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How many of you commute by bike from a burbs to a major city. I am think about trying it. I live approximately 20 miles out of Boston and think I have found an "OK" route. But there are some scary sections. Expresway exits, busy circles, etc. Parts that I will have to walk.

To date, I have only road a pretty quite roads and am a little nervious...

But I love the idea of a 40 mile round trip bike ride!!
 

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I would check Google maps just to make sure there aren't any other roads that you could get around the bad sections along the way. If not then the only way to find out how they are is to ride on them. Before I started commuting home from work I took the bus and the main road coming up to where I work is very busy with a highway intersection in it. I didn't think I'd ever be able to handle that but once I tried it out I found there wasn't really any problem after all. Of course if all else fails you could just walk around those sections.
 

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My commute goes from the edge of the outer circle of downtown (still pretty busy, but more residential), through the busiest part of the city, and finishes where downtown starts becoming residential again. I could go around, but It makes it a lot longer with more potholes.
 

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Muaythaibike said:
How many of you commute by bike from a burbs to a major city. I am think about trying it. I live approximately 20 miles out of Boston and think I have found an "OK" route. But there are some scary sections. Expresway exits, busy circles, etc. Parts that I will have to walk.

To date, I have only road a pretty quite roads and am a little nervious...

But I love the idea of a 40 mile round trip bike ride!!
I try to commute to work 2-3 days per week, but lately is has been less. When I do commute, I ride from the suburbs of Baltimore (Owings Mills) to downtown Baltimore -- a 14.5 mile commute. The first five miles of my commute is on a fairly rural road, the next few miles are on a suburban road that is fairly well-traveled. Then I ride through the back streets of an urban neighborhood, drop down to a road that parallels and expressway and then do the last few miles on downtown streets.

There are several ways that you can make your commute safer and more enjoyable. First, try to avoid rush hour. Either leave home well in advance of rush hour or leave home when rush hour is over. I usually leave home after 8:00 a.m. so that I avoid the school traffic near home and I don't hit downtown streets until a few minutes after 9:00 a.m. If I leave home any time between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., the traffic is much heavier and I am almost always have some kind of close call. In the evening, I usually wait until at least 6:00 p.m. to leave the office and usually wait until it is closer to 7:00 p.m. Second, seek out side streets and less traveled routes. Even if you add a mile or two to your commute, it sometimes is better to take the long way if you can avoid traffic. And, finally, make sure that you and your bike are visible. Get good lights if you are going to be commuting when it is dark.
 

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My commute is the same...but opposite. I live in the core of downtown, and ride 15 miles to a second ring suburb.
All the comments above are true and useful.
Your fears are pretty common for most 'burbinites headed through the city (lock your car doors kids!). Maybe you could sooth your concerns with a contingency plan or escape route.
Does a bus(es) run on or near your route? If you have some bad mechanical problem, lock up the bike(or place it on the bus if yours are equipped) and ride to safety.
Have a friend on speed dial to pick you up.
Is anyone else in your peer group a rider...bike train?
Get really good tires...and know how to change a flat.
Be confident, get comfortable; it's a short leap from looking like you belong, to actually belonging.
Tell your boss that you'll be doing this commute, and that maybe, someday, you'll be a little late if something unexpected happens.


Me...I have more problems in the burbs with moms in SUVs than city folk in the sketchy parts of town.
 

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I think there are lots of bike commuters in the Boston area. Hook up with some of the resources. Check the webpages of clubs like Charles River Wheelmen. I googled "boston bicycle commuting" and found links to maps, discussion forums, advocacy groups, etc.. Take advantage of the experience that's out there to find routes, learn techniques, etc. Go for it. A 40-mile roundtrip once or twice a week is a great idea. You ride to public transportation now, don't you?
 

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MarkS said:
Get good lights if you are going to be commuting when it is dark.
I always wonder why more people don't run their lights in the daytime as well?
I run mine whenever I am sharing roads with cars, day or night. But I observe that I am in the minority. Better seen than sorry, I say.

Oh, and on topic, I commute from a rural area into a city of about 130,000 which is a suburb of Seattle. So not to a major city, but still denser than the roads around my house :thumbsup:
 

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Muaythaibike said:
I live approximately 20 miles out of Boston and think I have found an "OK" route.

In which direction? Makes a big difference.....
 

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woodway said:
I always wonder why more people don't run their lights in the daytime as well?
I run mine whenever I am sharing roads with cars, day or night. But I observe that I am in the minority. Better seen than sorry, I say.

Oh, and on topic, I commute from a rural area into a city of about 130,000 which is a suburb of Seattle. So not to a major city, but still denser than the roads around my house :thumbsup:
This reminds me of a ride some time back I was doing with my cousin and a friend. It was in the early morning with overcast skies but fully lit up and as we were riding along I needed to stop for a moment. The two of them told me I ought to turn on my flashing light. I didn't bother and shortly continued on to catch up with them. My cousin had just bought a new bike and I didn't think she had a light on it yet. They were a couple hundred yards ahead and I could easily see my cousins bright yellow windbreaker. As I caught up with them I finally noticed that they both had blnking lights. I couldn't see them until I was maybe 10 yards away and even then it was very dim in the daylight. In the day bike lights are totally wiped out by the day light. Now if you had one of those flashing beacons that utility vans use that would be noticeable.
 

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I only have one really scary section of my commute. It's all in the 'burbs, but at one point I have to go under and underpass under a highway. The underpass has traffic lights for the on/off ramps, 3 lanes in each direction, no median, and zero shoulder. The white line is touching the wall of the underpass. So I strategically run the red light to get through the intersection before the cars in my direction get the green, and I take the right lane. Probably the scariest prospect is simply not being seen because in the afternoon as the sun is getting low, it's pretty dark because the overpass is 10 lanes, so it's almost a tunnel without lights.
 

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Last year I tried 25 mile commute, 50 both ways. I loved the bike path part, it was the getting to and comming from it. 3miles to to path from work and 6 miles from the path to home. I was cut off by an SUV driving into a driveway. and buzzed by a bus blaring its horn within about 2 feet of me. I'm thinking what's so fun about this?

Now I live in the city 6 miles away from work but have never commuted. although I bought a bike to commute on. Maybe this summer...
 
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