What Is A Reasonable Distance To Cycle To Work For A Newbie?

How Far Is Too Far To Cycle To Work For A Newbie?

The answer to this question is greatly dependent on multiple factors, factors like your own personal level of fitness and body weight. Other factors include if you have any medical conditions that may dictate how far you can cycle without triggering any health issues 

However for the average person with an average level of fitness, a daily cycling commute of around 30 to 40 minutes will be a great start for a newbie cyclist. If your cycle to work lasts around 30 to 40 minutes, which would be around 5-8 miles then that should be manageable for a newbie cyclist

It’s worth mentioning that some cyclist may cycle faster than others, resulting in them covering more miles in a shorter time. Slower cyclist may only cover 3-5 miles when cycling for 30 minutes. This will greatly depend on the cyclist fitness levels and their lightness/heaviness of their bicycle 

What If My Cycle To Work Is 30 to 40 minutes One Way?

If your daily cycling commute of around 30 to 50 minutes is just one to work (or any other destination like the local swimming pool…) then consider leaving your bicycle there overnight until the next time you g

For instance, if your cycling commute of around 30 to 50 minutes is just one to work, then get another mode of public transport (local bus service) back to your home, then the next day get cycle home from work the following evening. This breaks the pattern up and allows you to gradually increase the distances you are cycling to work and back

My Cycle To Work Is Longer That 40 Minutes, It’s Around 10 Miles, What Do I Do Then?

If you think that the cycling commute to work is too long for your own level of fitness, then consider an electric bicycle. Most ebikes are pedal assisted, which means the electric motor assists you as you pedal the ebike. The electric motor is only activated when you are pedaling and won’t kick in or assist you if you are not pedaling

This assistance can save you a lot of leg power and allow any level of cyclist to cycle further distances without the extra fitness and pedal power needed with a manual powered bicycle. Electric bicycles can be a considerable investment initially however long term, you generally save a lot more money from not using public transport as a way to commute to work 

I Don’t Know If I Am Fit Enough To Cycle To Work, What Can I Do Then?

If your having doubts about if you will be able to cycle to work and back everyday, regarding your personal fitness, then consider doing it in a slow and steady transition. Start by cycling to work Monday and Tuesday, then on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday get the bus (obviously not everybody works monday to friday but this is just to get my point across). Essentially split the week up between cycling and using other modes of transport

Cycling to work on a part time basis in the beginning won’t only get you physically fitter, but also save you money on a weekly basis as you only using the car or public transport half of the week. Sometimes the best way to achieve our own personal goals is to approach them in a slow and steady transition manner, starting small and then building up at our own pace… 

How Can I Estimate How Long My Cycling Commute To Work Will Take? 

Car Vs Bicycle

You can use your existing commute to work to estimate how long it would take to cycle to work. If driving to work takes around 30 minutes, then cycling to work would take around 50 to 60 minutes. However this is based on a car driving down a clear road, with no traffic and at 30mph. However this is not likely to be the case if you work a standard 9-5 job that is located in a busy city

You’d be surprised that cycling to work will take around the same time that it would be driving to work, sometimes even less time. This is based on the average speeds you are able to travel when driving a car and cycling a bicycle in peak hour traffic

If you drive on an average of 15mph when driving to work, an average person is able to cycle around 6-10mph on their cycling commute to work, not to mention that cyclist can fly in, out and between the cars when long traffic queues inevitable happen in peak hour traffic

So to summarize, if your currently driving to work and it takes around 30 minutes in peak hour traffic then cycling to work could take around 25 (or even less) to 40 minutes based around that you are cycling at an average speed of 6-10mph in peak hour traffic. This is a general estimate and may take less time than driving a car, you never actually know until you actually test this in your own circumstances…

Public Transport Vs Cycling

If commuting to work using public transport (bus) takes around 30 minutes, then cycling to work would take around 40 to 50 minutes on average. Most cities have bus lanes that prohibit cars entering them in peak hour traffic which means busses are less likely to be at the back of the queue when there is a huge traffic jam

Bus lanes allow the bus to leapfrog most traffic and join the traffic at the very front of the queue in most cases (usually at the traffic lights). Cyclists also have the advantage here as most bus lanes allow for cyclist to use the bus lane during peak hour traffic 

So to summarize, if your currently commuting to work by public transport and it takes around 30 minutes in peak hour traffic then cycling to work would take around 40 to 50 minutes on average, this based around that a bus generally will be traveling at a faster speed in a clear bus lane and cyclists will be cycling in a clear bus lane at an average speed of 6-10mph in peak hour traffic. Again this is a general estimate, you never actually know until you actually test this in your own circumstances

What About Sweat, How Can I Deal With Sweating During My Commute To Work?

