Currently, on every other day I commute to work which is a distance of 18km each way. I enjoy this ride but next year I may be moving to a place which will be about 35km from work. Questions:

1) Would it still be reasonable to commute this kind of distance each way once I have moved?

2) Google maps estimates that this distance would take 2 hours to complete. Would it be possible (depending on the bike and fitness) to do this distance in about an hour?

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    Welcome to Bicycles @Grant. We recommend that new members take the tour to make best use of the site.
    – andy256
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:58
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    When I was 55 I was commuting 30km each way in traffic; on a slow day it would take about 70 minutes. I would sometimes see younger, faster riders pass me, but not often, indicating that it was not really feasible for most people to go faster in those conditions. Google estimates cycling times assuming fairly casual cyclists; an ordinary fit cyclist should be able to do the trip you're describing in 80-90 min, on a road bike. If public transport is available you could ride one way each day, until you're fit enough. See questions with the commuter tag.
    – andy256
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 4:00
  • Similar to what @andy256 says, but Google seems a reasonable upper limit for an unfamiliar route on flat bars. With no fitness change, getting used to the route makes a big difference - no map stops, learning the phasing of traffic lights in the rush hour (when to race, when to rest). Also Google can go a long way to avoid a stretch it measures as busy, when there nothing wrong with that bit: you may be able to shorten the route. For your sort of distance you'd really want to optimise the bike fit, carry the minimum stuff with the minimum drag taking into account roadside repairs, etc.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 7:12
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    Can you spare 4 hours a day for your riding? I find it hard to get 1 hour on a weekday for a scenic commute.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 7:36
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    Are you able to shower at work? I guess if you are willing to use 4 hours a day at first as Criggie said, then your time would go down a lot, but probably not to 2 hours a day. Also take into account that if you are training intensively, it will make you tired a lot, your work performance could quite possibly decrease if you do a 35km sprint first. I commuted 3-4 hours a day for a couple of months and it drained so much of my energy even though riding my bike was only a little over an hour of it.
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 10:35

5 Answers 5


2) Google maps estimates that this distance would take 2 hours to complete. Would it be possible (depending on the bike and fitness) to do this distance in about an hour?

Given that most commutes have a number stops, to ride 35 km in an hour you would be having to be averaging speeds around 40 kph+ when moving (likely more depending on the length of stops). This could be done by a very fit rider, on a TT bike every so often. To do this level of effort consistently 2-3 times every week, week after week, into head winds and rain, while carrying a load (e.g., lunch and cloths) is incredibly doubtful.

If you can't spare more time, one option could be some of the high performance pedalec bikes. Some of very high-end ones these can sustain speeds of 45 kph and have ranges up to 80-100km. A few of these also do a good job matching your input power the profile so that you do not notice the assist (you just feel faster). Because you still have to work with a pedalec, it is still possible to get a good workout by modifying the level of assistance.

One additional considerations are your local laws. For example, in Canada I believe pedalecs are legally limited to 32 kph. So a 45 kph pedelecs may be illegal unless registered as a moped! Although there may be legal loop holes with how the bike provides assistance (i.e., no throttle). I am no lawyer, so take this caveat with a grain of salt.

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    Quite. If you can cover 35km in an hour twice a day, every day of the week, with bags, and accounting for traffic, you should probably consider joining a professional racing team :) This sort of effort would be similar to riding a 25 mile TT 10 times per week. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 10:45

1) Maybe. It depends on you. Not everyone can afford that much time for their commute.

2) Probably not -- you need to average nearly 22 mph, which is a lot for commuting even on flat ground -- 15 mph ish is a more reasonable pace for a commuter on flat ground (I go at about 18 mph if I'm in a hurry, but my distance is much shorter and very flat). Google Maps is pretty good on expected time for commuting type riding, I've found. If you were to do it in an hour somehow (or even at 18 mph, which would be about 1 hour 15 minutes), you'd be sweaty and need to shower at work (probably). At 15 mph, you'd be taking about 1.5 hours. Expect slower speeds if you have hills or traffic or other holdups/slowdowns.

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    Er, yeah, that would be 35kph ;-)
    – andy256
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:38
  • 'merica. =) just multiply by 1.6 for kph.
    – Batman
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:41
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    Lol. I was more giving a poke that the OP had already asked about 35 km in one hour :-)
    – andy256
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:45
  • Yep. Apart from the measurements based on 1000 paces of a Roman Cohort, that 15 mph (25 kph) figure is hard to beat in traffic.
    – andy256
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 4:08
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    @Rider_X I'm sure it is; you'd be like those few guys who passed me. I'd be passing rider after rider, and then ... Whoosh! Sigh. Everyone has their own pace; it's sort of programed into our muscles and senses.
    – andy256
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 6:41

My commute is about 36K each way, and my office does not have shower facilities.

I live in an area with "OK" public transportation, and luckily the buses have bike racks. What I often do is take my bike on the bus to work, then ride home. I get a 36K ride afternoon ride in, and I'm not a sweaty mess at work.

Obviously this would depend on many factors specific to your situation, but it's worth considering.


I commute between two cities. Since its along a river its flat and there aren't many stops. <5 traffic lights on a 27 km ride. I needed more than one hour when I started but now I am consistently under an hour. I have an average speed of ~28km/h. Some people I sometimes ride with have to go through the cities, they are much fitter than me and are doing the 35 km/h in consistently in 1:20. Sometimes less.

1.) It is doable but you have too see it for yourself. Also shower at work is a must.

2.) An hour is too little for that way imo. Maybe you can get to an hour after a year or two but consistently? I don't think that is much fun.

Some tips: Find a group, talk to people you meet on the street and use Strava Flybys. Or consider an E-Bike.


Where I ride (hillyish Pacific NW in the US) I find that I can do about 75% of the time Google gives me. I'm not all that fast - on a good day I can do an 18.5 km commute with about 150 meters of climbing in just under an hour. Google estimates 1:23 for my commute. Based on my experience I'd be thinking that you're looking at something closer to 1:30 for your new commute.

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