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How long does it take to cycle 10 miles? With examples

by | Jun 27, 2018 | Blog

Exactly how long does it take to cycle 10 miles? It’s a question many new cyclists ask before setting out on their first ride or commute of this length. Having started out on an old mountain bike in the Spanish hills, it took me on average 10.5 miles an hour as seen in the first image.

Fast forward 1.5 years later, and I’m going further and quicker; albeit on a road bike and less climbing. This comes in at around 45 minutes for 10 miles and variables are a key factor.

 

how long does it take to cycle 10 miles?

commuting

How long to cycle 10 miles?

A good average for a ten mile bike ride is between 45 minutes and an hour. If you’re a beginner, it’s more likely to be closer to the hour mark.

Over time your average speed for each of your rides will increase and so the time it takes to cycle 10 miles will be reduced. When it comes to average speeds, you should consider what you think your could sustain for an extended period.

For example, if you were to aim to cycle 10 miles in 30 minutes, you would require an average speed of 20 mph (32.19 kph). That sort of speed is manageable under the right conditions, especially if you’re riding on a flat or with a group of other cyclists.

However, if you are newer to cycling there are a few factors you should be aware of that will impact your speed and efficiency on the bike. E.g. your initial fitness level and the type of bikes yo’re riding.

A road bike is a lot lighter than its counterparts and so there’s one less element to contend with. But lots of cyclists tend to start with hybrids, which can weigh a bit more, and so that should be factored into your expectations.

Let’s delve into these factors below.

 

The variables of cycling 10 miles

It is no surprise there are a lot of factors to take into account when cycling this distance. The most obvious example is a powerhouse cyclist completing 10 miles time trial in under 20 minutes.

Let’s take a look at the different things that will effect your time, which will also help you calculate your own 10 mile completion.




Fitness

Like anything, the more you get out on the bike the better you’ll be on it. That’s to say after weeks of cycling 10 miles, you’ll be faster than the first time you had a go at it. Around 1 year after I started cycling my time improved so much that I was doing 10 miles in 33 minutes (I asked Evie to calculate)! You’ll be shocked how quickly your fitness improves just as I was recently. Pair that with a good diet and you’ll be cycling 10 miles in no time.

cycling 10 miles in 33 minutes

 

The 10-mile route

A few people will laugh if you base all your data on average speed. That is because how long it takes you to cycle 10 miles on a flat route is different to how long it takes you to cycle 10 miles on a hilly route.

It sounds pretty obvious but I’ve beaten myself up about going slower before when the routes have been just more challenging. If you map out your route beforehand you’ll get an idea if it will be slower than expected.

 

Whether the weather is nice or not

Sunny and dry days are perfect for cycling 10 miles and it is likely a cyclist will do it faster than normal. Rainy days make it a little tougher because the tyres friction on the road is higher making you ride marginally slower in wet conditions. And then there’s wind; a bitter sweet cycling relationship. On one hand it may be behind you and you’ll zoom swiftly by, whilst on the other hand it will make your legs work overtime and have you cursing into the gales coming straight at you.

Alternatively, accept some days will be good and other’s bad. Just understand if it’s windy and wet, you’ll be a little bit slower – the worst thing you can do is fight it during those 10 miles.

If you want to jump into some science, I can recommend Cyclist’s article. Apparently, there’s a sweet spot… Who knew? Just give yourself a five hour window of opportunity to do your commute and you may just find it…

 

Gear

If you’re after marginal gains then open up your wallet. It’s true that a rust bucket of a bike will make cycling 10 miles much more difficult than a Pinarello carbon beast (not actually a bike name), but if you have a standard road or mountain bike then your fitness is the real key to speed.

If your 10 mile cycle is uphill, using a mountain bike is going to take you longer than a road bike on most occasions. That is down to a bike’s weight. The heavier the bike the harder it is to cycle uphill. There’s no two ways about it. But you can make yourself lighter by either wearing lightweight Lycra or carrying less items.

 

So, how long does it take to cycle 10 miles?

In truth, there’s no one answer to this. It all depends on your fitness, how long your overall ride is, the route and what gear you’re using. But we’d say that an 50 minutes is likely the average standard.




Cycling more than 10 miles

The time it takes you to cycle 10 miles will give you an indicator of how long it’ll take you to cycle other distances. However, if you rode 10 miles in 1 hour, that doesn’t mean 20 miles will take you two hours. When I first cycled over 50 miles, it was the hardest day of exercise I’d ever done. I recall it taking me 6-7 hours which if using my 33 minute 10 miler data, I should have gone over 100 miles. I wish.

The rationing of food and drink and fatigue it takes to first rack up big miles is exhausting and can by no means be calculated for a first timer. Make sure you gradually pick your miles up, rather than jumping into the deep end, and prepare efficiently.

 

To conclude

If you are just starting out on the bike, have one hour in mind for cycling 10 miles. This time will slowly edge down as your fitness improves. Many variants in cycling will sway your results and this often can not be helped. Do the best you can and take it steady.

Cycling is more than just about getting fast times and hard data. Enjoy the sights, the senses and the complete enjoyment. Good luck with your next 10 miles; and I sincerely hope you find the sweet spot.

