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Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?(38 posts)

Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?Ahimsa
Apr 10, 2002 6:05 AM
I read that Matt Chester rides a 60 mile round trip commute in the mountains at high elevation. Got me thinking.

I know this has been brought up before, but I'm curious and don't feel like looking it up in the backlog.

How far is your commute (round trip)?

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what?

Do you ride all year round?

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet?

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it?

Is your route rural or urban or suburban?

Ride at night?

Is there anyone who could commute by bike, but doesn't and has a story full of guilt to relate to us?

Just curious.

Me?
Just 14 miles.
5 days a week.
Morning when I ride in.
Night when I ride out.
Downtown route.
Ride all weather barring the absolute worst winter days, and occasional circumstancial car trips that I hate.
Commuter special Cannondale cross with mud guards, lights etc.

Cheers!

A.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?MJ
Apr 10, 2002 6:10 AM
How far is your commute (round trip)?

8km-17km - depending on daylight, mood, etc.

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what?

every day

Do you ride all year round?

yes

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet?

all weather

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it?

would like to go SS for commuter - but manage with a cross bike for everything

Is your route rural or urban or suburban?

nasty urban riding on the left side of the road

Ride at night?

yes
My commutevitusdude
Apr 10, 2002 6:14 AM
One of my favorite subjects.

35 miles (sometimes more)
5 days a week
morning in dark, home in light.
suburban/urban
all kinds of weather accept snow/sleet/ice (I really hate to drive my car to work)
mostly Trek 1100 but also Vitus 992 in nice weather sometimes
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?muncher
Apr 10, 2002 6:16 AM
11 miles, longer if I do some training in the ligher months.
All year round, all weathers.
SS CX bike for winter/wet days, otherwise race bike if training or geared CX bike if I fancy some "sightseeing" on the way home.
Mixed terrain - live in country, commute to town.
Ride in the dark 1/2 the year or more unfortunately.
How about also asking why more people don't bike to work?Slipstream
Apr 10, 2002 6:21 AM
I don't bike to work because the drivers are too nutso: on their cell phone, rockin' to the 400 amp car stereo, weaving in-and-out of traffic, flipping other drivers off, half-awake, honking their horns, eating donuts, spilling coffee, fixing their hair, putting on lipstick, yelling at the kids. Intersections are the most dangerous for cyclists. Too many close calls. And this is a normal day.

On the other hand, if there I didn't have to compete with traffic I would. I admire ALL you bicycle commuters. I really want to know how you do it!!!!

be safe you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good question: the answer ismuncher
Apr 10, 2002 6:29 AM
that if you have a public transport system as poor as the one where I live (Guildford, south UK)it's a no-brainer. My wife is working at home today on account of being over an hour late on her 35 mile commute for the past 2 days coz the trains didn't bother to turn up. And the cost of it is crippling. As for driving anywhere - forget it!

That said, I nearly hit a SUV that pulled out right in front of me this morning - usual suspect - woman with car full of kids (no belts I noticed) usual behaviour - made eye contact, then pulled out anyway, staring straight ahead and grasping the wheel for dear life, pretending that I didn't exist. If I has a £ for evey time that happened...

That's better - today's rant over...
It's the fastest way!!!scruffyduncan
Apr 10, 2002 6:32 AM
5 mils from my house, 7 fr0m the girlfriemds (10 and 14 rt)

all year round

old, old allez with guards that I love
It's the fastest way!!!scruffyduncan
Apr 10, 2002 6:35 AM
always miss one day because my bikes at work or at the girl's house

I ride at night, I reckon you're more visible in the dark with a flashing light than in the light with nothing

I ride through central London, so am faster than the traffic.
How I do it.vitusdude
Apr 10, 2002 6:43 AM
I do much of my commute off-road on paved bike trails.

When I do ride on the road, I pick my roads carefully.

Off course, it helps to be insane, too.
because it is suicidal in NYtz
Apr 10, 2002 7:52 AM
Being on the road during rush hour in downtown Brooklyn is just too dangerous. Any cyclist attemting to share the road with cars is doomed to be hit. Every day that you ride back home safe and sound is just one day closer to disaster. With traffic being light, the commute takes about an hour [done it a couple of times on weekends], but on weekdays I just don't want to take chances.
All cyclists that you see on the streets of NY are insane.
My commuteBrooks
Apr 10, 2002 6:28 AM
5 miles at 7,000 feet elevation
Most days spring through fall, winter depending on snow.
I prefer not to ride in the rain; snow can be fun and faster than driving.
Usual Commuter bike: 12 year old Giant AT750 mtn bike with early Deore shifters, rack, fenders, lights, and reflectors. Now that the weather is getting better (ski season ends this weekend here) I tend to ride the road bike with my clothes in a backpack, and go for a 1.5 hour ride at lunch, also after work if schedule permits.
Route is small town with a bike path for half the commute.
Ride at night? Yes, but prefer not to.

