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What's your range?

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.
View Poll Results: How far out are you comfortable riding?
5 miles or less
2.00%
More than 5 miles but less than 10
4.00%
More than 10 miles but less than 15
10.00%
More than 15 miles but less than 20
11.00%
More than 20 but less than 25
7.00%
More than 25 but less than 30
1.00%
I can ride for more than 30
59.00%
My answer doesn't fit the choices so I'll answer below.
2.00%
I use mass transit past a certain distance.
4.00%
I primarily use mass transit and only use the bike for short hops.
0
0%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

What's your range?

Old 12-04-12, 02:11 AM
  #1  
iheartbacon
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What's your range?

About how far out from your front door are you comfortable riding? When is it too far? Whether it be infrastructure, physical fitness, or equipment that limits you.
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Old 12-04-12, 04:32 AM
  #2  
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By far the majority of my riding is around 18 mile roundtrips....this includes things such as getting to work, doing shopping, running errands, going to the movies or the library..normal day to day stuff.. A couple of times per year I will do 50 mile round trips on the weekends, those longer trips are done to visit family members, do recreational rides, or go visit places out of town. I have done recreational rides of 100 miles in one day but it's not something that I to do very often. In my city ,living car-free is time consuming and physically demanding, it's not for everybody.
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Old 12-04-12, 04:37 AM
  #3  
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I'm currently in the bracket of "More than 15 miles but less than 20". I'd like to go above and beyond that frame but it's going to take some bad habits to break first =P
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Old 12-04-12, 05:27 AM
  #4  
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I've strayed anything up to 80 miles from my front door, although in fairness that was on my way to visit someone so technically I was within 40 miles of one of our front doors at all times. I've also caused some amusement at a computer hardware vendor I use that's just over 30 miles from home by road, when I turned up on my bike.

One advantage I have is that where I'm cycling is often very close to railway lines so if anything goes wrong (be that mechanical failure or rider failure) it's unlikely to be too far to hop on a train to complete/abort my journey). The train is horribly overpriced, especially for travel right now, but it beats walking and it's cheaper than a taxi.

In the winter time I tend to stay closer to home simply because the days are shorter and I'm not keen on riding long distances in the dark and cold.
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Old 12-04-12, 10:41 AM
  #5  
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I have no real mental resistance to traveling long distances by bicycle if I had to do it. I'd prefer keeping it below fifteen miles. On snow covered roads cut that in half. It's about time for me. Already I ride to and from work in the dark along fifty-five mile per hour highways. I'm just accustomed to it. Longer distances just mean more time. Steven Wright said "Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." I'd rather use a car or bus to go long distances just to save time.
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Old 12-04-12, 12:47 PM
  #6  
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Well, pretty much anywhere I need to go for any goods and services is under 10 miles away. Beyond that, you get into the sticks. The only reason to go farther is just for the ride itself.
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Old 12-04-12, 07:28 PM
  #7  
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I claimed >30 miles. I've often done this, but it's certainly not a daily thing. I ride about 90-120 miles a week. I could probably give you an exact figure, but I lost my cyclo computer several years ago and never got around to replacing it.
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Old 12-04-12, 08:23 PM
  #8  
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Definitely more than 30. Rides start to feel long around 50-60 miles. I've done a lot of 75's, but always feel really fatigued the last 15-20 miles. I was talking to a friend that thinks the problem is my cadence. He thinks if I up the RPM's and learn to spin rather than mash it will help.
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Old 12-04-12, 10:22 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by koolerb View Post
Definitely more than 30. Rides start to feel long around 50-60 miles. I've done a lot of 75's, but always feel really fatigued the last 15-20 miles. I was talking to a friend that thinks the problem is my cadence. He thinks if I up the RPM's and learn to spin rather than mash it will help.
I think your friend is correct. However, it is easier said than done when you spend a lot of time riding on hilly terrain. Lucky me, I spent two decades in the pancake-flat Sacramento Valley where elevation changes are measured in millimeters so they can be double digit.
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Old 12-05-12, 05:01 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I think your friend is correct. However, it is easier said than done when you spend a lot of time riding on hilly terrain. Lucky me, I spent two decades in the pancake-flat Sacramento Valley where elevation changes are measured in millimeters so they can be double digit.
Around where I live it's either climb or descend, not a whole lot of flat. I'll have to visit the Sacrament Valley.
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Old 12-05-12, 05:10 PM
  #11  
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I'm surprised at the number of "I can ride for more than 30" answers.

