Author Topic: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!  (Read 7297 times)

Mike Key

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Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« on: February 29, 2012, 01:49:02 PM »
Thought I would start a new thread to share. Anyone who saw my other thread about biking my way to health and wealth knows that I sold my car. First off because I wanted to get hard core on my fitness and secondly to free up income.

I saw some post where MMM is describes how he pedals 40 miles or some badassity awesome distance without even realizing it. And I was feeling like a chump until yesterday.

Furthest Distance achieved: 21.2 miles from my home near the inter-coastal to Downtown St. Petersburg, FL. And it proved a point to myself. I really can get around town and bike on my bike. Thought I'd share a picture from RunKeeper.com. This is the app I've been using to monitor my biking.




Working at home, right now my biking is primarily fitness related, but my wife will be getting a bike this month, and after we found her a bike, we're getting a bike trailer to start getting our groceries in.

How to share, if you recently ditched your car or even if it's been a few months, and you're now covering distance you didn't think you could, share your experience. Tell us how far you rode!
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zinnie

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 03:19:45 PM »
Good job on the 20 miles! Isn't it amazing how much ground you can cover on a bike? It's my favorite way to explore where I live now--you notice things you never do in a car and you can still go [almost] as far. I usually only do the long routes for fitness/ fun b/c work is too far and everything else is within walking distance. (Props to you for selling your car! I'm tempted to try to ride my bike to work once a week but it's literally 2 hours each way on a bike so I'm a bit timid). Here are some of my favorite routes:

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Bayshore-Bikeway (30 miles including round trip from my house to the beginning of the path)
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Balboa-Park-to-Cabrillo-Monument (34 miles round trip)

I think the longest we've ever done was 41 miles, and that hurt a bit.
 

Bakari

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2012, 04:00:55 PM »
I believe distance -  for anyone - is only a factor of how much time you have.

I discovered this in high school when one weekend - on my slow commute focused bike - I quiet accidentally rode my first century (100+ miles in one day) as I was exploring the country roads outside my home town.  I wasn't intending too, I just happened to look at my bike computer and see it said something like 54 miles, so I figured that was far enough for the day and turned around, so the round trip was 108.
It was easy.  It is exactly like riding 10 miles, it just takes longer (assuming there aren't major hills involved).

The furthest I went in any one trip was about 2500 miles, from SF to Mexico city via the coast.  Took 2 months.  Toward the end I averaged about 100 miles per day.  Then I came back and became a bike messenger and averaged about 35 (high speed miles) per day.
And mind you, I was just a weak skinny little kid back then.  I was absolutely not (and never have been) bike racer material.  I'm not an endurance athlete.  The most I have ever run is 7 miles for the Bay to Breakers, and that takes everything I have.

But on a bike, you can always slow down, you can coast, its easy.  The only barrier to long rides is psychological.  If you don't keep track of how far something is (within reason - i.e. 100 miles or less) you can bike there.

Most recently I had a job at a bike shop that was about 10 miles away.  I used to skate there, because it was more fun that way.
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Bakari

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2012, 04:03:18 PM »
! I'm tempted to try to ride my bike to work once a week but it's literally 2 hours each way on a bike

My girlfriend just arranged with a friend of hers to keep her car parked at his house during the week, so that she can bike from home to her car, then drive the rest of the way to work.  If there happens to be anywhere along the way you can do something like that, you could turn it into a more reasonable 1 hour each way, if there are no public transit options in your area.
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Mike Key

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2012, 04:14:20 PM »
It's my favorite way to explore where I live now--you notice things you never do in a car ...

No kidding, I just had that experience yesterday. I've been downtown a few times, but this time I saw a side of the city I've never seen. There is an amazing amount of old wall murals and art work painted on the sides of warehouses and buildings from the 1950's that I had never noticed in a car.

I believe distance -  for anyone - is only a factor of how much time you have.

I do believe you are correct. And maybe factor in how fast you want to pedal/fitness level.

I was think about how much and how far I rode my bike around as a kid, spending all day on a bike. I'm sure I did a 100 miles in a day easily without thinking about it.
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zinnie

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 07:34:00 PM »
! I'm tempted to try to ride my bike to work once a week but it's literally 2 hours each way on a bike

My girlfriend just arranged with a friend of hers to keep her car parked at his house during the week, so that she can bike from home to her car, then drive the rest of the way to work.  If there happens to be anywhere along the way you can do something like that, you could turn it into a more reasonable 1 hour each way, if there are no public transit options in your area.

