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How many miles you commute daily and how long it takes?

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How many miles you commute daily and how long it takes?

Old 08-06-10, 09:52 PM
  #1  
kekkiumai
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How many miles you commute daily and how long it takes?

I'm planning to commute to work with a bike, because I have no choice and because I'm poor and can't afford anything else for the time being. So I'm relatively new to this whole bike commuting venture. Would someone care to give me some insights on what to bring along for emergencies? I'll be commuting 6.5 miles one way and round trip would be 13 miles for the day in total. Would a beach cruiser go well for commuting? And how long would it take me to ride 6.5 miles on average? Flat tire issues? Lights for night commutes? Safety? I would very much appreciate it if someone can give me a break down on how bike commuting goes. I generally worry about getting a flat tire and becoming super late for work and such. How to prevent? On the topic question, please list your daily commute miles and how long it takes you. Thanks for viewing!
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Old 08-06-10, 10:23 PM
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2.1 miles each way - about 7 minutes going - 4 or 5 coming home. Probably not useful to what you were looking for. . .

Flats - carry a spare tube (or two). CO2 and any tools to take off your tire. With CO2 and quick releases - you should be running in 5-6 minutes again. Most people will tell you to take a frame pump too, so if you mess up the CO2 thing, you have reliable air. Hint, bring some cotton balls to rub inside tire to find offending sharp item so you don't reblow tube 2 in 5 minutes. If you have a longer commute get some nice kevlar belted tires and reduce flat frequency. Many are partial to marathon tires or continental gatorskins. Lights are probably required by law. I recommend planet bike super flash for rear. Find you a good front light on amazon, and there you go.

So figure get a pair of lights
CO2 delivery system and 3-4 cartridges
Tools to remove tires if not quick release
Plastic tire removal tools
Cotton Balls for finding sharp stuff in the tire.
Some old socks to wrap over hands to keep grease off your hands while changing tires.
2 spare tubes.
Get a helmet - really.
Fenders are nice on a bike - keeps wet road stuff off of you and your bike's drive train.
Figure out how to lock it and where to leave it. It will get stolen with cable locks or no locks - probably.
Don't forget to rubber band your pants if riding in work clothes to keep them out of the chain

If your ride is TOTALLY flat - a cruiser would work. I recommend getting a hybrid from a LBS. Something like a fuji crosstown or marin hybrid. . . You'll be alot happier. There are others too.

PRACTICE changing front and rear tire and using the co2 tool btw. It is worth a few cartridges to make sure you know what you are doing.


I'm a total newbie at this - all this information I've got from these forums

Last edited by episodic; 08-06-10 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:29 PM
  #3  
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7 km, roughly, one way. Takes 20 minutes on touring bikes, 25-30 on comfort hybrid. I ride mainly on the road, but have to dismount several times in order to cross railway tracks and other obstacles.

I would recommend doing a test ride on a day you are not working to see how long it takes you - no time pressure. Also, carry what you normally take to work. First time I commuted was on beater mountain bike, after I missed the bus and was determined not to be late for work. It was not, shall we say, enjoyable.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:31 PM
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Is your commute hilly? Mine is..7 miles and it takes me 35 minutes, but I also carry two panniers. But I ride a faster biker than a beach commuter. I think that would only do for flat terrain. Do you have to ride in traffic? If you're worried about flats, a patch kit and pump would be a good idea...and tire levers.

Speed depends on terrain, fitness, and type of bike...probably in that order.

Do you have a bike budget or do you already own the beach cruiser?

Distance-wise 6.5 is nice...not too close..not too far. Do you have a shower at work?
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Old 08-06-10, 11:01 PM
  #5  
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Commute ranges from 32 steps to my shop, 8km to the bike co-op, or a 55km ride out to the frame building shop.

The walk takes seconds, the 8km trip takes 20 minutes, and the 55 km trip takes a spot over 2 hours.

6 miles is 10km... you should be able to do this on any comfortable bike and it might take all of half an hour if you are in decent shape.

You should carry a spare tube, patch kit, and pump and know how to change a flat as this is the number one things that stops people from riding.

A multi-tool that will deal with all the fittings on your bike is a good idea in case something needs to be snugged up and if you care capable, you can also make other adjustments to the bike's set up or trouble shoot drive problems.

