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100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 1:48pm
by AaronR
This post has not been fuelled by excessive festive consumption of alcohol.

I'm looking at a new job based near Guildford, approximately 50 miles by any route from my home in Southampton

Have variously considered driving daily (approx £240pcm in diesel but not factoring in maintenance and other driving costs), small capacity motorcycle at approximately 1/3rd of that based on fuel consumption, or train at £320-370pcm depending on whether I buy a monthly or yearly pass

Potential for job to move to within 20 miles of home in next 18-24 months, at which point its a no brainer cycle commute

I'm no stranger to racking up miles on a bike, and to date most of that has been on bikes you wouldn't normally associate with that (an old Specialized MTB, a modern MTB, a Surly Troll) and route aside, because there will always be some not so good sections of any road ride, I am seriously considering sinking £1-1.5k into a fast, light road bike and riding the 100 miles a day

The job itself is non physical, and requires no tools or carting work related stuff (other than a change of clothes) - my current average mph is around 14mph on my usually loaded Kona Paddy Wagon 3 speed, so 20mph on a bare bike should be achievable? That would put the time difference between driving/riding or cycling down to little or no difference, especially with traffic at peak times

Any thoughts?

Anyone in the Southampton area with a medium size 52/54 cm road bike they could part with for a couple of hours so I can see what I can comfortably cover in that time?

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 3:02pm
by De Sisti
AaronR wrote:I'm looking at a new job based near Guildford, approximately 50 miles by any route from my home in Southampton

Have variously considered small capacity motorcycle
Any thoughts?

Anyone in the Southampton area with a medium size 52/54 cm road bike they could part with for a couple of hours so I can see what I can comfortably cover in that time?

Get the small motorcycle, or moped. I'd be very, very surprised if someone (you didn't know on the forum) would lend you a bike
for a couple of hours, without some sort of deposit, or trust having being established/developed.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 3:20pm
by PugLug
I can't help with the bike though I admire your ambition. Have you factored in the extra food cost and eating time you'd need with a commute like that?

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 3:24pm
by velotrev
Personally I wouldn't recommend it, it sounds too far.
I used to do a 52mile commute when I was in my 20s and was a fit club level racing cyclist. Even then by the weekend I was pretty done in, and add in bad weather, headwinds, ice and snow......!

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 3:25pm
by thirdcrank
IME, even the eventual sub 20 miles each way is more than a no brainer. This isn't simply a matter of how far/ fast you can ride a bike: they are relatively minor factors; it's more about the time involved on the same route day after day. Particularly in winter, when rain seems to multiply the punctures and salt grinds away at everything else, there's also quite a commitment to maintenance and a bit like feeding the horses before you do anything else, unless you sort everything for your bike immediately, you'll end up forgetting it till it's time to wheel it out.

It's almost 20 years since I retired but until I did so I was a keen and regular commuter by bike. There's loads to be said for it, not least the way that after the first few pedal turns on the way home, the cares of the day disappear but there's a limit. I'm not so daft as to say that 20 miles each way daily is impossible, just that it's not a no-brainer. From the few people I know who have tried something like that long-term, rather than just for a week or two, it becomes to be less about cycling and more a search for ways to get round it eg sleeping overnight at a friend's house, making an exception and catching a train, which becomes less of an exception and more the rule.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 3:53pm
by hamster
If you are pretty quick it's going to be 3 hours each way. My suspicion is more like 4.

That means leaving at 0500, and getting home at 2100. No social life, little relaxing, and you need to eat a shedload of calories. It doesn't appeal I have to say.
The distance alone is what a pro rides in training...but you are then going to work. You will need to factor rest days as you will over-train and get worn down physically. It's worth considering as part of a structured training programme, but as a simple transport commitment I think it's too much.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 4:02pm
by chocjohn9
I'm a positive thinking person who believes that the body is able to be pushed longer and harder than the vast majority of people generally believe...... I still think this is too much.

It's not possible to say, laden I go x mph so unladen I should go at y mph. I'd have though 15 mph would be your average, taking the terrain, weather, your condition and the traffic into account - that makes for a six hour commute. In the end, I think the tiredness will get you. Possibly OK for a few weeks, but no more. This is not something that you will not find out by hiring/borrowing a bike for a few hours, either.

There's a chap I know who does 50kms each way on a Van Nicholas Yukon (£4k-ish) four times a week. He averages 20kms per hour unladen and that is with a the flat ride. He has still ended up buying a car for when he can not face it, for when he is knackered, for when the weather is terrible and for when his bike is ill .... or he is. In reality, he cycles in about half the time he claims to.

