Summer is quickly approaching, where time starts to slow down and we slip into long, lazy days. For many of us, summer holds memories of playing outside until dark, often times riding our bikes from sunup to sundown.
If this time of year brings back those childhood memories and stirs a desire to hop on your bike and start riding again, there is no better time than now to do it. And don’t worry if you haven’t been on a bike since you were a kid – it’s easy to start again.
The general rule for beginning cyclers is to start out at two miles for the first week.
And how long will biking two miles take?
It will take you 20 minutes to complete two miles for an inexperienced cyclist. You’ll be able to cut that time down drastically once you gain some experience. So for the same amount of time it would take you to refold everything in your drawers, or vacuum a room or two, or reorganize a cabinet, you can be on your way to becoming a regular cyclist.
Keep in mind, however, that there are a lot of factors that play into this, so it could take you longer than 20 minutes to complete two miles.
What are the factors that affect how long it will take you to bike 2 miles?
We’ll cover them in no particular order as they are all equally important, and any one of them, alone or in conjunction with another factor, will affect the time it takes to bike two miles.
- Your fitness level. If you are pretty active and in good shape, it is going to be easier for you to get on the bike and pedal two miles than it is for someone who is out of shape. People who are fit have better endurance, more muscle to pedal steadily. Your physical health will determine how fast you are able to cycle. Even if you have the best bike that has all the bells and whistles on it, if you are not in good physical condition, you will pedal slower, which affects the speed you will go.
- If you have never cycled (other than riding your bike around the neighborhood as a kid), then it will take some getting used to. Recreational cyclists bike at a speed of about 8 miles an hour, while beginning cyclists may be comfortable at a speed of 12 miles an hour. Someone with exceptional skills may bike at 15 to 17 mph. And with regular training and increased endurance, some cycling pros can reach 25 mph.
- Type of bike. Different bikes are made for different types of cycling and the type of bike you use will determine your biking speed based on its performance. For example, a road bike has an average speed of 17-18 mph. It may be a challenge on hills and slopes, however, and can affect speed. Mountain bikes average about 10 mph, but they can climb and descend slopes easily. They can also be used on surface streets. Touring bikes is capable of an average speed of 13 to 15 mph and is ideal for longer bike rides.
- Condition of bike. The condition of your bike also affects speed, especially the tires. Good tires encourage faster cycling, unlike tires that do not have good traction. And properly inflated and balanced tires roll better, which gives better performance, which gives better speed and time.
- Are you biking on surface streets, or are you biking on rough terrain? Smooth surface streets are quicker to cover than off-road biking where you have rough terrain. Also, there is the question of whether the roads are flat or if there are a lot of hills to maneuver through. Biking uphill, obviously, is more strenuous and will require more effort from you, and it will take you more time going uphill than down. You can expect biking uphill to take twice as long as biking on a flat surface, and biking downhill will take you less time as gravity does the work for you. Traffic and traffic lights also play a factor as this may require you to stop and start multiple times.
- Riding style and technique. If you are out for a leisurely bike ride and just want to enjoy the scenery, biking two miles will take longer than someone who is focused on working to condition their body and increase their speed and endurance.
If you are ready to get started and want to make the most of your time, these are the first things to consider. Once you have considered these factors, you can focus on ways to potentially increase your speed.
Cutting down on wind resistance is one way, and this can be done by wearing close-fitting clothing. You should also avoid riding in strong winds. Additionally, a bike with a lighter frame and thinner tires enables you to use more muscle to gain momentum and go faster, and a bike with larger wheels will cover more ground, which will get you where you’re going faster. Lastly, avoid bad road conditions as these will slow you down.
Each of these things will affect speed, which will affect time. Therefore, the truth is, the time it takes to bike two miles will vary for each person and his situation. No matter how long it takes you, getting started is, well, as easy as riding a bike.