Helmet, lights, rain gear... goes without saying.
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Old 08-07-10, 12:45 AM
  #6  
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Wow, thank you guys for all the helpful tips! Hopefully I can answer most of your questions and give some feed backs.

I do not own a beach cruiser yet but I saw a decent one for sale on craigslist so I thought, what the hey. But I also saw a 21 speed bike which will probably do very well as a daily commuter. Both $50 dollars and good condition.

I'll definitely be getting a helmet, head light or a light to screw over the handle bars, multi tool, 2 spare tires, hand pump only (I wanna save on co2), a rain gear, some reflectors, side packs, and a groovy sticker for my back pack that says (bike commuting = save money on gas and get fit the same time!) something like that ;D

I do not have a shower at my work place which is what I'm afraid of... But I will be wearing my street clothes while biking and packing my work clothes into my back pack along with cologne and deodorant to change into later on.

My daily commute won't be rough but probably almost as close to leisurely biking. I live in a suburban area with many flat grounds and bike lanes.

I hope to bike long enough through commuting to save enough money for a Vespa ;D.

I should probably pack myself a protein bar too, huh. Can forget water also...

Aside from all this, please, new readers continue to list your daily commute mileages and time as I am very interested in knowing and gain some insight with more helpful tips on what you do to get through your day! Thank for viewing.
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Old 08-07-10, 05:38 AM
  #7  
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I'm a new commuter. My route is 9.3 miles and takes me about 55 minutes. My area is pretty hilly.

Sounds like you've gathered a good list of what to carry from everyone's suggestions. My first commute day the multi tool came in handy. One of my brake pads came loose and I had to tighten it. Your area doesn't really have this, but here we get random rain storms that pop up out of nowhere. I tucked a garbage bag into my messenger bag in case I got caught in a storm, and sure enough had to use it my first day on the way home. It might be a good addition for you come your rainy season.

We have showers at work, but I haven't used them yet. I commute in cycling bottoms and a t-shirt, cool down, towel off, reapply deodorant then change. That's working out fine for me so far.

Also, don't discount a mountain bike as an option. I put road tires on mine and it's been great.
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Old 08-07-10, 05:54 AM
  #8  
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I ride 9 miles each way. My bike computer say it takes me about 34 mins over a pretty hilly route, but I have one (maybe two) lights and it stops counting when I'm not moving.... so probably 36 mins.

I have panniers and carry a pump, a new spare tube, one patched tube, a tube repair kit, a combo bike tool that has plastic removal tools and a variety of handy bike tools. A pair of disposable gloves. Pretty soon, I'll need another layer of clothing (just in case). This on top of lunch, work clothes, etc. I leave some clothes at work, as well, and toiletries so I can shower when I can there (I'm soaking wet, with sweat, when I arrive). The commute doubles as a work-out.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:14 AM
  #9  
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11 miles one way, between 38 and 55 minutes depending on weather conditions (55 minutes in the winter with headwinds and snow, 38 in the summer with no headwind).

We have showers at work, so that's a plus.

I only flat maybe once a year if that. I carry a pump and a spare tube. Getting a flat costs about 8 to 10 minutes.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:29 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by kekkiumai View Post
I do not own a beach cruiser yet but I saw a decent one for sale on craigslist so I thought, what the hey. But I also saw a 21 speed bike which will probably do very well as a daily commuter. Both $50 dollars and good condition.

I do not have a shower at my work place which is what I'm afraid of... But I will be wearing my street clothes while biking and packing my work clothes into my back pack along with cologne and deodorant to change into later on.

My daily commute won't be rough but probably almost as close to leisurely biking. I live in a suburban area with many flat grounds and bike lanes.

I should probably pack myself a protein bar too, huh. Can forget water also...
Take a shower before you leave for work. Then you can wipe any sweat off in the bathroom before you put on clean clothes.

I doubt you need a snack for such a short route.

Much good advice has been listed. Get good at changing tires.

My commute is 9.75 miles each way, but sometimes I do extra, up to 30 each way.

The 9.75 takes 35-50 minutes depending on weather. 30 miles is more like two hours.

