Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Commuting at 3:30 am 18 miles into work

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Commuting at 3:30 am 18 miles into work

Old 07-05-13, 05:44 PM
  #1  
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Commuting at 3:30 am 18 miles into work

I stepped up my commute from my house instead of the park and ride. I went from an 11 mile to 18 mile inbound commute. I actually start at the same time in the morning leaving the house. I love riding at 3:30 am. It takes me about a 1 hour and 10 minutes. I run roads that I can't ride during the day because of traffic. My round trip commute is nw 40 miles a day.
Timber_8 is offline  
Old 07-05-13, 06:10 PM
  #2  
stdlrf11
Living the Dream
 
stdlrf11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: DFW Metroplex
Posts: 449

Bikes: 2015 AWOL Frameset with custom drivetrain, 20?? Windsor Tourist, 2010 Specialized Secteur

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nice. That is very similar to my commute.
I start at 3:15 and ride 21 miles to work.
I take the TRE Commuter train home, so my ride is around 30mi round trip.

How long have you been running this schedule? It took me a year to get used to waking up so early.
stdlrf11 is offline  
Old 07-05-13, 07:15 PM
  #3  
Bluish Green
Bicycle Commuter
 
Bluish Green's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Springfield, IL
Posts: 726
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I salute both of you guys, that is awesome. I occasionally do a super-early morning ride if I have to, usually due to business travel. I love the wide open roads and no cars at that hour. Watch out for critters, though. I almost bagged a big raccoon last year. He was big enough to wreck my bike, so he might have bagged me....
Bluish Green is offline  
Old 07-05-13, 08:00 PM
  #4  
DX-MAN
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,788
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
KUDOS to getting up to ride at that time -- I'm not even ALIVE then! I can see the rush of riding at that time, though, been out as late as 1:30AM, and as early as 4AM. Just not regularly. (4AM -- HATE Black Friday!)
DX-MAN is offline  
Old 07-05-13, 09:42 PM
  #5  
cvskates
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: On my bike...
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
3:30! Now I have to stop whining about leaving for work at 4:20 when I ride my bike to work.

It is nice, though - I usually see more deer than motorists.
cvskates is offline  
Old 07-05-13, 09:47 PM
  #6  
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I have been getting up early for 20 years or better, I was training for a 130 mile ride that I did in June, now I'm just continuing my training just for my overall health. I'm 50 years old now. I do a lot of cross training as I am also a weight lifter too
Timber_8 is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 03:20 AM
  #7  
Medic Zero
Senior Member
 
Medic Zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Vancouver,Washington
Posts: 2,286

Bikes: Old steel GT's, for touring and commuting

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I miss riding at that time of night. I transferred out of the ER a few months ago, but my schedule there had me off at 0330 one night a week. Having the streets to yourself is priceless. No car noise, no worries about getting run over, no pedestrians. Well, almost, a couple of times I nearly hit joggers wearing all dark clothes, but decent lights saved them and me.

Enjoy it! I'm envious! If I could pick the time of day my commutes would be this would be it.
Medic Zero is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 04:43 AM
  #8  
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I agree that 3:30 is the very best time of day fr bicycle commuting. The road is all yours and I use very bit of it too. The peacefulness in that time of the morning is unmached any other time of the day. I don't even bother with music on my morning ride because the earth plays its own music that early, you just can't hear it when the rest of the world is awake.
Timber_8 is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 04:57 AM
  #9  
RyderTheRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Would be awesome to have the road all to yourself, though I don't see me getting up any time before 6:30 so the only time I get the road to myself is when I'm playing bike games!

Last edited by RyderTheRider; 07-16-13 at 05:24 AM.
RyderTheRider is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 04:58 AM
  #10  
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by stdlrf11 View Post
Nice. That is very similar to my commute.
I start at 3:15 and ride 21 miles to work.
I take the TRE Commuter train home, so my ride is around 30mi round trip.