Brooks
agree "snow can be fun and faster than driving"lonefrontranger
Apr 10, 2002 8:31 AM
Boulder drivers tend to be pretty cowardly in the snow, oddly enough. It's not the natives that are the problem, but they're outnumbered and overwhelmed by all the immigrants from non-snow areas who don't understand the first thing about driving in it.

I ride pretty much all year round; average 3 to 4 days a week, otherwise take the bus. My commute is 11-13 miles one way, depending on what route I choose. It's a mix of suburban road, rural road, bike path and urban assault thru downtown Boulder. We have great bikeways, bike shoulders and good buses that run on schedule with bike transport racks, so I have no excuse to drive a car, really.

I use my 'cross bike. The one caveat is that I'm totally spoiled after a year and a half out here. We get 300 sunny days a year, so I've sort of lost my desire to ride in the rain. Snow is another story altogether, taking the bike often cuts 15-30 minutes off my commute on a snow day.
re: Commutingdzrider
Apr 10, 2002 6:32 AM
9 Miles riding to work, ride longer going home

Several times a week, as often as weather and life's demands allow.

Year 'round

Take the car if it's raining or if snow is forecast.

1980 Trek - Reynolds 531 with basement components, clips and straps!

Ride home in the dark during winter.

I run home if the weather looks too miserable for riding.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?Softrider
Apr 10, 2002 6:35 AM
Distance = Approx. 40 miles R/T (depending on route)

About 3 days a week

April thru October (I'm a fair weather commuter)

Dark in the morning, light in the evening

Mostly suburban/urban, some rural depending on route

I ride my primary bike the majority of the time -
Softride R1. Sometimes ride Trek 6500 MTB.
re: Commutingdzrider
Apr 10, 2002 6:48 AM
9 Miles riding to work, ride longer going home

Several times a week, as often as weather and life's demands allow.

Year 'round

Take the car if it's raining or if snow is forecast.

1980 Trek - Reynolds 531 with basement components, clips and straps!

Ride home in the dark during winter.

I run home if the weather looks too miserable for riding.
About 30 miles Round Trip into D.C....Gregory Taylor
Apr 10, 2002 7:03 AM
How far is your commute (round trip)? About 30 miles

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what? 5 days a week.

Do you ride all year round? Yup.

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet? A little rain doesn't bother me. If the weather is truly heinous, then I take Metro. Which sucks.

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it? Bianchi Volpe -- detachable Planet Bike fenders. Nightrider light. Ortleib messenger bag.

Is your route rural or urban or suburban? Suburban/Urban. I'm lucky -- I get to use a dedicated bike trail for most of my commute.

Ride at night? Yup
Hey me toopmf1
Apr 10, 2002 1:05 PM
You coming down the W&OD from Vienna?

We really are lucky to have the nice system of bike trails that we have in the DC area.
Naaah...Gregory Taylor
Apr 12, 2002 5:17 AM
I'm down near Mount Vernon. I use the GW Parkway trail...
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?commuterguy
Apr 10, 2002 7:13 AM
Round trip is 22 to 30 miles (depending on route)

Commute as much as possible year 'round (Wash DC area)

I avoid rain (no traction, cars can't see me, bike gets too dirty) and won't ride on ice, snow or sleet

I had a hybrid but kept breaking spokes, bb's, etc., so 'savings' were actually negative: now ride road bike

I am fortunate to have a fanastic rails-to-trail route (Capital Crescent Trail) for the bulk of my commute, and extended stretches along lightly-used roads (Ohio Drive esp.). The bits of my route that I share with ThirdReichMobiles are not fun.

Return trip is dark about 1/2 the year; I use a good light but will be forever amazed by commuters/riders who ride w/o one.