Sweating is an issue when cycling to work or a reasonable distance, the more energy the body uses in an activity the more you sweat. There is no way to avoid sweating, however there are ways to minimise the sweat and manage it 

You can minimise sweat by cycling at a leisurely pace during your commute, a leisurely pace that allows your body to heat up at a mid level temperature. Avoid cycling in an aggressive manner (like up a hill) as this is likely to output more body energy and increase body sweat

Others ways to maintain your body sweat/odor from cycling to work is to have access to a shower, you may have access to a shower at work or even at a nearby swimming pool. This can be a great way to freshen up before you start work

If you do not have access to a shower at your work, another way to maintain your body sweat/odor from cycling to work is to take an extra pair of clothing with you. This is especially handy if you wear a work uniform at work, you can cycle to work in your own clothing then change into fresh clothing when starting work

Other alternative is to choose a cycle route to work that’s shorter, has less obstacles (like steep hills) and avoids you needing to “work up a sweat”. Consider cycling halfway to work, and then getting a bus (or other modes of public transport) the other half to work and back

What Are The Health Benefits From Cycling To Work Or Manageable Distances?

Cycling to work is a great way to get your required amount of exercise each day, the health benefits from cycling to work are exactly the same as getting your required amount of exercise each day. The required amount of exercise each day is one of the two options: 90 Minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 40 Minutes of vigorous activity 

Cycling to work can easily meet the required amount of exercise each day which can have a hugely positive impact on your health, the basic health benefits from cycling to work are the following: 

  • Regular cycling to work and exercise plays an important role in controlling and maintaining a healthy body weight and prevents the risk of obesity. Cycling to work each day allows you to burn the surplus of calories that you eat during the day, therefore you are burning off the calories you consume for the entire day by exercising allowing you to shave off extra body weight   


  • Cycling to work and exercise reduces the risk of heart diseases, exercise strengthens your heart and improves your blood circulation in and out of your heart. Cycling to work can lower your blood pressure levels as well 


  • As well as helping to lower your blood pressure levels, exercise can help manage your blood sugar and insulin levels. This can cut down your risk of getting diabetes 


  • Regular cycling to work and exercise can drastically improve your mental health and mood, chemicals in your brain are released during exercise which can improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. This can help if you deal with stress better if you are regularly stressed at your work or in your life


  • When you are maneuvering your body and limbs when cycling your bicycle, you are strengthening your bones, joints and muscles. Muscle-strengthening activities like cycling can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength


  • Cycling to work as your regular exercise can reduce the risk of the following illnesses: cancers, including colon, breast , uterine, and lung cancer. Reduce your risk of falls for older adults


  • Cycling to work as your regular exercise can improve your sleep, exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer


Those are some of the basic health benefits from cycling to work on a regular basis, cycling to work is a great way to get your required amount of exercise in without really thinking about it too much

Cycling is recommended by the NHS as an ideal form of exercise to improve health and wellbeing. The statements above about the benefits of exercise is not medical advice, it’s merely some of the basic benefits to cycling to work or doing regular exercise on a regular basis

What Are The Financial Benefits From Cycling To Work Or Manageable Distances?

Cycling to work is by far the cheapest method to commute yo your work, the price of public transport nowadays is going up and is at its highest it has been for many years. Obviously when considering the option to cycle to work, you would have to live a cyclable distance from your work so you are likely going to be considering the bus or a car as an alternative

There may be an initial upfront cost of buying a bicycle, there is often a running monthly cost to having a car or bus travel card which will quickly far exceed the cost of a bicycle. Every city’s public transport cost are different however here is the prices it would cost me to take the bus, car and a bicycle:


  • Monthly Bus Travel Pass: £57.00 
  • Average Car Monthly Payment: £150
  • Buying a Brand New Bicycle: £250 One Of Payment

Can I Use The City Cycle Hire bikes To Partially Cycle To Work

One of the best alternatives to cycling the entire journey to work is to only partially cycle to work, meaning you can get the bus halfway and then cycle the other half. This is a great alternative to fully committing, you can test and get an idea if cycling to work is feasible for your own personal circumstances

Just Eat Cycles offer short term and affordable bicycles that you can be used at multiple sites across your city. All you simply do is find the closest available Just Eat bike in the app, tap “unlock” in the app when you’re close to a Just Eat Cycle station, It will then tell you which bike is yours to cycle

Just Eat Cycles offer a cheap way to commute to work, their Just Eat Cycle station are located at city centre locations which means you will be cycling a shorter distance to work and always means you can get public transport part of the way to work

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have anything to add, then leave a comment down below. All of the information has been thoroughly researched and I have plenty of real world experience on this issue to add as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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