How long have you been running this schedule? It took me a year to get used to waking up so early.
my commute home is 23 miles and is mostly down hill according to my runtastic app, doesn't feel like it sometimes. I like to get into work by 5 am and a 1 hour commute works well for me. I can't use my inbound commute route home because its just not safe. I have a high top conversion van that I use for bicycle support on my recreational rides and when I do use the park and rides. I have been bicycle commuting off and on for many years but this year I have been making it my primary method of commuting. I would like to see how far into the winter I can do this. Going from my road bike to my hybrid shouldn't be to bad in 4 months. I won't ride with snow on the ground though or during a storm.
Timber_8 is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 05:05 AM
  #11  
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by RyderTheRider View Post
Would be awesome to have the road all to yourself, though I don't see me getting up any time before 6:30
In my 18 mile ride in I rarely have more than 2 vehicles pass me in the same direction I'm traveling. Seems to be about a 1/2 dozen or so traveling the other way. That time of morning I never get squeezed to the shoulder and the cars to do come upon me also have much more road to utilize around me. I have yet to experience any kind of disrespect on my morning commute
Timber_8 is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 08:27 AM
  #12  
no motor?
Unlisted member
 
no motor?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 6,193

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1376 Post(s)
Liked 429 Times in 294 Posts
I like my Saturday morning commutes due to the lower traffic, but I leave around 8:00 AM, not 3!

One of my summer jobs when I was in college involved a lot of driving during the night, and I liked those quieter hours when you're riding. The only other people I saw then all seemed to have a good reason to be out and about then, and I never really worried about my safety too much during those hours.
no motor? is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 07:33 PM
  #13  
ItsJustMe
Seńior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 13,749

Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 446 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
I leave at 4:30 in the winter, but this time of year I stay in bed and don't leave until 6:30 or so. It's really nice riding in essentially no traffic and full dark.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 07:54 PM
  #14  
RyderTheRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
In my 18 mile ride in I rarely have more than 2 vehicles pass me in the same direction I'm traveling. Seems to be about a 1/2 dozen or so traveling the other way. That time of morning I never get squeezed to the shoulder and the cars to do come upon me also have much more road to utilize around me. I have yet to experience any kind of disrespect on my morning commute
Might be time to adjust my working hours.
RyderTheRider is offline  
Old 07-06-13, 09:23 PM
  #15  
Medic Zero
Senior Member
 
Medic Zero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Vancouver,Washington
Posts: 2,286

Bikes: Old steel GT's, for touring and commuting

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
I agree that 3:30 is the very best time of day fr bicycle commuting. The road is all yours and I use very bit of it too. The peacefulness in that time of the morning is unmached any other time of the day. I don't even bother with music on my morning ride because the earth plays its own music that early, you just can't hear it when the rest of the world is awake.
I miss that too! No worrying about being doored in the door zone bike lanes, because you can always take the whole road! In fact, on my very last commute at that time of morning before transferring to a new department and new schedule, I noticed that I ran every stop light and stop sign for the first five miles of my commute until I reached one that wasn't safe to cross because there is a tunnel to the right of it that cars take very quickly. While I was waiting for this red light at 4AM with no one around two skateboarders appeared on the sidewalk and crossed the street in front of me. They laughed out loud at my waiting for the light!
Medic Zero is offline  
Old 07-08-13, 12:32 AM
  #16  
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I'll be driving in today and riding my bicycle home. I have several vehicles and usually keep one at my warehouse constantly. I'll bring in all my cloths and food for the week. I have a very compleat gym at work, I have been bodybuilding for the last 20 years, in the last 5 years I stopped weight lifting and I got pretty fat. I have made some real lifestyle since the 1st of the year. I am doing well rebuilding habits and dropping body fat but it takes time. I know how to do this, I try not to get disappointed in how long it takes to restore my fitness levels. I'm going 1 day at a time and keeping my eye on the prize.
Timber_8 is offline  
Old 07-08-13, 01:31 AM
  #17  
Dunbar
Senior Member
 
Dunbar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 3,079

Bikes: Roubaix SL4 Expert , Cervelo S2

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
KUDOS to getting up to ride at that time -- I'm not even ALIVE then!
Reminds me of a Larry the Cable Guy joke. His neighbor had invited him fishing and told him they had to be on the lake by 5am. His response: "Come again, 5am? You couldn't get me on a cheerleader at 5am."
Dunbar is offline  
Old 07-09-13, 08:17 PM
  #18  
Shinjukan
Enthusiast
 
