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Commuting to work(15 posts)

Commuting to workTaylor_A
Jul 11, 2001 11:50 AM
I am thinking of commuting to work, at least a few days a week. (40+ miles round trip).

I was curious, how many people commute? Does anyone have words of wisdom for this endevor?
I do...Mabero
Jul 11, 2001 12:01 PM
But it is only a 20 mile round trip so I have the advantage of going for a longer ride after work and just go home after work...

I leave early in the morning (6:30ish) to avoid the early commuter traffic, ride when its slightly cooler, and to get earlier for I can ride in the late afternoon till early evening.

Just make sure you bring a spare tube and/or a patch kit. It is saved me once already from being really late! And boy the temp starts rising in your body when you are changing that tire when you know you are late!
Bring a towel...MrCelloBoy
Jul 11, 2001 12:09 PM
That's a long commute!
I've begun riding to work regularly, but I only have a short (2 mile) trip each way, and I can "hang loose".
If I had a 40 mile commute I'd ned to wash up a bit more.

Keep a set (or two) of work clothes at work so you only have to haul it back and forth once a week or so.

Make yourself a "commuter" bike, with fenders, heavy duty stuff, simple stuff or the like.

Pat yourself on the back. You're doing something GREAT!
re: Commuting to workashley
Jul 11, 2001 12:18 PM
To me, this seems like a great idea. I have really wanted to do this for a long time, but living in Atlanta, GA for a year made it next to impossible. PLus, the heat is unbearable. But now that I am in Charlotte, NC, and my commute is only about 15 miles round trip, there is no reason my I can't do it. No bad hills, all good roads. But, the downside is lots of traffic. Cars packed in everywhere. maybe leaving at say, 6:45 am would help. But oh, those long winter months.
re: Commuting to workmackgoo
Jul 11, 2001 12:41 PM
I do, I think it's great. I have the benefit of a shower at work, I doubt I'd do it with out it. My commute is only 15 miles RT but on the way home I take a longer route to stretch it out to 20 or 30 miles.
re: Commuting to workmr_spin
Jul 11, 2001 1:18 PM
40+ miles is a long commute!

Mine is about 5 miles round trip, 4.5 miles of which is on a bike path (sorry, a multi-use recreational trail). Ducks, geese, dogs and runners are my biggest problems, not cars! It's cool enough in the morning that I don't work up a sweat. Coming home it is usually warmer, but who cares? I'm home!

One thing to think about. Commuting on a bike seems like fun at first, and it is, but after a while, it's just a better way to get to work. On a very windy and rainy day, it's not so much fun. Sometimes it gets monotonous, and when I am tired, I just want it to be over! (Yes, even 2.5 miles is hard sometimes!) But it will ALWAYS beat sitting in traffic. I ride under a freeway where I used to sit in my car, and it is always a great feeling to know I don't have to do that anymore.

Anyway, my advice is get yourself a bike you can abuse. Don't use your main steed--even if it is precious, you won't want to spend a lot of time doing maintenance on it. When you get home, you want to relax, right? Plus, when the weekend comes, riding your "real" bike won't feel like going to work.

Buy another non-exotic bike that can take some punishment, like a cheap mountain bike or hybrid. I use a rigid $300 Specialized Hardrock (now on sale for $200!). I use the slickest Continental tires, pumped up to 70psi. I put a rack on the back with a large bag. I also put on fenders, "Freddy Fenders," so I can ride through puddles. Get some good lights for the dark season--I have a Niterider classic.

With 40 miles to do, I'd definitely look into varying the route. Any variation will help break the monotony, and keep up your interest. Good luck!
re: Commuting to workJay H
Jul 11, 2001 5:34 PM
I love commuting by bike, instead of feeling like a chore like it is when I'm driving..stop--go--stop--go--red light-stop...UGH it feels like I'm getting up early in the morning to go for a 20 mile ride with a 9-hour break in between!!! I have a 9.8 mile commute each way, which is completely flat. I treat it like a time trial, trying to do the whole trip in under 30 minutes (including light time), so far I've been close but no cigar but hey, the point of the journey is not to arrive, right?

Like everybody mentioned here, I get up early to beat the morning commuter traffic and to cycle in cool temps. And as the beater bike is, I have my first mountain bike (a Marin Team) with semi-slicks on it as my bad weather/rough road commuter (unsurfaced roads suck!) and my current bike is my commuter. I've ridden a bunch of miles this year, enough for me to justify on buying a really nice Seven soon...

