Author Topic: Biking distances  (Read 4442 times)

Britan

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Biking distances
« on: December 10, 2014, 01:00:19 PM »
I'm spending the next month or so with my parents on the other side of the country. Fortunately (sort of?) my company has an office out there. Unfortunately, it's a long biking distance even to public transit to take me the rest of the way and traffic is a beast. I'd only have to do this for 4 days until I'm on vacation. I have an old bike there, but it's 26 miles (Google estimated 35m driving, 2h biking) to the public transit (and another 30 minutes from there). I'm ... fairly active but I've never tried to bike much of anywhere so I don't really have a frame of reference. Doable? Or no? Other factors:

- the trip itself is through pretty nice areas (both safety and view wise).
- gas prices are like woah and the only car I'd have access to is my moms very un-mustachian 2008 BMW 5 series that "only takes premium gas"
- car parking at public transit is $2.50/day which isn't as bad as expected
- bike parking is free
- weather is expected to be downright nice! (It's CA)
- [Edit] Parents estimate the actual drive at 45-50 mins in traffic on the rare BEST of days

And in general: for those of you that bike commute, how far do you go? How long does it take? I'd be interested to see what the "norm" (for mustachians) is.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 01:18:48 PM by Britan »

dandarc

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2014, 01:06:56 PM »
I'd just drive it - if you don't bike much going straight to a 50 mile round trip could really hurt.  Maybe if it is totally flat, it might be OK biking, but hills are another thing to consider.  It is only 4 days - won't cost too much to drive, even with the parking.

Britan

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2014, 01:13:10 PM »
I'd just drive it - if you don't bike much going straight to a 50 mile round trip could really hurt.  Maybe if it is totally flat, it might be OK biking, but hills are another thing to consider.  It is only 4 days - won't cost too much to drive, even with the parking.

Good point! I'd say it's 90% flat and the hills are fairly mild. Still, 26 miles...

FreeWheel

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 01:27:10 PM »
Even if you are strong enough to make it, are you willing to spend likely close to two hours (each way!) on the bike?

Another option is to only do it once or twice a week. Or find a nice midpoint place to park your car and bike from there, allowing for a shorter ride.

My commute is 12 miles (each way) and it takes about 45-50 minutes ride time. 

Britan

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2014, 01:37:01 PM »
Even if you are strong enough to make it, are you willing to spend likely close to two hours (each way!) on the bike?

Another option is to only do it once or twice a week. Or find a nice midpoint place to park your car and bike from there, allowing for a shorter ride.

My commute is 12 miles (each way) and it takes about 45-50 minutes ride time.

Fortunately I only really have to go in for 4 days next week. Long term definitely not something I'd do at this distance.

I like the midpoint idea though. And I have a friend who lives on the way. Heck, if my parents will let me swing it without guilt, I could possibly stay there for those 4 days. I'll still be around for another 3 weeks that I can stay with the parentals.

PowerMustache

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2014, 02:12:08 PM »
And in general: for those of you that bike commute, how far do you go? How long does it take? I'd be interested to see what the "norm" (for mustachians) is.

I have a 19 mile bike commute each way with the option of doing most of the way by bus. By bike, it takes 90 - 100 minutes and by bus it is more like 60 minutes. I am in excellent general physical condition, though I'm probably not in top bike-specific condition yet -- I just got into biking more seriously for this commute over the last 6 months. There are a few big hills which slow me down and make it more physically taxing than it would be flat. Currently, I average 5 out of 10 one way trips per week on the bike and the rest of the trips I do 50-75% on the bus, mostly eliminating the hills. I think my body COULD handle biking all the way every day, but it would be a serious physical test and the time required would force me to reprioritize the rest of my life. One of my goals is to bike all the way every day for a whole week just to see how it feels.

For your situation, it sounds like 50 miles per day for 4 days would be an extreme change and a major physical test. In my opinion it would go beyond normal mustachian dedication into the realm of physical sufferfest. I would look for another compromise, like those suggested by FreeWheel.

sheepstache

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2014, 02:45:14 PM »
Man, I applaud you if you wanna go for it just to know that you did it. It sounds like you don't need to make back-up arrangements because the back-up would be your mom's car. So why not try it the first day?

