Help Make a 24 mile Commute Practical and Enjoyable- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    76

    Cool-blue Rhythm Help Make a 24 mile Commute Practical and Enjoyable

    Hello, noob here currently looking to buy a bike for commuting plus utility. I recently moved and am 24 miles from work in really bad driving traffic (SE PA) and would like to try to figure out how to commute via bicycle.

    I have to carry a laptop and breakfast / lunch in to work, but imagine doing so via a big 15L seat bag (to avoid pannier racks). My dress code is business casual, wearing jeans and a polo style shirt most of the time.

    Google says that it would take 2.5 hours each way, which seems like a bit much...although I have not tried it yet. I have no commitments after work which helps the cause.

    I have the option of driving part of the way in and biking the rest. But I'm trying to avoid this, because I'd like to not hop in the car and be tempted to just drive the full way in.

    A perfect solution would have been to ride to my Septa train station, hop on for a few stops with my bike, and ride the rest of the way in...but they don't allow bicycles during 'peak' hours.

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated, including bike suggestions.

    Thanks!
    Mike

  2. #2
    Wierdo
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,959
    I did a 36 and then 40 mile RT commute every day, year round. My 40 miles RT commute was mildly hilly (about 1500 feet of climbing RT) and took about 1:10 to 1:15 each way. But it was all pavement.

    An immediate question that comes to mind is: what's your route like? Roads? Trails? MUP? Flat? Hills? Gravel? Dirt? That information would dictate many other choices.

    Great idea doing a partial train or drive commute. Let's you ease into such a bug commute.

  3. #3
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,904
    Do you have showers at work? That's going to be a big thing. If you do plan to drive sometimes, you could load up on food at work so you don't have to carry it. Or is there a grocery within walking distance of your office?
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cyclingdutchman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    1,533
    Several possibilities come to my mind:

    *Folding bike that you can take on the train/bus

    *fast e-bike

    *alternating bike / car commute

    All depending on your situation, so some answers to the questions above would be nice.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    24,073
    THIS is where an e-bike comes into play, truly IMHO what they were designed for. If it were me and serious about the commute, most definitely would look at an e-bike, would probably cut that commute time down by at least a 1/3 if not more.

    Curious, does this route have a lot of hills or something that it'll take you that long? Figure if you get a road bike or even a nice rigid MTB with some 28mm semi slicks, you should be able to avg about 16-18mph avg without killing yourself, which to me calculates to around 1.5 hours, if you've got hills, then maybe 2. Use it as a good work out going in and then cruise home in the evenings, assuming your business has showers available, if not then
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  6. #6
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5,904
    Commuting often ends up being a slower average mph due to having to stop for a lot of stop signs and red lights, if there is a Septa train and he is SE PA, must be somewhat close to Philly. I like the folding bike and ebike suggestions.

    I used to do the occasional drive part way, park and ride. It worked well, if your bike is loaded up in your car in the morning, you'll not likely drive in the whole way.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    76
    Today I ended up taking the plunge and did the whole 24 mile commute (one-way) in to work, and back home on an entry level 32lb Hybrid HT Diamondback with 45mm tires! Wow what a workout!

    What prompted it was someone died on the highway (route 30) and it was completely closed off. So I was passing cars swiftly on my bike, at least in the beginning miles
    http://6abc.com/traffic/victim-idd-i...crash/2463001/

    I tracked my routes for you to see, and the way home was better to avoid some more roads than the way in.

    Home to Work (1:55 time): https://www.strava.com/activities/1205691325
    Work to Home (2:02 time): https://www.strava.com/activities/1206433587

    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I did a 36 and then 40 mile RT commute every day, year round. My 40 miles RT commute was mildly hilly (about 1500 feet of climbing RT) and took about 1:10 to 1:15 each way. But it was all pavement.

    An immediate question that comes to mind is: what's your route like? Roads? Trails? MUP? Flat? Hills? Gravel? Dirt? That information would dictate many other choices.

    Great idea doing a partial train or drive commute. Let's you ease into such a bug commute.
    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    THIS is where an e-bike comes into play, truly IMHO what they were designed for. If it were me and serious about the commute, most definitely would look at an e-bike, would probably cut that commute time down by at least a 1/3 if not more.

    Curious, does this route have a lot of hills or something that it'll take you that long? Figure if you get a road bike or even a nice rigid MTB with some 28mm semi slicks, you should be able to avg about 16-18mph avg without killing yourself, which to me calculates to around 1.5 hours, if you've got hills, then maybe 2. Use it as a good work out going in and then cruise home in the evenings, assuming your business has showers available, if not then
    My route is very mixed, with first 8ish miles being roads of up and down and traffic lights.

