Author Topic: How far do you bike?  (Read 5694 times)


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How far do you bike?
« on: July 07, 2012, 09:42:22 PM »
I apologize if this has already been covered elsewhere (I did a search and didn't have anything jump out at me), but I was wondering:

How far do you bike?

Since I got my promotion to a location kind of close to home (as opposed to the one that was floated my way which was 27 miles away, on the other side of Portland), I am once again considering the whole "biking to work" thing.  It is (according to Google Maps) 9 miles away, and the route looks relatively safe.  I would, of course, feel pretty bad ass biking 18 miles a day, so I was just wondering what distances some others around here commuted on their bikes?


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 11:18:28 PM »
Normally do 20 km a day.

But currently only 10 km a day as we're in a temporary office while our new one is being built.


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 11:42:35 PM »
My [main] job is about 8 miles from my house, so that's how far I bike when I do ride in to work.


  • Bristles
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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 07:14:05 AM »
I've always worked from home so have never had to bike to work. But I used to bike 17 miles to swim practice 3x per week before the team disbanded. I'm considering starting to bike to my Tae Kwon Do classes, which would be 15 miles one way. The whole biking --> TKD workout --> biking is a little daunting, though.


  • Bristles
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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 07:40:11 AM »
For about fifteen years, I biked ten miles each way, twenty miles round trip, year round.  I now live about a mile and a half from my office, and I miss that daily bike ride.  How well you can do this depends on the right stuff for your particular weather. I live in Pennsylvania, where we have snow and cold a few months of the year, and unpredictable rain at other times. I find invaluable a good rain coat, good winter boots and gloves, and a studded front tire, (directions exist on line for making your own.)  And a reliable light system.  With this, I can get through  all kinds of winter and wet weather and enjoy the ride as much as ever, because after the first five minutes, your movement keeps you warm.  I always find biking a very fine way to travel, even when it's wet and I think car drivers must be saying "Look at that poor lunatic," I am having a fine time of it.  I hope the same is for you. 


  • Bristles
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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 09:02:42 AM »
A little over 2 miles each way.


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 09:55:44 AM »
Currently less than a mile each way, which is fantastic. When I move to Lexington in August it'll be a little under 10 miles each way, which I'm actually looking forward to.


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 03:13:51 PM »
I work from home now, so the biking is mostly mountain biking with the dogs, or trips to store &c.  However, in the past I did a 16 mile each way commute for a couple of years.  This wasn't every day, just during decent weather, so probably averaged 2-3 days/week over a year.  Also did a 5-6 mile one about 4 days/week for a couple of years, and various similar/shorter length ones at different times.

I'd say your 9 miles each way (on fairly level ground) puts you in good shape, but isn't quite enough for badassness, which (in my purely subjective opinion) starts at 10 miles.

Of course now you need to get a bike computer (if you don't already have one), and work on shaving seconds off the trip.  IIRC I got my 16-miler down to 53 minutes inbound, but about 1:10 going home (because there was a slight climb, and prevailing wind against me that way.)


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 03:47:54 PM »
When I still worked at the bike shop (5 years, up until two years ago) my commute was about 9 miles if I took the direct (and very hilly) route or 11 miles if I went down below the lake. (each way)
More often than not I would take the long easy route, but I would travel by in-line skates.

If I was running late I'd use my racing bike and take the direct hilly route (1/2 the time)
If the weather was bad, or I was extra lazy, I'd ride to the commuter train (2 miles) and take the train to work (the bikeshop was inside the train station)

I loved that job, but I miss the 22 mile skate most of all.


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 08:22:37 AM »
Currently, 6.5 miles one way.  Due to various office moves, I've also had commutes of 9, 5, and 3.5 miles.

But a key factor is also how often you commute by bike.  While I was able to do that 9 mile commute fairly regularly (probably averaging 2-3 times a week throughout the year), I definitely did the 3.5 mile commute more frequently.  And I'm pretty sure that's the case with most people: as one-way mileage goes up, frequency goes down.

So perhaps total yearly commuting mileage is the most informative number.  I linked to this thread at BikeForums before, but now I actually threw the data in a spreadsheet to calculate some numbers.  From that group of 130 members of a bike-commuting forum who cared enough about their bike-commuting mileage to track it an post it on the Internet in 2011, we get:

Average total mileage: 1967
Median total mileage: 1283

If we assume full-year commuting (5 days a week for 48 weeks (52 - 4 weeks vacation/holidays)), the average one-way commute is 4.1 miles, and the mean is 2.7 miles.

If we pick a "minimal frequency" (perfect weather only?) extreme (2 days a week for 30 weeks), the average is 16.4 miles, and the mean is 10.7.

Said another way, if you ride to work every single day, you're more badass than half of all bike commuters if your one-way commute is more than 2.7 miles.  Or, if your one-way commute is 10.7 miles, you're more badass than half of all bike commuters if you can do it more than 60 times in a year.

In your specific case of a 9-mile commute, if you did that every day of the year, that would be 4320 miles, putting you in the 86th percentile.  Doing it twice a week year-round would put you in the 56th percentile.


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 10:04:48 AM »
I ride a whopping 1.3miles each way. I love it. I love it when I lived 9miles away I didnt commute by bike very often. At 1.3miles I don't even feel I have a choice. Plus it I find riding my bike helps me center both before and after work. I have driven 3 times ( I think) this year becuase I had something else to do before or after work. Starting in the fall my commute will be closer to 2miles because I have to drop my son off at daycare in the morning.


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 05:47:43 PM »
I think anything within 5 miles is a no-brainer.  I picked housing based on bikeability - 2 miles to grocery stores and 4 miles to work.  Everything "cool" is within 5 miles.  5 miles is a leisurely half an hour ride (half an hour seems to be on the threshold of "far away" no matter what the mode of transportation)


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2012, 06:52:52 PM »
This should probably go on the Antimustachian Wall, but I bike a staggering 4-mile roundtrip. Of course, this is twice a day, with 70 lbs of kids in the back for half that distance, so there's some redemption there. Yesterday, I rode up to the kids' preschool and one of the other parents asked me how far I bike, and I half-apologetically said " Oh, a 4-mile round trip, not that bad". You should've seen the complete astonishment on all faces. They think I'm crazy and brave and intrepid. LOL.


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Re: How far do you bike?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 07:02:23 PM »
Currently, I go 2 miles each way, and often walk it. I agree that anything up to about 5 miles is a no-brainer and do it through snow and ice. I hope to never live outside of biking distance, which I'd consider to be about 6-10 miles each way on a daily basis.

I probably average about 6-7 mph in the city, which I suppose is slow, but I am fanatical about obeying traffic laws.