Good luck.
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Old 08-07-10, 08:29 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kekkiumai View Post

I do not own a beach cruiser yet but I saw a decent one for sale on craigslist so I thought, what the hey. But I also saw a 21 speed bike which will probably do very well as a daily commuter. Both $50 dollars and good condition.
For a commute that long I definitely recommend some gears to shift into. However, don't get anything with suspension. In that price range the suspension will not be very good and it will just take power from you that should be going to the road.
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Old 08-07-10, 09:09 AM
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I commute just over 4 miles each way, with an elevation change of 1000 feet. Takes me just under 13 minutes to get to work, and about 40 minutes to get home. Haven't had a flat in 700 miles of riding. I carry water, food, and basic tools. The tools: tire levers, inner tube, tire patch kit, tiny hex wrench set, zip ties, gorilla tape. I'd highly suggest getting a geared hybrid instead of a cruiser, unless you have an extremely flat ride.
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Old 08-07-10, 09:21 AM
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42 miles - 2 hours and 10 minutes aprox
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Old 08-07-10, 09:56 AM
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25 miles each way. Takes 90 minutes. I ride my road bike for the commute. The bike has a Planet Bike blinkie on the back and a 1 watt headlight on the front.

I ride mostly on a bake path and in the past 2,500 miles have had two flats. One was from a big staple and the other was a completely shredded tire and tube from a discarded utility knife blade.

I carry a multi-tool, small pump, spare tube and tire, patch kit, and tire levers. Most times I also grab a small package of Oreo cookies from the vending machine at work as I leave in the afternoon. Makes a good snack for the 1/2 way point where I refill water bottles.

I also recommend you have a backup plan for your commute in case of severe mechanical problems, illness, weather, or other issues that cause you not to be able to ride. Mine is public transit.
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Old 08-07-10, 10:02 AM
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8.5 miles takes me about 40 minutes on a heavy mountain bike. Plus everything else said: +1.
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Old 08-07-10, 10:12 AM
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For my 7.2 mile commute I usually get home at 5.45 and get off at 5. So that's 45min including walking to/from bike, (un)locking, putting panniers/lights on etc. Just last week I drove for the first time in a long time and I got home at 5.40.

Practice changing tires, I am not very handy at all, but after some practice it takes me only a few minutes. I have a 3sp upright bike (probably not much different than a cruiser) and it works well for me. For me having a full size wrench really made changing the tires much easier than with my multitool. It's heavy but well worth it. (Edit: I don't have quick-release, hence the wrench)

Since I start bike commuting I was less often late to work, because most delays come with traffic which I am immune against on a bike. Also, keep in mind that getting a flat on your commute will only happen 50% of the time on the way to work. So If you maybe get 4 flats a year, only two of them occur on the way to work (statistically speaking).

Regarding showers, I found that if your morning temps don't exceed mid 70s much and you don't race to work or have big hills, you'll be fine with a little towl and a spare shirt.
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Old 08-07-10, 10:49 AM
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7-ish miles each way. the ride in takes under 25 minutes depending on how many busses I get to draft and how much i feel like pushing. it's mostly downhill with just a couple short, but somewhat steep 2 block rises. 25mph with no headwind behind a bus is *magical* for pudgy me.
the ride back takes over 40 minutes because it's mostly uphill, there's no shade, a lot more traffic, and I walk-of-shame the hill leading to my home because it's too steep at this point for me after all that mess. I'm making progress, and had killed it in the past, but my pride can take the hit from walking up that for now.

the hooptie: road bike with skinny tires. it seems like skinny tires are the latest "skinny jeans" around here, but goldernit i love em.

