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Car + cycle commute

j0hn_dj0hn_d Posts: 11
edited November 2008 in Commuting chat
Hi everybody, I'm a bit new around here, so please be gentle.

I'm starting a new job next week, but I won't be able to cycle all the way from home to work as it is 30+ miles. I was thinking that I could drive part of the route, then park the car on the outskirts of town, and cycle the rest. That would save me having to queue in loads of slow traffic, and so save me petrol, and it would save me having to pay to park. And I would get some exercise.

Is this a sensible idea? Does anybody else do anything similar?

The only problem with my idea is that I'll have to use my old (early nineties) Ridgeback hybrid, which weighs a ton, but nobody would want to nick it. I have an (almost) equally ancient Orbit road bike, but couldn't bring myself to leave that chained to a post all day.

I think new employer might be in the bike to work scheme...



  • Sounds like an excellent idea to me John! You've pretty much summed up all the reasons why it's a cunning plan.

    If new employer does ride to work scheme, maybe they'd be open to you storing yur bike somewhere on their premises rather than chaining it to a post, thereby allowing you to take the roadie rather than the hybrid.

    Worth asking!
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,612
    Dunno about car then bike, plenty on here train and bike (or bike train bike in my case)

    Sounds like a very sensible idea, thought of doing the same if I ever got a job nearer home

    you could always extend the cycling bit as you get fitter, thereby saving more on jungle juice for the car, and justifying an even nicer new bike - work out how much you save on petrol and put that towards the bike - you might be surprised

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • girv73girv73 Posts: 842
    I considered doing this when I lived 25 miles or so from work. The only problem I had was there was nowhere safe to leave my car for the day as the route was mainly deserted hill roads (and would have been an awesome commute if I was remotely fit enough to manage it). If you've got parking sorted, then I think it's a fine plan indeedy.

    Now I live ~9 miles from work and have MTFU enough to cycle the whole way ... I guess that's your other option :lol:
    Today is a good day to ride
  • If you have a big enough car then it would be good, you can change the distance depending on how you feel on the day. :D
    "If we all had hardtails we'd all go down the hill, just slower"
    Nick Larsen

    Voodoo D-Jab Ti
    Boardman Road Team 09
    Boardman Urban Team 08
    Falcon 3 Speed
  • pintoopintoo Posts: 145
    secretsam wrote:
    Dunno about car then bike, plenty on here train and bike (or bike train bike in my case)

    Ditto. Only way to find out is to try it.
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    I did exactly that for weeks before becoming fit enough to do the full distance. Works a treat. End-to-end journey times actually shorter than 100% car or 100% bike as the car is faster on the clear bits outside town and the bike is faster on the congested bits inside.
  • BagmanBagman Posts: 311
    Although I prefer to cycle all the way to work, occasionally I have to take the car. I park in the Park & Ride and cycle the remaining few miles on my brompton. How long is the cycle part of your route? I'd thoroughly recommend the Brompton for anything up to 6 or 7 miles. If I travel to London on the train, the Brompton goes with me too.
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Give the 30 miles a go on a sunny day - you will be very surprised how far you can go with loads of water!!!!
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    gtvlusso wrote:
    Give the 30 miles a go on a sunny day - you will be very surprised how far you can go with loads of water!!!!

    sounds like an Its a Knockout game- how far can you go in a silly costume with loads of water- Arthur ellis will use his dipstick to measure how much water you have left at the end
    Want to know the Spen666 behind the posts?
    Then read MY BLOG @

    Twittering @spen_666
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Seriously, 30 miles each way plus a full working day in the middle of it would be a bit of a challenge unless you're a seasoned cyclist. You'd be very sore at the end of it, and good for nothing the following day - and the experience would probably put you off. Do the car+bike thing, park a bit further away every couple of weeks and see how it goes. You've got nothing to lose except weight and petrol costs.
  • +1 for the 30 miles is too much thought. Even if it was flat all the way and you could race along at an average of 20 mph, which given the description of your bike is unlikely, it would still take 1.5 hours. A much more likely time is 2 hours there and then back again, imagine adding that onto your work day. Also as you would be burning about 2000 calories you would have to eat all day as well :D

    I cycle 12.5 miles each way and I can't imagine ever being able to do more than 20 miles twice a day.

    FCN : 4
  • j0hn_dj0hn_d Posts: 11
    Thanks for all the encouragement. I will spend the first few days looking for likely spots to leave the car, and then give it a try. Might need some decent lights though.

    I definitely like the idea of lengthening the ride gradually over the next few months, but not sure that I'm up for 60+ miles every day just yet; maybe in the summer. I've been thinking about entering the Helvellyn triathlon next year, so it could be good training.

    And I'm hoping that I don't lose any more weight; I'm only 10 stone 4 as it is.
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    spen666 wrote:
    gtvlusso wrote:
    Give the 30 miles a go on a sunny day - you will be very surprised how far you can go with loads of water!!!!

    sounds like an Its a Knockout game- how far can you go in a silly costume with loads of water- Arthur ellis will use his dipstick to measure how much water you have left at the end

    I think you have just stumbled on an amazing new show:-

    Need: - Simon Cowell, Some other talentless has beens + a load of D list celebs on bicycles performing "it's a knockout" on bicycles....

    I would watch it...
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    I was doing 36 each way in 1hr 20 or so at my peak......slept like a baby all summer long!
  • My daily commute is 48miles a day to work, and I drive 35miles to the edge of London and then do the last 13miles on cycle.
    I have done this for over a year now and it saves a fortune in fares and time.
    The size of car I use is a little KA which I roll down the back seats and take the front wheel off the bike only takes a few seconds to slipe on.

    I usually come in from the South East Bexleyheath area as long as your not near the town centre there usually free parking.

    Though showers and change of clothing is essential when getting into work.
    Yes go for it anything saves.
  • Hi

    This is exactly what my wife and I do: drive in 8 miles to near the train station we would otherwise use (just inside the London zones area) and then cycle our separate ways into work from there. This allows either of us to catch the train home if necessary (or, occasionally, we will leave the bike at work overnight and get the train home and in the next day); it also cuts what would be a 23/24 mile ride each way for me (starting/ending on the top of the North Downs) down to a manageable size.

    We have cheap bike carriers on the roof rack of the car - after 3 months it now takes me less than 5 mins to mount or dismount both bikes and equipment to/from the car. Wish we had a tow-bar so we could have a wife-friendly bike-rack on there! If there was only one bike I would agree with just putting the back seats down and taking the front wheel off (might want a cheap tarpaulin to protect the inside of the car, though).

    I like the idea of varying the distance of the commute. If you sort out half a dozen places to park at various distances then you can both vary the length but also vary the scenery (although there is nothing wrong with varying the route from the same starting point, anyway). It also allows you flexibility if you are running late or need to get home sooner (although I reckon, even at my stately speed on a hybrid, I regularly outpace the 4+ wheel traffic over the half of my ride closest to London).

    Go for it, and good luck.

  • janglejangle Posts: 114
    Hi, new here..

    I drive\cycle most days to work for exactly the same reasons as you stated. I also have several different starting points so I can do the distance I want to do\have time for each day. Having not really had any real cycling experience I started at about 4.5 miles and now after a couple of months up to about 6.5 miles. My aim is to get to 14 miles but will probably be looking at moving on to a road bike instead of my slick shod MTB.

    I would definitely recommend it. Opened my eyes to the world of cycling :D
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,612
    Final thought - if you were thinking of getting a car for this trip, and this is all it will be used for, why not save a few bob and get a cheap second hand van eg Escort size? (I've always wanted a van... :oops: )

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
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