This is a good idea, thanks! Public transportation wont get me in the right direction without transferring multiple times. I was also thinking of doing something like driving to work with my bike, then riding home and back the next morning. At least it would break the trip up into two days...

larsenju

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 08:55:00 PM »
I do not have a bike (yet), but I am walking everywhere I go within a mile of my house including work.  I am fortunate that almost everything I need to get by is within a mile. 

I am trying to get a bike for free, I figure that with a bike I would not need to drive anywhere at all. 

sol

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2012, 09:27:07 PM »
I bike to work about half the time, 3 miles round trip.  The other half, I just walk.

I bike to groceries and Target when necessary, 4.5 miles round trip.  There are closer groceries, but it's 4.5 miles RT to find good cheap produce.

Once a month I bike to a meeting across town, 12 miles round trip.

Before I got married, I would bike to my wife's old house regularly, 14 miles round trip.

There are advantages to living in the city.

masont

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #8 on: February 29, 2012, 10:14:20 PM »
My commute is a shade over 20 miles each way. 

Subtracting from the badassity is that I often can catch a lift from my wife the last 10 miles home, because she gets off work at a very convenient time (or is willing to wait for me kindly as I slog laong)

slugsworth

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 11:21:04 AM »
I primarily work from home, and I don't have to go far for groceries and so forth, so anything over 6 miles each way is usually for fun. . . but I have been pushing myself on what I can carry with my bike.  My most recent awkward load was bringing a pair of cross country skis I found at goodwill home on my bike - it was only 2.5miles, but I was still pretty proud to do it without a trailer.

zoltani

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 12:41:44 PM »
When I first got rid of my car in 2007 i had already been biking, but my longest distance was probably under 30 miles.  That changed when I started doing long weekend rides, then overnight camping trips.

Now it is not that uncommon for me to go out and ride 50-70 miles in a day for a camping trip on the weekend, so 100-140 miles total.   Last year the longest day in the saddle was about 74 miles unloaded.  The longest loaded ride was from seattle to mount rainier, 70 miles.  Good fun.   I could do more miles, but beyond 60 or 70 it just isn't as fun anymore for me. 

I agree with bakari, if you want to do long mileage you simply have to increase your saddle time, don't try to just up the pace of the ride.  Of course elevation change is a factor though...
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ShavenLlama

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2012, 04:11:53 PM »
It took me about 10 minutes longer than Google suggested, but I did my 1st ride into work today! Only about 5.5 miles, but I'm on a really luggy-tired mountain bike and not a fancy road bike. I tell myself that this is why I take so long.

Heading home, but I had to share!



Bakari

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2012, 04:32:20 PM »
You rock!  Thank you for sharing that with us
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zoltani

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2012, 04:56:41 PM »
It took me about 10 minutes longer than Google suggested, but I did my 1st ride into work today! Only about 5.5 miles, but I'm on a really luggy-tired mountain bike and not a fancy road bike. I tell myself that this is why I take so long.

Heading home, but I had to share!

Congrats! 

Remember - It doesn't get easier, you just go faster!
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

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masont

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2012, 05:06:02 PM »
It took me about 10 minutes longer than Google suggested, but I did my 1st ride into work today! Only about 5.5 miles, but I'm on a really luggy-tired mountain bike and not a fancy road bike. I tell myself that this is why I take so long.

Heading home, but I had to share!
Good job

And it is a ton harder riding a mountain bike on the road than a road bike.  You're telling yourself the truth. 

Gerard

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2012, 05:46:41 PM »
I've never had a car to ditch, so it's bike/bus/feet for me. Longest commute was 28 km each way, but usually I just biked to the closer campus of my school and took the (free) shuttle bus from there... the bike part was a beautiful 10km ride each way. Now I have a 2km commute, which I bike when the roads are clear and walk otherwise. I have students who drive, even though they live closer to school than I do, and they wonder why they feel like crap. Hmmmm.
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Dave

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 06:43:19 AM »
At the moment I go 5 miles each way and because of the rush hour traffic, it consistently takes me less time than driving. 20 minutes-ish on the bike, 25-30 minutes-ish in the car (so, I'm not even insured to drive to work any more)

I did used to have a longer ride of 17 miles each way. This was a little slower than driving - it would often take 1 hour, whereas driving took 45-50 minutes (although I did once bike it in 52 mins, that was as quick as it got).

Mike Key

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2012, 10:55:43 AM »
Well we just bought a bike for my wife, and she's agreed to come home early on Tuesday and Thursdays to ride together. We'll also ride together on Saturdays. I think after she gets up to pace like I did and see's how easy it is to ride 10 miles, she might be more willing to experiment with riding to work.

