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How far do you or would you commute to work by bike? Even in wet weather?

Nov. 25, 2021, 11:57 a.m.
Posts: 1719
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: syncro

Consider that you'd have access to shower facilities and that the return trip would be in the evening around 9pm, how far/long would you be willing to ride for? Including in wet weather?

All I'd care about is how bad the climbs are. Used to commute 7km each way for work, which is a sad stones throw, but goddam that monster climb at the end going home in the dark was soul sucking. 

Buddy moved to the Netherlands last year and his weekly mileage rocketed to like 530km a week...with several hard millimeters of elevation gain.

Nov. 27, 2021, 7:08 p.m.
Posts: 1459
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

I have had two 25km each way [so 50km total] regular commutes in my working life. That's about 1hr each way which is the max I can spend biking and work a full day plus have a life of any kind. I've ridden in snow, rain, high winds, and freezing temperatures. That said if it was forecast to rain heavily I'd skip the bike and drive.

One of those commutes was 25kms by transit and then another 25kms on bike each way. I rode the whole 50kms x 2 in the summer sometimes, but that was too far to ride to work regularly. 

I don't have any sort of commute these days, but if I was going to pick  a perfect commute length it  would be 15kms with a few good climbs. That length is enough to be worth gearing up and riding a bike for [plus the climbs are good training] without taking so long it eats up too much of the day. I don't actually like flat commutes because after a while just adding more flat KMs to the legs doesn't do anything good. Climbs can be attacked hard or cruised up in a low gear so they always do something good for my fitness.

Nov. 29, 2021, 10:28 a.m.
Posts: 289
Joined: Jan. 21, 2013

+1 on the ~15km range, if the weather totally goes off the rails that's not quite enough time to get the emergency foil blanket out, but it is enough time to get warmed up on a decent day and settle in.

Nov. 29, 2021, 4:23 p.m.
Posts: 1459
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: mrbrett

+1 on the ~15km range, if the weather totally goes off the rails that's not quite enough time to get the emergency foil blanket out, but it is enough time to get warmed up on a decent day and settle in.

For sure. You can also always extend a 15K commute...especially on the way home...if you wanted more riding.

Nov. 29, 2021, 9:10 p.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct. 7, 2020

The longest commuter I ever had was 17km each way, but the route, while mostly protected, was not nice or exciting and seemed like a slog, it was a lot to do 3x a week (I'm mid-40s, that does matter) and left me tired for the weekend rides. Currently doing just about 7-8km each way, shortest I've ever had but it's over the exceptionally unpleasant Knight Street Bridge so it is my least preferred of all. 

Best commute I had was 25km round trip, did that 3x a week year round, the last part was along the river in south burnaby and I had a selection of several routes to get there so it was overall my favourite. Perfect length, really nice ride, I could have made a calendar with all the beautiful pics I got along water. 

I've been job hunting in the last few years and I absolutely consider the bike commute to a new location, it's a big quality of life thing for me. Heavy wildfire smoke is the only thing that has kept me from riding, I have a set of wheels with studded tires for the winter which make icy conditions comfortable. My MTB stamina definitely suffers if I don't do the mid-week commutes.

Nov. 29, 2021, 9:15 p.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct. 7, 2020

Posted by: Vikb

a perfect commute length it  would be 15kms with a few good climbs. That length is enough to be worth gearing up and riding a bike for [plus the climbs are good training] without taking so long it eats up too much of the day. I don't actually like flat commutes because after a while just adding more flat KMs to the legs doesn't do anything good. Climbs can be attacked hard or cruised up in a low gear so they always do something good for my fitness.

+1. I used to commit to climbing Kerr from East Kent 1x/week, attacking up from Marine and setting progressively further "sit down" spots. Definitely paid dividends on the weekend.

Nov. 30, 2021, 2:23 p.m.
Posts: 105
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I haven't been bike commuting since I got a new job in April. Before that it was 4-5x week, 25 mile roundtrip. I started hammering on the way home, standing most of the time. Paid off big time for trail rides.

Gotta get back to it, even with the increased distance.

