I did a 20 miler on the way in this morning. I can't wait for the wind to die down, it was an absolute beast again today!
Commuting at this time of year
definitely through the worst, leaving work at 5pm and the sun has just set, getting out at 7am and the sky isn't pitch black. Unlike late December early jan when it is dark for the whole journey both ways.
I don't mind dark, rain or wind on there own, two gets a bit miserable, and all three!!!!
for context 17miles each way 4 times a week,
And compared to last year, no ice!!!! just hope we have a spring in spring then summer, rather than have winter drag on for months like last year.
The wind at the moment is definitely the worst thing.
I've had a few mornings where I've been on the road bike, riding hard into a headwind hardly making any progress, unable to look up due to massive hailstones lashing down into my face.
Still do it every day, and I find the filthier the weather the more invigorated I feel when I get to work.
My 12 mile each way commute looks set to become a 45 mile each way commute soon, so may not be doing it every day then....
20 miles is a long commute, but if you can make a habit of it, you will love it, at any time of year. I have a 40 minute cycle each way in my current job, and I would hate to have to drive to work, or get the bus. Think it will be 20 years of cycle commuting for me this year, and I really value it, whatever the weather, especially as my other opportunities for cycling are more limited these days.
Good luck, and enjoy yourself.
There's no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing
And the wrong kind of attitude!
FWIW I've been riding in twice a week all through winter (12 miles each way) and it's the first winter in years that hasn't felt like it was dragging - as in energy levels and mood still good.
It's a far healthier way to start the day than crammed into a train and Tube or trapped in your car in a traffic jam.
20 miles each way?? That's a pretty mental distance to be commuting in my humble opinion.
I cycle all year round and its just 3.6 miles each way. So just over 7 miles in total.
The key is to have the right clothing and being comfortable on the bike. I use "commuting" gear, but for a 20 mile cycle I'd be thinking about normal cycling gear.
Its been fairly grim this winter.
Nice to be able to finish the morning commute in daylight and start the homeward journey in the light also.
A coldsore in my eye might curtail my commute for a short while. Herpes juice running down my face ain't a good look.
to the op, do it. There are many more positives to bike commuting than minor weather minuses.a 20 mile commute is a good run, don't beat yourself up if you miss a few !!
Yeah I'm still riding the post ride buzz, should be on for doing it again on Friday this week.
My main issue has been travel in 2013, lots of time working in away in Europe which means I prefer to work from home those days I'm not away.
Hopefully this year that will be different and I won't have to travel as much.
I LOVE riding to work. But my job means I'm out of the office a lot and therefore need the car. Determined to try and get at least 3 commutes a week in this year though. 14 mile each way, about 50 50 road / off road. Summer commute home can be anything between 14 and 30 miles.
I'm doing a round-trip of about 38 miles, managing about twice weekly. Its good. I'm investigating better leg protection from the cold and wet, as full-length guards, MW81s, and some old BBB overshoes aren't really effective. The problem is water running down my longs into the boots.
I'm on the verge of cutting the legs off an old 3mm wetsuit to make leggings.
few weeks off over xmas and new year due to bike mangleage, now replaced and two weeks in. Had to adapt my route as the one I was using all last winter is just too much of a mess this time. Yesterday was dry in and home and light for most of it, it was a revelation. Hoping for a few more cold dry days....
(checks weather forecast)
oh, erm, nevermind
Friday looks ok, forecast for later looks a bit grim, maybe I will get a tailwind?
Round trip of 76miles for me! moved house back in Sept time and unlike before there is no ½way house style thing for me to take advantage of. Have only managed it a few times over the autumn and once between Xmas/NYear but looking forward to it as I reckon by the end of the month ½ the journey will be in daylight. I've got a 16mile everupward section on old railway line between Alloa and Dunfermline which is a pure grind in the dark so have given it a miss over winter. will do it one way and train home to begin with.
Do you ride to Stockton? I must've been just ahead of you - I caught the rain for 5 or 10 mins. If I'd seen it raining before I opened the door I might have jibbed and gone in the car instead - glad I didn't though! The ride home promises to be clear and dry so happy days.
