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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: HayMaker on January 15, 2014, 10:09:23 AM

Title: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: HayMaker on January 15, 2014, 10:09:23 AM
Reading Hoerwolle's post on wanting to extend his bike commute got me thinking.  I used to ride my bike to work everyday.  Not a big deal as it was an easy 3 miles on mostly multi-use trails (ie, not that many drunk, texting drivers to worry about).  Then I moved and now my bike commute is 16 miles each way, still mostly multi-use trails.  If I'm going to start doing that kind of bike commute I think I need to get an actual street bike instead of cranking my heavy mountain bike over the hills and dales.  As it stands I can usually cover about 12-13 miles an hour on my mountain bike; using my wife's Trek ups that to 15 or so.  For me this commute would equal about 3 hours a day total and about 160 miles a week.  Changing bikes and increasing my fitness could shave this down by an hour a day, maybe.

But then I think the whole idea is to gain fitness as well as save money and reduce my carbon footprint, etc, so why not stick with the mountain bike? 

At any rate this all got me wondering ... how far are all of you riding to work? 
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: lackofstache on January 15, 2014, 10:43:26 AM
I ride 9.5 miles each way 4(ish) times a week. I ride a singlespeed in the winter and throw gears back on when it warms up. Less maintenance & fuss in nasty weather that way & I don't ride much beyond the commute when it's cold. I'd keep riding the mountain bike(if it's rigid, anyway), the utility is nice to have as they can carry weight without feeling any different. On my commute, whether I ride my Yuba Mundo or Raleigh International, the time each way doesn't vary more than 15 minutes really.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: captainawesome on January 15, 2014, 10:49:36 AM
I'm currently biking 10 miles each way to work, not on trails but on streets.  Some busier than others.  I purchased a hybrid bike to get to work, and I couldn't imagine doing the commute on a mountain bike, not to say I couldn't.  But I like the fact that I can do my ride in 40-50 min depending on lights and what not.  And not exhausted when I get there.  If you really don't mind it, stick with the mountain bike, but I'm sure the commute would be faster and easier on a cyclocross/road bike. I wasn't considering clipless pedals until a friend of mine recommended I try it out.   I tried it out, much easier and more efficient as well.  For me, although I get the added benefit of 20 miles on a bike per day, I don't consider the commute my workout and my fitness goals don't aim towards riding for fun.  For me it's a means of getting to work, so I want to do so in the quickest, and easiest manner so I can go about my day.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: TrMama on January 15, 2014, 11:05:38 AM
8 miles each way on a fancy pants road bike. I've done it a few times on my old mountain bike, but I strongly prefer the road bike. It takes 10 min longer each way on the mountain bike. For me the energy savings of the road bike means I'm not completely knackered from my commute by Friday.

At the very least, put some road slicks on the mountain bike.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Thegoblinchief on January 15, 2014, 11:13:40 AM
9 miles each way on weekends. I fit longer "fun" rides in during the week after kids have gone to sleep and the DW is home. Was doing it on a mountain bike but recently upgraded to a hybrid (Trek FX 7500 off craigslist for $250). Will ONLY ride the MTB in snow or bad trails from now on. After a single ride on the hybrid I was in love.

Second what everyone's saying about the energy level difference between MTB and a proper road bike.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: GuitarStv on January 15, 2014, 11:27:45 AM
Just over 10 miles each way . . . usually bike in to work twice each week.  When I switched from a mountain bike to a road bike it made a huge difference in comfort and speed of the trip.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Paul der Krake on January 15, 2014, 11:38:25 AM
4 miles, city streets with speed limits < 35 mph, old road bike. In the hot humid summer months I wish it were a tad shorter but whatevs, it beats the car with no AC.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Eric on January 15, 2014, 11:42:48 AM
7.5 miles each way on city streets, 5 days a week.  I ride an old mountain bike w/ skinnier tires.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Cinder on January 15, 2014, 11:49:53 AM
Used to be 8 miles each way due to construction, but that finished and now I have proper shoulders on the main route.  5.5 miles each way now.  I may start going back to my 'old' route for my ride home to get a bit more of a workout in. 
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: HayMaker on January 15, 2014, 01:44:38 PM
My mountain bike is a Gary Fisher hardtail and works well on the occasional dirt trail or trail to street transitions, but I think I'll start at least with TrMama's suggestion to get road tires instead of the knobbies on there now.  That's got to be worth a mile or two an hour.  I'll also check Craigslist for a decent hybrid at a cheap price.  Saving 160 miles of driving a week will more than pay for the new tires or bike in either case.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Motovated on January 15, 2014, 01:51:09 PM
I did 16 miles each way 3 times per week throughout the summer and fall on a hardtail mountain bike. Switching the tires to road tires makes a huge difference over knobbies.