I don't think we should 'guilt' anyone into commuting by bike. Having tried it, I will never go back, but I also have an awesome respect for the difficulties and risks it entails. If your commute is >20 miles RT, you have to invest a lot of $ (hopefully US law will change to allow employers to reimburse bike expense as metro and carpool expenses are currently paid), you need a lot of bike handling skill, you need good anger management ability, and you need to be able to change a flat, in the dark, when your fingers are numb. I think those who can know they can, and the others shouldn't do it until they are ready.
27 miles RT...biknben
Apr 10, 2002 7:13 AM
Just got this job a couple months ago. Never been able to commute before due to distance. I'll do it in rain but not in cold. Just started a couple weeks ago. Trying to get a routine down. I prefer not to ride with a pack and such. Bring a bunch of clothes to work in advance and ride in with my normal training attire.

I ride the primary (only) road bike I have, a C'Dale.
Western 'burbs of Clevelandspeedisgood
Apr 10, 2002 7:17 AM
How far is your commute (round trip)?
22 miles along the lovely shore of Lake Erie

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what?
These days, I work in a clinic in the AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I go out to a high school to cover practices and events about 6 days a week in the PM. So I commute for sure on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuseday and Thursday, I drive to the clinic (AM) and drive home, get my bike and ride to the high school in the afternoon (fortunately, I have a long lunch, roughly 2.5 hours!)

Do you ride all year round?
Try to, but weather permitting. This SPRING, we had a mini-blizzard on day and I tried commuting the next day as the blizzard continued. I made it 2 blocks before giving up because there was about 8 inches of unplowed snow on the ground and a sidewind that literally blew me sideways (er, diagonally) thru the snow and into traffic. Bad day for commuting.

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet?
Most weather. See above.

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it?
My GT ZR 1000 racing bike with a fender on back :D
The GT Vengeance TT bike if it's REALLY nice outside and I'm scheduled to do an LT workout anyway.

Is your route rural or urban or suburban?
Suburban.

Ride at night?
Sometimes, mostly try to avoid it but sometimes games run late or whatever.
Straight through the Flats - one day when it was 6 degrees...p chop
Apr 10, 2002 10:58 PM
That was my route from Shaker Sq to Metro Hospital, down Commercial, over the lift bridge, up through Tremont... one day on the way home after night shift, 6 degrees outside, I came up into downtown in a state on un-ending cold panic, all I could do to keep it forward, and I see someone else up ahead on a bike. Thought maybe I'd know them, wanted to see who it was, so I caught up. From behind I noticed tattered cardboard fenders; two old knit hats and work gloves complimented a threadbare, grimy coat. Here I was gritting my teeth twenty minutes from home, Gore-tex head to toe, and I realized this guy already WAS home. And I thought I was cold.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?totrod
Apr 10, 2002 7:28 AM
Commute? ....of course. Its only 5 miles round-trip, downhill in the morning, all uphill on the way home. Its all urban traffic in and around downtown Seattle, and yes, I ride all winter, in the rain and dark. In nice weather I ride my LeMond steel: in the wet, I stick with the Trek 8000 MTB.

All this and it really is the fastest way to work, plus I would get just as wet waiting for the bus as I do on the bike. I've been at this job 2.5 years and never driven my car to work. My employer graciously provides complete locker and shower facilities and indoor bike storage complete with a workbench, repair stand and air compressor. Its bike commuter heaven.

Cheers!
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?Kary
Apr 10, 2002 7:39 AM
I commute 28 miles round trip.
3 days aweek when I can.(Usually april through October)
I have a suburban but busy route.
Us an old trek 8700 mb with full fenders and rack.
(My last job I had a 12 mile one way commute of which 5 miles were offroad)
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?mr_spin
Apr 10, 2002 7:46 AM
How far is your commute (round trip)? 11 miles, but I usually ride somewhere for lunch. It's usually more like 15-20.

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what? As often as I can, which is usually every day.

Do you ride all year round? Of course. This is California!

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet? Snow and sleet are extremely rare, but there is ice to deal with in winter. I won't usually set out in the morning if it is actively raining or clearly going to rain. Coming home, I don't have much choice. I've gotten wet numerous times.

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it? A relatively cheap Specialized Hardrock mountain bike with fenders and slicks.

Is your route rural or urban or suburban? Suburban, on streets for the first mile, then a multi-user trail for the rest. No cars, but lots of other traffic (people, dogs, rollerbladers, etc.)

Ride at night? Yep. Got lights, reflective gear, etc.
Minneapolis, MN through the burbsQuack
Apr 10, 2002 7:56 AM
How far? 33 miles roundtrip

How often? 3-4 days/week (1 LT/1 Spin/1 Rest->Repeat)

Ride year round? Yes, If the snow isn't too deep. January is tough.

