Cycling 20 Miles A Day (Ultimate Guide)

Last updated on August 27th, 2023 at 04:27 am

Cycling is a great way to stay active and get your daily exercise. For avid cyclists, riding 20 miles in a single day may sound like an achievable goal. 

But for most beginners, cycling that many miles every day can seem daunting or even impossible.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what’s involved in cycling 20 miles a day, the physical demands it places on your body, and whether it’s a realistic goal for the average person. 

I’ll also give you some tips for biking longer distances if it’s something you’d like to achieve.

Is Biking 20 Miles A Day Too Much?

For beginners, riding 20 miles per day may be too ambitious of a goal when first starting out. It’s too much too soon.

Beginners are better off starting with shorter distances like 5-10 miles and gradually increasing the distance as their fitness improves.

Is Biking 20 Miles A Day Too Much

Also Read: Chamois Cream Alternatives

For experienced cyclists who are already conditioned for endurance riding, 20 miles per day would be considered a relatively short and achievable distance. 

Depending on the training, experts may comfortably cover 40-60+ miles daily across varying terrain.

Will I Lose Weight Cycling 20 Miles A Day?

Regularly cycling 20 miles per day can definitely lead to weight loss if combined with a healthy calorie-controlled diet.

At a moderate 12-14 mph pace, a 155 pound rider would burn around 1000 calories for the 20 mile ride.

While cycling longer distances creates a significant caloric deficit, keep in mind you can’t out-exercise a poor diet. To lose weight, you need to combine it with proper nutrition habits. 

So ensure you are consuming a balanced diet with a modest caloric deficit to promote fat burning.

Benefits of Cycling 20 Miles A Day

Cycling is a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, and cycling 20 miles a day can bring a range of other benefits apart from weight loss. 

Here are some of the benefits you can expect:

Cardiovascular Health

Biking long distances improves your cardiovascular health. 

Cycling is an aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate and improves your circulation. 

By cycling regularly, you can increase your lung capacity, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Muscle Tone

Cycling 20 miles a day can help you to tone your muscles. 

Also Read: Is Cycling Backwards Good for Knees

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that works your legs, glutes, and core muscles. 

By cycling regularly, you can build noticeable strength and endurance in these muscles, helping you to achieve a toned and sculpted physique.

Mental Health

In addition to the physical perks, regularly cycling long distances also provides mental health benefits. The exercise helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression and elevates your mood through the release of endorphins.

Being outdoors in nature, disconnected from electronics and technology is very calming for the mind and spirit. 

You can clear your head and get into a meditative state on the open road or trail.

Plus, it can also boost your mood and improve your self-esteem.

Cycling 20 miles a day can help you to sleep better too. It can improve your sleep quality and duration, helping you to feel more rested and energized throughout the day

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Cycling 20 miles a day is not an easy feat, and it comes with its own set of challenges. 

Here are some potential challenges you may face and their solutions:

Saddle Discomfort

Spending hours on a bike saddle can cause discomfort and even pain. 

This can discourage you from continuing your daily cycling routine.

Invest in a high-quality saddle that fits your body and riding style. Make sure it is properly adjusted to your height and angle. 

Consider using padded shorts or chamois cream to reduce friction and irritation.

Also Read: Sliding Forward On Bike Saddle

Weather Conditions

Weather can be unpredictable, and cycling in extreme conditions can be dangerous and uncomfortable. Rain, wind, and extreme heat or cold can make it difficult to complete your daily cycling routine.

Check the weather forecast before you start your ride. 

Dress appropriately for the conditions, and consider investing in cycling gear designed for specific weather conditions. 

For example, a waterproof jacket for rainy days or a windbreaker for windy days.

Time Constraints

Cycling 20 miles a day can take about 2 hours. If you have a busy schedule, it can be challenging to find the time to complete your daily ride.

If this is the case, consider breaking up your ride into smaller segments throughout the day.  

Safety Concerns

Riding 20 miles daily requires access to safe cycling routes and well-maintained roads or trails. 

Traffic, debris, potholes and reckless drivers pose hazards, especially if you ride for transportation and not just recreation. 

City roads are often not designed for safe cycling which can be stressful.

Always use lights, reflectors and follow traffic laws to maximize safety. But know that cycling in traffic inherently carries more risk than driving. 

Tips For Cycling 20 Km A Day

The number one tip for ramping up to longer daily riding is gradual progression. 

Tips For Cycling 20 Km A Day

Increase your weekly cycling distance incrementally by no more than 10% each week. This allows your body to adapt without overstressing your muscles.

Pay attention to your energy levels after bumping up distance. 

If you feel excessively drained or sore, you may be doing too much too soon. 

Build your base slowly and don’t worry about speed in the beginning. Focus on time in the saddle to condition your body.

Nutrition and Hydration

Before you hit the road, it’s essential to fuel your body with the right nutrients. 

Aim to eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates and protein, such as oatmeal with fruit and nuts or a peanut butter and banana sandwich. 

This will give you the energy you need to power through your ride. Don’t forget to hydrate before you start pedaling. 

During Your Ride

Staying hydrated during your ride is crucial to maintaining your energy levels and preventing dehydration. 

Aim to drink 20-30 ounces of fluid per hour (1-1.5 bottles per hour). 

You can choose between water and sports drinks, but make sure to get some sodium in your system to help replace the electrolytes you lose through sweat. 

Sports drinks should have 250-350 mg of sodium and up to 130 calories/ 30 g carb per bottle (6% concentration).

For rides longer than 90 minutes, it’s also essential to consume carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up. You can get these calories from gels, energy bars, or sports drinks. 

Make sure to choose products that are easy to digest and won’t upset your stomach.  

Bottom Line

Cycling 20 miles a day is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, lose weight, and boost your overall fitness. 

If you’re a beginner, start with shorter distances and gradually increase your mileage to avoid injury and burnout. 

Don’t forget to stay hydrated and wear appropriate gear.


How Long Does It Take To Ride 20 Miles On A Stationary Bike?

On average, it takes around 60 to 90 minutes to complete a 20-mile ride on a stationary bike. However, if you are a beginner, it may take longer to complete the ride.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Cycling 20km A Day?

A 155 lb person with average height will burn about 562 calories during a 20km (12.4 mile) ride at a speed of 11mph.

The actual calorie burn varies based on the individual’s weight, cycling speed, elevation gain and overall effort during the ride.

Is It Ok To Bike 20 Miles A Day?

For most healthy adults, cycling 20 miles daily is safe if it is built up gradually. Ensure you have a strong fitness base of shorter rides first before increasing distance.

What Is A Realistic Daily Cycling Distance?

A realistic daily cycling distance depends on your fitness level, goals, and schedule. For most people, cycling 10 to 20 miles a day can be a good starting point. 

However, if you are an experienced cyclist or training for an event, you may need to cycle longer distances.

Is Cycling 40 Miles A Day Too Much?

Cycling 40 miles a day may be too much for some people, especially if they are not used to cycling long distances.

However, if you are an experienced cyclist and have built up your endurance, cycling 40 miles a day can be a reasonable distance to ride.

Hugo has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and, being from the Netherlands, he’s used to his bike being his primary mode of transport. Plus, as a lawyer, jumping on his bike is his main form of escaping from his desk duties.

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