good on ya mic for making a change .
i have been bike commuting for three years now , summers only ( obviously :lol: ) .
my route can be as little as fifteen minutes , but that doesn't even warm you up , so i put together a variety of routes which is usually 45 minutes each way . i try to stay off the roads as much as i can by using the valley trail which is either a paved surface , or firm gravel crush . sometimes on the way home , i'll do a little tour through the lost lake area . you might be able to put together a route which either eliminates the hill , or lets you attain that elevation more easily .
when you are a commuter , efficiency ( less sweat output ) is critical .
my challenge is towing a BOB trailer with a 45 lb dog in it , and i have a hill about a half mile up to my house which is a mentally tough thing to deal with at the end of the day , but as the summer goes on , you get stronger and mentally prepared for it . also , i got an ipod touch , and the music can be a very useful distraction .
you really learn to get yourself organized the night before , because you will have to get up earlier , and have less time to dick around .
like the poster above said , if you are committed to this program , go out and set yourself up properly , particularly if you are going to try and push this through the winter . build up a proper bike equipped with lights , fenders , rack with panniers , and a bell , and dress yourself appropriately . all the money you don't piss away on gas , you can spend on this program , and you won't regret a dime ( deutschmark )of it .