So, you’ve set a goal for yourself, and that goal is to bike 8 miles and you want to know how long does it takes to bike 8 miles. That’s not too lofty of a goal, so let’s see what it takes to accomplish it.
We’ve all heard the phrases “Once you learn to ride a bike, you’ll never forget”, and “It’s as easy as riding a bike”. Well, those are common phrases because bike riding is such a widespread pastime. It fulfills the ultimate sense of independence. It’s just you and the road, and the only thing getting you from Point A to Point B is your own energy. How is that not appealing? Now, it does take a fair bit of energy, stamina, and endurance to ride a bike for any sort of long distance, but that’s something you gain through just a little bit of practice. Practice that will rely solely on you and the amount of time you want to put into it. Imagine yourself standing there on an open road. It’s you, the bike, and your destination of 8-miles. Once you have learned to master that task the list of benefits that you’ll gain from it are vast. You’ll find that riding a bike will greatly improve your physical well-being as well as your mental health. Riding gives you time to clear your head while at the same time you are building up your cardio. It’s like having an inexpensive gym membership.
Now that we’ve discussed the particulars of getting into riding a bike on a regular basis, let’s talk about how long it takes, and what it entails to start riding longer distances.
If you want to ride any sort of distance, you’re going to have to build your endurance. To share a personal story about myself, I ride 60 miles per day on a regular basis, but I in no way started out like that. I started out commuting to and from work which was three miles round trip. Now that took about thirty minutes total. Starting out that was rough on the body, but through repetition I built up my cardio, and cut my time almost in half. What was once a tough task now had become something that was as easy to me as breathing is. It admittedly took time, but then again, all great things in life do. Once I found how much I loved riding a bike, I started to be unable to see my life without it. Also, I started to see and feel the physical and mental benefits that I was receiving. I started trimming down, and my mood was soaring. Bike riding as a lifestyle had me hook, line, and sinker. I started to see the ease of getting wherever I wanted whenever I wanted without having to rely on anybody but myself. That is one liberating feeling to have. My goal was to achieve the ultimate independence, and I did that in spades.
Now, back to your your goal of riding 8 miles. You have a specific vision in your mind, and it’s flashing “8 Miles” repeatedly. You just have to figure out how to bring that vision into reality.
There are quite a few steps you must factor into that number. I spoke earlier about building your endurance, and that is a must for an 8-mile bike ride. Now, for an experienced cyclist 8-miles is not a tough task to accomplish, but for a relative newbie it is quite the feat. Biking 8-miles could take nearly 1.2 hours for an inexperienced cyclist. That’s not a bad way to start out, but once you get going and gain some experience, you’ll be able to cut that time down drastically. I personally can bike 8-miles in about 45-50 minutes. There’s a lot of experience that came before that number though. That’s something that is easily attainable for you as well. Just put in the time to build up to it naturally.
Start biking one mile a day which could take about 10 minutes starting out, and when you feel ready, double that. Then you just keep doubling that until you reach the 4-mile mark, and finally the 8-mile mark. Once that’s a number that you start hitting on the regular, that’s when you start testing yourself to see how much time you can cut out of the trek. Before you know it, you have cut your time almost in half, and you’re biking 8-miles in 45 minutes. By that time, you look back at your former self, and you can barely recognize who you see. Now when you back look you see a more streamlined version of the old you. The 2.0 version of yourself. The one you used to dream of. Through your persistence and your own ingenuity, you have become the version you always wanted to be. There’s really a long list of benefits that one gains from riding a bike on a regular basis, even its just for leisure. Let’s look at some of the finer points:
- Greatly improved cardio
- Muscle gain
- Vastly improved mental health AND lowered stress levels
- Improving your posture AND your coordination
- Strengthening of your bones
- Decreasing your body fat
- Time-efficient: if you’re using a bike for commuting accept NO substitute
- Decrease your carbon footprint
- Save money on gas and parking
Whether you’re living in the city or the suburbs riding a bike will seriously be a life changing experience for you. It’s something that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Your body, and your overall health will most certainly thank you for years to come. You’ve added into your lifestyle an exercise that is fun AND beneficial. No longer will you have to contend with crowds on public transportation or angry drivers jockeying for position amidst bumper-to-bumper traffic. Now you zip past all that congestion safely in the bike lane and cut your commuting time drastically. I trust that you’ve come to the end of this article and found it informative and inspiring. See you out on the bike path!