OP: get gears, real brakes, and something that runs tires on the skinnier side. you don't have to run 700x23's like me, but something smooth and not knobby/off-road friendly rocks. I understand the affinity for the simplicity of fixed/ss and internally-geared hubs, but I do so love my options. good brakes are divine and they reduce your tendency to suffer the OH SH--splat
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Old 08-07-10, 12:03 PM
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About 22 miles each way with 1160 ft of climbing on the way in and 1840 ft of climbing on the way back. Takes about 80-90 minutes coming in and 90-100 going home. I do it every day from April - October, and do a bike/train multi-mode commute from November to March. I've had 1 flat in 3 years of doing this.
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Old 08-07-10, 12:55 PM
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Four kilometers (about 2.5 miles) if I go straight to work, about 15 total if I go to the pool for a swim first. The 4 km route takes between 12 and 20 minutes depending on wind, how I feel, road conditions etc. The pool route includes 10k/6 miles to the pool itself (takes about 30 minutes) plus the 5k going back the same direction to my building.
This is on a hybrid bike with an eight-speed internal hub gear. You don't mention if you have hills on your route, or if your bike has gears, but a heavy bike will take longer on hills. Ask someone to look at your position on the bike. I see a lot of cruiser owners riding with the saddle far too low, which leads to knee strain and isn't very efficient. You want your leg to be almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke when your foot is horizontal to the ground - just a little bend in the knees, not dead straight and definitely not dead straight with the toes pointing downwards.
I haven't had a flat on the way to work in years, touch wood. Bike tires have improved a great deal since I first started riding back in the 70s. You get what you pay for, quality tires are less likely to puncture. It is often possible to pull out one section of inner tube, if you know exactly where the puncture is, patch it with one of the new self-adhesive patches, and then poke it back in, put the tire back on the rim (always the hardest part, those last few inches; I cheat by carefully using the tire levers) and re-fill with air. Many bike shops offer basic maintenance classes that include flat-fixing.

Last edited by Rhodabike; 08-07-10 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-07-10, 01:57 PM
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For a few years I did 28 miles each way 3-4 days a week on a fixed gear.. Nowadays it is a few hundred feet to my office in the basement.
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Old 08-07-10, 02:32 PM
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5.5 miles, it takes 25 minutes with all the lights & stop signs, same geography as yours.
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Old 08-07-10, 02:37 PM
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I ride to two jobs, one 8 miles to and from, and the other 12-15 miles to and from depending on route. I ride in comfortable shorts and work shoes (clipping in is not worth it for my ride) and a shirt. I throw my chef coat and work pants in a backpack along with books/journals and maybe a lunch. I have a saddle bag that carries my spare tubes, plastic wheel remover tools, wrenches that fit almost all spots, small hand pump, knife, pen, a dollar in change (incase need payphone due to area) and a small bottle of sunscreen. Water is always on. Lights on front and back. I also roll my pant legs up because i can't keep track of rubber bands. Helmet. Glasses-mount mirror.and my gloves. Tho the gloves arn't really needed for how short of a ride it is they can be nice if you want to take the long way home. I know I've run into dead time after work and filled it with a 50-60 mile ride home.
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Old 08-07-10, 02:59 PM
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Mine is 15mi each way. It takes about 50min each direction. I ride my road bike and wear bike shorts and jersey each day.

I would look at a hybrid and get some good though commuter tires and some slime tubes. I havn't had a flat yet on the commute with this setup (oh karm here we come), but I make up for it on the weekend rides (double flats today). You should still carry a tube and a pump or CO2. Don't worry about the shower situation. You won't stink as long as you shower before you leave the house and wipe yourself down before changing at work.

If possible try to keep a pair of shoes and a bag with your clean up stuff at work. You will be amazed how much this lightens up your bag of things.

Good luck. I bet you are going to like it.
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Old 08-07-10, 03:27 PM
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14.7 miles one way from Alexandria, VA into DC daily. It takes about 1 hr and 5-10 minutes depending upon traffic/conditions.

BTW- this post lends itself well to a poll!!
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Old 08-07-10, 03:40 PM
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I ride 12.5 miles each way daily, takes me about an hour each day.

As far as gear, I've got the following:
* Lights in the early spring/late fall, as it is dark when I leave in the afternoon
* Spare tube, tire lever, and CO2 inflator
* Clif Bar in case of bonk
* Garment bag for my work clothes from Performance Bike
* Bus fare as a last resort

The best way to deal with flats is to have a tire that will resist them. I run a Vittoria Randonneur on the rear wheel (the front is stock Bontrager for now), and it seems to work pretty well. Figure out how to change tubes and re-inflate in the comfort of your own home, before you have to deal with it on the road. This will ensure that you minimize time spent on the side of the road. With these worries all taken care of, you can concentrate on the ride. It's an awesome attitude adjustment for me - I am in a much better mood to deal with work crap when I've had a great ride in.
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