10 miles is a great riding distance for new riders. Not only is this a popular distance for most Greenways, it’s also a great distance goal for a beginner cyclist. Whether you plan to take the kids on a quick bike trip or start biking on your own, you should definitely know how long it takes to bike 10 miles.
Beginner riders average 10mph and it will take them 1 hour to bike 10 miles. For more experienced riders, that same mile may take only 30-45 minutes. But there are some important factors that affect this time, so keep reading to make sure you know what to expect.
How long does it take to bike 1 mile?
The easiest way for you to determine how long it takes to bike any distance, is to first determine how fast you can complete one mile.
It is generally understood that 10mph represents a beginner pace on a bicycle. Using 10mph as the average, it should take you 6 minutes to bike 1 mile.
Experienced riders are often able to maintain speeds closer to 12-15mph, so this number is greatly improved. Pro cyclists can even reach speeds of 28mph. But Experience is not the most important factor when it comes to determining the time it takes to bike 10 miles. As you will soon find out, the math can get a little more complicated when you add all the necessary variables.
Factors that affect how long it takes
While the formula above serves great as an estimate, the actual time it takes to bike any distance can vary wildly.
Take for example Downhill racers. If you were to ask Markus Stöckl, the Mountain Biker who set the Downhill world record of 104mph, he might say that you can cover 1 mile in a little over 30 seconds. That same question may get a different answer from a Pro Road Cyclist. Ask any rider who’s climbed Mont Ventoux in France and they’ll tell you that 10 miles can take hours.
The chances of you being in either of these situations is pretty slim, still, be prepared to adjust your initial estimates.
To accurately judge how long it will take to bike 10 miles, make sure you take into account the factors below.
How your Fitness affects the time it takes
In almost every instance, your fitness will be the main thing that determines how long it will take to bike 10 miles.
- How active are you in everyday life?
- Do you bike often?
- What’s the average distance that you bike?
If you’re not too active, don’t be intimidated. Biking is extremely easy and equally as intuitive. You’d be surprised how far you can go on a bike without breaking a sweat. That’s not to say 10 miles is an easy feat. If you don’t consider yourself an active person, you may be struggling to knock out 10 consecutive miles. But with a casual pace and possibly a few stops along the way, a 10-mile bike ride is definitely possible. For a brand new rider, accounting for stops, give yourself at least 90 to 120 minutes to bike 10 miles. Just make sure you’re well adjusted to your bike seat, or you might not make it but a few feet.
For those of you who ride more than the average person, but have not quite pushed the 10 mile mark, you may be more capable than you think. Compared to a complete beginner, you may be able to bike 10 miles in half the time.
A good way to see how your recent biking has been paying off, is to ride a little further than usual. 10 miles is a good goal, and a great starting point for tracking improvement. Try working your way down from 60 minutes to 40 minutes. If you can bike 10 miles in 40 minutes, you are in exceptional shape.
Just make sure you are realistic about your current fitness when setting a goal to bike 10 miles.
10 miles is not a sprint for most of us. In fact, the determining factor for how long it takes to bike 10 miles really comes down to your average mph. This means it is vital that you find a pace you can maintain. Your pace is something that is developed over time and goes hand in hand with your current fitness level.
The more you have built your fitness, the faster you will be able to complete a distance of 10 miles.
How your Bike will determine the time it takes
This one may not immediately come to mind unless you’re an avid biker, but the bike you ride can have a major impact on how long it will take you to bike 10 miles. Not to mention how comfortable that 10 mile bike ride will be.
If you’re not already aware, there are many types and styles of bicycle out there. From blade-like race bikes to couch-like recumbent bikes , there is more than one way to get from point A to point B.
Depending on the terrain you expect to encounter, there will be a specific bike that suits you best on your quest to bike 10 miles.
Regardless of the bike type, there is one key feature that you will definitely want the bike to have. That is GEARS.
While Cruiser bikes may seem like a good bike for a long trip, considering their comfortable seats and riding position, their customary lack of gears will have you rethinking your decision the first mile in your trip. Gears provide the necessary resistance range that allows you to bike over varying terrain and really come in handy when your legs need a break. If you’re looking to complete a 10 mile bike trip, I would avoid Cruisers.
That leads me to the 3 types of bikes that are great for biking 10 miles:
Mountain Bikes are great for anyone who plans to bike 10 miles. They feature a relaxed riding position and are relatively comfortable. Some Mountain Bikes even feature rear and front suspension. This style of bike is best if you plan to bike over varying terrain like; road, gravel, dirt, etc. Mountain Bikes are built for stability and can be a little heavier than other bike types. For this reason, Mountain Bikes are slightly harder to push and can increase the time it takes to bike 10 miles.