I'm not in the habit of denting people's enthusiasm or drive, especially when it comes to cycling. Sadly, in the case, I have to. Sorry.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 4:10pm
by Ray
A couple of hours on an unfamiliar bike would not give you even an inkling of what it would be like to commute 100 mpd regularly.

Years ago I used to commute 25 mpd (no problem at all as a youngster), and there were a couple of guys I would occasionally meet who each rode around 70 mpd; one on a touring bike at a steady pace, another on a lighter bike, ridden briskly. The latter (Dick Poole) used his 75 mpd as base training for a successful attempt on the LE to JoG record. I don't know anything about the 'real life' of these two (family etc) but I suggest they are very exceptional, and must have had little time or energy to do much else, together with considerable mental fortitude.

As your current stable doesn't include a light bike, why not treat yourself (as a reward for your new job, perhaps?) and try the ride a few times - at first in good weather, then in b****y awful weather - to see what you think.

At least you'll have a nice light bike to show for it :D (and you don't need to spend that much to gain a bit of speed - something like a Decathlon Triban, perhaps).

Have fun.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 4:23pm
by eileithyia
30-40 miles a day was pretty taxing, ok so it was with a physical and mentally tiring job also, the commute home certainly helped to de-stress, but whoa 100 miles, are you nuts? As said if weather is fair it is tough enough, add in wind, rain, snow, a repeat puncture or two......

Any way of reducing it, park and ride? Drive the least congested bits then on the outskirts of where it starts to get busy / congested park up and use bike?

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 4:39pm
by TrevA
I used to ride 21 miles each way to work, which would take anything between 1 hr 10 mins and 1 hr 40 mins, depending on weather and route. I had a choice of fast main road or country lanes. I used to find myself falling asleep whilst watching TV in the evenings, and didn't want to ride at weekends.

I found it far worse in winter when it was cold and dark. I'd often only ride halfway and catch the train.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 4:41pm
by thirdcrank
Ray wrote:... The latter (Dick Poole) used his 75 mpd as base training for a successful attempt on the LE to JoG record. I don't know anything about the 'real life' of these two (family etc) but I suggest they are very exceptional, and must have had little time or energy to do much else, together with considerable mental fortitude....


Memories from long ago. :D Here's something about Dick Poole's End to End record.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Poole_(cyclist)

On the subject of mental fortitude, I remember a report in Jock Wadley's Coureur (the magazine for the Sporting Cyclist) about a 24 hour championship when Dick Poole had been called on at short notice to ride for the Middlesex Road Club. IIRC the report said that after finishing with a time that helped his club to win, he was in such a state that cameras were put away as a mark of respect. Here's more from those days.

http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/MalRees.html

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 4:51pm
by PhilWhitehurst
My view is that's it's too far. I used to have a 40 miles a day commute 5 days a week. On a sunny day in summer it can be a delight. Winter when dark, windy, raining, sleeting, snowing or icy it's a challenge. You'll need to carry clothes in and out for work. This will slow you down. In winter you'll be layered up. This will slow you down. Any roads with lights, traffic and junctions will slow you down. The early starts and late finishes to fit the cycle commute plus fixing anything as soon as you get in will dramatically shrink your evening.

I'd think about either an electric bike or moped for that kind of distance.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 5:29pm
by Grandad
How about an initial trial of riding twice a week and using the car for the other 3 days.

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 6:25pm
by AaronR
Thank you all for the responses - on balance it would seem that most consider it a bit too far, I used to do a 17.5 mile/35 mile roundtrip daily which on a fairly heavily loaded slick tyred MTB was about 1h5m each way in good weather, and up to 1h30m in bad weather

Plus side though was that I didn't need a gym membership, could eat anything I wanted, and was left with that pleasant post workout glow for most of the working day and evening when I got home

Crude maths without riding the route means 20mph average should make it a 2.5 hour ride, which on top of (I confess!) an easy civil service day would make it a 12 hour day from leaving home to getting back, and it's only for a relatively short 18-24 month period

I'd make a massive loss in depreciation on a newer 125cc motorbike, or face large maintenance costs on a car or older bike, plus fuel, tax, insurance, sitting in traffic....... or I could leave earlier, arrive home a bit later, and eat shedloads of cake :)

Re: 100 mile a day commute?

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 6:32pm
by honesty
Have you thought about an e-bike? Something like https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/road-eplus-1