Re: Is 15 mile road bike commute too far?
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com (Jeffrey
> I am thinking of buying a road bike to commute to work every day.
> Would 15 miles each way be too far?
> I am in pretty good shape but new to biking.
> About how long would it take?
> How fast (average speed) can the average beginner go on a road bike?
> Thanks, Jeff.
Excellent idea! I commute about 14-16 miles each way to work and it takes me around 50 minutes at my
speed with lights and traffic and such. I allow myself about thirty extra minutes for flats and
Before I started commuting, I did the route on the weekend. Try it out and see how long it would
take you to bolster your confidence. I did and have been bettering my time with each run. I can do
the ride in 40 minutes if I push myself. Try different routes, too. I started out one way, and ended
up another all the time, finding less traffic or a more-downhill route.
You also want to make sure you're keeping your bike in good order. More miles means more wear and
tear. And you're now using it to get to work. Nothing like getting stuck with greasy fingers on the
way there. So make sure you keep your chain and brakes in good order. Keep a spare tube (or two) and
the tools you'd need for that.
And, speaking of a bike, I am using a Gary Fisher Zebrano (lower-end hybrid) with all the standard
equipment, including a suspension saddlepost. (I did have to get a new rear wheel -- SUPER heavy
duty this time.) This bike is inexpensive enough that I wouldn't be crying if I lost it and it gives
me confidence to tackle potholes and climbing sidewalks. If I had to commute on a road bike, I'd be
worried about every little thing. Something to consider before getting that bike.
I added fenders, a rack with trunk bag, and a bike computer. I also bought clothes that dry quickly
so I change at work. The computer is excellent, especially when commuting, so you know how long it
REALLY takes. It also helps you maintain a speed when you know what your average is. For instance, I
know if I maintain 18 mph each way I will make it to work in plenty of time.
The best part of the ride in the morning is the high I get for about four hours. It's like having a
pot of coffee in the morning without the potty breaks. You'll love it, too! Just experiement and
Whew. What a book.