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Commute to work

Octopus1Octopus1 Posts: 56
edited February 2014 in Commuting general
Hi,

Can the hive mind help me with something ?

I have a 6.5mile commute to work.
First 3 miles all back roads and fairly quiet, 200ft climbing and one nice downhill. Second 3.5miles shared cycle paths, outskirts of Uxbridge and generally a lot busier, all flat. It's taking me 30minutes to cycle on a tricross with 32c tyres.
Is this a reasonable time ?
I know average speed is about 13mph, which seem a bit slow. Journey back takes 35minutes due to slower speed climbing and average speed 11.9 according to garmin.
Thanks

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,494
    It's about the same time it takes me to do 10.7 miles on my winter road bike .... but then I'm riding on roads ... with narrow tyres .. but I do have 500' of climbing ... ;)

    You need to think about it carefully - 3.5 miles of shared cycle paths don't necessarily mean easy riding - if they are busy or have a lot of gates to get through that quickly drops your average speed and there's nothing much you can do about it.
    3 miles of backroads - depends how clear they are - the backroads I cycle are ok for cycling at speed - ie I can see far enough forwards and there aren't any junctions to worry about, plus as it's quiet I can hear vehicles before I see them - that allows me to put my foot down a bit more.

    I also ride a tricross and have some 32mm slicks on it atm - plus mudguards and a rack and bag - it's slower than my road bike - until I swap the 32mm slicks for 23mm slicks!

    So, yes, there's probably room for improvement - I would think the best way to do it would be to segment the ride - load your rides to strava - keep them private if you like - create sensible segments - again, these can be private - and see if you can improve on those segment times. Don't worry about the overall speed as there will be bits that you have no control over (eg waiting for a dog walker to regain some control over their dog!) ...
  • davisdavis Posts: 2,566
    It's not by any means fast... but do you honestly care?

    I.e. do you want to get quicker, or are you happy? If you're happy, carry on as you are.

    If you do want to go more quickly, then yes you could switch the tyres, maybe upgrade components to make the bike faster, or get a full-on road bike. If you don't fancy spending money, then pump up your tyres, clean your bike (a clean drive-train is more efficient) and simply start riding faster! Your fitness will increase as you're working harder.
    Sometimes parts break. Sometimes you crash. Sometimes it’s your fault.
  • it's an ok time. If you want to go faster then you need to work on your fitness - narrower, lighter tyres may help but with a loss of comfort and puncture protection (if your current tyres has protection).

    But really, unless you're going from a really terrible, heavy bike to a light expensive one (or I should say, an inappropriate bike for what its being used for to a more appropriate one) then the gains in speed wont amount to an awful lot compared to the gains improved fitness will give you.
  • I cycle from Uxbridge to Hanger Lane on my commute, roughly 10 miles in about 40 mins, give or take. I mainly ride a single speed (52-16) on 25mm tyres. As Davis says, pumped up tyres make a hell of a difference!
    I know Uxbridge quite well, and there are loads of sections that you have absolutely no control over, crossings, lights, censored cycle lanes, badly positioned junctions, school drop off's etc., can be really frustrating!
    If you want to improve your speed, heed Slowbike's advice and crack on a few Strava segments - it's amazing how quickly you get competitive, and there are loads round Uxbridge. That way, you end up not bothering how long it takes you to do a sustained 30 minute all out attempt to beat your total time to work, and you'll choose a few segments to improve on.

    Good luck fella, and enjoy it - the more you enjoy it, the more you'll do it, the quicker you'll get!
    Boardman 8.9 SLR - Summer
    Holdsworth La Quelda - Commuter
    Moda Intro - Winter
    Planet X Stealth - TT
  • Dear All,

    Thanks for your feedback. I was previously commuting 12 miles to Pinner and taking 45 mins but that was on good roads, no lights and one hill (Harefield). Tomhowells is right, the roads around Uxbridge are pretty poor and I think that's slowing me down. I think slowbikes idea about strava segments is good and will help me look to improve. My cardio is the main area I want to work on, we have showers at work so not bothered about the effort involved. I'm finding that 16.5stone is a lot get up a hill, did get down to 15.3 last year but now I'm doing lest distance i have to watch what I'm eating. Cutting back to 1,500 calories a day is helping but I'm thinking I might have to start running :oops: in off road, on the local tow path to really get the weight down.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Octopus1 wrote:
    I'm finding that 16.5stone is a lot get up a hill
    That explains your speed/time!

    My commute is very similar to yours, 6.7 miles, I have a net drop in the first half of 50m and a net rise in the second half of 50m (altitude difference at each end is just 4m), I have 4.5 miles of open county roads and 2 and a bit of more congested roads and a cycle path.

    I average 14-15 mph over the journey but have 3.5 stone less to haul up the hills.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    Octopus1 wrote:
    Dear All,

    Thanks for your feedback. I was previously commuting 12 miles to Pinner and taking 45 mins but that was on good roads, no lights and one hill (Harefield). Tomhowells is right, the roads around Uxbridge are pretty poor and I think that's slowing me down. I think slowbikes idea about strava segments is good and will help me look to improve. My cardio is the main area I want to work on, we have showers at work so not bothered about the effort involved. I'm finding that 16.5stone is a lot get up a hill, did get down to 15.3 last year but now I'm doing lest distance i have to watch what I'm eating. Cutting back to 1,500 calories a day is helping but I'm thinking I might have to start running :oops: in off road, on the local tow path to really get the weight down.

    Run?

    Eugh. :? You have a bike. Go for longer rides on the way home or on the way in and leave home earlier.

    Run. You'll be telling me you bloody swim next.

    (I could do a the direct 10 mile route into work, but I choose the 12 mile one as it is WAY nicer and also like to loop round the river path via Nottingham for an 18 mile version. Find alternate routes, burn calories.)
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    +1 KB my minimum is a 6.5mile route but I often extend to 15miles or so.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Run. You'll be telling me you bloody swim next.
    Worse still that he warms up for a bike ride with a swim and then has a run afterwards!
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