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Convince me I can commute 18km

zummerzet-louzummerzet-lou Posts: 95
edited September 2009 in Commuting chat
Well, I used to be an avid commuter - everyday, come rain or shine but it was only a 4 mile trip (each way).

Since emigrating, I now live about 18kms from work ... and whilst I know I can do the distance (very slowly, as it's been a year!), it just seems so daunting that I don't do it.

Sooo .. can I? Should I? How long can I expect to do the route in?

TIA,

Lou

Posts

  • Hi Lou, I do 12.5 miles each way most days, which is roughly 20 km. It's definitely doable. It used to take about an hour when I first started, I'm below 40 minutes each time now. Great exercise, and great fun. :D
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Depends what your route's like i.e. hilly, suburban, how many lights you have to go through.

    I would have thought an hour, tops.

    EDIT: sorry, an addition to my not so helpful post: my first commute was 8-9 miles through south London. Took about 40-45 mins. Now, it's around 14 miles, and takes about 50-55 mins (much faster route). I would have thought you'd be fine.
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  • iclestuiclestu Posts: 503
    You CAN do it. I was over 18 stone (still am!), had never cycled since I was a kid and started commuting 26miles round trip after only a few miles practice on my bike.

    You need to stop thinking about it and just do it. Give yourself plenty of time and stop for little rests along the way if you need to, get off and walk up a steep hill if you need to, but just get out there and do it.
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  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    I used to do 11 or 12 miles from my village to York College and 15 miles back on a big heavy MTB, god knows how I did it I struggle to do 3 miles commute in Manchester on my road bike. That's how I also got into cycling too.
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Take it easy to start with, then build up to 3-4 days a week, then up to the full week. 18km's is a nice distance each way.

    Get some cycle specific clothing, some waterproofs etc. and you'll be fine.
  • bomberesquebomberesque Posts: 1,701
    fossyant wrote:
    Take it easy to start with, then build up to 3-4 days a week, then up to the full week. 18km's is a nice distance each way.

    Get some cycle specific clothing, some waterproofs etc. and you'll be fine.

    ^that. All of that. Plus mudguards (full SKS ones)

    ...and get started soon (where do you live now?) Assuming you're heading into Autumn, you need to develop the habit before the winter weather arrives and tries to dissuade you. I managed by starting in May last year but you're coming in a little later. Get moving now and you should have a decent endorfin dependancy by the end of October!
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  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Sounds like a perfect commute distance. It'll take you around 40-50mins which is a lovely spin. Remember to stretch when you get to work!

    For mudguards try the new crud ones!
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Lou, I've just start a job last week that I'm intending to ride to and from as often as possible, its about 29km each way and I've already done 4 days out of 5. Thats coming from only doing club rides for the past month, and missing a few of those as well.

    I'd suggest just riding in twice a week at first then increasing the number of times as you feel capable of until you can do it every day of the week, thats what I did myself 2 years ago with another job. Hard at first (especially when the weather is sh!te) but keep it up and you'll be racing it in no time.

    As for time it depends on the route. Hilly? Headwinds? A lot of signal controlled junctions? Ped X'ings? Traffic congestion? My 29km takes about exactly 60 minutes but its mostly on traffic light free stretches with a tailwind and not too many hills. My 23 km each way last year was mostly highway and took me about a regulation 45 minutes, but up to 65 minutes with strong headwinds in winter.Again keep it up and the longer you do it the faster you'll get.

    As noted get into now while its still warm enough so you'll be well into it when winter weather arrives, and get good quality (cycling specific) gear. There's plenty of advice on the forum and now even a sticky on the topic: http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12645896
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  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    It takes me an hour to cycle this 8 mile route after 10 years of no exercise. So I'm sure you'll be fine :)
  • Jon8aJon8a Posts: 235
    I do 5 but that's not long enough so occasionally add in a scenic loop to make it 20.

    Just go for it. After a while you wonder what the fuss was. Just take your time and plan it for the first attempt. Maybe do it on a weeknd to see how hard and how long it takes.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    edited August 2009
    I used to be a little apprehensive when first faced with 21 miles to work. After a while it just becomes the way you get to work. What's 18k in English? About 10 miles? Easy. Get on with it. Aim for 30 minutes, expect it to be bit longer.

    :)
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    I do 30 kms each way every day, was fat, now not so much :D

    Just take it steady get some sensible clothing and all will be fine.
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  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    Why not start gently - couple of days a week and see how you get on ?
  • Thanks everyone .. I'm going to cycle in tomorrow and hubby is going to pick me up in the evening.

    Yes, I know but if I cycle both ways I'll a) be knackered b) miss seeing my kids in the evening (will lose 30 mins quality squabble time!)

    I don't intend this to be a regular thing, and after a few runs in, will attempt both directions.

    I have a Specialized Sirrus, complete with bar ends, Full mudguards and rack / panniers - as I said in my original post, I used to be a daily commuter!

    Oh., and I'm in NZ so we are officially on our first day of spring today, and am in Canterbury which is pretty much flat so I think that my excuses are rapidly diminishing!!

    Thanks, and I'll keep you all posted!

    Lou
  • FeynmanCFeynmanC Posts: 649
    Good on you Lou.

    I'd assumed you were local to me, by your username.

    Not fair you're just moving into the better weather and we've not even had a proper summer :(
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  • Hi - I'm originally from Somerset .. and still have the accent apparently (according to my collegues).

    You'd hate our Winter ... although it's cold overnight (gets to about -2, -3) but if it's a clear day, by midday it can be about 18 or 19 - not really what I'd class as Winter weather!

    Anyway .. thanks for all the encouragement - I shall be back tomorrow with my "trip report"

    Lou
  • beegeebeegee Posts: 160
    Also, make it really easy for yourself in the morning. Get everything you need for the ride sorted out the night before. It's things like 'oh dear me, where did I put my shorts ?' that stop the commute idea becoming reality. I bet your commute is lovely where you are.
  • FlasheartFlasheart Posts: 1,278
    You'll do fine , just watch out for the sheep :!: :twisted:

    (Aussie humour)
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  • Thanks guys ... I'm at work, a little red-faced but feeling fab for cycling to work.

    I got everything ready last night, so all I had to do was to get up, and dressed in my cycle gear that was laid out next to the bed!

    Weather was gorgeous - cold wind (which I think was mostly behind me), but clear blue skies.

    Oh, and it took 45mins door-to-door so was rather pleased with that time!

    Roll on Friday when I can do it again!

    Lou
  • Thanks guys ... I'm at work, a little red-faced but feeling fab for cycling to work.

    I got everything ready last night, so all I had to do was to get up, and dressed in my cycle gear that was laid out next to the bed!

    Weather was gorgeous - cold wind (which I think was mostly behind me), but clear blue skies.

    Oh, and it took 45mins door-to-door so was rather pleased with that time!

    Roll on Friday when I can do it again!

    Lou

    Nice work and a great time!

    I was in exactly the same predicament as yourself, and for years always considered the 22km each way too long. But, I finally went for it over a year ago now and haven't looked back.

    Still not riding 5 days a week in/out, but working my way up to it. Currently managing 3-4 days a week in and out.

    I love it and so will you.
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