Is this commute doable?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
dave249
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Joined: 25 Feb 2013, 12:41pm

Is this commute doable?

Postby dave249 » 25 Feb 2013, 12:54pm

Hi,
I am currently commuting between 6.5 and 9 miles each way (depending which route I take) between Hucknall and Nottingham, but our office is moving to East Midlands Airport which is about 19 miles from where I live.
The office isn't moving until later in the year and I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but I wondered if anyone else is doing a similar distance commute and if they have any tips. At the moment i'm using a single speed bike. The route that i'm planning to take is not particularly hilly, but i'm wondering if a cyclo cross bike may be better for this. I don't think a road bike would be good for all year round use.

Thanks,
Dave
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[XAP]Bob
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Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 25 Feb 2013, 1:21pm

20 miles is achievable - but it's going to require:-

- Commitment
- Decent legs (although these will come)
- A second bike (to allow for maintenance)
- A place to do maintenance
- A serious budget for maintenance (serious, not necessarily expensive)
- Mechanical aptitude
- Decent storage facilities at work (maybe good enough that your maintenance can happen at lunch time rather than overnight?
- Lights - preferably dynamo
- Dedication

It *will* take you an hour each way - that needs factoring in.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

jochta
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Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 11:54am

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby jochta » 25 Feb 2013, 1:33pm

I do an 18 mile route each way but not every day of the week (I would if I could but I need the car some days). It's pretty flat and on minor roads. It takes me about an hour. I usually do it fixed gear.

Showers at work are essential and somewhere to dry wet kit if you get rained on cycling in. I leave a change of clothes and shoes in my office and take them home to be washed every now and then. I carry nothing other than the essential tools, tubes and a pump. Good lights to see where I'm going required in the winter. Note that I have a 10 mile option cutting off some of my route if the weather is rubbish or I need to be quicker.

I've had to call home for a sag wagon once when I burst my tyre on a pothole in the dark and couldn't repair it by the road. I've had to repair punctures a couple of times in the dark so carrying a headtorch is useful.

I love cycling in the early morning, it wakes me up and I have fantastic views on a nice day. In the summer I sometimes extend my journey home by taking a more scenic route and have done 50 miles to get home :)

I would try the route at a weekend and see how you get on. I find motorists are worst about 5.30-6pm as everybody seems to be in a hurry to get home. There are some A-roads I could use which I avoid at all costs.

John

Geriatrix
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Location: Caterham

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby Geriatrix » 25 Feb 2013, 1:45pm

I did that distance (23 miles each way) for about a 6 months but with electric assist.
I'm not sure how old you are but I think that if you are < 50 and not carrying excessive weight then the distance is doable without electric assist.

I tended to find that it wasn't the distance that I had a problem with, but the cold in winter which accumulates when you are on the road for about 1.5 hours each way. You will find that you need better extremity protection than what you currently have.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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661-Pete
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Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby 661-Pete » 25 Feb 2013, 2:45pm

I can't think of anything better than "try it and see". Since your route appears to be mostly A and B roads, I would have thought a road bike should be OK all the year round: on the rare occasions that the roads might be blocked with snow you'll want to consider alternatives to a 20-mile commute, even on a hybrid with winter tyres! But it's your decision. You should have a fallback of some sort.

I'm anticipating a much more modest step-up in my commute, later this year it goes from 2 miles each way, to 10 miles each way - no significant hills. For me at my age and level of fitness, it's likely to be as demanding as a 20-miler for a younger cyclist: doubtful if I'll keep this up on a daily basis even in fine weather, but I intend to try! My second option will be the car :oops: : there is a train link but by the time I factor in walking to and from the stations, it'll take me longer than cycling. I may report back later on how the cycling goes!
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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[XAP]Bob
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Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 25 Feb 2013, 3:02pm

If not London you might find that carrying the bike on the train is a viable option.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

dave249
Posts: 2
Joined: 25 Feb 2013, 12:41pm

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby dave249 » 25 Feb 2013, 3:27pm

Thanks for the responses. That has given me more motivation and it is good to know there are others that do similar distances. I think I am going to have to start off doing the commute once or twice a week and see how it goes. I am hoping that there will be shower facilities at the new office and I have been told that there should be.