If you’re an avid rider and plan to bike 10 miles on road or pavement, there is no faster bike than a Road Bike. Road Bikes are built to be lightweight and aerodynamic. Just like Mountain Bikes, they feature a range of gears and are the fastest way to bike 10 miles. Though, there is a tradeoff. Due to their purpose, Road Bikes have a really aggressive riding position and are not known for being comfortable. As well, since they are built for the road, you are limited to where you can ride them. If your 10 mile bike ride includes grass or gravel, you can expect the trip to take a lot longer.
As you may have concluded from the name, Hybrid bikes are a mix of Road Bike and Mountain Bike. These are a well-rounded option and have become popular as commuter bikes. Hybrids typically feature tires that are slightly wider than Road Bike wheels and a geometry similar to Mountain Bikes. This means that they are comfortable like Mountain Bikes but roll over pavement faster and easier like a Road Bike. If you plan to bike over 10 miles of varying terrain, this may be your best option
Lastly, make sure you’re riding a bike that fits you well. The way your bike fits you really impacts how you feel about the ride altogether. If you have a bad experience on and while riding the bike, you may end up cutting your ride short. This can lead some people to falsely conflate the experience to their overall fitness, and possibly even to biking itself.
How the Terrain affects the time it will take
Mentioned in the section above, the Terrain will play a major role when it comes to how long it takes to bike 10 miles. While we already reviewed how the Terrain and Bike need to match, there is more to it than that.
The Terrain can present many challenges that ultimately affect the time it will take to go a certain distance. Biking up a massive hill can double or triple the amount of time it would normally take to cover the same distance. What if you have to cross gravel or even ice? On slippery surfaces, you can’t stop or corner as well as usual. To compensate, we often ride slower and more reserved.
The ultimate impact terrain can have on the time it takes you to bike 10 miles, is if it causes damage to you or your bike.
When I was reviewing a trail the other day, a fellow biker commented that the trail was so full of tree thorns, that he suffered a puncture shortly after starting. I’m not sure how far he planned on riding that day, but I can assure you he wasn’t going to make it to 10 miles too fast. While this situation is rare, it is a great example of why you have to account for terrain when asking how long it takes to bike 10 miles.
If you expect to pass construction zones or lots of debris, make sure you prepare to avoid punctures. If your bike ride includes a few hills, prepare to take extra time pedaling or even walking your bike.
How the Weather will affect the time it takes
Chances are, you’re not looking to bike 10 miles in the middle of a hurricane. And while its pretty obvious to avoid biking on days when the weather is bad, there are definitely some things to consider if you need to know how long it takes to bike 10 miles.
Weather will play a major role in anything you do outside, biking included.
If you plan to bike 10 miles on a really sunny day, make sure you bring plenty of water and balance time in the Sun with time in the shade. A ride can be cut short if you get too hot in the Sun, not to mention the dangers of dehydration. While dehydration isn’t too much of a problem on a 10 mile bike ride, the heat alone will drain your energy a lot faster.
Similarly, rain can be a huge interruption to your ride. If you’re carrying electronics, papers or are generally unprepared to get wet, it may take you a lot longer to get where you’re going. Whether you have to stop for cover, to wipe your eyes, or rearrange your gear, rain can be a big time concern. Not to mention how slick some surfaces can be.
Anyone who bikes frequently will be aware of this one. Biking on windy days. Surprisingly, the wind can play a huge role in how long it takes you to bike 10 miles. With the wind at your back, you may experience a slight ease in maintaining speed. With the wind at your front, it can feel like you’re pedaling through syrup. On those windy days, I find myself adjusting for side to side balance, but also working hard to maintain speed.
Make sure you’re aware of any weather conditions any time you plan to go biking.
The role of your Gear
Gear plays a vital role in any bike trip, especially if you plan on biking a long distance. Consider all the factors mentioned before.
The gear you take will help you combat and overcome any interruptions you may encounter.
Take inner tubes and a pump to fix any flats, pack extra clothes or a jacket to counter the rain and always carry a multi-tool for quick fixes.
While you can’t prepare for everything, these basics will certainly help you finish a 10 mile bike ride.
In conclusion, there are many ways to determine how long it takes to bike 10 miles. In most instances, you can expect it to take 50 to 60 minutes. But make sure you account for all the factors mentioned in this post, especially if you need an exact estimate.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below.