I've recently acquired a cross bike, so I'm sure that will speed things up once I get back at it.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: jnik on January 16, 2014, 08:38:30 AM
2 miles direct. I tend to start my ride to work by pointing away from work and get in maybe ten miles.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: EngGirl on January 16, 2014, 01:41:38 PM
10 miles each way. I ride on a hand-me-down (free) heavy ass mountain bike - Canadian Tire special edition. I want to get a new bike when I shake my student debt. I'm sure I will feel like I'm flying. 10 more months!
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: enigmaT120 on January 16, 2014, 04:15:56 PM
9 miles each way most of the year, when my commute is dark both ways.  I extend it in better weather and daylight, sometimes, on the way home.  That just gets me to the bus depot.  I started out on a free mountain bike (but a Rocky Mountain!) and in 10 months saved enough in gas to buy a new Salsa Fargo, a touring mountain bike.  For commuting I have slicks on the Fargo.

Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: darkadams00 on February 11, 2014, 07:56:55 PM
Work is 9 miles from the house, but since I head out to work in the early morning, traffic is much lighter than in the evening. To keep the ride times and effort approximately equal, I added a 2.25-mile loop to the beginning of the morning ride in the warmer months. In Jan/Feb, I just do the 9-mile morning route since I don't find dark, colder rides quite as fun and entertaining. Everyone in the office still thinks I'm the most hardcore person they've met because I'm consistently the only one riding my bike between Dec 1-Mar 1.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: windawake on February 11, 2014, 08:15:33 PM
My work is about 4.5 miles away. I haven't been doing it for the last two months, really hoping our roads get a little less icy/scary here in the next couple weeks. I've been taking the bus instead which is fine since it's an express bus and takes exactly 20 minutes door-to-door. But man, I miss my bike!
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Weedy Acres on February 11, 2014, 08:23:44 PM
Two miles.  And the roads have been so crappy (snow/ice) and temps so cold (a ride in the teens F about gave me frostbite) I have only managed to ride two days in the past month.  I've got my eye on Thursday to be back in the saddle.

Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Weedy Acres on February 11, 2014, 08:24:39 PM
I rode a mountain bike in a triathlon once.  Finished dead last.  :-)
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Dicey on February 12, 2014, 12:37:25 AM
I have to say, as a lifelong Californian, my hat's off to those of you who bike to work in snow and icy conditions every day. Amazing!

I'm retired, but I walk to work with DH at 5:45 every morning. Three and a half blocks. Not very bike friendly cause it's a fairly steep hill with no time for warm up or distance for momentum. Love the quiet time together while the world is still asleep.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: davisgang90 on February 12, 2014, 06:05:21 AM
My ride is 10 miles each way.  I'm not riding at the moment, I ride when the temp is above freezing (wimp).
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: etselec on February 12, 2014, 06:39:32 AM
My ride is 4.7 miles each way. I've got an old, heavy road bike which does just fine.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Nancy on February 12, 2014, 08:07:57 AM
4.5 miles to work and 4 miles home. I ride in the street bike lanes on my hybrid bike. I have a friend that rides a mountain bike year round, and it doesn't seem to bother him. It's all what you are used to. I have a feeling that if I tried a lighter bike, my current bike (that fits me perfectly and brings me joy) would seem intolerably heavy.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Shor on February 12, 2014, 08:16:05 AM
14 miles each way to work, 3-5 days per week depending on badassity. Cheap hybrid bike, so pretty heavy comparatively.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: PindyStache on February 12, 2014, 09:05:11 AM
My commute is 10 miles each way, 4-5 days/week on a mix of 30-40mph streets, bike trails, and multi-use paths. I ride a hybrid Trek all seasons of the year, swapping tires around depending on conditions. When I started it took me 55 minutes each way, but now in summer/no weather that's down to more like 35 minutes.

