50 miles a day for four hours

Discussion in 'General' started by MPGranger, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. MPGranger

    MPGranger Member

    So I just bought a bike to ride to work. I go just shy of 25 miles there and another 25 back. It takes me two hours (currently) to run this course. I wake up at 4AM to get to work at 6AM.
    I take two bike trails the Fall Line Trace and the River Walk, which links up and drops me in the general location of my company.


    The map is decent but doesn't show the full extent of the river walk. Also the one park and ride is right by my daughter's daycare, so on days I need to pick her up I can park there and ride down to work, cutting about 30 minutes off right now.

    It takes me 45 minutes to drive to work and my goal is to be able to do my course, from flat rock park to my company, in an hour and a half. And to be fit enough to do the course 5 times a week, if I don't need the Ranger for anything. I got passed with one mile left to go to get home by a guy with a beer belly on Wednesday, I was so embarrassed. Unfortunately, I couldn't pick up enough steam to repass him.

    I bought a $1,800 worth of bicycle stuff. I bought a kiddie pull along, to convince my wife to exercise with me and our baby. I also grabbed a garmin watch that tracks distance, time, and my heart rate. And then the bike itself was $800, plus all the add ons like bottle mounts and lights and repair kits. I also grabbed a helmet and some bike shorts. I still need a decent pair of sunglasses, maybe something that darkens in the light so I can use it during my early morning commutes.
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    That looks awesome.

    Don't be concerned about the beer belly, that could mean they ride a lot due to having their license suspended for DUI. (Yes, I'm serious. It seems to be relatively common amongst alcoholics.)

    My plan for next year (as it was for this year, but I'm a serial procrastinator) was to get an e-bike like


    and then, except in icy winter, commute the 41.4 to 47 mile round trip (length depends on route) once per week (on whatever day my wife would go out in the evening).
  3. MPGranger

    MPGranger Member

    Now I might get an electric motor kit, because I am lazy. LOL But I want something that is charged based off of me pedaling not just charging on the grid. I wonder if they make lights that connect to the battery pack? It would be pretty weird seeing the lights dim every time you turn the motor on. LOL
  4. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Good luck with that commuting plan! Is your route very hilly? I commuted by bike 8.5 hilly miles (one-way) here, 4.5 heavy suburban traffic miles in Va., 3.5 small-town miles in N.C., and 1.5 small-town miles in Jersey.
  5. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    Good luck MPGranger!

    I mostly commute (1.5 miles each way) by bike. Not much exercise, but better than none. Takes short trips off the car mpg results.

    Coolest lights I've seen are powered by a front hub generator. Expensive up front, but then no batteries to change.
  6. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    25 miles one way is a haul. From the biking forums -- I'd say 5 to 12 miles (each way) is about average.

    I'd be careful that you don't bite off too much too quick and get injured or burnt out.
  7. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I'd love to ride my bike to work, but if I did I'd have to leave at 4:30 AM to get there on time.
    PLUS, ride on the almost-non-existent shoulder of an unlighted 45 PSL road. I'd like to continue living,thank you.
    I did manage to collect 220 km on the bike in pleasure riding this last week. It helped having Monday off.
  8. MPGranger

    MPGranger Member

    typically I show up to work at 6 am and the trip takes almost 2 hours, so that's a 4 am wake up for me.
    From my house it's 25 miles
    From the first park and ride it's 18.5 miles
    and from the second park and ride it's 15 miles

    The first 10 miles is on a rails to trails path, so it's pretty flat and straight, the last three miles of it are connecting the rail bed to the riverwalk through the city, (the most dangerous segment). Then it is another ten miles on a path that basically hugs the Chattahoochee river until I get on post and then it gets pretty wild. Ft Benning is not very bicycle friendly.

    The last trip I did was the 18.5 mile course and I averaged just shy of 16 MPH. Every day I ride, I seem to gain .5 MPH. I've been thinking that once I plateau, I might get some clip ons. They give you perfect biomechanical positioning and allows you to pull the pedal with your back foot along with your front foot push. So I hope to get up to 20 MPH which would shorten the time for my commute.
  9. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    You should definitely clip in for that distance.
  10. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    Good job! 2x25 miles is pretty long bike commute. The longest I've had was 2x14 miles, and I considered that a signficant time commitment for every day, even with a 20 mph average. Especially with small kids at home.

    A former co-worker entered his first bike race. He saw a guy with a belly and said, "I can beat him. Fat guys can't ride." Well, the 'fat guy' was a serious racer that beat him by a signficant margin. Don't worry about who is passing you. Your fitness gains will be more significant than your fuel savings. If you keep it up, you will be passing some guys on $2000 bikes this time next year! I joke that the workout didn't happen if I didn't capture it on the Garmin, but it is the hard work that matters, not the toys.
  11. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    18.5 miles and almost 16 MPH is pretty good , MPGranger. I can only average about 14 MPH on my usual 20 mile route , but I'm limited by strength , asthma , and age. It's also all crushed gravel trail , which takes a little more power than road.

    I still try. I don't get passed very often on the trails , but I suspect the faster boys don't ride the trails. They like to ride on roads. I always am prepared to be passed (I stay on my side of the trail) , and when it happens , that's cool. I only race against myself and the clock.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi MPGranger:

    What are your plans for the winter months and are you still riding?


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