Yup. Rain started up again while I was contemplating getting up and stopped by the time I got out of the door.
The key is finding a set of gear that really works for you and keeps you comfortable. Having a decent hot shower waiting for me at work obviously helps a lot too!
Over the last 2.5 years of cycle commuting 3 or 4 days a week ~7.5 miles each way, much of it along the shore, I now have a selection of tried and trusted kit that works for me whatever the conditions.
Alfine geared pompetamine, rack, pannier, full length guards, marathon plus tyres… pretty much maintenance free
Woolie Boolie socks
Helly Hansen LIFA warm long sleeve baselayer
Altura Night Vision jacket (just for a waterproof layer)
Dhb bib tights
Lusso max repel tights for rainy days
Dhb waterproof overtrousers (only worn on really miserable days… stops the water running down into my socks/shoes if nothing else)
Buff neck warmer/ worn sort of like an open face balaclava
The famous Aldi winter gloves for dry days, Polaris torrent gloves for rainy days.
Whatever, normal MTB gear usually.
No part of me (except my face) gets significantly wet or cold whatever the weather conditions.
Also the point about having everything ready the night before is a very good one. So easy to bail and jump in the car when you’re hunting round the house for your gloves/shorts/whatever in the dim half-light from recently switched on energy saving bulbs. You think they might be in the bedroom but you can’t go in and switch the light on because it’ll wake your missus. Give your morning self as few excuses as possible.
I actually really like it sometimes when it’s blowing a gale and chucking it down. Difficult to drag myself out into that but once I’m out and up to temp, it’s quite gratifying in a strange sort of way. Probably some sort of man v nature thing going on in my head.
My set-up consists of:
Genesis Equilibrium,full guards with long flaps, rack, panniers, conti gatorskins.
Gore Bike Wear Power 2.0 Windstopper Soft Shell
Light pac n bag waterproof that goes on top of windstopper for heavy rain.
Cheap Lidl/Aldi Baselayers.
Various Dhb Bibs.
Gore Bike Wear Countdown Goretex Gloves.
M&S Walking socks
Lidl thin summer cycling socks
Castelli Toe Covers
Northwave Extreme over shoes.
2 x Buffs, one round neck and one under helmet.
I am also lucky enough to have a hot shower at work and a dedicated cyclist drying room, the shower really helps!
started cycle commuting this xmas after a 30 year break & loving it despite the near biblical rainfall on occasions, 14 mile each way two or three times a week, does help that I work from home & am just commuting to & from my partners house
Well today was a pretty good day for riding, managed nearly 42 miles commuting and then another 12 tonight giving the 456 a fond farewell before it is stripped down. Will have a day off tomorrow with another 55 miles planned Thursday and Friday.
At this rate I will have ridden more in the first three months of 2014 than I did in the whole of 2013
Averaging 2.5 times a week so far this year. 56 mile round trip. Have got very wet on several occasions. Beats driving though.
I do 5 days a week (6miles each way) and I'm lucky to have a locker and shower at the destination, best thing is to wear cycling clothing and put it on the radiator the night before, then put it on in the morning before you open the curtains.
Mudguards are a must, they extend the life of your bike and your clothing and make even raining rides a much more pleasurable experience
Really struggling to find the motivation for the 16 miles each way at the moment. Not done since autumn. A lot of urban and suburban slog. I prefer the ride home late at night than the busier morning run.
However I am using every other means possible to avoid driving as much this year. Guess I have done about 800 miles less in the car in January than I would normally do.
I've gone from a job where I needed the car virtually every day to move between appointments and meetings to one where I don't need the car, it's only six miles there and six miles home, and working a shift pattern that keeps me out of rush hour traffic. Showers, lockers, drying room, microwave for porridge making and my coffee machine in the office. Awesome. Today was my first late shift, in for three and riding home by 11.30, on gobsmackingly quiet roads. I was passed only three times in six miles.
Hailstones in the face yesterday was delightful.
The moment the first hailstone hit me, my front tyre went flat. That was nice. Spare tube went flat, so found a bus shelter to change again. Luckily had 2 spares.