Ride when? Anytime there aren't blizzard/flood conditions

Bicycle? 2 Race bikes/1 Trash bike (Trek 5200 when clear, Specialized S-Works MTN when snow/slush, Raleigh Instinct MTN when ice/salt)

Route? Suburban all the way. By far the most unsafe locations in Minnesota to ride are the burbs. People don't actually RIDE bikes here, and don't realize that the road is where bikes belong. Making a left turn at a stop sign here is always a sphincter tightening experience and is usually followed by horns or revving engines. People can't stand to lose one position in traffic due to some bike in front of them. Occasionally, I wish I had a center punch in my left hand and could shatter their passenger window as they come over the line in an attempt to intimidate me. That doesn't happen all that often though.

Ride at night? In the winter, 20 minutes of darkness both ways. I don't know if anyone else out there uses NiMH in the cold, but my lights are useless below freezing.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?djg
Apr 10, 2002 7:57 AM
Just started commuting again after a long time away from it.
Standard route is just about 16 miles, roundtrip.
I ride (and plan to ride) several days a week--shooting for 3-4.
I don't mind getting a little wet, but if it's really raining the bike stays at home (and last night stayed at work). I don't have all that much of a ride in downtown (DC) traffic, but I don't trust drivers to see me when it's dark and raining (or even just overcast and raining).
A fair bit of my route is by bike path.
I've been riding the main road bike, but I'm in the process of putting together an old Lemond I bought off the net as a commuter/2d bike.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?Andy M-S
Apr 10, 2002 8:27 AM
How far is your commute (round trip)? 14 miles, unless I go the long way.

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what? Every day unless I'm sick or the weather is wet AND the temp is below 35. Or if the temp is below 25 (too cold!).

Do you ride all year round? I try, but often spend 1-2 months on rollers.

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet? See above. Rain is great if it's warm (I take my rain bike). Snow is less fun, and forget sleet.

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it?
I ride my road bike unless the weather is foul, in which case I take my single-speed, fender-equipped road bike.

Is your route rural or urban or suburban? Suburban/Urban.

Ride at night? When I have to. My bikes are both equipped with blinkers.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?salmonwheel
Apr 10, 2002 9:01 AM
15 mile round trip

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what?
Everyday I go to work.
Do you ride all year round?
Everyday I go to work, and I do work year round. But the weather isn't too bad in mid-Michigan. This year i didn't miss any days, last year I had to take the bus a few days, haven't driven in two years though.

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet?
Weather affects my enjoyment, but not whether or not I ride

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it?
Thrift shop 10 speed ($25 or less) winter really beats on a bike, lights, rack etc., MTB with studded tires in winter when necessary.
Is your route rural or urban or suburban?
I live in a small city and work in a town outside the city ( I guess I'm an inverse American), so urban and rural, I also have 2 routes, one loops out into rural roads, the other uses mostly city streets and a short segment on a multi-use path (this is my winter and rain route, other wise it's crowded)
Ride at night?
Yes, I have to. But I carry a big light
my commute - - -liv2padl
Apr 10, 2002 9:28 AM
every other day i ride 102 miles round trip, door to door. on the alternate days i ride 35 miles round trip, leaving my car at a park and ride. i don't ride in the rain and do the other miles only in spring, summer and fall. in the winter, i ride my mountain bike most days including snow ... using lights to make it home in the dark. this is 30 miles round trip, from a mall closer to work.
You are the man!! Or woman?? Your post didn't indicate.Quack
Apr 10, 2002 9:48 AM
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?Trux
Apr 10, 2002 10:57 AM
I'm not filled with guilt but fear.
Been tagged twice by cars during my
26 mile R/T commute (most recently, last
July).
I'd like to start againg this season
(April-Oct daylight savings time) but
am terrified (again) by the rampant
road rage and indifferent drivers
here in Denver.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?hammer_cycle
Apr 10, 2002 11:17 AM
I commute 45 miles round trip.
2-3 times per week.
Ride during the dark in the morning.
Only ride during months where commute home is not in total darkness - too many crazy commuters in cars trying to kill me.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?metty108
Apr 10, 2002 11:17 AM
now then Ahimsa.