I took this to mean riding for basic transportation purposes, so I answered "I take mass transit past a certain distance". Sure, I'm happy to ride 30 miles for fun, but I wouldn't casually hop on the bike and go that far to get to, say, a restaurant. At that point, it's a ride with a break for dinner, not dinner where I happen to ride.

I would say that my range is less than an hour, whatever that happens to be (say 10-20 km depending on hills and traffic lights). Anything more than that and I'm getting into "planned ride" territory, not "riding to meet friends at the pub" land.
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Old 12-05-12, 05:47 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by charbucks View Post
I'm surprised at the number of "I can ride for more than 30" answers.

I took this to mean riding for basic transportation purposes, so I answered "I take mass transit past a certain distance". Sure, I'm happy to ride 30 miles for fun, but I wouldn't casually hop on the bike and go that far to get to, say, a restaurant. At that point, it's a ride with a break for dinner, not dinner where I happen to ride.

I would say that my range is less than an hour, whatever that happens to be (say 10-20 km depending on hills and traffic lights). Anything more than that and I'm getting into "planned ride" territory, not "riding to meet friends at the pub" land.
Really? I was honestly surprised at what I'm viewing as a low number for that answer given what sub-forum this thread is in! I even answered yes on that and I'm car light, not car free!
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Old 12-05-12, 06:09 PM
  #13  
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My limit seems to be just above 30 miles, that is 3 hours at 10+ MPH which in the ozark hills around here is what I consistently do, any more than that I need a break and a meal.
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Old 12-05-12, 07:30 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
My limit seems to be just above 30 miles, that is 3 hours at 10+ MPH which in the ozark hills around here is what I consistently do, any more than that I need a break and a meal.
Yeah, the ozarks are a pain.
I have ridden from Eureka to Fayettville a few times for a party at a friends house, generaly got a ride back the next day. Thats the limit before I just declare that I am on a tour.

The town where I get my drivers license renewed, pay my car insurance, and have gone for jury duty is about 12 miles away, so if the original question means round trip, that is about 25 miles of total riding. Daily riding to the post office/grocery is about ten miles round trip.

Other than this all my riding is for fun, and can take me as far as two to three hundred miles from home, sometimes over a thousand if its a long tour starting somewhere else and then coming home. Some day rides have taken me as far as 60 miles from home one way, but only on long summer days, cause I average about 10 mph in these hills.
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Old 12-05-12, 07:50 PM
  #15  
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I use my bike for most of my transportations needs, less than one percent I use the car or train.
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Old 12-05-12, 08:38 PM
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My range is about 5 miles, which makes for a 10 mile round trip. I just don't have the fitness level to ride much farther than that. Fortunately I live in a small town and everything I need is within easy cycling range. The only place I need to get to that is farther away is my doctor and that's 10 miles one way. The last time I did it it took me over 5 hours I think.
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Old 12-06-12, 12:57 AM
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My primary limiting factor is time. Riding 15 miles one way is not that demanding physically, but it takes well over an hour in city riding, and during the work week I usually don't have anywhere near that kind of time. (My job is only 15 minutes from home by bike.) On the other hand, busing or driving over 15 miles is a PITA as well. I can go for days, even weeks without straying much more than 10 miles from home or work.
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Old 12-06-12, 01:27 AM
  #18  
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Time scarcity is probably the most significant factors for most.
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Old 12-06-12, 05:27 AM
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I put over 30 miles. I have left from my front door on multi day tours many times. When I go out for an all day ride 50 miles max is going to be the norm, it I get side tracked that number can drop drastically. I don't do it daily, hell I may go 3 weeks without riding sometimes

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Old 12-06-12, 06:32 AM
  #20  
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I do loaded camping tours every summer that can cover enormous but varying daily distances. In the sense of utility cycling all I need is within 10 miles and usually significantly closer than that, books and good wine being the notable exceptions.

