How long is too long?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How long is too long?

    Hi,

    I'm sick of the morning grind in the car and I'm starting to consider a bike commute. Currently it takes me about 2hrs to get into the office in the morning and sometimes 2.5hr's to get home by car. I figure I can ride it in the same or less. I'm looking at a 70 mile round trip (35 each way) commute. Is this too long? am I going to regret this decision?

    How long are you commuting?

  2. #2
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    70 miles a day is a lot of riding, no question about that, you have to be in pretty damn good shape to keep that up. I could see maybe once or twice a week. Do you regularly ride this distance? If not, give it a shot. If you do this commute by bike once or twice and decide it's not for you, it's not like you're committted to it. Good for you for considering it though, I hope it works out. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Don't forget to factor in cleanup time post-ride. For my personal situation (family/time, etc) that is too long. I do 23 miles each way; I couldn't imagine adding another 12 to that
    :wq

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jboyd122 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm sick of the morning grind in the car and I'm starting to consider a bike commute. Currently it takes me about 2hrs to get into the office in the morning and sometimes 2.5hr's to get home by car. I figure I can ride it in the same or less. I'm looking at a 70 mile round trip (35 each way) commute. Is this too long? am I going to regret this decision?

    How long are you commuting?
    Very long commute for a bike....

    Consider driving in say half way or so...then switching to the bike...

    Often you can find a really sweet parking spot that is handy to some bike paths for a quieter ride in.

  5. #5
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    Is this all roads shared with cars or is some of it bike path?

    For my old job I was commuting 24 miles each way. Only about 3-4 miles was on the road and the rest was a bike path. I really enjoyed it. It made sitting in a cubical for 9hrs a lot easier.

    If most of your ride is bike path I would say do it once or twice a week to see how you like it. If it's shared with cars the whole way I wouldn't. I personally hate sharing the road with cars for long periods of time. It's just too much exposure and risk to people not paying attention on their morning or evening commute.

  6. #6
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    It's a long ride. There are some alternatives people have come up with to spread out their volume with a long commute like that.

    The obvious one is just to start by riding both ways on your bike once a week and work up.

    You've had it suggested that you drive in part of the way and finish in your car.

    Another way is to alternate. For example on Monday, you might drive in with your bike and maybe some professional clothes for the week. You'd leave your car at the office and ride home, then ride in on Tuesday, and drive home. On Thursday, you'd drive in with your bike and ride home, then on Friday, you'd ride in and drive home with your bike and the week's laundry. Wednesday could be either a ride or a drive in both directions. Then, in general, you'd be riding a more manageable 35 miles a day.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your suggestions. I think I'm going to start by looking for a place I can drive to to split the distance. If I can get comfortable with that then I'll try doing the whole ride maybe a few days a week and or alternating to and from like what was suggested by AndrwSwitch.

    I'm trying to find the best routes between home and work and unfortunately it looks like there aren't any bike paths that I can take advantage of.

  8. #8
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    I also used to ride about 5 mi to carpool with someone 30 mi in 1 direction (i.e., to work or home) & bike the full 35 mi in the other direction. He had a bike rack so that made it easy.

  9. #9
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    My opinion would be if you have the time to pack up your stuff, get to work, clean up, and be ready for the work day and then have the time to get home in time for family stuff or whatever the case may be, I say go all out on it. If you're considering doing it i'm assuming you're very familiar with your bike and that would be an awesome commute. Sometimes I almost wish I lived farther away from my work so I had a lot longer commute. That might be because I don't have any kids or other duties to attend to so it makes it a lot easier to do something of this nature.
    "Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves." - Benjamin Franklin

  10. #10
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    I assume because it doesn't sound like you feel the distance or time itself is daunting, that you regularly ride that length of time/distance or close to it.

    If not, roadies' training schedules working up to longer rides rule of thumb is not to increase mileage more than 10% per week or per ride. Finding a close, middle, and 1/4 way from home parking places would let you vary ride length and frequency to approximate the 10% rule.

    Age and lack of knowing any better are of course is big factors. The first Sunday after I got my first good bike I rode almost 80 miles with 0 miles for years before that. New Brooks to break in and all. I'd not try that now. I assume you have appropriate clothes and chamois butter. Good luck, and remember the goal is a long term one. You need satisfy only yourself.

  11. #11
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    35 summer miles on a wide-open, low-traffic, smooth road with no stops seems just fine.

    35 winter miles of potholes in gridlocked traffic with a red light every 100 yards seems pretty much impossible.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all of the feedback guys. I do ride ~20 miles frequently but usually either on my SS hardtail or FS mountain bikes and on singletrack. The idea of doing a 35 mile commute doesn't intimidate me too much, though doing it twice in a day is a bit daunting. I've found a route that will keep me on bike paths for most of the ride and splits my commute. I can pick up the trail about 16 miles out from the office. The unfortunate part is that it won't help me too much with the morning traffic, but it will save me from the worst part of my evening commute. I'm going to give it a try one day this week and see how it goes.
    Last edited by jboyd122; 06-13-2011 at 06:15 AM.

  13. #13
    M_S
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    That's too far in a car IMO
    - Simon

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jboyd122 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm sick of the morning grind in the car and I'm starting to consider a bike commute. Currently it takes me about 2hrs to get into the office in the morning and sometimes 2.5hr's to get home by car. I figure I can ride it in the same or less. I'm looking at a 70 mile round trip (35 each way) commute. Is this too long? am I going to regret this decision?

    How long are you commuting?

    My commute is about 13-1/2 miles one way, and one of the ways that I limit myself from having to do the round trip is by alternating days.

    Like today, I drove in my 4Runner with the MTB bike on top, I'll ride the bike home today, leaving the 4Runner at work, and then tomorrow I'll ride the bike in and take the 4Runner home. This works out fairly well for me, but it all depends on how secure your parking is at your work.

    Hopefully soon I'll be able to do the round trips a few days out of the week, but my schedule has limited it at present.

  15. #15
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    70 miles round trip will have you exhausted. Maybe you can drive halfway and bike the rest of the way if or something to that degree if that is an option.

  16. #16
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    Tour de France stages were contested before bikes had derailleurs.

    If the OP does it on a road bike that fits him well and has nice tires (GP 4000s, while nice, are still a training tire, BTW,) he's 90% of the way toward the efficiency he'd have on a tri bike.

    OP - did you get a chance to ride the route yet? Does it seem feasible?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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