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How far is too far to commute by bike?

andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
edited October 2017 in Commuting general
Hi all

I currently commute approx 5 miles to work and 5 back.

I've been offered two new jobs both better than current so I will be taking one, just not sure which one ye.

Job A is currently 3 miles away but moving shortley to about 5 or 6 miles.

Job B is 22 miles away and not moving. I guess it'll take about 2 hr/2 hr 30 mins door-door and changing and same again back.
Is there enough hrs in the day? Due to child care drop off, earliest I can leave is 8:45am so be arriving between 11-12 ish and if left at 6 be home for 8-9. I guess I could also drive 1/2 way if can find somewhere on route to park up and get bike out. The job is flexi time so as long as work the 35 hrs not too fused of start/finish times.
How many days could I cycle this distance and do a desk job as both involve days where I'd be travelling to other officers I won't be able to do everyday anyway - just not too sure how much travelling is involved.
Thanks Andy

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    It shouldn't take you 2.5 hours to ride 22 miles and get changed unless there's something I'm missing ? What kind of terrain or traffic is there ?

    Personally I'd have a dry run of the long one to get a better idea.

    I'd have thought that one would be fine especially if it's not every day.

    The 6 miler you could do that 7 days a week.
  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    yeah the short one be easy and similar to what I do now.
    I used a cycle route calculator that gave approx time and logically if avg 15 mph then be 1 hr 30 plus time to park up shower and get changed - aprox 2 hr.
    The route in to the long one be down some A rds (A426) Leicester to Rugby, quick road or cycle paths on longer ride home mainly single country road with traffic at national 60/70 mph, fairly flat ish.
    It takes me about 30 mins door to door riding current 5 mile to town and getting changed & be at desk as I stop at lights and ride defensively
  • Is there a "park&ride" you could use? I checked with the council here and broadly they don't care how you travel onwards from the P&R - buses happen to run, but ride-sharing or cycling were alternatives that they mentioned without prompting to me. (One of the P&R car parks has bike lockers that you can rent for up to a year at a time so you don't even have to carry the bike every day)
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    Do both jobs allow you to start at a time of your choosing?
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  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    No park n ride that I'm aware of. As I say its a main A rd pealing off to motorway.
    Yes both jobs are flexible so start/finishing times arnt set as long as balances,
    Not even sure whether either have showers/changing facilities yet..
    Not sure if best to decide on job based on whether can cycle there or not.
    I guess I personally prefer the job further away but family reckon the closer one travel expenses/ commute time as been two of reasons. :cry:
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    22 miles each way is certainly doable 3 times a week.

    In time, if the route is flat (and your work is largely desk based as stated rather than something you are on your feet for) then you could do it 5 days a week, although that's a pretty big ask for most bike commuters.

    If you aren't already, you'll probably want to get a proper road bike for the commute, as that will make it easier and quicker.

    22 miles should be doable in an hour and a half, assuming there aren't too many traffic lights and junctions to deal with (and again, assuming the route is fairly flat).
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    In fact, with you describing a major A road as being the bulk of the ride, you could look at a time trial bike, which would make it even quicker (especially as you should be riding outside the worst of rush hour).
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    AndyH01 wrote:
    No park n ride that I'm aware of. As I say its a main A rd pealing off to motorway.
    Yes both jobs are flexible so start/finishing times arnt set as long as balances,
    Not even sure whether either have showers/changing facilities yet..
    Not sure if best to decide on job based on whether can cycle there or not.
    I guess I personally prefer the job further away but family reckon the closer one travel expenses/ commute time as been two of reasons. :cry:

    Can you accrue credit? If so, I'd be looking at doing two 12 hour days, use the car. Frees up time for shorter days and commute 3 days.

    That said, it all sounds like a bit of a ballache and it may end up that you'll get so fed up of not seeing the kids that you'll pack it in.
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  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    As I'd be doing the school run, the youngest goes in trailer hence why was looking at a Titanium do it all bike, which rules out carbon or TT bike for durability.

    "That said, it all sounds like a bit of a ballache and it may end up that you'll get so fed up of not seeing the kids that you'll pack it in." - Yes this is a concern - I used to work about 15 miles away down the M69 which was difficult as took over an hr in the car, to get home, due to traffic, also Saturday working too.
    As the further-away job is cross country the traffic won't be too bad and if driving, probably take as long, as what it would to get home from the closer one on the bike. ie 30/40 mins.