Shinjukan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ercildoun, PA
Posts: 128

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Sportif One.0, 2011 Cannondale Synapse 6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
Good thread discussing the benefits of a very early morning ride. Having the road all by yourself is at the very top of almost any serious cyclist. But let this just be a friendly reminder to never ever let your guards down despite all the freedom the road ahead offers. Early morning rides have their inherent benefits as already have stated in the previous posts. But just like anything in this world, it also has its "dark" side. Critters are minor. It's those drivers who are so tired after a night shift, those that have been to the bars, or worse, those that are under medication (legal or not). There was a commuter cyclist in Chester County, PA early this year who died when she was run over while on her way to work. The driver was later charged because she was high on illegal substance at the time of the accident.

I'm sharing this because it happened at around 7am. What more if it happened at an earlier time, and the driver realized that no one saw what happened? They could easily bolt out of the scene and that will make things complicated to the aggrieved party. Not meaning to throw a wrench to this healthy discussion, but just saying be very vigilant during those early time.
Shinjukan is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 01:28 AM
  #19  
stdlrf11
Living the Dream
 
stdlrf11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: DFW Metroplex
Posts: 449

Bikes: 2015 AWOL Frameset with custom drivetrain, 20?? Windsor Tourist, 2010 Specialized Secteur

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
stdlrf11 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 02:10 AM
  #20  
Timber_8
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Timber_8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: South East Massachusetts
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Shinjukan View Post
Good thread discussing the benefits of a very early morning ride. Having the road all by yourself is at the very top of almost any serious cyclist. But let this just be a friendly reminder to never ever let your guards down despite all the freedom the road ahead offers. Early morning rides have their inherent benefits as already have stated in the previous posts. But just like anything in this world, it also has its "dark" side. Critters are minor. It's those drivers who are so tired after a night shift, those that have been to the bars, or worse, those that are under medication (legal or not). There was a commuter cyclist in Chester County, PA early this year who died when she was run over while on her way to work. The driver was later charged because she was high on illegal substance at the time of the accident.

I'm sharing this because it happened at around 7am. What more if it happened at an earlier time, and the driver realized that no one saw what happened? They could easily bolt out of the scene and that will make things complicated to the aggrieved party. Not meaning to throw a wrench to this healthy discussion, but just saying be very vigilant during those early time.
You are absolutely correct about the dangers of night riding. Visibility is without question very important not only to be seen by motorist but when you out on the road at 3 and 4 am the police will know your a commuter and not a thief. They also become use to seeing you.

Night critters are always a concern but easy enough to avoid. Distracted drivers are far more dangerous. I hold a class A license and I'm into my 2nd million miles driving semi rigs in the United States. I am not a fan of strobe lights at all. They cause line of sight collisions that become even more dangerous when a person is under the influence. I like a sold light and reflective vest and ankle bands so that drivers know I'm peddling. My bike shoes and trunk & panniers also have reflective qualities. A quality head light is a must have and goes without saying.

I never listen to music on my inbound commute mostly because I prefer the sound of the night. I hear fine with my headphones during the day when riding. While night riding it is important to keep alert to vehicles that are going to overtake you. Truckers can be tired or distracted. I prefer to stay out in the lane for 2 reasons. It forces you to be seen and it gives you a way out. The shoulder of the road is not bicycle friendly in the darkness. Over all I consider night riding in the early morning far less dangerous than daytime riding. Drivers during the day are far more distracted than am drivers and the lack of volume speaks for itself. In the end you are a cyclist and no match for any collision with any motor vehicle. Vigilance is always your best defense no matter when you ride.
Timber_8 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 07:51 AM
  #21  
CommuteCommando
Senior Member
 
CommuteCommando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Southern CaliFORNIA.
Posts: 3,078

Bikes: KHS Alite 500, Trek 7.2 FX , Masi Partenza, Masi Fixed Special, Masi Cran Criterium

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 11 Posts
I drive to catch a 5:15 train with my bike, which I take to a five mile ride to work. Some times I will catch an earlier train (4:40), get off one station early for a 9 mile ride in. Two stations early would give me an 18 mile ride in, but there is a moderate climb involved in that, so the sweat factor isn't good. (no showers at work). I often to the 18, and sometimes 30 mile ride after work catching the train home. A ride all the way to where I park in the morning is about 55 mi and I always do it at least once a year at solstice, so I can make it there by dark. https://app.strava.com/activities/62444713 (done Sunday because logistics prevented the Friday ride)

The ride from home to the station is 6 miles but at 4-4:30 is dark through some sketchy neighborhoods.