I have started commuting this winterDutchy
Jul 11, 2001 7:39 PM
Up until this year I could only ride on weekends during winter. I work full time and after work it gets dark about 5.30pm and the roads are full of traffic, wet and hilly. I avoid riding at night in winter. So this year when winter came I thought I'd make an effort to ride as much as (weather dependent) possible. I live 15kms/9mls from work, too short to warrant getting all dressed up. So I take a detour on roads with much less traffic and blow it out to 40kms/25mls. Then I put my bike in my wifes car and get a lift home at night. This means I can ride 40kms per day, don't have to tackle the evening traffic, and don't have to wear smelly clothes on the way home. Also I put my bag with my day clothes in the car so I don't have to carry them to work.
I will probably continue this in summer to avoid the searing 40º/100F? heat in the afternoon climbing into the hills. I know it's not true commuting, but I still get to ride every morning, weather permitting. Living on the coast the afternoon wind is terrible and the when it rains, be somewhere else. CHEERS.
re: Commuting to workKEN2
Jul 11, 2001 11:35 PM
This poster's advice may work for a 5 mile commute, but I would suggest you NOT get a cheap mountain bike. On the contrary, think about this: if you are riding 40 miles a day for your commute, that's by far the most riding time you'll spend in a week. People are different, but I for one don't want to ride that kind of mileage on a junker bike. My commute is 30 miles, and I bought a high-end cyclocross bike and set it up specifically for commuting.

A middle ground might be to commute a few times on your main bike and see how you like it--just do fair weather commutes at first. If you really like it you can consider either modifying your present bike or getting another.
Almost every dayKDS
Jul 11, 2001 8:26 PM
I've been bike commuting most days (not in winter around here). It is only 4 miles each way for me, also I work 3 to 11 pm, so traffic isn't a problem. The trip to work only has 1 slight climb (and a 35 mph downhill, it's fun to break the speed limit on a bike), so getting sweaty isn't a problem. The trip home has a little over 1.5 miles of climbing, but it's usually pretty cool by 11 pm. I usually ride my Dakar mtn. bike, occasionally my Austro-Daimler road bike. It only takes 5 min. longer to get to work by bike than it does by car(the road bike takes a little less time than the car), and it is a lot more enjoyable. Today 2 kids on bikes stopped me and pointed out a couple of large turtles in the river, that kind of thing never would happen in a car. Try commuting, I think you will like it, and with a little experience, you will work out details like clean clothes, etc. Good Luck to You.
7500' climbing in 4 miles? That's a 37% Grade - WHOA ;-)Craig Young
Jul 12, 2001 11:44 AM
Probably not what you meant to say ;-)
Not exactlyKDS
Jul 12, 2001 2:30 PM
Sorry, I just meant that 1.5 of the 4 miles are uphill, I think that 37% grade would be a little tough. Heck, the steepest grade we simulate for cars in the wind tunnel where I work is 11%, and we only do that at 15.5 mph.
Your good bike V.S your hack bikeDutchy
Jul 12, 2001 12:04 AM
It's a personal choice as to whether you ride your good bike or use a "hack" bike for commuting. For me I don't mind using my road bike. The roads here are very smooth, no potholes. And the bike is just faster than my MTB. If I am riding in traffic I find it safer to go as fast as possible, so drivers don't get impatient. Sometimes I can't get out to ride on the weekends, due to other commitments so my commute may be the only chance I get to ride the road bike some weeks. BTW my road bike is a Giant CFR-96 so it isn't worth a lot of money compared to the bikes some guys ride. CHEERS.
re: Commuting to workAndy M-S
Jul 12, 2001 9:44 AM
I've been bike-commuting for several years. I have a 7-mile ride each way, and, heck, as long as the bike is here, I often do 12-15 miles over lunch (the local "hill" is only a few miles away).

I don't have access to a shower, so I shower every morning, carry a change of clothes, try to get to work a few minutes early, cool down in my bike duds and then change in the bathroom stall. I pop my bike clothes into my rack bag, and I'm good to go. No complaints last summer or this (and I DO sweat).

I ride my 'good' bike, and lock it up outside (I used to keep it inside, but policy changed, so...) using a U-lock I leave on the bike rack at work. It's surrounded by motorcycles, so I'm not too worried. If the weather is bad, my singlespeed road bike w/lights and fenders is my vehicle of choice.

Commuting is now one of the things to which I really look forward. I try to set a PB most mornings/evenings, and I've gotten to know people on my route (which is all on the road).

My best advice to the commuter is to get a bag that's easy to yank and take inside. I use a N'Aero Pack, which is the equivalent of a rack bag and small panniers. Two bungies to the dropouts and velcro on top of the (special) rack, so I can just grab the bag and head on into my office.

Commuting is great. Try it, you'll like it!
re: Commuting to workSDR
Jul 12, 2001 10:05 AM
I have pretty much the same commute distance as you, I think it is around 38 miles round trip. Unfortuneately, it is an extremely hilly 38 miles, so I can only commute 3 times per week before I'm fried, so you may want to start out only riding 2 or 3 times per week at first. Since it is a longer commute for you, I would recommend finding different routes to break up the monotony. Good luck