40mile round trip
bike mon,wed and friday,car the rest.
only being doing it for 2 months, but intend to go all year.
already done it in the rain, snow etc might be fun.
do it on a mtb bike with specialized nimbus ex tyres.
about 13 miles are on a cycle track made from crushed sandstone, the rest is through town.
i will ride at night, the cycle track is well safe.
found it hard today, woke up late so no breakfast and last
nights tea was just a bowl of soup, so my legs were no
that fast. It usually takes between 1:05 and 1:15 to do the
20 mile trip (wind and general tiredness depending).

cheers

Paul
Commute:Miklos
Apr 10, 2002 11:21 AM
How far is your commute (round trip)?

Round trip mileage from home is 50 miles, from a park-n-ride, 25 miles. I do add mileage for the trip home when time permits.

Do you commute every day, or mostly every day, or a few days a week or what?

Winter average twice a week, summer average three times a week.

Do you ride all year round?

Yes

Sunny weather only, or rain, snow, and sleet?

All weather. For this mornings commute in in the dark, it was a monsoon. Some of the worst weather days can provide the most enjoyable commute. I work i Portland, Oregon, your gonna get wet unless you only ride 2 months of the year.

Do you have a commuter specific bike? What is it?

Rain bike is a Trek 930 set up for commuting.
Nice weather bike is a GT ZR3000.

Is your route rural or urban or suburban?

Yes! Starts out rural, then suburban, then urban.

Ride at night?

The morning ride in is almost always in the dark since I start at 6:00am

Is there anyone who could commute by bike, but doesn't and has a story full of guilt to relate to us?

On days that I don't commute, I don't feel guilty.

Just curious.

Curiousity satisfied?
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?DankFrank
Apr 10, 2002 12:02 PM
30 miles.
5 days a week.
Rural at first, and then bikepath along Potomac River.
All year, I just moved to DC, I rode all year as well up in Rochester NY. I ride all weather that is possible to ride in.

Two bikes, depends on weather. Mountain bike (with second set of tires/wheels Nokian Extremes with 296 spikes each for snow/ice). GT ZR 1.0 Team Lotto (in Bike Shots section).

I just love to ride, so every chance I can I get on my bike.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?guido
Apr 10, 2002 11:49 PM
My commute is only 6 miles into town. I do it all year, but not always 5 days a week. I take shady, residential streets through the nicest section of this little city, Tyler, in East Texas, extravagantly built with oil money. It takes 20-25 minutes, depending on how hard I attack the three climbs on the route.

Back in the mid-Ninties, commuted two or three days a week to the next city, 41 miles each way. Got really fit that summer. Twice in my life I've gone car-less, but have always lived within 6 miles of work, so the only challenge was the weather.

Have always commuted on steel road bikes with fenders, currently an old SLX lugged frame with 28C tires and 36 spoked, box sectioned rims. When car-less, I'd put on a rear rack to carry groceries. Now I just use a backpack.

Never feared riding at night, either in DC, or out here. Everyone's home, I'm lit like a Christmas tree, and people generally don't want to mess with me. I ran with Nightsun headlights, ones with the battery pack in a water bottle, and one or two flashing tail lights.

It's really nice in the country at night. There's no light pollution. The headlight doesn't destroy your night vision so you can see everything, stars, the amazing variety of wildlife that comes out. It's quiet. Nobody else is out on the highways. They're all sitting in their living rooms zoning out in front of TVs.

Where I've commuted, snow, rain, and extreme cold haven't been real problems. Have never gotten cold, crashed in the rain, been hit by a car, or not made it home because of a mechanical breakdown or flat, and I can't say that about the cars I've depended on. Have gotten wet so many times, I don't even have a poncho anymore. Actually got warmer going through a snow storm once. It stuck to my shoulders and arms, providing a good windbreak and another layer to trap in body heat.

Short little half hour sprints to work strengthen the legs very well. The first hill warms me up. The second is harder, and gets the heartrate up, makes the legs burn. Then the third I can recover on just before arriving at work. I can loaf on the ride home, work out the lactic acid from the morning, practice the fluid pedal stroke. So 6 miles is better than nothing.

Commuting by bike is cool any way or any distance. The human body and psyche is amazingly adaptable.
re: Commuting: How far, how often, all year long?look271
Apr 16, 2002 2:35 PM
Me? Less than you. 11 mile round trip. I'll ride all year except for snow-won't start out in it. Same with rain-however, if I get caught in it, I don't mind. I'll go out in it if I've really got the riding jones. Usually ride a 80's Nishiki. Got to get fenders for it. Go in @ 3pm, leave @ 12 midnight, so I ride home with lights, part city, part rural. Sometimes I'll ride my fixte and if it's really cold, I'll break out the mtb. I do this as often as I can, usually at least 3-4 times a week.