OP's plan to start by swapping tires sounds like a good one to me, and has been recommended by others in several similar threads too. Maybe start browsing CL regularly for a good deal on a used hybrid or road bike, or at least get a sense of pricing so you can directly compare saving a few minutes per day with a new-to-you bike.

Happy riding!
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Rienk on February 13, 2014, 01:58:20 AM
0.5 miles! Bike trails with no less than three traffic lights on the way.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Travis on February 13, 2014, 02:01:54 AM
5 miles each way on a Trek trail bike through low-traffic city streets. With stop signs, lights, and an access gate it takes me 30 minutes. I ride two days a week.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: mikecorayer on February 13, 2014, 03:59:29 AM
Wow, some inspiring badassity here.  Some co-workers think my measly 3.25 mile (each way, 5 days/week) commute in the winter is crazy, imagine if they heard of the 9 or 10 miles so many of you are doing!
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: CanuckExpat on February 13, 2014, 03:46:02 PM
I've been enjoying my 2.5 mile each way bike ride, and have had hesitation about possible moves that might make it longer. Hearing from you all has given me some inspiration. For the people doing 9 and 10 miles each way, how long does that usually take you, and is it flat or with hills?

My biggest worry is that I'm not so good at getting up on time, and with a longer commute I might be tempted to drive on days that I slept in

Edited to fix typo
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: mjb on February 14, 2014, 12:25:52 PM
About 4 miles each way. Chicago city streets, so lots of snow/pothole/bad driver dodging. This time last year, it was 9 miles each way.

My main bike is a Bianchi San Jose, setup as fixed gear. I love it.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: GuitarStv on February 14, 2014, 01:18:27 PM
I've been enjoying my 2.5 mile each way bike ride, and have had hesitation about possible moves that might make it longer. Hearing from you all has given me some inspiration. For the people doing 9 and 10 miles each way, how long does that usually take you, and is it flat or with hills?

My biggest worry is that I'm not so good at getting up on time, and with a longer commute I might be tended to drive on days that I slept in

I've done the moderately hilly 10 mile commute in 42 minutes when the planets (and more importantly traffic lights) all aligned with the weather gods and provided me a nice tailwind.  During the winter in the snow and wind and dark it averages closer to 50.  With a 60kph headwind one day it was 57 minutes.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: The_Dude on February 14, 2014, 01:39:32 PM
My commute would be 17 miles each way.  I've done this a few times in the past.  Recently in an effort to get back into shape I've been driving part way and riding in 9.5 miles each way.  The 9.5 miles cuts out most of the street route too.

This is week three of trying to consistently do the drive and bike hybrid.  The 9.5 mile ride has no big hills but is generally uphill so I average 13-14mph on the way to work and on the way home I'm 15.5-16.5mph average.  That is riding a trek 7100 hybrid.

So far riding a bicycle is more expensive for me than riding my motorcycle and is really about getting in some exercise.  Motorcycle commute is 25-30 minutes, 32 miles at 43 mpg.  Drive & bike is 1.5 hours, 14 miles of driving at 13.7 mpg.

I've thought about doing an electric conversion to try and make the 17 mile commute by bike and be able to do it in 1 hour.  However, the price of a quality kit is enough gas to get to work for 2 years on my motorcycle.

I'm hoping to keep doing the drive and bike 3-5 days a week for two full months and then evaluate.  Oh, and no showers are work!!!  That part really stinks...
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: PindyStache on February 14, 2014, 02:38:19 PM
My commute would be 17 miles each way.  I've done this a few times in the past.  Recently in an effort to get back into shape I've been driving part way and riding in 9.5 miles each way.  The 9.5 miles cuts out most of the street route too.