My daily pleasure rides when the weather is nice rarely go more than 10 to 15 miles anyway though, ever since moving to the countryside. It used to be that was the minimum just to escape the (what I consider) horrors of city riding and the vast outlying strip malls surrounding my former city.
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Old 12-06-12, 08:49 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by charbucks View Post
I'm surprised at the number of "I can ride for more than 30" answers.

I took this to mean riding for basic transportation purposes, so I answered "I take mass transit past a certain distance". Sure, I'm happy to ride 30 miles for fun, but I wouldn't casually hop on the bike and go that far to get to, say, a restaurant. At that point, it's a ride with a break for dinner, not dinner where I happen to ride.

I would say that my range is less than an hour, whatever that happens to be (say 10-20 km depending on hills and traffic lights). Anything more than that and I'm getting into "planned ride" territory, not "riding to meet friends at the pub" land.
I hear what you're saying, I guess a lot depends on just what's at the other end of the ride.

I'd rate myself as "car-lite" rather than "car free" in that I have a car but it usually does less than 3000 miles in a year. My wife and I use it for going a significant distance out of town or hauling anything too heavy to carry, as well as a few social engagements where she prefers not to cycle even though it's quicker by bike than by car.

For me getting into town a car isn't a sensible option at all due to the problems with parking and traffic, and taking the bike is just as quick as taking public transport (and a lot cheaper). Getting around the local area the bike is usually the quickest way of doing things, and even going further out it's often just as quick on two wheels as on four, again because of the way the car gets stuck in traffic and can't take advantage of cycle lane contraflows and other shortcuts.

A friend of mine lives about 35 miles from me. By car it takes about an hour to get there (by car the distance is more like 50 miles, as it's quicker to take the motorways than the shortest route). By public transport it's easily 2 hours, more if the trains don't align perfectly (which they very seldom do). By bike it's usually about two and a half hours, but the time is consistent. In terms of cost, the round trip train ticket costs about the same as a new cassette and most of a new chain for the bike.
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Old 12-07-12, 08:40 AM
  #22  
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I ride 30 round trip to work and it gets easier every day.
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Old 12-07-12, 10:45 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
Really? I was honestly surprised at what I'm viewing as a low number for that answer given what sub-forum this thread is in! I even answered yes on that and I'm car light, not car free!
I took it to mean "if you were to go away from your house in a straight line for transportation purposes, how far would you go?". 30 miles (60 round trip) seems pretty far for regular day-to-day transportation. That would take me about 4 hours in good weather on a road bike, and I just don't have time for that on a daily basis.

My range is about a 10 mile radius from my house. Within that range, I might easily rack up 30 miles, but I'm not likely to stray that far without it being a planned recreational ride. If I'm more than an hour from home I start thinking about how I'm going to get home at the end of the day.
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Old 12-07-12, 11:17 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by charbucks View Post
I took it to mean "if you were to go away from your house in a straight line for transportation purposes, how far would you go?". 30 miles (60 round trip) seems pretty far for regular day-to-day transportation. That would take me about 4 hours in good weather on a road bike, and I just don't have time for that on a daily basis.

My range is about a 10 mile radius from my house. Within that range, I might easily rack up 30 miles, but I'm not likely to stray that far without it being a planned recreational ride. If I'm more than an hour from home I start thinking about how I'm going to get home at the end of the day.
I took it the same way and 4 hours isn't terribly bad.. but I probably wouldn't either if it would take me that long so understandable!
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Old 12-07-12, 12:20 PM
  #25  
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I too am blown away by people that will ride a 30 mile radius from their house. My old church is 37.8 miles away according to Google Maps. While I dearly miss my friends and the preaching I couldn't comprehend making a 75.6 mile ride every Sunday to go to church. It's staggering. I guess I'm fortunate to live in such a bike friendly community where I don't have to go very far to meet my needs.
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