Cycling as a Beginner: How Far Should You Go?

By Published On: June 16th, 20221 Comment

If you are just starting out as a cyclist, it can be both inspirational and intimidating to watch professional-looking cyclists swoop by you on the road or trail. But even those professional-looking riders started out as beginners once. They had to build their endurance and speed while learning which equipment suited them best. So, if you’re a beginning cyclist, it’s important to understand your limits while working toward your riding goals. Below are a few tips to help you determine how far you should ride as a beginner. Starting out with a moderate distance and speed will help you enjoy more riding success, avoid injury, and discover beautiful scenery in your area.

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Distance and Speed

According to experts, if you’re just starting out, a modest goal would be to ride five miles at a speed of eight miles per hour. If you’re not doing other physical activity, this rate and this distance serve as reasonable markers for the beginning rider. Depending on your level of fitness, you can increase the distance to as much as twelve miles, but you should build to that distance slowly. The faster you ride, the greater the stamina you’ll build, though it’s important not to overdo it at first. Experts recommend sticking to five-mile rides for the first month—until you are either comfortable with that distance or notice that you are covering five miles more quickly than when you first started. After you are comfortable riding that distance, you can increase to seven or eight miles, adding a couple miles with each increase.

These suggestions assume you’re riding a decent road or hybrid bike under favorable conditions. Naturally, riding a mountain bike on a muddy course is much more challenging. By the same token, if you are riding your road bike on a hilly course, the ride will be tougher too. And riding into a stiff headwind will affect your speed and effort more than riding with a helpful tailwind. But that doesn’t mean that you should avoid the challenge

Personal Goals

How far you cycle will also depend on your personal goals. Many people start cycling because it’s a low-impact way to lose weight. If losing weight is your goal, then cycling for more than thirty minutes, at 60 to 85 percent of your peak heart rate, will help you achieve weight loss. Targeted cycling, though, should be combined with a carefully balanced diet and cross training.

If your goal is overall fitness, adhering to a thirty-minute, five-mile circuit is a great way to get in a workout while enjoying the scenery. The one consideration worth keeping in mind is that you leave enough fuel in the tank to get home.

Cycling GPS

If you’re serious about tracking your distance and speed, consider investing in a cycling GPS, which will tell you just that. Though expensive, a GPS for biking can be a useful tool to help you reach your fitness goals.

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One Comment

  1. VICKY GUPTA June 17, 2022 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    I am a beginner cyclist and this article helped me a lot. Thanks for giving us tips.

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