This is week three of trying to consistently do the drive and bike hybrid.  The 9.5 mile ride has no big hills but is generally uphill so I average 13-14mph on the way to work and on the way home I'm 15.5-16.5mph average.  That is riding a trek 7100 hybrid.

So far riding a bicycle is more expensive for me than riding my motorcycle and is really about getting in some exercise.  Motorcycle commute is 25-30 minutes, 32 miles at 43 mpg.  Drive & bike is 1.5 hours, 14 miles of driving at 13.7 mpg.

I've thought about doing an electric conversion to try and make the 17 mile commute by bike and be able to do it in 1 hour.  However, the price of a quality kit is enough gas to get to work for 2 years on my motorcycle.

I'm hoping to keep doing the drive and bike 3-5 days a week for two full months and then evaluate.  Oh, and no showers are work!!!  That part really stinks...

Seems the solution would be to mount your bicycle to your motorcycle and do the hybrid commute that way! :)
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: yyc-phil on February 14, 2014, 02:54:11 PM
My commute is only 2 miles each way, which sounds like a breeze, except that here, our average temperature in winter is in the -30s. I am in very good physical shape but some days, when the winds is blowing, I have to stop halfway, not because of the cold, but to breathe. Breathing is the hardest part. Without a proper face mask, it is easy to hyperventilate and reach exhaustion in 4-5 minutes of biking.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: HayMaker on February 15, 2014, 09:29:59 AM
I swapped out the knobbies for some street slicks and really like the improvement.  Just the difference in rolling resistance is getting me another few mph.  I did a 25 mile round trip test run which is moderately hilly and cut a good chunk of time off my previous average.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: jeromedawg on May 01, 2015, 11:05:57 AM
Sorry for resurrecting this old thread. Just stumbled across it and figured I'd add my details:

4-4.5 miles or so each way (about half of it is streets and the other have is a nice off-street trail that was newly opened). Takes anywhere from 20-30mins to get into work depending on cross-walks/lights/traffic. In my area, sidewalk riding is permitted unless noted on signs, so I take advantage of that around the business park area as riding in the street feels super-sketchy. I got showed up bad by a dude on what appeared to be a mtn bike (at least, the tires were mtn bike tires from what I could tell). He got ahead of my be several hundred yards in a matter of seconds on a downhill... although he was riding the street and I was cautiously taking the sidewalk haha. And this is on a Trek 7700fx! When I was a lot more in shape way back when, I was *almost* able to keep up with a guy going pretty fast on a road bike.

Then for whatever reason, today I decided to try the "back way" into work which involves a rocky dirt road that cuts behind some business parks and parallels train tracks and gets to the barren end of the business park where there's a cul-de-sac and usually trampled fence or open/unlocked gates. As it would have, all gates were fixed AND locked, so I ended up lifting the bike over, tossing my bag over, and hopping the fence.... then realizing I dropped my sunglasses on the other side before all this. So one more hop of the fence. And I got a couple nasty scratches/cuts on my forearms from the barbs at the top too. Needless to say, it wasn't a very good "shortcut" so I'll never be doing that again (at least, until they actually open it up haha).
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: dragoncar on May 01, 2015, 05:54:17 PM
5 miles to the commuter train, a bit hillier than I'd like but not crazy.  I very unmustachianly pay 4 cents/hour to store it in a locker when one is available.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: jorjor on May 01, 2015, 06:10:38 PM
4 miles each way. About 3 miles is on a bike path and the rest on a bike lane. A couple stoplights and 4 or 5 stop signs. It takes around 15-17 minutes most days.