Right now her main fear is that the route to her work involves a few dangerous high traffic roads, so I need to solve that problem/fear by finding an alternative route if there is one.
With radical risk, comes radical rewards.

redeyedtreefr0g

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2012, 02:53:28 PM »
I currently bike most weekdays (I mean schooldays) 3 miles to work and home, twice a day. So that's 12 miles a day. Actually I let coworkers drive me more often than I like sometimes in bad weather.

Currently the wind is howling past the window at 17mph gusting to 32mph and will be a direct headwind on the way home for 2 parts of the zigzag route. I almost wimped out, but I got a ride this morning and was wishing I could have pedaled home in the sunshine (it snowed a dusting of pebbly, slick snow, but was mostly melted when I would have been pedaling home).

Rich M

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2012, 09:21:28 PM »
I haven't ditched a car, but my daily distance is 16 miles.

-Ricardo

Mike Key

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2012, 05:02:19 AM »
Awesome guys! Keep posting updates! And maybe you didn't ditch a car, we'll still have one car, but now we've made the habit of riding a bike to a lot of places we used to take a car. So if you're doing that, post up! =)
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old_man_m

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2012, 09:04:21 PM »
I haven't ditched my car, but I cycle to work 4-5 days per week. At 6 miles/one way trip, I get in 50-60 miles per week. Been at it since July 2008... at that time, I was only 2.5 miles from work, and I probably only drove a couple dozen times in two years. When I moved to my current residence at 6 iles, I chugged along on my mountain bike for a year, then finally gave in and bought a nice used road bike.

I do have to remind myself of the savings and health benefits on those 105-degree summer days in Central Texas!

Fu Manchu

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2012, 05:19:40 PM »
Just last month I started riding to work every day, 10 miles round trip. I was able to cancel my gym membership and T pass in one go, and save about 1.5 - 2 hours a day of free time (time in gym + longer commuting time via public trans). Also saving $130/month, which isn't too shabby. AND, I'm in even better shape than when I went to the gym. I think the consistency is good for me.

The biggest bonus for me is how fun it is! I look forward to my commute every day, it's one of my favorite parts. Riding around the city makes me feel like a kid again.

People at the office wonder how I eat so much all the time (healthy food, mind you), and don't gain any weight. The answer's always been lots of exercise, but now it's exercise without even thinking about it.

jwystup

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2012, 07:22:20 PM »
I haven't done any crazy amounts of miles in one go yet, but I'm in my second week of pretending to ditch my car. I'm planning on taking my car off the road (boyfriend's car is better anyways) for the summer, but we get some crazy lake effect snow around here (buffalo) and I can't imagine getting rid of the car completely. I still plan on exercising my badassity by riding in the rain (got some fenders and a nice biking rain shell), but I don't know if I can do the snow. We'll see, I'm going to try and keep my car off the road for as long as I can stand! I might attempt some bike snow tires, I'm just afraid of ice, or if we get 2 feet of snow overnight, etc.

Anyways, I made it through all of last week and today with just my bike! Work is M-F about 2.3mi each way. I even rode to the grocery store today and filled up the new pannier bags that I sewed for myself :) They aren't as good as a bike trailer, but they'll suffice for my bi-weekly trips, a lot of the bigger items come from BJ's once a month and for now that will require a car. Even better, they keep me from buying too much or getting anything on impulse since I know I might run out of space!

As far as big distances go, I promised my mom I'd do Ride for Roswell with her on the 30 mile route so I'm trying to work up to that, I just did an extra 5.5 mi ride in this gorgeous weather! I'm loving biking (especially over paying $4/gal for gas!) and it's only getting easier as I go farther and get better.

sol

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2012, 08:29:39 PM »
I haven't done any crazy amounts of miles in one go yet, but I'm in my second week of pretending to ditch my car. I'm planning on taking my car off the road (boyfriend's car is better anyways) for the summer,

I went through this same exercise when planning to sell my car.  I thought I'd just try to use it less before actually selling it, as sort of a trial run.  I tried this in the winter when it rains a ton, thinking that would be the hardest time of year to be carless so it would be a good test.

