The Chainlink

My Girlfriend wants to move to Milwaukee  because it's cheaper and we could possible buy a house. However I would have to give up my 2 hour bike commute and trade it for a 2 hour car commute. Don't really want to drive a car again, really like my Gf but cant seem to reason for myself. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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2 hours in a car for let's say a 5 day work week means 10 hours of elevated commuter car stress. My hamstrings and brain would go mad. With biking, you're getting your exercise, move the blood and elevating your mood. Being in a car that long means posture issues, cramping, decreased rationale for eating a whole pizza plus (besides the crazy spike in stationary cortisol production) gasoline cost for 10 hours a week and auto insurance. That kinda stress could lead to resentment and fatigue that's detrimental to a happy and healthy.

Sorry, I don`t know how I can possibly help you.

Edit: well, this might be useful. Pick one from each line & form sentences:

do you/can you


another/ your



The total daily commute would be between 3 to 4 hours or 185 miles (downtown to downtown round trip) , assuming you work M-F. That's a lot of commuting! The answer would be obvious to me, so unless you have a job lined up over there, I'd say "Hellz Naw":)

So let's calculate: 5 x 185 = 925 miles/week (925 miles / 30 mpg = 31 gallons of fuel x $5/gal = $150/ week or $600/month in gas alone x 12 = $7200/year)

assuming a work year is 48 weeks = 48 x 925 = 44400 miles/year

Your mechanic(s) will love you!

Are you trying to keep your same job and commute from Milwaukee? Otherwise I don't see why moving to Milwaukee would require giving up bike commuting. Milwaukee is a great cycling town.

There is Amtrak service between the two downtowns but its $24 each way and close to two hours just on the train.

I thought about recommending the Metra, but it would probably require some form of motorized transport since Milwaukee is about 35 miles from Kenosha's Metra station. And yeah, the Amtrak isn't cheap unless your job is paying for it.

James Kelly said:

A friend of mine used to live in Wisconsin and would take the Metra every day to work. It worked out well for him. If your schedule and route fits in with Metra's bike policy, you could still get some miles in while still avoiding driving. Cycle to the train, take care of some work or reading or whatever for a bit, hop off and ride some more.

Can you find another job in Milwaukee? It's a very underrated city and work/life balance is very good there. Much smaller and accessible than Chicago and still has a great lakefront and parks. 

But the commute to/from Milwaukee by car would be brutal and if traffic is bad 2 hours would be a best case scenario. One idea is have you looked in Kenosha? House prices are low there as are taxes. You could commute via Metra. There is also an Amtrak stop in Sturtevant and Milwaukee airport which you should keep in mind. Amtrak would be cheaper than gas/parking and you can work/read/sleep on the train.

Dang. Northbrook. I guess the compromise towns would be Waukegan/gurnee up to Kenosha. Then, though, you are just a haul away from fully fleshed out public transit & a bunch of flood zones. Milwaukwee got a lot going for it. Could you drop the job in Northbrook or get a transfer? Commuting time just drains the life out of things. Consider also that there will be at least 5 days a year where the drive/ride will be awful due to weather. A normal 1 hr one way can quickly become a 3 hr with the combo of road construction and bad weather.

Diego, what do you do? I have a ton of contacts in Milwaukee. Let me know off-thread.

One hour during rush hours?  Traffic around Milwaukee can be pretty snarly, even if things on the Northbook end tend to be more reliable.

(BTW thank you for not putting an apostrophe in "Rogers" :-)  )

Diego Rael said:

Well,  I live in Rogers park and commute to Northbrook every day 1 hour each way in the winter and 45 to 50 minutes each way in the summer. Northbrook to downtown Milwaukee is one hour each way 70 miles. I don't know it's a toss up. This is going to take some serious contemplating.

Unless your SO has an awesome job offer there that will move their career in great places, I wouldn't even think about it. It sounds like your career field is specialized in a way, so to me, it would be a no brainer to stay. Of course, I wasn't always so cold and calculated, and women have made me do crazy things before, so I completely understand your dilemma.

If you don't mind my asking, what company in Northbrook? I'm a big mechanical watch nerd, though my collection has currently been narrowed down to 4 automatics + a G-shock.  I used to wear my diver pretty much daily but I got worried that the rough pavement and knocks it was taking on my bike commute weren't so good for the watch (hence the G-shock).

I also wonder if those of us with a bike fascination/appreciation are similarly attracted to mechanical watches.

Diego Rael said:

I'm a watchmaker...



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