We're looking at houses now, and we are looking closer to my wife's office. It would ideally be close enough that she would start biking to work too, and I would hopefully be within 8 miles each way.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Jeremy E. on May 01, 2015, 06:23:39 PM
17 miles each way, but I only ride my bike about once per week, I'm thinking about upgrading to an Ebike, in hopes I would start riding to work more, but I'm worried i would buy it, ride to work the same amount and get less of a workout from it, while spending more money.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Maya on May 01, 2015, 07:11:37 PM
I'm looking into how to bike to work. It's 30 k, 18.75 miles each way. I think it's possible, but I'm worried about the time and exhaustion factor. Tomorrow I'm buying a bike rack 2nd hand so I'm planning to drive in 10 k and the join up with nice bike path that will take me downtown. That'll be 20 k, or 12.5 miles. Also makes it a little less complicated to pick the kids up from daycare if I have the car. If not it would mean getting DH to drop the trailer off at daycare in the morning. Not sure I'm that hard core yet. Maybe by the end of summer.

Every day I bike in will save me approximately $5. Guess it's my latte factor.  I just need to do a test ride to see how long it will take me to get there and figure out the best place to park. Wish me luck.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: FunkyStickman on May 01, 2015, 09:55:59 PM
9 miles each way for me, through rural areas (not the city). It's flat.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Wings5 on May 01, 2015, 11:42:13 PM
Mine is 15-17 miles each way. It's through north Dallas, so I choose routes in search of lighter traffic flows. Thankfully we have locker rooms and full-up showers, but it took my coworkers about 3 months to realize I had been biking to work since I got there before anyone and hid my helmet at my desk. The toughest part, even being in very good shape, is riding hard (I have to get there by 5 am to shower and get to the desk on time), resting for 8 hours while I work, then riding home in mid-afternoon traffic. It's a pretty good muscle beatdown, almost like two-a-days. 
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: tofuchampion on May 02, 2015, 04:19:03 AM
4.25 miles there, 4.5 miles back. My route is mostly roads, half of which have bike lanes, and a short section on a multi-use trail. It takes me about 20-25 minutes on average.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: darkadams00 on May 02, 2015, 09:11:41 PM
9 miles each way with additional miles thrown in as I have time and inclination (usually aligns with Fridays). I ride a Cross Check 90% of the time as my Suburban Attack Vehicle, but I just bought an older Bianchi Volpe to use as my rain bike.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: The Pigeon on May 03, 2015, 09:22:48 PM
4.5 miles one way, all flat. I ride a nice steel fixed gear road bike. Super good training for road biking and hill climbing! Once in a while I'll ride my geared carbon road bike, but usually do the fixed.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: alsoknownasDean on May 04, 2015, 07:52:30 AM
7.3km, which I think is about 4.5 miles. Fairly flat, takes me about half an hour or so on a hybrid bike.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: acroy on May 04, 2015, 09:01:59 AM
15mi r/t across a suburb.
good luck!
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: anks on May 04, 2015, 09:23:15 AM
9 miles each way on bike paths, no hills. Dad owns a bike shop so I get free bikes to test out. Looking forward to testing out an e-bike this summer! Currently riding a touring bike and I love it!
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: Marus on May 05, 2015, 11:37:02 AM
2.5 miles each way on a trek hybrid.  Most of it is on bike paths so it's a pretty relaxing ride.  If I'm in the mood I can do it in 10 minutes but usually I'd rather just coast and enjoy the scenery.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: h2ogal on May 05, 2015, 04:56:26 PM
I only bike occasionally but when I do I LOVE IT.  The commute is 7 miles of gorgeous lakeside scenery.  1 Scary Hill (2 miles downhill on the way to work is the scary part, curvy twisty steep with tons of AM commuters whizzing by at 60mph).    The rest of the way is bike paths or side roads.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: GuitarStv on May 05, 2015, 05:03:08 PM
I only bike occasionally but when I do I LOVE IT.  The commute is 7 miles of gorgeous lakeside scenery.  1 fun part (2 miles downhill on the way to work is the fun part, curvy twisty steep with tons of AM commuters whizzing by at 60mph).    The rest of the way is bike paths or side roads.

Fixed that for you.  :P
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: pdxvandal on May 05, 2015, 05:04:31 PM
5-6 miles each way.
Title: Re: How far is your daily bike commute?
Post by: curlyfry on May 05, 2015, 09:26:34 PM
900m! 

 It's a 10 minute walk, but one day I tried biking (4-5 min) & haven't walked since!

It's also partially downhill on the way home (weeeeeeeeee!!)