I sold my car about 6 months ago as I wasn't using it to get to work and we have been using my girlfriends car at weekends etc. Since then we have found out about this office move and I really don't want to get another car as I have been saving so much money and cycling is such good exercise!

If I don't feel like cycling the whole distance, my fall back is that I have a folding bike on order so I will hopefully be able to cycle from home to Nottingham (6.5 miles) to get the train to East Midlands Parkway and then ride from there to East Midlands Airport (5.5 miles).

eileithyia
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Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby eileithyia » 25 Feb 2013, 3:31pm

some good advise so far from bob and regarding trying out your route at a weekend

dynamo not always necessary but many good battery lights are rechargeable.

I commute 17 miles and remember 20mph is pretty good training pace... i can av 15-16mph to the outskirts of preston when the av mph starts to fall due to increasing traffic and increasing junctions that have to be slowed/stopped for. and this is for an early morning start before main commuter time. leaving at 3pm puts me in some very heavy traffic add in tired after a physical days work and ride home takes quite a bit longer, 15 -20mins sometimes.

alternatives are park and ride, ride and train.. have done variables of this over the years.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby mig » 25 Feb 2013, 4:06pm

yes i'd give it a trial go one weekend too.

good luck with it!!

Elizabethsdad
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Joined: 15 Jan 2011, 7:09pm

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby Elizabethsdad » 25 Feb 2013, 7:18pm

If you are thinking of getting a new bike for the job then my recommendation would be one ftted with the Alfine 8 hub gear and disc brakes. If you can budget for an e-bike then you might like something in the order of:-

http://www.ave-bikes.de/index.php/en/pr ... thybrid-en

or

http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/article/rose ... aid:609521

or

http://www.kinetics.org.uk/html/transpo ... brid.shtml

Mark1978
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Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby Mark1978 » 25 Feb 2013, 7:31pm

Agreed that a single speed isn't necessarily good. But if you want to cover distance at speed and in comfort then you'll want a road bike. There's no reason why you can't ride this in the winter with suitable tyres and maintenance.

Even so a 40 mile round trip is going to take 3 hours out of your day every day.

dbascent1986
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Joined: 24 Sep 2012, 9:14am

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby dbascent1986 » 25 Feb 2013, 7:36pm

20 miles each way - average 12~13 mph as 3/4 is in traffic. I also am not wearing bike clothes except for a Gore windstopper, dhb merino base and defeet merino gloves...plus high viz. Have reverted to flats, non spd/normal shoes, and day to day clothes. Also will shortly be using a bike with an Alfine 8 and V brakes. Do not have the legs to do this in sub zero, precip days (I am 50+) and when weather is not ideal I borrow a car. I expect realistically will do the journey by bike only 3~4 days per week. That is still 6000 mi plus p.a., hence converting to a IGH

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meic
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Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby meic » 25 Feb 2013, 7:40pm

As an aside, you should keep a log of everytime that the stretch of the M1 is blocked, both for your happiness and to buy tolerance from colleagues when you get a puncture or whatever else.
Yma o Hyd

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Swallow
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Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby Swallow » 25 Feb 2013, 8:25pm

There was asimilar thread on here recently viewtopic.php?f=7&t=71475&p=617912&hilit=long+commute#p617912
'Kernow bys Vyken'

samsbike
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Re: Is this commute doable?

Postby samsbike » 26 Feb 2013, 3:51pm

jochta wrote:I do an 18 mile route each way but not every day of the week (I would if I could but I need the car some days). It's pretty flat and on minor roads. It takes me about an hour. I usually do it fixed gear.

Showers at work are essential and somewhere to dry wet kit if you get rained on cycling in. I leave a change of clothes and shoes in my office and take them home to be washed every now and then. I carry nothing other than the essential tools, tubes and a pump. Good lights to see where I'm going required in the winter. Note that I have a 10 mile option cutting off some of my route if the weather is rubbish or I need to be quicker.


John


that's amazing and wish I could cover 18 miles in a hour. My commute (when I start again ) is around 17-18 miles and takes me about an half and a hour. Factor in extra time for showering at both ends and stretching if you need to.

I struggled to do it more than 2 days a week although occassionally I did it 3 days a week. I was shattered by Friday.

Its doable but as the others said it requires commitment and you need to really want to do it. Its easier when its warmer and drier.