Is Riding Your Bicycle 20 Miles Every Day Good For a New Rider Over 60? 

Cycling is a great form of cardiovascular exercise.

Some of the benefits of cycling include weight loss, increased endurance, decreased depression, better sleep, improved heart health, and decreased effects of aging.

Not to mention as a low impact exercise, it can be very joint friendly.  This is a huge benefit for us 60 somethings.  It was certainly something that attracted me to trying it.

After 3 months of riding, I was finally able to complete a 20 mile bike ride.  It was awesome.  I was so excited I actually considered doing it every day.

But is riding your bicycle 20 miles every day good for beginners over 60?

No, it turns out that riding your bicycle 20 miles every day may not be a good idea for a beginner.

Riding 20 miles a day is harder than it sounds, and it may actually sabotage your goals and cause more harm than good.

Trust me, I get it, when you find something that you truly enjoy doing you want to do it all of the time.

However, it is still best for a beginner to cycle in moderation.

There are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before you decide to set a goal of riding 20 miles every day.

What are your reasons for riding?  What are your goals?  What is your fitness level?  Have you ridden 20 miles before?

What Are Your Reasons For Riding Your Bicycle Every Day?

We all have our reasons for starting a new bicycling program.  I’m sure you even have good reasons to ride your bicycle every day.

What is your reason?

A Warmup for Your Workout

Are you doing indoor cycling just as a warmup for your strength training.  If so, then riding daily for 5-10 minutes would certainly be a good option.

However, to avoid becoming bored with cycling you may want to consider shaking it up a bit and try different warmups like walking on a treadmill, getting on a stair stepper or a stretching program.

Are You Cycling to Stay Fit or to Get Fit? 

This is probably the number one reason for starting a new cardio program. 

I know that it was my number one reason for starting.

If this is your goal then try to stick to cycling 3-4 days a week and alternate with other workouts like lifting weights, boxing, yoga, or Pilates.

With cycling you are mostly working the lower body so including some upper body and core workouts will help you to reach your goals quicker.

Weight Loss

Are you cycling to lose weight?

If so, cycling can certainly help you reach that goal!

20 miles of cycling can burn around a thousand calories for an average person riding at a moderate speed.  

It may be a little less for a smaller person and a little more for a larger person.

However, intensity can be just as important as distance.

So, as a beginner you may want to consider increasing your intensity while doing a 10 mile bike ride a few days a week and maybe alternate with 20 mile rides at a moderate speed on the other days.

This can put less stress on your body when doing a daily bike ride.

You should also look at your diet if you are trying to lose weight.  Often times people sabotage their weight loss goals by not starting in the kitchen.

For Training

Are you trying to be a better rider?  Are you wanting to ride farther and faster.

Then training would be very important for you.

But as a beginner you may want to consider building up over time and not try to get out there and kill it.

This may lead to injury, boredom, or exhaustion and leave you not wanting to get back on your bike.

Just Because It Makes You Feel Good

Maybe you are just someone that’s trying to find a way to get outdoors more and enjoy the scenery.

Cycling is great for that!

It will take you places that you can’t or wouldn’t drive to. 

This is usually where the best views are!

So, if you are just out for a slow enjoyable ride with stops along the way then doing a 5-10-mile bike ride every day might be a better option.

It would probably be just enough to get you feeling good.

What are the Disadvantages of Riding Your Bicycle 20 Miles Every Day as a Beginner? 

I get it you just started cycling and found all of the huge health benefits from riding.  Not to mention it’s a great way to get into shape.

Cycling like all cardio is very good for you.  But like anything else you can do too much of a good thing.

Here are some disadvantages to cycling 20 miles every day as a new rider.

More Prone To Injury

Yes, the more cardio you do the more calories you will burn.  However, doing the same cardio every day will over work the same muscle groups which could lead to injury.

When you physically work your muscles, you create microtears.  This sound bad but they are a good thing when trying to build muscle.

Once the microtears occur, the body will respond by sending good blood and nutrition to the area to heal them which is how you grow muscle.

Overtime, the microtears that you get from exercising will eventually accumulate to form muscle mass.

You have to break down your muscle to build it back stronger.

However, in order to repair the microtears you have to rest between doing the same workouts.

It is recommended that if you do a workout such as riding 20 miles you need to take a day off to allow your muscles to heal.

As we age our bodies repair slower and they don’t heal as quickly as they used to.

You don’t have to take the day off completely; it is actually best if you don’t.

But instead of hopping on your bike you could try doing a strength training program, boxing, or take a yoga or Pilates class.  These will work different muscle groups while still raising your heart rate.

Decrease Your Gains

When doing the same workout over and over your body, overtime, learns how to efficiently deal with the sequence of movements.

This can cause your body to become familiar with what you are doing, and it could begin to try to hold onto the weight.

You will still be exerting the same amount of energy and your heart rate will stay up, but you may stop losing weight.

You No Longer Get That Euphoric Feeling

After doing a workout such as cycling every day you may not get the same euphoric feeling as you would with starting a new exercise.

Without that “high” your cycling routine may begin to feel more like a chore vs a stress release.  It can become more mundane.

Without focus and motivation your performance will suffer.

Getting Bored of the Activity

If exercising for you is a struggle, then you may feel that doing the same thing every day is a good option.

It could get you into a routine that you can do without thinking about it.

I mean after all we are always told that repetition is the best way to create habits.

However, cycling 20 miles every day may begin to feel like you are just going through the motion and not really focusing on the intensity and terrain.

You won’t feel like pushing harder, you may even decrease the amount of time that you go out cycling.

You may even begin to start skipping your cycling time completely.


Riding your bicycle 20 miles every day as a beginner can leave you feeling overwhelmed, bored and possibly injured.

If you find that you are tired and fatigued all of the time or if you are feeling sick more often, or if you suffer from frequent injuries.  You may be doing too much cardio.  Try backing off of your bike rides.

As you become more experienced at cycling you may be able to do a few longer rides a week with some shorter rides on the opposite days.

However, for a beginner you may just be setting yourself up to fail.

You could safely do a shorter 5-10 mile bike ride daily but again I would shake it up a bit to reach your goals and avoid injury, boredom, or plateauing.

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