Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Been riding weekends now avg 60-90km a week. thinking about commuting to work once a week, although it is around 42km each way. Now im thinking this is a rather large commute to work as the total ride will be 84km. Just wondering what people consider an average commute work? Is 42km each way is too much for a commute. Im riding a road bike, wont be luggin anything on bike, just bottle, spare tubes etc. The path to work isnt hilly at all. My job is desk work so im not on my feet all day, hence the urge to ride to work to get some exercise in my day. Be interested to he hear if this too much for a commute and what others are averaging km as a commute to work.
It really depends on you and the route. If you're fit and the route is not too hilly, I'd say 42km is not too bad. Getting out there, but doable if you're keen (especially if it's only one day a week).
However, I'd suggest riding in one day, catching the train home, then train in again the next day and riding home that night. Doing that allows you to get 42km a day for those two days, and that's definitely achievable.
The question I have to ask is how long does it take for you to ride that sort of distance? A cracking pace of 30kph would still take you 1hr 20 minutes, and I would allow at least 2 hours for such a trip.
I consider myself fairly fit, good advice to catch the train one way and ride back, ive also considered driving part way and riding the rest to work and then doing the same back. If i was to ride the full distance i would allow for two hours each way to begin with. I have ridden the full distance to work and back on the weekend but did feel wornout after, not sure how id feel doing all that riding ontop of a full days work, but i guess the answer to that is, ill find out on the day. Just wanted to get a feel for what others were travelling distance wise, to work.
I do a 48-52km hilly-ish round trip so do around 250km/week.
I started doing this when my company moved location and from doing a 16km round trip commute on a mtb - I was certainly not a "cyclist". There is also no reasonable public transport alternative to my new workplace, so it is a bit do or drive .
I also did a handful of rides at the weekend before we moved to find a good route, which I found hard and bonked a couple of times because I didn't have breakfast .The 8-9 hour break between rides that I call work is actually quite a good rest, so it is like doing two rides, not one long one. I do sit on my arse all day though.
The first two months were tough - dead at the weekend etc, but now I am completely used to it and am even considering going to the gym regularly afterwards a couple of days a week. I have done that a couple of times, but was a bit too knackered.
Anyway, like the others have said, do one way one day and the other another - try this twice a week, you don't want to get to comfortable in your comfort zone .
Remember that commuting is different to going for recreational and training rides because being late can actually affect your life in an adverse way and often the call the missus bailout is not an option. Have breakfast! Carry a lock, so worst comes to worst, e.g. broken spokes = rooted wheel, you can chain your bike to something and jump in a taxi/bus/train then pick it up later. Carry a lights, a couple of spare tubes, a pump, multi-tool and patch kit etc.
"My bicycle masters boardwalk and quagmire with aplomb. Those that doubt me... suck THUMB by choice."
i used to commute 42km each way 2 or 3 times a week.
inala > behind the airport. about 1hr40m each way.
great to be getting plenty of exercise, but the biggest factor for me was losing 3hrs a day.
also, when i started riding to work i would need a lunchtime nap to get through the day.
take extra food for brekky when you get to work, and something for the ride home.
do it. it won't kill you*..
*if you die, i take no responsibility
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There are people that commute those distances. I'm guessing your pretty fit, so the real issue is are the suitability of the roads and whether you have the time to spend 1h 15m in each direction
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Great advice from everyone, thankyou all. I can spare the time, driving to work is 1hr 30mins in peak hour, bores me to death. I have the flexibility of not needing to get to work at 9 on the dot, so if i am late its ok. The ride will mostly be paths, there is a great track that follows the length of the two freeways i use when driving, the track is relatively straight so i can sit on a good speed. I will definately stock up on a big breakfast, and eat all throughout the day.
If you also have the flexibility to go in early and leave early you should consider that option.
I do this, it gives me less traffic to contend with on the way in and more daylight on the way home.
i wish i was 42km from work! im only 10km and i also use my car all day, so no commuting . you on the other hand have a great ride on your hands, and daily when you get fit enough. its probably a time issue also. 1.5hours on the bike max. how long does it take to drive? an hour or so?
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To drive in peak hour normaly around an hour and half. if not peak hour 45mins. So it doesnt add much more time to my day. Sitting in a car in peak hour, drives me a bit insane, plus watching all the cyclists pass me by, was another thing that prompted me to think abt ridding to work. I will save money on tolls, petrol and parking for everytime I ride to work plus i should be pretty fit at the end of the day, its a win win.
bloody hell - do it. even if it takes you two hours each way on the bike - it has only 'cost' you 1-hr of your time.
4-hrs on the bike for only 1-hr invested - bloody brilliant.
do it regulary - you'll soon get fit and fast enought to get to work as quick, or quicker, than you can in the car. 42 km on good flatish paths <1:30 should be a piece of cake. its win win.
I have lost 6kgs (having already lost ~10kg from the gym) since I started my long commute. It takes me 45 - 90 minutes and a lot of frustration to drive and 65 (+-10) minutes to ride. I only save on petrol, but that has added up to $458.29 this year so far (according to http://mycyclinglog.com ).
