way home so that adds a bit but nothing too substantial just sort of exploring

it takes me about 25 minutes to ride to work and i get up about an hour before i have to leave to prepare things to take with me, lunch, clothes...whatever else
i have been trying to take care of these things at night so i can enjoy the morning tea more

Last edited by jpdesjar; 06-03-08 at 12:45 PM.
 
Old 06-03-08, 12:39 PM
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I just started commuting by bike as well. I was afraid 8 miles was too far for but I am doing fine. I chopped 10 minutes off my ride in but I cheated, I bought a new bike.

8 miles to work, 25 minutes
9 miles to home, 35 minutes
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Old 06-03-08, 12:44 PM
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If I drive my car, it's four miles (one way) and takes about 12 minutes.

To ride my bike a SAFE route to the same location, it's seven miles (one way) and takes about 35 minutes.

If I ride, I get up about 45 minutes earlier than when I drive. I like to prepare and take my time. It's definitely not about speed for me, it's about getting there in one piece.

If I rode the same four-mile route that I take to drive, I'd never get there. Busy thoroughfares without shoulders (much less bike lanes), five-lane traffic at 50 mph, no sidewalks, no safety, nothing. So I opt for a much longer seven-mile route which takes me through residential neighborhoods, quieter streets, and even two miles on a city bike trail.

There is one short stretch that puts me on a sidewalk for about a block. I HATE riding on sidewalks but wouldn't dare get in the road at that point and have NEVER in two years of commuting seen anyone else walking on that piece of sidewalk so I take it.

Last point, everyone - Wear a helmet, obey all traffic laws, stop at stop signs, stop at red lights, don't pull up on the right (or left) side of cars waiting in line (stay BEHIND the car in front of you). Don't give bike riders a bad name.

Have fun. Good luck. Ride safe.
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