    "22 miles should be doable in an hour and a half, assuming there aren't too many traffic lights and junctions to deal with (and again, assuming the route is fairly flat)". - Not too many steep hills but some major junctions/roundabout one roundabout queuing traffic to turn left towards the motorway but I'll be going right so should be able to filter through. Does the hr and 1/2 include parking and getting changed at the other end or just journey time? If journey time then by time recovered and got changed probably be extra 1/2 hr so 2 hr total before at desk.
  • zebra67zebra67 Posts: 113
    It could take me 2.5 hours to cycle 22 miles each way & get changed (some of us are wimps).

    "could also drive 1/2 way if can find somewhere on route to park up and get bike out."

    I know some people who that.
    I take the train for 14 miles & then cycle 3.3 miles.

    Another option locally is to cycle one way & get a train most of way back.

    There was a well-known guy (time trialler) in East Midlands who commuted Leicester to Nottingham almost daily, often varying his route to make it at least 25 miles each way. But could duck out on terrible weather days due to good train services, too.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,025
    My max is 16 miles each way.
    I loved my winter commute especially the coming back... as it was gravity assisted. I never felt threatened on a non HGV route A rural (ish) A road. Except of course when coming into the towns either side - always full of dickheads in a mental state of road wars.
    If my route included a road filled with HGVs, I think I'd reconsider though.. life is too short to be passed at over 50mph by 44tonnes on a constant basis - censored will happen.
    However, the distance is the key for me.
  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    To complicate matters a similar role to that of the further-away job has come up at a different department in the other organisation that isn't too far away! So I either take the further away one and hopefully secure the post at the closer one or take the close one then look for internal transfer, which given the timing be awkward.

    I automatically ruled out train due to costing and time but actually maybe I could cycle to Leicester train station (about 4 miles) jump on train one stop to Rugby and I think office is close by then cycle back.

    The most direct route is busiest but is 18 miles or the longer quieter route via ncn is 23 miles and the balaced route is 22 miles.
  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    Just had a quick check on train #14.20 on the day single 1hr 3 mins with one change via Nuneaton so 20 min ride to Leicester train station - train to nueaton 25 mins cycle from nuneaton to office circa 1hr at avg 16 mph as 16 miles - so be better just to cycle or drive.

    Maybe I could drive to work with bike in/on car, leave car at work overnight, cycle home and bk the nxt morning and drive bk in evening
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Just saw this.

    2.5 hours seems a bit long, I used to do 21 miles and once I'd got my fitness up to scratch and had a routine it was about 1.5 hours from leaving the house to being poised & ready at the desk. That was made up of about 1:05 - 1:10 cycling, 10 mins to calm down & stop sweating then 10 mins in the bog having a strip wash & change. At a push I could leave as late as 7:30 and be 'at work' by 9, but usually 7:15-7:20 was more reasonable. This relied on not carrying anything other than basic tools & prk - clothes were shipped in & out on car days. Another mile is another 4-5 mins, so factor that in.

    Even at a peak I couldn't do all 5 days. Did it twice just to prove I could but usually 2-3 days were enough to enjoy it without it being a chore.

    The 426 is quite busy out of Leicester and into Lutterworth but is wide enough to be safe, so you'll be okay on it. The steep drop into Rugby will be a nice end to the ride in, and a nice warm-up / loosener on the way back.
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    I used to work flexitime and whilst it was essentially come-and-go-as-you-please-so-long-as-you-get-the-hours-in, there were still some core hours that you had to be in for (in before 10, no leaving before 4) so be clear on your T&Cs.
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  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    figbat wrote:
    I used to work flexitime and whilst it was essentially come-and-go-as-you-please-so-long-as-you-get-the-hours-in, there were still some core hours that you had to be in for (in before 10, no leaving before 4) so be clear on your T&Cs.

    Yes.I get this I too have previously worked flexi with core hrs same as you, before 10 & after 4. The further afeild role has NO CORe hrs ... as such... though not sure what time building gets locked etc ....

    In all honesty probably end up driving and save the riding for the evening/w/e ... I still thing an electric bike with pedals legal and capable of going circa 50mph when needed, be ideal I guess society hasn't caught up yet....
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,025
    Interview on Monday for a job that will have a fantastic commute. 12 mile with a one hell of a draggy hill to build up a level of fitness that will surpass all the turbo sh it over winter. Pity the hill bit is on the way in tho' cant have it all.
    Good roads.. no HGVs .
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Interesting comments.

