Newbie wants to attempt long commute



deejbah

New Member
Jul 26, 2004
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If you are looking to carry a reasonable amount on the bike, you might want to look at bikes made specifically for commuting/touring. You would want a pannier rack and panniers too. You are probably fairly strong given your stats, but riding long distances with messenger or backpacks is probably not recommended. If you have the money, buy a good weatherproof set of panniers. On these commuting/bouring bikes the riding position is a bit more upright than a road bike and is more friendly to someone carrying extra weight than a road bike that is built for racing may be. Most are still quite speedy compared to a MTB. I bought a Mongoose Randonneur EX, which has the bonus of a fairly decent dynamo hub light. I know there are other bikes made by different manufacturers that are similar.

Transitman said:
I'm in a similar situation... I'm looking to commute to work via commuter rail and bike home in the afternoon. The trek home would be about 35 miles. I've mountain biked a bit a few years ago but found I enjoyed road riding a great deal more with the MTB. I'm somewhat stuck on what type of road bike to buy, new or used, and specifically which manufacturer/model. A bit about me, 6'5" 200, 26yrs old. Used to be fairly active playing soccer 2/week, crew for a period, and biking a bit. Have not done a darn thing since moving from Boston To San Diego 1 year ago. Any pointers on bikes/equipment would be terrific.
 

craigstanton

New Member
Oct 31, 2003
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deejbah said:
If you are looking to carry a reasonable amount on the bike, you might want to look at bikes made specifically for commuting/touring. You would want a pannier rack and panniers too. You are probably fairly strong given your stats, but riding long distances with messenger or backpacks is probably not recommended. If you have the money, buy a good weatherproof set of panniers. On these commuting/bouring bikes the riding position is a bit more upright than a road bike and is more friendly to someone carrying extra weight than a road bike that is built for racing may be. Most are still quite speedy compared to a MTB. I bought a Mongoose Randonneur EX, which has the bonus of a fairly decent dynamo hub light. I know there are other bikes made by different manufacturers that are similar.

Right. If you haven't already purchased a new bike, you should certainly check out commute bikes. That it, bikes specifically built and desgined for commuting long distances. After much research, I purchased the Bianchi Castro Valley. See: http://www.bianchiusa.com/607.html

I ride just about the same distance you are attempting. I ride 32 miles each way in the washington dc area. I generally don't ride both ways in the same day. I try to do it at least 2 times per week, and this distance makes the miles add up fast. I still tend to train on weekends as well.

I take a shower at work in the gym. I find that with hills (no way to avoid them here) and loaded rear panniers I average approximately 17 miles per hour each way. If I ever have a nice tailwind I can make it at 18 or 19 on a really good day. With strong headwinds I will sometimes ride at around 16 mph.

At these distances, it's key to have a quality bike that fits you properly. Also, make sure you maintain the bike. It might not be a bad idea to invest in some rain gear as well. And lights for sure.
 

fatboy61

New Member
Apr 27, 2005
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Excelsior said:
Right now I have a MTB, but I think I'll definitely need to get a road bike once I start increasing the distance of my rides. I can totally see the ride becoming addictive - I just need to get started.

If you don't want to pay for that road bike straight away, you could always get a second set of wheels with slick road tyres. Makes a huge difference.
 

huhenio

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Jul 19, 2005
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centralmail said:
I am a newbie too, having only been cycling my 8 mile round trip to school for about 9 months...

If your route is hill-free, that is a BIG plus...

I think the main thing is to get a light and fast road bike...

I currently ride a Giant Expression hybrid and it takes me 25 minutes for 4 miles... I tried the route on a friend's road bike and I did it with much less effort in 20 minutes... a 20% saving!!
Pedal faster ... I ride a hybrid on hills and I go 30 percent faster than that :D
 

Tenspeeder

New Member
Apr 22, 2006
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Welcome to the darkside...this is a good thing. One less car on the roads...awesome.

With that said, no offence...don't THROW yourself into it. Work your way into it; on your weekends, cycle a quarter of the distance one day; then the next weekend, do half. Following: three quarters. Within a month, you're good.

NExt step: get two alternate routes set up, just in case of boredom, dogs, traffic...anything like that. :)

Good luck with the commute :)
 

LeojVS

New Member
Sep 27, 2005
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been a year and no reply??

Mabey it was too far. I do 49kms each way (not in winter) and it shatters me. I sleep thru lunch. I havent done it enough to get used to it yet... Wait till it wams up a little
 

cyclingpj

New Member
Jul 30, 2006
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Work is 31 miles away for me. Just returning to cycling after straying a couple years (motorcycle fever). My commute history has been spotted for 25 years, build up to a couple times a week, then something happens and the bike sits for a couple months. Started a few weeks ago driving with bike in car, then riding 11 miles to work. Doing that 3 days a week. Last Friday I threw caution to the wind and rode in from home due to the thought of Friday traffic. Mostly country roads, some hills, streets through 2 towns. Took about 2 hours 5 minutes each way. On the way home, I swore my tire was rubbing or going flat. Speed was no where to be found, even with tailwind. Next day I was useless. My point is, too much too soon can lead to fatigue. Make a plan that allows a moderate percent increase in weekly mileage, and stick to it.

Of course, I'm planning on doing the same thing next Friday (not too smart) and hoping for a little better recovery this time. Try to keep that routine up for several weeks: Monday and Wednesday do my 11 mile ride morning and afternoon, then Friday do the 31 each way.
 

B Rubble

New Member
Jul 6, 2006
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I do a split commute, 13 mile bike ride and 15 mile bus ride each way.
Once a week (casual Friday), I ride the entire way in and then bus all the way home. Occasionally, I will do the 13 mile ride home on top of the 28 mile in (41 miles) but not too often.

I haven't yet tried the complete round trip by bike yet. That day will come. I started about two months ago (but after several years at the gym on ellipticals, stairmasters and stationary bikes, I had a head start).
 

e0richt

New Member
Jul 10, 2006
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Excelsior said:
Hi everyone,

I've been driving to my current job since December, 2004 and I've had enough. I can't stand sitting still in the car for an hour on the way to work, sitting at my desk for 8 hours at work, and sitting in the car again for another hour and a half on the way home in traffic.

Commuting by bicycle is the best alternative I can think of for the obvious reasons: it's WAY healthier, I'll save money, and it's better for the envirionment.

I've solved a few of the usual issues. I can shower at a fitness club that is only a few blocks from work and I plan to bring work clothes in this unique bike garment bag (http://www.twowheelgear.com)

The only issue I have is that the commute is a relatively long 44 km (27.5 miles) each way. Luckily, here in Vancouver, we have some great bike routes and I've already planned a safe and somewhat hill-free journey. My only concern is the sheer length of the ride.

I know that this distance is definitely do-able, and others manage longer commutes, but I need some help with the best way to train for it. Right now I am out of shape, slightly over weight, and fed up enough to make this work. I am very dedicated to the idea and eventually I would like to make this my usual method of getting to work, with my car being the exception - not the rule.

My apologies for the lengthly post, but I have been thinking about this for a while and wanted to throw it all out there to see what kind of feedback I'll receive.

Thanks

have you thought of driving to a point where you could park your car and ride the rest of the way by bike. You could then build up from there.
I am toying with that idea myself...