The problem was that it then sat totally unused for like five months, the tires got low on air, the battery died, and I lost an additional year of depreciation on it before selling.  I had to invest some time and money back into it (charging, filling, washing, waxing, detailing) before putting it on the market.  In retrospect, I should have just sold it as soon as I decided to go carless, rather than hanging onto it as a safety net. 


the fixer

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2012, 01:12:19 PM »
At my last job I had a 12.5 mile each way commute that I tried to bike to, but it was really hilly (worst was a 7% grade right at the end) and took me about 70 minutes each way. So I started experimenting with electric bikes. I built an ebike using a cheap $230 hybrid bike from Nashbar and a kit, total cost including rack, fenders, etc. was about $1100. The thing can climb any hill and has a ridiculous range (I've biked ~30 miles and still haven't run down the battery much more than half).

I don't have that job anymore but now I have no excuse not to bike, since I won't arrive sweaty. On Thursday I had lunch with an old friend that was a 21-mile round trip... no problem on the bike. On Friday I biked 23 miles round trip to an extremely difficult & rocky local hiking spot.

I also have a trailer for getting groceries; there's a hill climb on the way back from the store that I'm sure would be awful without the motor. I have to admit I did wimp out yesterday and drive to the grocery store because it was raining...

spot

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2018, 11:07:20 AM »
GPS says 7.9 miles to the office. I call it 8. :-) Round trip to work of a little less than 16 miles. Try to do it every day here in the Dallas metroplex. Used to race mountain bikes and did it for extra miles back in the day. MMM re-inspired me. Don't love it every day, especially when the rednecks in giant pickup trucks buzz me, but a lot of days the commute is pure joy. Pretty proud of the fact that now every couple of weeks or so when I have some extra time and space in my backpack I will also try to pick up all the recyclables on my route too. Makes me feel like I'm helping the planet and just makes my little part of the world look better.

moof

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2018, 01:59:50 PM »
7.5 miles each way to work.  I bike it >90% of the time.  Basically every day unless I need to haul something in that won't fit on the bike trailer.  I managed to haul a Weber kettle grill in for a company barbecue our group was hosting, it raised some eyebrows.


Just Joe

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2018, 09:37:02 AM »
It took me about 10 minutes longer than Google suggested, but I did my 1st ride into work today! Only about 5.5 miles, but I'm on a really luggy-tired mountain bike and not a fancy road bike. I tell myself that this is why I take so long.

Heading home, but I had to share!
Good job

And it is a ton harder riding a mountain bike on the road than a road bike.  You're telling yourself the truth.

Definitely! Changed my old mtn bike into a commuter bike. Smooth tires. Everything else the same. Noticeable difference in speed and pedal effort. Get a second set of wheels and you too can switch back and forth between on and off road in minutes. Cheaper than owning multiple bikes. That said my "commuter" bike gained commuter accessories so that I really need to buy a mtn bike again if I want to go off road these days.

I'm riding 14 hilly roundtrip miles to work. Added an ebike kit to my bike. Total range is something north of 30 miles around here, more if I was somewhere flat. I run it on very low pedal boost most of the time. It turns a bike into a tool here. Before this I'd arrive at work so sweaty I'd need a shower or so tired I wanted a big rest.

Still not selling cars though. Planning to sell one soon though. We have too many.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 10:03:00 AM by Just Joe »

Slee_stack

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2018, 10:45:41 AM »
I rode 4 mi in town last night to get $.60 Chicken Wings and $6 pitchers of beer.


Hmm.  Maybe not something to really brag about...

It was a nice ride though.

Just Joe

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2018, 12:37:19 PM »
Sounds like fun to me!

MrMath

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2018, 05:35:13 PM »
I am going to ditch my car in the next week and only ride my bike. Mostly to push myself mentally and save money. Also, I am fortunate enough to chaperone a school trip to Costa Rica this summer(expenses paid) and I'm planning on bringing the bike and biking home. I've committed to only biking this school year to work and have been successful with one exception: when I was getting over the flu. I've been much happier and feel great physically! I'm trying to spread my passion for biking to other teachers, and now I pick up a coworker "on the way", though really a few miles out of the way, once a week to encourage him to bike with me. Great job everyone.

Just Joe

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2018, 07:11:07 AM »
Rode my ebike to work twice this week (cold still here, and that's relative I understand). Yesterday just for fun I rode it 14 miles at lunch too up a very steep mtn road.

This morn I rushed to work 7 mi in about 25 minutes to meet a coworker who didn't show. Lots of hills. About twice as fast as Google maps predicts.

It was worth it. Still need alot of pedaling to put my inner sloth away for the season. Pretty good for a middle aged fat guy.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 07:19:48 AM by Just Joe »

twistedfirestarter

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Re: Ditched the car? Share Your Biking Distances!
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2018, 09:13:05 AM »
Not ditched car but cycled into work today, 14 miles each way, struggled a bit on the way home. Need more practice.