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My biggest concern when I first started cycling was how far I should go. I relied on varied opinions that suggested I could cycle for a number of miles a day, beyond which it would be impossible to keep going.
Some of my folks suggested that 10 miles was the minimum I could cover in a day. I met with cyclists who said 20 miles was by far the most reasonable limit. Not to mention that I interacted with some riders who suggested I could go as far as 40 miles a day provided I had the energy.
That’s too overwhelming to take in.
But here’s the thing I’ve learned so far:
Cycling isn’t exactly about how you should ride, and relying on experts’ opinion on distance to cover isn’t necessary. It’s about how far you can go, which is, of course, dependent on a number of factors. So if you keep asking yourself how far you can ride your bike in a day, the simple answer is it depends.
Let’s dive further and examine this topic, beginning with the factors that determine how far you can actually ride your bike.
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- 1 Factors that Determine How Far You Can Ride a Bike
- 2 Some Cycling Suggestions to Take Home
Factors that Determine How Far You Can Ride a Bike
How Much Time You Have
Let’s be realistic.
You don’t have 24 hours a day to ride a bike. And that means how far you can ride depends on how much time you actually have for the exercise. So check how much time you can schedule for cycling, how often and when, before you plan your mileage. By doing so, you’ll have a rough estimate on how far you can go before the time elapses.
If you’re free on the weekends, or you’re on holiday with a lot less on your plate, you could stretch out your time a bit. That, of course, means riding more miles than you typically would in days when you have a lot to handle with only 24 hours on your hands.
Are You Riding Solo or With a Team?
It’s easy to ride for a long distance alone than when you’re riding along with a cycling friend. And the reason is relatively emotional and psychological. In other words, you don’t want to leave your friend far behind you, and mostly they won’t feel good doing the same either.
So if you’re cycling for fun and you don’t mind bringing friends along, expect to ride for only a couple of miles. But if you’re alone, you have the time on your hands, and you’re mentally upright, you can go as far as you have the strength to.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about outdoor cycling, it’s that you’ll always be at the mercies of the weather and the terrains. If the roads are smooth and less bumpy, with fewer distractions from your exit point to your destination and back to your origin, you can ride up to 40 miles just fine.
It’s a different case if the terrains are steep, full of holes, and covered in mud. Your wish to go as far as 40 miles could end up being half the value or maybe even less.
So what’s the key takeaway?
Make sure your map your route first, and then you can determine how far you can actually ride your bike in a day.
The Nature of the Landscape
Maybe it’s just me. But I tend to think that the nature of the surrounding can determine how far a cyclist can ride their bike.
While not a rule of thumb per se, I’ve found myself riding a lot faster on boring trails, but being easy on the pedals when I get to an environment that’s otherwise beautiful and heartwarming.
Moreover, even the awesomeness of the surrounding seems to have an effect on how far someone can ride, with many of us having the tendency and zeal to continue exploring our surroundings provided we have the time to do so.
Some Cycling Suggestions to Take Home
I suggest you ride your bike as often as you can, starting with a few miles a day and then increasing the mileage as you continue to cycle. For beginners, covering 40 to 100 miles a day can be an uphill task. But you can easily handle such a mileage with constant practice.
Remember that eating right and staying hydrated is important. Go for a balance died before a ride, stay hydrated during the ride, and eat some post workout bars to replenish your energy supply.
There’s Actually No Limit to How Far You Can Ride Your Bike
Provided you have time on your hands and you’re ready to brave all kinds of terrains, then you can ride as far as you want to. But you want to start small, say 10 miles a day for a start, and then increase the mileage week after week, or month after month.
Also, take breaks during your ride. Stop by a café for a snack, or just rest by the side of the trail and drink a bottle of water to add on to your supply. Riding many little steps will enable you to cover many miles, and upping the distance thereafter will come quite easily for you.
Consider Tracking Your Ride
It’s important to record how many miles you cover within a given time. And the best way to do this is to use a bike computer. The device will enable you to know more than just the distance you cover. It will also give you an estimate of the amount of time you spent on an actual ride. You can also use Strava to do the same thing if you have an account.
We can’t stress enough just how important safety is. So before you get onto your bike for a ride, make sure you dress properly. We have a post on what to wear for a bike ride, so be sure to check that out so that you know the most important gear to get for cycling.