Was a choice of riding home (about 3 miles) or continuing through more hailstorms for another 12 miles to work. I chose the latter.
When I got to work I could wring the water out of the sleeves of my jersey. Luckily radiators were free to dry stuff.
Not wet on the way home but had to fight to keep my front wheel in line, which was pretty scary on the narrowest roads.
Better than bloody driving though!
DezB - Member
Better than bloody driving / tube / train / anything else though!
That sums it all up
yup, been cycle-commuting all year round for six years now. 18 miles (28km) each way for me, 7,500 miles (12,000 km) per annum.
For the last few weeks have been extending my route home to 25 miles just cos I can.
Once you do it as long as i have it becomes second nature and it's more painful to get the train/tube.
Decent kit is the most important thing, there's no such thing as bad weather etc.
Was nice and windy today and CS7 was rammed due to the tube strike but I still enjoyed it.
Edit: Oh, and mudguards, Crud Roadracer II's make a big, big difference to the whole winter experience. Add them to an old road bike that you don't care about whether it gets ruined or not and jobs a good'un.
Haven't commuted this winter due to injury, otherwise its 7 miles each way.
There's an equal time and distance off road option but this time of year its not practical on the way in as it leaves everything sodden and muddy, ok on the way home though.
As for clothes, I just wear normal roubaix lycra kit, winter jerseys etc. And leave a pair of baggies on the bike rack to save everyones blushes after a wet commute.
Really missing my daily dose of nature at the moment .
MTB-idle do you commute that distance through London out of interest? I have a 30 mile commute ahead of me in the spring (when I move to kent) and wondering how you cope with the long slog through London? TBH 30 miles on the open road would be a pleasure - it's the 10miles of suburbia I'm dreading...
I'm so jealous of you guys with a shower at work. I would love to commute to work, but I would be a sweaty, stinky mess by the time I got there, and we have no shower.
Averaging 2.5 times a week so far this year. 56 mile round trip. Have got very wet on several occasions. Beats driving though.
That's pretty similar to my distance, now feeling a bit of a wimp! Just not sure I want to ride a bike through the centre of Madrid at rush hour...
I wish I wish I wish I had a purely bike commute. But mine's about 45 miles, and I ain't man enough for that! I have to drive mebbe 45 minutes to at least have a 12 mile ride in, which means leaving about half six for a nine o'clock start if I want to have time for a shower and breakfast before I clock in. The depressing thing is, this time last year I was working an earlier shift and not having massive problems getting up at five or even earlier, but this year, man... It is a struggle to get going.
So f*** it - I'm gonna be back on the gas tomorrow, cause I miss it and I feel like crap. Thanks for the motivating thread.
I ride in everyday - distance varies on the weather and how early/late I get up . Quickest route in is about 4 miles, this morning I extended it a bit to 8ish. I do the same on the way home to get more miles under my belt for my Endomondo challenges - normally between 10 and 20 miles on the way home.
Bike - OnOne Pompino with mudguards, Schwalbe Maratons, Carradice saddlebag.
I do have Schwalbe marathon studded ice tyres to fit onto my mtb if its very icy ( they came in very handy last year!)
Clothing is a mixture of Aldi Winter clothing, Decathon Merina baselayers and Endura 3/4 baggies.
This setup see's me riding in all weathers, the past few weeks of wet weather have been a bit tough but easier than last years cold weather.
ibnchris - Member
MTB-idle do you commute that distance through London out of interest?
Hi Chris (or hi Ibn),
Yes I do, from Ewell in Surrey just outside Greater London I head to Morden and then follow the Northern Line on CS7 to Elephant & Castle.
Turn right along New Kent Road and then across Tower Bridge and then out to Canary Wharf via either the Highway or CS3 depending on how I'm feeling.
Here's an old video of mine that's been seen on here a few times but it shows my full commute in all it's Winter glory:
So I guess you've just embraced the lights then eh?! Imagine I'll have to do the same
How long does it take you? I did a trial run of my possible new commute - London bridge to Tonbridge - and it was 2 hours on a Sunday. Wonder what it'll be during the week and after a days work
75 minutes usually. 65 minutes moving time and 10 minutes at lights.
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