When we moved here I anticipated riding my bike every day. It is about 20 miles to work, which is not a super long bike ride. I generally don't have a problem averaging 20 mph if it isn't all uphill. I figured that I could do the commute in a little over an hour and it wouldn't be too bad.
Upon arrival I've determined that Kentucky is hilly. I am still commuting on my fixie and the hills are killing me. Not only do I get bogged down on the way up, but I can't spin fast enough on the way down the hills to go as fast as I should be going. In the end my 20 mile commute takes an hour and a half or more. If I take into account the time it takes to change clothes for the ride, it's nearly a two hour commitment each way to commute. That's more time that I'm willing to dedicated. I have a family that I'd really like to see. Commuting by bike transforms an 8 hour day into a 12 hour day. That's not OK.
The obvious solution would be to get a new bike. I've thought of that. I don't ride a fixed gear because it's a fad. In fact, I have the world's dorkiest fixed gear. I have the elegance and simplicity of a fixed gear with a lighting system powered by electricity generated from the front hub. I am considering getting a new bike, but I don't want to be rushed into it. I also want to have enough money to get what I want. My fixie was the perfect bike for my previous commute. The route was flat, the destination was a madhouse where I liked having a cheap bike that couldn't get too beat up, and I enjoy riding the bike. We are moving to the city soon, and I think my fixie may be a good choice again so I'm not getting rid of it yet. And since we're in the process of buying a house, I figure that a new bike purchase isn't a top priority.
I feel bad for misestimating. I really wish I didn't have to commute by car to work, but when I weight things out, the time with my family is more important.
P.S. Our house in Utah (the one we sold) closed yesterday and we're hoping to close on the house in Kentucky next week (the one we're buying). We are extremely excited about the house that we found and are looking forward to settling closer to work (2.8 miles instead of 20.7) a playground, a grocery store and everything else that we need.