Last edited by CommuteCommando; 07-10-13 at 07:56 AM.
CommuteCommando is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 07:57 AM
  #22  
squegeeboo
******
 
squegeeboo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 949

Bikes: Specalized Tri-Cross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are you guys using metric time or something? I've never even heard of 3:30am as a real time unless I'm still up from the night before.
__________________
In the words of Einstein
"And now I think I'll take a bath"
squegeeboo is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:28 AM
  #23  
Shinjukan
Enthusiast
 
Shinjukan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ercildoun, PA
Posts: 128

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Sportif One.0, 2011 Cannondale Synapse 6

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Timber_8 View Post
You are absolutely correct about the dangers of night riding. Visibility is without question very important not only to be seen by motorist but when you out on the road at 3 and 4 am the police will know your a commuter and not a thief. They also become use to seeing you.

Night critters are always a concern but easy enough to avoid. Distracted drivers are far more dangerous. I hold a class A license and I'm into my 2nd million miles driving semi rigs in the United States. I am not a fan of strobe lights at all. They cause line of sight collisions that become even more dangerous when a person is under the influence. I like a sold light and reflective vest and ankle bands so that drivers know I'm peddling. My bike shoes and trunk & panniers also have reflective qualities. A quality head light is a must have and goes without saying.

...
You raised another valid point about those safety lights. My take on this is that not all cyclists know when to use which mode that their light(s) is/are capable of. I've encountered countless number of times those that are going on the opposite way in which they are either on FLASH mode, or worse, the CHASE mode with their lights. And it's way past sunset. I'm okay if there's still some ambient light as the flash is not that intrusive to the eyes. And what forces me to dismount and wait for them to pass by is when it's already dark and we're on a MUP (I'm giving the Schuylkill River Trail as example). I truly feel like I've just entered a discotheque without any booze! And my eyes still need a few seconds to get accustomed to my surroundings long after the flasher has gone by. For me, I use the Flash mode only on daytime. At night, it's the steady mode. I always put the other drivers into consideration that I'm sharing the road with. And I know other snob cyclists will brand me as a dork because I deck myself with lots of high visibility gear whenever I'm out on the road at night time -- safety vest, reflectorized ankle band with built-in lights, two rear lights (on steady mode of course), light-colored clothing and some passive reflectors on my bike frame. And of course I pay attention to those that I can't see like what's coming up behind.

When we talk about night riding at 3:30am, naturally I try to picture in my mind what the road looks like in my area. I don't live in the city so the road condition where I live is something like this. One may see a police car patrolling the area, but more often than not they're not in the same place at the same time. That makes it a bit unnerving if something bad were to happen, as those spineless drivers can just speed by and leave you on the road with whatever condition you're in. I think riding in the city is a different scenario, as there's some activity and a good number of people out by then.

Last edited by Shinjukan; 07-10-13 at 08:39 AM. Reason: different word
Shinjukan is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:35 AM
  #24  
FenderTL5
Senior Member
 
FenderTL5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Nashville TN
Posts: 794

Bikes: Trek 7.3FX, Diamondback Edgewood hybrid, KHS Montana

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I don't ride quite as far nor am I up that early but I totally appreciate your mindset here.
I leave for work at 5AM, it's 15 miles. I prefer riding some portions in the dark, as I'm aware of approaching vehicles sooner.
To many, it sounds counter-intuitive to prefer riding in the dark but I get it.
FenderTL5 is offline  
Old 07-10-13, 08:44 AM
  #25  
chefisaac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: cherry hill, nj
Posts: 6,144
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I love the early morning commute. No one on the road, I pass by a lake and see many of the same people walking. Its a great time to commute.
chefisaac is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.