    Then I hop on the "Chester Valley Trail" which is mostly flat for ~9ish miles.

    Then I hop off of it toward the end of the commute and cut through trails / gravel / dirt through "Valley Forge Park" where there are some very steep climbs.

    See the above links for detail Strava!

    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Do you have showers at work? That's going to be a big thing. If you do plan to drive sometimes, you could load up on food at work so you don't have to carry it. Or is there a grocery within walking distance of your office?
    Great idea! Yes I am very fortunate where my work has showers, and lucky that I don't sweat all that much. I showered before my ride today, and only freshened up in the sink upon arriving and getting changed. A baby wipe makes a world of a difference.

    I can load up my pre-cooked lunches if I drive in, but am trying to make it an everyday thing. Who knows how it will go though. At the very least, I can bring my ingredients for custom muesli mixture breakfast which will save weight.

    But what's really great also is I have my own office cube at work with a mini coat closet that I can keep clothes in (jeans and polos, etc) which weigh a bunch to carry.
    Last edited by lmike6453; 09-28-2017 at 07:52 PM.

  8. #8
    Yeah!
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,453
    I use a seat post rack. Bontrager Interchange system to be specific. I built a lunch box tray that mounts to the seat stay rack bosses and the main rail of the seat post rack. I use bungees to mount a dry bag to the bottom of the rack behind the tray.

    Though the dry bag gets mounted sideways, everything sits behind my thighs instead of down low behind the calves, in my slipstream. Using dry bags gives me a lot of capacity, and the ability to pack down the storage to match it's contents instead of having a big ass bag hanging out in the wind. Heavy side winds do not push me around like panniers.

    I switched to a stainless vacuum container last spring as I was losing a lot of temp on 90-95 days, and don't like cold things 'slightly refrigerated' (cottage cheese, V8, fruit medley, etc). Compared to the lunch boxes that fit a commuter... there is no comparison... no more ice packs and 'hoping' cold things don't get too warm.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,401
    My 17 miles takes 1.5 hours, more or less. Lights, traffic, slow spots on the mup, and some slight rolling hills. Folding bike in bag on the train, bus options? Or as said, drive part way. For me, I need my car at work for clients. I leave a bike at work always, drive in Monday am with clothes and food for the week. Friday pm, dirty clothes back home.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    24,073
    Ah, well then, that would explain it. Actually sounds like a pretty nice commute, I'd suggest doing a bit of drive and ride for the first little bit or ride one day, drive the next until you get accustomed to the mileage if you're not already accustomed to riding every day like that. In fact, if it were me, with those miles daily, I'd look for an endurance event or two to enter and get to use all that "training"

    My route is very mixed, with first 8ish miles being roads of up and down and traffic lights.Then I hop on the "Chester Valley Trail" which is mostly flat for ~9ish miles. Then I hop off of it toward the end of the commute and cut through trails / gravel / dirt through "Valley Forge Park" where there are some very steep climbs.

    See the above links for detail Strava
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    76
    Thanks all. I just picked up the Niner RLT9 Steel 3 star today after ordering is almost 3 weeks ago and love it so far. I tested it on a few steep hills and it climbs very easily without having to bring it all the way down the gears. Tomorrow will be the real test though commuting with it loaded.

    It shifts very quickly and precisely with the SRAM Rival. The whole bike it just easy to get going, and keep it going. Here are pics of it naked after spending all day going crazy with helicopter tape , more pics tomorrow with it loaded:














  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    119
    Yes! I ride the Niner RLT 9 aluminum version on m 25 mile commute (one way). I typically take the bus home (pretty convenient, only stops once before dropping me off about a mile from my house). Before taking the bus I used to ride to/from work at least three times per week but the fatigue kept stacking up. Now I ride almost every day but only one way. Non-riding days I try hard to work from home, ditching the commute altogether when it works out.

Similar Threads

  1. Mountain biking makes the rest of life more enjoyable
    By KevinGT in forum Riding Passion
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 03-31-2015, 10:28 PM
  2. Proper gear selection makes for an enjoyable ride....
    By Hotrodvw in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-28-2011, 09:00 AM
  3. enjoyable late december wishes to everyone
    By cactuscorn in forum Turner
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 12-26-2005, 10:39 AM

Members who have read this thread: 3

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.