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7 Comments

  1. Tony White

    5 years ago I bought my first roadbike, I wasn’t a cyclist of any sort at the time but I had fitness through cross training in a gym. So my first ride was a solo ride in May to a cafe 25 miles away, didn’t factor hills, wind etc. Eventually did 65 miles after getting lost, although that’s an enjoyable part of cycling, after 31 miles I arrived at the Cafe, absolutely knackered, the suffering up the hills was torture to say the least. I now had to cycle back up those same hills to get home, I was not looking forward to that, but I had no option. The suffering, saddle soreness was the worst, but I got home and uploaded to Strava, 65 miles, 4500ft of climbing, which I now know to be a tough ride by cycling club standards. In September I completed my first Century, I cycled from North Wiltshire to Devon 115 miles, I nearly gave up after 8 miles, due to a big hill and being totally knackered with 100+ miles to go, but I forged on through Dorset into Devon. I reached my sister’s house 9 hours later and she thought I was about to die. I now cycle the Alps and sort out the biggest hills wherever I go. Cycling is magical, it is more than life itself, if only people realised what they’re missing out on, cycling to school with your children, cycling to work everyday is my favourite part of the day. If everybody cycled all the trips made by car of less than 5 miles we go a long way to genuinely improving the plight of planet Earth.

    Reply
    • Thomas P. Black

      Tony White, this is Tom Black (hahaha). Prior to this 4 month Covid-19 hiatus, I was in pretty decent shape. I would hit the weights 5-6 times a week, and run 4-5 times a week. I would run anywhere from 2-5 miles, on occasion, 6-8 miles, always at a very aggressive pace. Staying in the house day after day eventually got to me and my health initiative completely imploded. No weight lifting, no running, and no healthy eating. I went from grapefruits and egg whites, to pancakes, and sausage, ham and provolone sandwiches for lunch and pizza and calzones for dinner. As a kid I was very into BMX bike riding, but that was more than 3 decades ago when I was in my early teens. Suddenly my wife came to a screeching halt, and decided enough is enough and began eating healthy again. Now, mins you, she is the type who can eat cake for breakfast lunch and dinner, and still maintain cubes in her stomach. Great genetics. Me.. I am not so lucky. I am quite the opposite, as I put on 25 lbs in the last 4 months. Anyway.. with the gyms still closed as a result of Corona and quarantine rules, I have been left with very little options for the type of setting I require to maintain consistency in my exercise routines. So, we bought bikes. We joined some friends in what would be considered a By most a leisurely ride through a path that was once a railroad track in our community. It is 3-4 miles long, 6-8 to and fro. I am an extremist, so riding with couples, giggling along the way does not suit my personality, so I’d often find myself way ahead of the pack. My wife would get insulted and so I would be forced to reduce my efforts in order to stay with the group. Yesterday my wife suggested we go to my brother in-laws house, to allow the kids to swim and play with their cousins. I said sure, let’s do it. I made her a deal… you drive with the kids, I am riding my bike there. She agreed. It’s an eleven mile straight line to his home. I figured, no big deal, I’ll be there in 20 minutes. Well, 1/3rd of the way, I was thinking, what did you get yourself into. In never realized how many hills there were, as I had only driven my car there, never noticing the terrain. As I mentioned earlier, I am an extremist, so I committed to never once stopping my pedaling. I did quickly learn how to adjust my gears to reflect the difficulty level when attacking the hills. Anyway, it is 11 miles. I did it in 35 minutes. But similar to you on your 110 mile ride, when I was completed, I wanted to lay down and sleep for two hrs. I did this on a mountain bike, which is geared for downhill etc. so, I only have two sprockets in the front and 7 in the back. That third sprocket in front would have enabled me to go much faster during my downhill and flat surfaces. I can say this.. biking is far more difficult than running. But I am curious. How many calories do you burn in a 10-11 mile bike ride.. if you do it in 35 minutes. I hope at least 750. Cheers. I enjoyed reading your bike experiences. Tom

      Reply
  2. Kathy Briggs

    I am looking for a mileage schedule for the week leading to my weekly 10 mile, flat ride. I have ridden several 10 miles on my bike, on the same day of the week. But know from running marathons, that I cannot ride just 5 miles a day leading to my long day of 10 miles. When training for a marathon, there are long days and shorter days……that is what I am looking for…..that weekly schedule. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Khalid Pervase

    Hey guys I have taken up cycling 3 months ago ,I started of alowly and weekend gone idid the canal run in birmingham a total of 30k ,being an asthmatic and a triple bypass patient i was impressed by my effort .Just wanted to say of i can anybody can .

    Reply
  4. Tom Ford

    I have done 140 miles in 10 days I though not bad for a 66 year old Male doing it for cancer research UK as I have just retired in march your comments would be appreciated am I overdoing it

    Reply
  5. david bryden

    My father in law has a medal which shows a club record for 10 miles ,in 1935 as 27mins 33 3/5 secs.

    Reply
  6. Terry

    Mother told me I was riding a bike when I was 3 years old. So now after having a bike between my legs 63 years I realize a bicycle is not my best friend. After I retired I started riding with my son. ( a former Marine with a gung ho attitude and no fat) I sweat, I pant, I cuss but I really like riding around the rail trails and back roads of home. The boy waits for me and gives words of encouragement to keep me going but I’m always ready when he calls to go. But I enjoy the time I spend with him and Mother Nature

    Reply

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