Jan. 12, 2022, 9:52 a.m.
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov. 30, 2021

~10km each way. For about 35years. Year round except when snow or black ice…been there and done that and it didn’t end well.

Jan. 31, 2022, 8:13 p.m.
Posts: 2460
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

lol

Feb. 2, 2022, 10:41 a.m.
Posts: 13179
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Currently I have a hard time getting back on the "three times a week commute by bike" train ... dark, wet and cold weather along with lots of not so nice stuff at work, Corona being one of that. Moved house end of last year and have about 15 to 20km one way with 250 to 300 mtr of climbing one way, about half of it on designated bike lanes and paths. 

I have tried all alternative routes, longer ones with less climbing and less cars and traffic in the last years but commuting by bike has just become kind of incredibly boring and somewhat dull. Motivation is out of the window it seems.

Feb. 2, 2022, 6:36 p.m.
Posts: 1451
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

My commute is only about 6km each way and almost all on bike routes in Vancouver. I have ridden it 5 days a week every day of the year regardless of weather for the past 20 years. It has some elevation to it, so it isnt flat and boring. The fact that I am doing it on my single speed makes it worth the ride, and it is often a part of the day I look forward to (especially in the nice weather). Taking transit would actually take longer (I have had to try it a couple of times) and it would be on the dreaded 99 . Additionally there is no parking available near my workplace so driving is not an option. Its an easy choice for me to gear up and throw my leg over my SS.

Feb. 3, 2022, 2:14 a.m.
Posts: 13179
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Posted by: shoreboy

My commute is only about 6km each way and almost all on bike routes in Vancouver. I have ridden it 5 days a week every day of the year regardless of weather for the past 20 years. It has some elevation to it, so it isnt flat and boring. The fact that I am doing it on my single speed makes it worth the ride, and it is often a part of the day I look forward to (especially in the nice weather). Taking transit would actually take longer (I have had to try it a couple of times) and it would be on the dreaded 99 . Additionally there is no parking available near my workplace so driving is not an option. Its an easy choice for me to gear up and throw my leg over my SS.

That is quite impressive. Not the length but for how long you have been doing that. Holy. And I am sitting here, whining about climbing and the weather and whatnot. Old

Feb. 28, 2022, 2:43 p.m.
Posts: 136
Joined: March 12, 2021

Posted by: syncro

Consider that you'd have access to shower facilities and that the return trip would be in the evening around 9pm, how far/long would you be willing to ride for? Including in wet weather?

If I am being totally honest I wouldn't consider it.  I've been hit by cars while commuting by bike too many times - and each time it was broad daylight.  I would not like my odds at night, especially if its raining and visibility for drivers is that much worse.

I don't have shower facilities at work and it's only 19km round trip - but I still only bike/run commute from like May to September...  Not only because of the weather but because I also have lots of daylight when I'm commuting.

Feb. 28, 2022, 2:54 p.m.
Posts: 2460
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

^^^

That was a big consideration at my last worksite. At the new site however I'm about 15min closer and have the advantage of being on bike routes the whole way, which significantly decreases the risk factor. There's also the bonus of on-site laundry, so even if I get wet I can wash my riding gear and have it clean/dry for the ride home. Looking at the price of gas today I was thinking it's definitely time to start commuting on a consistent basis.

Feb. 28, 2022, 4:51 p.m.
Posts: 1459
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Posted by: Mic

Currently I have a hard time getting back on the "three times a week commute by bike" train ... dark, wet and cold weather along with lots of not so nice stuff at work, Corona being one of that. Moved house end of last year and have about 15 to 20km one way with 250 to 300 mtr of climbing one way, about half of it on designated bike lanes and paths. 

I have tried all alternative routes, longer ones with less climbing and less cars and traffic in the last years but commuting by bike has just become kind of incredibly boring and somewhat dull. Motivation is out of the window it seems.

Maybe set some more modest goals like commute 1 day/week if weather is reasonable one of the days? I find with any challenge like this getting something happening that feels like success...however modest... makes me feel good and then it's easier to build on it. Even one 30-40km round trip commute per week is great. Nothing to sneeze at.

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