How Long Does It Take To Bike 20 Miles?

How long does it take to bike 20 miles

Cycling is a fantastic hobby that offers entertainment, fitness, and the joy of being outdoors. It allows you to measure your progress, whether it’s by the hour or mile. While biking 20 miles in a short period may seem like a remarkable achievement, it’s not something that happens overnight, especially for beginners. Building stamina, discipline, and commitment to cycling is essential. So, how long does it actually take to bike 20 miles? On average, it will take you approximately an hour and forty minutes to complete a 20-mile biking distance, provided you have good physical condition, a reliable bike, and average terrain. Let’s dive deeper into these factors below.

Is It Hard for a Beginner to Complete a 20-Mile Distance?


When it comes to sports, beginners face challenges, and cycling is no exception. Completing a full 20-mile distance requires discipline, commitment, and physical strength. You shouldn’t expect to effortlessly achieve this goal within an hour without consistent practice and preparation. Even if you are a teenager at your physical peak, biking 20 miles can still be a significant challenge if your overall health isn’t optimal. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain an active lifestyle. Engaging in regular activities that keep your body active, such as routine workouts, walking, and occasional running, will make a 20-mile bike ride less daunting.

However, if you’ve been sedentary for a long time and want to take up biking as a new hobby, a 20-mile distance can be quite challenging. Your body isn’t prepared to suddenly engage in an intense and dynamic activity. When you hit the road for the first time, you’ll likely feel strained and exhausted. Forcing yourself to complete 20 miles immediately will only lead to stress and fatigue. Starting out requires consistent practice, gradual improvement, and the development of endurance and stamina. It takes time to make a 20-mile distance feel like an easy ride.

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What Factors Influence a 20-Mile Ride?

Health and Fitness Level

As mentioned earlier, your fitness level plays a crucial role in your biking journey. It determines whether you can complete a 20-mile ride in one hour and forty minutes or not. If you’re a beginner with an active lifestyle, it’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll immediately reach this goal without adequate preparation. It will take you longer than the specified time to finish the distance. You’ll need breaks, rest, and time to gather strength during the ride. It’s entirely normal to take longer than expected to cover 20 miles.

On the other hand, if you’re a beginner without an active lifestyle, even a 10-mile ride will be challenging. It’s particularly difficult if you aren’t physically fit when you embark on your biking journey. A 10-mile distance will take you more than an hour to complete. However, with consistent practice, you can gradually build your biking routine and maintain an average speed of 17mph. Over time, with constant practice, you can complete the 20-mile distance within an hour.

Bike Choice

Besides your physical condition and health, the type of bike you use also affects your biking experience. Some bikes can help you achieve higher speeds, while others may hinder your progress. For instance, using an electric bike can help you reach your goal in approximately thirty minutes. Electric bikes are fast, easy to ride, and save your energy. The motor and power assist provided by an electric bike can increase your speed during the ride.

In contrast, hybrid and mountain bikes may slow you down by 2-6mph. This difference in speed is significant, so it’s important to select the right bike for your needs. If you’re looking for an all-around bike that balances speed and versatility, road bikes are your best bet. They work well on both flat surfaces and hilly terrain. Road bikes are lightweight, offering more flexibility and a smoother ride compared to hybrid and mountain bikes. With a road bike, a 20-mile ride becomes less challenging, requiring less effort to pedal.

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Terrain and Weather Conditions

The road and terrain you choose can also affect how easily you complete the 20-mile ride. Riding on a flat and smooth terrain presents no significant challenge. You can maintain your regular speed and conserve energy. On such terrain, reaching the 20-mile distance will take a relatively short amount of time at an average speed.

Conversely, hilly, rough, and challenging terrains require more effort. You’ll need to change gears, put in more energy, and experience a significant decrease in speed. These terrains are demanding and take longer to finish. Gravity pulls you back, forcing you to exert more power and energy. Your bike will need to perform at its full capacity.

Weather conditions also play a role in your biking experience. Rainy days can be more challenging than sunny days. Bikers exercise more caution during rainy seasons. It can be tougher to control your bike when it’s wet. In such conditions, using mountain bikes or hybrid bikes with better traction can help prevent accidents.

Strong wind can also reduce your biking speed. When biking against the wind, you’ll notice a decrease in speed due to the resistance it creates. You’ll need to exert more effort to keep moving forward.


Biking a 20-mile distance may seem simple, but several factors need consideration before reaching this milestone. If you’re a beginner, it’ll take practice, adjustment, and exercise to bike 20 miles within an hour and forty minutes. Additionally, you need to consider the terrain, the bike you’re using, the weather, and your overall health. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be better equipped to reach your first 20-mile target. If you have any thoughts or insights to share, feel free to comment below. And don’t forget to like and share if you found this article helpful.

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