<jealous>Wish I had a straight flat path</jealous>. In all seriousness, from the few times I have ridden that kind of distance on the flat, the distance is definitely doable as a commute. Unfortunately, I have 1/2km of climbing each way ( http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Fr ... h-Ryde-1-2 ).
"My bicycle masters boardwalk and quagmire with aplomb. Those that doubt me... suck THUMB by choice."
I do a similar commute around three days a week (due to "living" in two different places) and find it works okay for me. I can do my commute in 1.30 hours or less on a good day, and around 2 hours on a bad day (serious head winds) so find it manageable given the drive time.
I would suggest giving it a go. Only you can decide if it works for you or not.
So, not costing (much) time, saving money, getting fit for "free"... what was the question again?
This strategy works very well. Drive to where you'd get onto the toll-way, park nearby and ride the rest of the way. You can save the time you'd normally be stuck in traffic for riding, and have a more manageable riding distance. Of course, riding the whole way is preferable, but it's a pretty good compromise to drive some of the way.
I manage an 80km round trip twice a week. The 40km one way trip takes approx 1hr 30mins. I have the option of leaving my bike in the office if work commitments get in the way but normally I do the 80km trip in one day. (This was achieved after the encouragement of this group and the Bike to Work week in October 2008.)
My eating went a bit out of balance for the first few weeks but since then I've stocked my office with the right foods for when I am feeling peckish! (I'm also lucky enough to have a cupboard where I can store my spare clothes and toileteries.) There will be times when you are ready to leave and sigh that you have to jump on the bike (rather than drive/ take the train) but that usually passes after the first few minutes of the ride!
My advice would be to have a go!
Another possibility is to take public transport in the mornings (with your bicycle) and just ride home each day. That way, you reach home to a nice shower, dinner and have a legitimate excuse to lounge around for a bit.
I commute 28kms to work, and another 28kms home most days. It seemed like a lot at the start, but after a while I started looking for longer rides.
So from the east of Melbourne, now I sometimes take the Yarra Blvd to get some hills in, or from Doncaster head across the Yarra.
I occassionaly take the bike trail, but get frustrated around Bulleen and Burke roads, so normally just take Whitehorse road.
If you have a small hydration/back pack and don't need to carry much, you enjoy it. It's a fast commute, 30km/h plus.
The mornings I do take the train I hate seeing cyclists. Being stuck next to the fat, smelly, rude passengers gets to me like never before, and I wish I'd taken the bike.
I would support the suggestion of ride in, train home. Train in, ride home. If using Metlink, get the 10 trip passes, they give you 10x 2hr tickets on one card. Easy.
PS: I find on longer commutes I like to go to my local (to work) coffee place. I get a coffee, read the paper, and after the 10-15mins I've stopped sweating. I then ride easy into work, shower, eat breakfast at my desk and feel great all day. My suggestion, don't keep the HR at 160bpm all the way to the front door, shower, and sit down ready for work!!
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Will depend on how hilly the route is. My 40-odd kilometres round trip (~1 hour each way) would leave me knackered by the end of the week. If it was flat, completley different story.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen
My commute to work is 42km each way.
The options to get to my old office where:
drive: 75+ minutes each way (which I hated), note: my boss who lived 30km away on almost the same route, drove every day, his car's averaged 35kph during it's life.
bus: 80 to 90 minutes each way.
ride: 95 minutes in, 120+ minutes back, so for 1 hour investment of my time, I got a 3.5 hour work out.
The commute home, other than winter is into a 30 to 40kph headwind. So what is a 90 to 100 minute trip in becomes a 110 to 150 minute trip home.
It is doable, but not everyday of the week. Did it 3 days in a row once in summer, by the end of the third day I was exhausted.
That was a couple years ago, after a slack period of not riding enough, a change of offices and now a train running next to the cycling path ( with stations at the 1km, 7km, 13km, 18km, 24km, 38km and 40km marks on way home) I have changed my habits.
A 42km ride in the morning gets the blood pumping, so after a coffee and a shower I am ready to work.
After work I ride some of the way home, I usually do 24km on the roadie or 13/18km on the single speed depending on my mood, wind and other weather factors. 24km on the a gear bike or 18km on 70 gear inch single speed into the headwind takes close to an hour and is harder than the ride in. I then catch the train for the last bit, so when I arrive home I am not ready to collapse (like I use to).
Still I only commute a couple of days a weeks and ride the single speed to the closest train station the other two days (I only work a max of 4 days a week).
In the days prior to the train I use to met on my ride home, a guy who was fitter than me and lived 60km from the city. He would only do the 120km round trip once a week, a 72km round trip a couple of times a week and do an easy 48km round trip the other days. (with the wind bonus read them as 60km, 108km and 150km round trips).
So yes an 84km round trip can be done daily by somebody fit enough.
Even if you are not fit enough, once or twice a week is fun and will help you with your weekend rides.
Each to there own but a guy at work gave up riding to work because it was only 7k. He started jogging to work. I ride 40k round trip and find it a good distance. Long enough to get a work out. Not too long to wish I was already at home.
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