Personally, when I was commuting roundtrip 6-8 miles a day, I could go out and do a 50-mile bike ride for fun on the weekend. 25 miles out, stop an hour to have lunch at a diner, 25 miles back. But that was, like, my thing that I did that day, I wouldn't have wanted to work a full day on top of it. When I moved closer to work and walked instead of biking, I tried to go on a touring trip and quit after the first 40 miles. So to me, your lack of base mileage is what dooms the plan. But I'm not naturally athletic and you may be.

GreenPen

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2014, 02:54:04 PM »
Will you need to purchase anything else to do the commute (e.g., spare tire, tire levers, portable pump, rear and front bike lights, helmet)?

It's also important to know how to change a flat tire before you do the commute.

For what it's worth, Google tends to overestimate my biking time when I am on trails and doing a workout ride. But it underestimates my biking time when I am biking through the city without really pushing myself. Depending on how many lights you hit, it might take you more than 2 hours to do this commute.


GuitarStv

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2014, 06:48:48 AM »
My commute is 11 miles each way, and I only do it 2-3 times a week.  I think that jumping right to a 50 mile commute would be quite challenging . . . it would be worth doing several weeks of gradually increasing bike rides to build up some stamina before you commit yourself.  Maybe bike in and get a ride home one day, then get a ride in and bike home the next day for a while too to ease into the distance.  You want to be sure to have proper gear for a long ride like that too.  Being a little chilly on a 3 mile ride translates into having frostbite and chills on a 26 mile ride.  I assume you've got some comfy bike shorts, know how to change a flat, and have bike lights already.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2014, 06:51:34 AM »
My husband is quite fit and he considers a bike ride of 30 miles or so to be a hard day's work--something to make a day of.

enigmaT120

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2014, 11:49:31 AM »
My husband is quite fit and he considers a bike ride of 30 miles or so to be a hard day's work--something to make a day of.

Bike tourists seem to go 60 miles per day.  30 is a good workout and I rarely ride farther than that, but it doesn't take all day unless you are wrapping it around an 8 hour work day.


TrMama

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 12:47:31 PM »
Option C: Take 4 more vacation days

I regularly bike 8 mi each way to work. I ride a fancy pants road bike (aka scary fast) and am in good shape. On the few occasions my bike has broken down I have run the rest of the way.

I think your plan is nuts.

pete5306

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2014, 12:52:32 PM »
I have a 12 mile commute each way up in Minnesota.  It is slightly hilly for once section but not too bad.  I can do it everyday in the summer, but when I switch to my fatbike in the winter I have a tough time doing 4 days. 

Totes agree with the halfway approach.  26 each way is way too much, but if you can handle that and get some work done your are super powered.  Try it on the weekend to see how it feels, sounds like it would be an enjoyable ride. 

PS-I am jealous of your weather.

DeepEllumStache

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 12:59:42 PM »
52 miles is a long bike ride.  It's an even longer bike ride if you haven't been riding any kind of distance.  Doing it multiple days in a row without training will make it feel even longer.  You will be sore and not just in your legs.  Let's just say you will not be thinking pleasant thoughts about your bike saddle on day 2.

The midpoint idea is probably much more reasonable.  Practice riding the distance on the weekend to see if it's reasonable.  Flat tires are also a concern, so make sure you have plans in case that happens.

FLBiker

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2014, 01:01:24 PM »
I bike just 5 miles (each way) to work.  My 5 mile ride takes about 30 minutes (with traffic lights).  If I were you, I might try it one day but plan on driving in general.  Maybe try riding it on a day you don't have to work?

I echo what others folks have said about the distance being doable but time-consuming.  To do 50 miles around a full work day sounds tough. 

darkadams00

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Re: Biking distances
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2014, 09:32:37 PM »
I have an old bike there, but it's 26 miles...

Enough said. If it's a bike you refer to as old, it's probably not a good candidate for a good long commute like this. A grinding slog that tests your endurance is more likely. My Suburban Attack Vehicle is a great bike that I have taken for 50+ miles several times---not 4 days in a row, and I was plenty tired afterwards. I ride a few thousand miles annually and commute 18 miles RT daily unless I need to do the bike/bus hybrid. I wouldn't consider this for consecutive days (seems like work, not fun) and I wouldn't consider it on a bike I hadn't been riding regularly.