17 mile commute (34 round trip)


Über Member
Hello all.

Bike issues resolved, I bit the bullet and did my first Ride in and Out on the same day this week. Destroyed me. Tried the ride in the day after and had to eat humble pie and get the train after only 5 miles. I had nothing in my legs whatsoever. They felt like lead, despite not hurting.

Whinge aside, how long have the long distance commuters here taken to work up to 30+ miles a day?

Also, without putting exact numbers on calories burnt, do folks pay huge attention to fuelling?



Active Member
Hi Scruff (if I may be so bold),

I ride 15m a day, but at 21st and not having done anything strenuous for a few years it seemed mammoth. I was knackered for a couple of weeks but it seemed easier the more I stuck with it. Would you be able to ride halfway for a week and then get the train? Just an idea...


Well-Known Member
I started cycling last summer - 42 yrs old 17.5 st

Pretty quickly I was doing 3 round trips per week - 19 miles each way. However, I was knackered and went to bed very early.

I didn't do much over the winter, but carried on at the gym etc. I have been able to get back to three per week very quickly this year.

Fuelling - I tend to eat what I like - hence still only having lost a stone. Maybe I could have this attitude on the days I cycled if I cut it out the other days.......!!

I do find that on the cycling days I need to eat something about an hour before heading home and definatley feel it towards the end of the ride - still much to learn about fuelling etc.

However, I am sure you will get into it pretty quickly. Take it slower, mix the days up a bit, feed before you ride, take on lots of water, eat during the ride etc etc

You will feel better for it I promise - for me it also keeps me disciplined on what time I head home after work, or I'd be there all night....

Good luck.


extimus uero philosophus
I've always found from talking to others that newbies take about 6 weeks to adjust to it. After 6-8 months its second nature

No harm in taking it easy and working up to it.

When I started I did 3 days a week, rest days in between. I drank plenty of water (I only do about 6 miles each way, longer distance I'd recomend an electrolite drink, gatorade and powerade sometimes will do at a push. This will stop you cramping).

Learn a few stretching exercises too as that will help you with your mobility after.

I'm sure others will offer more (and better advice) :tongue:


Well-Known Member
I do 17 each way. Three days a week plus a fun ride at the weekend.

My tips -

Don't go flat out every single day. Nothing wrong in going slower and getting into work/home ten mins later.

Eat something an hour or so before you return home in the evening.

Drink before you get thirsty

err .... that's it.



Über Member
User3143 said:
Depends on your fitness and what bike you ride.

Reasonably fit. Low end 2nd hand road bike. I do 17.5 miles in 1hr 15mins. I'm going to start doing one way trips every other day so I know it'll get better. I'm just looking to put a timescale on when I could hope to do 3 or 4 full days. And work out whether I need to take in loads of extra food to make up for 1800ish calories going on the road every day.
I recently upped my commute from 5 miles each way to 11.5 (reasonably hilly). I consider myself fairly fit, but I certainly felt pretty knackered for the first few weeks of the new commute. Now about 4 months on, I'm absolutely loving it, and I wonder how I ever managed with only 5!!

It'll take a while, so build it up slowly. Each commute is one commute closer to great fitness! :tongue:


My Armchair
My 1st commute last year was 19 mile round trip,I'd only had the bike a couple of weeks and been doing short rides of 4-6 miles which was tough for me,must have done it on pure adrenalin as it went quite well,did help that a colleague came with me to show me the route.
Built up slowly from 2-3 times per week,to 4-5 and really hate it now if I wimp out and use the car.
Much easier now 1 year in,but that's partly due to changing from a heavy hybrid to a road bike.
Hi Scruff'em

I ride 40 miles about 3 times a week (20 each way) I dont fuel "specifically" but do have a banana at about 5.00 in the evening (It may by in my mind but it seems to help)

I have always ridden in around the same time (with a few variations) so cant say I've gotten any better with time. I do, However find the ride much , much easier and would expect that you will also...in a little time.

I'm not a spring chicken either (40) and not massively fit, also not whippet or cyclist shaped...just sort of average build (with pretty wide shoulders I guess).

I must say tho, that my first ride was not as hard as you suggest yours was...so maybe you need to slow down or take it easier...are you trying to keep a really high pace?

or is it very hilly?

Either way I would recommend you take it easy and do no more than 2-3 times in a week (1 to start with) with days off in between to recover, then soon enough you'll find a pace that you like

Last point, what type of bike/tyres are you running with (Sorry if you detailed this on an earlier thread...too lazy to look and have a squash court booked for 9.00).

I find riding with knobbly tyres ...on the road...to be exhausting


Über Member
I do 17miles each way at the moment, 3 days a week (not this week at all as have a cold but nm). I only started doing it in Feb, used to do 12 each way but that was back in 2008 as only rode 170 miles total in 2009.

The first couple times in Feb I completely ran out of steam halfway home, these were both days where I'd been too busy to take my 3pm break and scoff a banana. As long as I have a banana at 3pm and another at 5pm whilst getting changed ready to go I find I'm fine (thoough this could in part be psychological).

So a snack to fuel up and remembering not to treat every ride like a race seems to do the trick. Especially as I've found even when I don't push hard on the way home it only takes 10-15mins longer anyway.


Über Member
Cheers all.

I'll try and add some more food, take it down a bit and hopefully i'll be feeling good in a couple of months. Will try and get a perspective of time too.

Foolishly chased down a guy for the final 8 miles on the way home on Tuesday. Got within touching distance of him, he turned and see me at the bottom of a long dragging heel, shifted, and toasted me. I felt violated.


Bexley, Kent
It gets easier. It really does. But just as some of the other posters have said, something to eat in good time before you head home will make the return journey less hard. That's my experience anyway (15 miles each, 3 days a week)


New Member
Hi Scruffmonster,
My commute is 17 miles each way now (we moved offices which shaved a whole mile off!) although I currently only cycle home. I find fuel is the best thing to keep going and just eat complex carbs during the day for your energy with very little protein. My evening meal is high protein with a very small amount of complex carbs and a protein shake (protein for the recovery) and all works well. This is ideal world stuff for me still though as I do get it wrong occasionally, but I really feel when I have.

I'm hoping to be cycling both ways from next week, but always find that food is the better option for me regarding energy levels.

Good luck with your journey. Once you tweak it to the better roads or more picturesque route it's a real treat.
I jumped straight in to a 16 mile commute in my mid 50's. Then changed offices and added another 2 miles. The only hill is a valley 2 miles from home, so a down and up each way.
Take it steady at first and keep to quiet roads if you can. As the stamina builds so will speed and confidence.
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