How Many Miles Should You Bike a Day? 5 Key Factors to Determine How Far to Ride

Biking every day can be a healthy and fun way to exercise. It’s also good for the environment! But when deciding just how many miles per day you should bike, there are a few factors to consider before settling on an answer. We’ll discuss these in-depth below so that no matter what kind of lifestyle or fitness routine you have, you can figure out the right number of miles per day that works best for your needs.

How many miles should you bike a day?

Generally, biking 7 to 10 miles per day is considered good for the average cyclist. Professional cyclists and riders training for events should aim for 20-30 miles each day.  This distance can vary based on factors such as your goal, health/fitness level, biking experience, biking location, and type of bike. 

Look:

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard health practitioners saying that a healthy standard for any exercise is about 30 minutes each day. However, depending on your age and health condition, you might need more or less. In terms of biking, the average rider can easily cover 5 miles in 30 minutes at 10MPH and should shoot for around 45 minutes worth of biking each day. If you have at least a basic level of fitness, you should be able to maintain speeds of 15MPH for a 30-minute ride. That will put you at roughly 7.5 miles in 30 minutes and 11.25 miles in 45 mins going 15 MPH.

Biking between 7-11 miles each day will be a great achievement for anyone.

Still, everyone is different. No one wants to be called lazy, but we all can’t bike at the same pace. So while I say 7 – 11 miles is a great number to try to reach each day, those numbers might not be optimal for you.

To find the right distance to should bike each day, you have to consider a few important factors. I go over each point below. These should help give you the number of miles that you should bike every day.

5 Important Factors to Assess How Many Miles you Should Bike

This section will go over the top 5 factors you should use to assess how many miles you should bike.

Your Goal

A person who is biking to lose weight will need to ride a different number of miles than someone cycling for leisure or training. A goal in mind can help you choose what kind of bike distance you should be going after each day and how often you should repeat that amount. It’s important to know these facts because it’ll give you an idea of whether or not this is the best exercise for your needs and if there are any health risks with doing so.

In other words, someone who wants to stay fit does not have to do much, while someone training for a race will have to work harder. 

For weight loss, the more you bike, the better. As such, you need to go for a longer time, with the minimum requirements being 30 minutes – 45 minutes daily. Your weight loss rides also require consistency, but it’s much more lenient than biking for other purposes. 

When biking for weight loss, one key factor to consider is how many calories you need to burn daily and weekly rather than the miles. The reason for that is because you can burn more or fewer calories over the same amount of miles. So putting a number on how many miles you’ll need to burn isn’t a set number for everyone. 

For example, in 30 minutes of biking at 11 miles per hour, I will burn 320 calories. If I bike faster at 15 miles per hour, I will burn 469 calories simultaneously. So depending on your weight, pace, and time spent biking, your calorie goals might be very different from mine. So to lose weight through cycling, you should focus more on the intensity of the ride than how many miles you do.

If it’s just for maintaining your fitness(leisure cycling), then a mile or two every day is enough. When bike training, you’ll be required to cover between 20 to 50 miles depending on the type of event you are getting ready to tackle. If you haven’t been doing much training, I’d recommend starting with 10 miles first and try to get back in shape. This 10-mile daily ride is your starting point. Keep biking and try to bike more than you already do each day as you get closer to your cycling event. 

Your Health

To set an amount for how many miles you should ride each day, you must first consider your medical status and age. Both factors play a crucial role in how your body will respond to biking every day. Generally, the amount of miles you can bike each day depends on:

-Your medical history and current health status, including any injuries or chronic conditions such as arthritis or other mobility issues that would prevent you from cycling a certain distance without exacerbating an injury or causing new injuries.

-The amount of time you have available for exercising each day. In general, a younger person would have more time for working out each day since they tend to have fewer responsibilities.

-The older we get, the more slowly our bodies heal. And it doesn’t recover as well as when we were younger.

Experience

How does your biking expertise affect how many miles you can ride?

If you are a competitive cyclist, then your fitness level will be different from someone who is not. For example, if you are 50 years old and have been biking for 15 years, you can bike 50 miles easier than someone who is 25 and has been biking for less than a year.

While for someone that is new to biking, you’ll quickly realize that it’s incredibly difficult to ride 50 miles no matter what pace. Even worse if you consider doing that distance daily.

What does this all mean? Well, it means that the less experienced biker will need more time and recovery before they can bike long distances again. As such, I recommend starting with a daily goal of riding 5-10 miles and work your way up over months.

Route

Let’s face it…

A 10-mile ride on hilly terrain is significantly different from the same distance on flat terrain. Biking on hilly terrain is more difficult because you’re riding uphill or downhill, so the distances you’ll cover in a given time will vary. While biking on flat terrains will remain almost constant. However, flat terrains also come with their own set of challenges, such as traffic which will impede how far you’ll be able to reach.

The same can be said of the speed at which you ride, too. A rider going 20 MPH down an open stretch will feel differently than someone who’s biking 15 MPH up and over steep grades. Someone who does not have a lot of hills might find 3 miles very easy to finish. The person in the other case will find 3 miles very hard to complete.

For these reasons, knowing the route you are riding will be crucial to figuring out how far you should bike.

Type of Bike 

There are many different types of bikes. Some are better for short trips and others for long trips. The bike you choose can significantly affect how far you can go. A heavier bike, for example, one that weighs more than 40 pounds, will be less efficient and slower than a lighter one. Therefore, such bikes would make it harder for the rider to go as fast or as long without getting worn out.

For that reason, you won’t see mountain bikes being used for road races or time trials. A mountain bike is more equipped to tackle mud, rocks, and hilly terrains, and they require more weight and heavier components to aid riding agility and durability. In contrast, a road bike is much lighter thanks to its components and would be best suited for racing on roads or flat terrains.

In general, the more difficult a bike is to ride, the less distance you will be able to cover before getting tired and worn out. Note: the difficulty mentioned is subjective in the sense of the components and skills required to ride each bike type. 

In other words, biking on a cruiser bike is much easier compared to riding on mountain bikes or road bicycles. And the distance you can cover on each will be significantly different as well. On a cruiser bike, you won’t be able to cover 20 miles as quickly or easily as you would on a mountain bike which is much slower than a road bike.

The Bottom Line:

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how many miles you can bike. It depends on your goals, whether or not you have experience biking before, and the type of bike you use. The information we’ve provided should help guide you in determining how far you want to ride and provide some tips for mapping out a route so that it doesn’t feel like an impossible task! Set yourself up for success by using these guidelines as a starting point when planning your next big cycling adventure!

Useful Tips and Takeaways:

  • Experts and Doctors recommend that people should be biking a minimum of 30 minutes at least five days per week.
  • If you’re new to cycling, start with about ten miles for your first few rides, then increase the amount by two or three miles each time before attempting anything more challenging than what you’ve been doing so far.
  • Regardless of how motivated you are, remember not to rush anything at the expense of your safety.
  • Track your heart rate as it is a good indicator of your fitness level and overall health. It will also help you determine how hard you should be riding, which will significantly increase your riding distance.
  • One word, “Consistency.” You should ride your bike for short distances of 7-11 miles four or five days a week than for long distances one or two days a week).
  • If you are looking for the ideal biking mix, it should include moderate-pace rides with short, fast sprints. Your rides do not have to be limited to just one kind of terrain. So try to mix up your routes whenever possible.