My commute is 10 miles roundtrip (which sounds so much tougher than 5 miles each way!), and I budget 30 minutes each way. I don't really take that long, but (1) I never get out of the house on time in the morning and (2) it allows me to stop at a store if need be on the way home if I push it up the hills. I confess that I've been known to commute on an electric bike. I don't know how much it takes off my time, because I haven't done this commute on my road bike (we moved to this house while I was pregnant, and road bike + pregnant belly don't mix).
Of course, I haven't done the commute in three months because today is my first day back from maternity leave (where's the weeping icon) and I had a BOATLOAD of stuff to bring in (clothes, food, drink, pump...). Wednesday will probably be my first day back on the bike because of childcare juggling tomorrow.
It looks like I'm a year or two behind the crowd here -- we have a 2 year old and an (almost) 3 month old. We're definitely due for a kid friendly happy hour. Our oldest has gotten to be quite the Strider-bike rider.
Tough to define when I started bike commuting.
Was it in college when I rode 3-4 miles between my apartment and campus a few times a week? I drove a lot back then too, but biked to stretch my gas budget so I didn't have to cut my beer and pizza budget.
Was it after college when I was struggling to find work as a theater designer and riding my bike was the only economical way to entertain myself? Because this was Chicago I still drove a lot and took the el - and for a lot of my work I was hauling far too much stuff to even consider biking.
I did all that riding, sometimes 15-30 mile round trips per day plus 30-50 of "training" some nights, but I didn't think of myself as a "bike commuter" because there were so many excuses not to ride and I used them all. Especially when I got out of theater and started working in offices - can't be sweaty and gross, gotta be clean and well-pressed...
By my definition, I guess I started commuting by bike when I stopped using any other means to get there, which would have been 2003 or 2004. I was working as a technology consultant to non-profit organizations, many of which had offices in parts of the city that are difficult to reach (in a hurry anyway) by public transit. Also, I billed (and was paid) by the hour, so time spent on a bus, transferring trains, or waiting for some mid-day track work delay was time and money I would miss out on.
My route was varied, my distance too. Often I'd start off using Mass Ave or Florida Ave from NE to NW, some of the nastiest roads we have for casual riders. I had clients in Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Courthouse, Ballston, and Hybla Valley (and a bunch right in the center city too), so I'd do at least 10 miles on a light day and as much as 50 if a client needed an unscheduled or emergency visit. Most days I could anticipate, but not all.
Weather conditions didn't matter, so I rode in rain and snow and ice and heat and humidity and a bunch of really nice days too. I started buying office clothing for its wicking properties - polyester shirts, convertible pants/shorts, padded undershorts, SPD shoes that look like normal footwear. Waterproof sling messenger bags gave way to waterproof backpacks as my neck got sore, and I started searching for just the right set of all-weather gloves.
(For some of this time I was also hauling a kid in a trailer, which meant no matter what my final destination was I'd always start and end with a two mile jaunt from Cap Hill to L'Enfant.)
When time came to change jobs in 2008, I was dedicated to biking to work as much as possible all year. I was also dedicated to being within 30 minutes of my kid's school, even if that meant I couldn't take the slightly higher paying jobs I found early on in Reston, Rockville, and even Bethesda and Alexandria were on the edge. Fortunately I found work much closer, though it took an extra couple of months to do so.
What was the question? Oh yeah...
For the past few years my commute went from home to kid's school to the office, then office to school to home. Total was 6 miles a day, and most of them were sprinted. Now I've cut that in half (new school!) and almost all of it is at kid biking intensity - so, 3 easy miles split into two rides.
A little under 10 miles each way, Falls Church to Foggy Bottom on the WOD/MCT. ~35 minutes in the morning (downhill leg), 40-45 minutes home (uphill leg).
I ride in 3X/week - I've found I get burned out if I try to do more than that. I draw the line at having to install studded tires; otherwise, I commute rain or shine, regardless of the temperature. After all, there is no bad weather, only bad clothes!
I have trouble accepting headwinds with good grace, but otherwise it's all good.
Last edited by Drewdane; 02-22-2013 at 12:41 PM.
I'm almost embarrassed to say that mine is less than four miles each way which I can stretch to six or seven if I include some grocery shopping. All urban and near suburban with a choice of hilly side streets, busy urban rush hour raceways or a couple of miles down the scenic Sligo Creek trail for the shopping run. Upside of a short route is being able to ride every day (almost) without regard to the weather with plain old street clothes and sweaters.
I've got between 26-30 miles RT (13-15 miles each way), depending on the route. City is about 13 miles, trails are about 15 miles. I travel from Takoma Park to Arlington (there's a thread on here with excellent recommendations people provided to me) and have started to do the half-time commute (bike in one day and home the next).
The total moving time is only around 60-70 minutes (quicker going home) and about 70-90 minutes with stop signs/stop lights/obeying traffic laws tossed in there. The time isn't really an issue though, since that's about the same as my metro commute on a good day.
Built my route and half-commute plans based on the advice of all the great folks here. Did it occasionally in the fall and then full-on committed when my wife got me a Garmin 200 for xmas. I just have to beat that little digital bike man on my commute. Let me tell you, he's crap on the flats, but FLIES up those hills. 12 mph the whole way...amazing...
Might have seen some of you out there on the CCT today. It was the busiest i've seen it in awhile. I'm the dude with the black skateboarder helmet, bright yellow jacket, black trek 7.2 FX with barends and grey running pants. My students think i'm quite fashion forward in that getup! See you all on the trails!
My commute is 17 miles round trip and I feel very lucky that it takes me exactly the same amount of time that taking public transportation would (bus + metro) and is INFINITELY more enjoyable. I have secure parking at work, so I have done as others suggested and done the one-way commute, either due to weather or when I started up my commute again after maternity leave and just did not have the energy for all of it in one day. I also have little kids and I love it that I can kill two birds with one stone - exercise and commute all in one since there is no time for exercise otherwise. I'm very impressed with some of these longer commutes!
Around 6.2 miles each way, 30-35 minutes to bike each way, from Falls Church to Tyson's Corner. Fwiw, the car route is 7 miles and takes around 20 minutes on average.
My commute is 16 miles each way. It's just out the W&OD so it takes me around 50-55 minutes moving time on a normal day, and 55-60 minutes total travel time. I think it is a perfect length commute, since it provides a good workout without huge daily obligation (or take away from family life). I also love that I can detour through Lake Fairfax Park mtb (or cx, in my case) trails.
I feel guilty about this, but my commute to work is a mile. Ballston to Clarendon. I know I'm lucky to have an easy commute, but come next year my office is moving to the Reston area so that will come to an end. Some days I'm "lazy" and just walk instead of ride.
Hit me up when you move and we can coordinate commuting our together sometime. (I commute from Westover to Reston.) I actually think I am lucky to have a longer commute; it makes me get exercise I need without me having to make special time for that. And an hour is good decompress time coming home from work.
Originally Posted by MRH5028
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