    Since January this year I started commuting by bike and train: home - train station 1.7mile cycle, 15-20min train, then another 0.6mile cycle from train station to work place. No biggie. Maybe it's not even considered as "cycle comnmute"!

    Since July I started getting off the train halfway, increasing cycle miles to total 7miles each way (20min cycle time). Again, no biggie. Couple of pounds of saving each day and I get more exercise.

    Now I've started cycling the whole way. 14.6 - 15miles on town / A routes. Average of 18mph, some undulating route but nothing severe. 46-55min depending on the condition, traffic, etc (google Map cycle route estimates 1.5hr ride!). Luckily for me there's not much difference between taking the train all the way and cycling (about 10min longer journey on bike). Savings of £4.60 everyday and good amount of exercise.

    We will be moving in couple of years which may increase my commute distance to around 20miles so it's very helpful to gauge what people think, have experienced.

    Good luck to you both AndyH01 and JGSI on your job decision, I'm sure you'll make the right decisions.

    Happy cycling!
  • CiB wrote:
    Just saw this.

    The 426 is quite busy out of Leicester and into Lutterworth but is wide enough to be safe, so you'll be okay on it. The steep drop into Rugby will be a nice end to the ride in, and a nice warm-up / loosener on the way back.

    Not sure I agree with you there. I avoid it where possible. There are back roads that won't add much time and distance but will add to the pleasure.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    fatsmoker wrote:
    There are back roads that won't add much time and distance but will add to the pleasure.

    I second this comment. Part of my commute has similar road: busy A road directly into a city centre where I work, full of moving traffic, but more than wide enough for cyclist to stay away from drains and curbs and vehicles still have space easily overtake (no line marks to separate cyclist and cars though). But it’s a constant fast traffic (40mph zone, most on 45mph speed…) and I get psyched up by the fast cars so I’m always on “red line” when I cycle that stretch.

    However, there’s also a part of National Cycle Route that run similar direction, semi-direct to work. It adds approx. 5min more journey if I take that NCR due to negotiating fellow cyclists and pedestrians (dog walkers with no leads mainly). But my mood is definitely a lot more relaxed and I don’t get all wound up like I do when I cycle next to fast moving traffic. The change of scenery give me a moment to clear my head and actually enjoy the surroundings.

    A road gets me quicker to work. NCR lets me forget time a bit. I think it's nice to find alternative route for a change. Sometimes the extra 5min doesn’t feel like I lost 5min of my life!
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    I did 21 miles each way for 3 months. It was a rolling (hilly for me) route (Polesworth to University of Warwick). When I started I knew it was only for 3 months. I think the fastest I ever did the ride was 1:20, would often be nearer 1:30. The most I ever did was 4 days on the trot, and managed to break it up the rest of the time with days working from home, stopping over with mates and holidays.

    It was October - December which had its own challenges, and I basically destroyed the road bike I was using in that time. It was a well used bike anyway, but by the end of the 3 months the rims, hubs, chain rings, chain, cassette and headset were all wrecked. I had the bottom bracket replaced during the first month, so that was ok.

    I ride a planet x London Road for my (5 miles each way) commute now, and I think that would have been a much better bike to have done that on. Full guards, wider tyres and disc brakes. My route was along a lot of narrow lanes in farming areas and they were all coated in grime the entire time that got all over the bike.

    I'd do it again, but I hate the expense of owning another car (we just have 1 in our family), or paying for trains/buses all the time. I'd far rather spend money on bikes and cycling clothing. If you can I'd look to either get to work and back via other means some days a week or find a suitable spot half way to leave the car and ride the rest of the way.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,415
    I missed this so maybe too late, but I do 20 miles each way 5 days a week. It's hard going, but doable, I've been doing it for nearly 2 years now.

    Riding time is almost always less than an 1.5 hours, unless the weather is atrocious. And I carry everything I need with me daily (nowhere to store stuff at work) other than trousers and shoes.

    It grinds me down sometimes (see my thread in the chat forum) but its preferable to the other affordable options. I'd be tempted by an electric car, but couldn't afford to buy or park one.
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Is an e bike a possibility ?
  • If it was me and I was happy with both jobs I would take the one closer to home.
    You can always take a longer route if you want more time on the bike, plus its closer to home for those days where you cant or don't want to cycle 40 miles a day.

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  • andyh01andyh01 Posts: 571
    Thanks all. Quick update my perceived prefered job was the futherest away one however this fell through so waiting to see what happens with the closer to home one.
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