Biking 20 Miles a Day: Is It Healthy?

In a world filled with cardio options, what’s your flavor?

There’s so many options for getting your heart rate up, blood flow pumping and body the care it deserves.

My latest and greatest obsession, though? Biking.

While you can bike indoors at your local gym, I highly encourage you to get outside and see the beauty that surrounds you.

Biking 20 Miles a Day

However, it’s important that you don’t overdo it. As with all exercise, some of us are at different levels and have different goals.

Some people may go biking 20 miles a day, while others may be better off biking 20 miles a week.

There are different factors to take into consideration before hopping on your bike and heading out for a long ride.

Biking 20 Miles A Day Goals

Before deciding if biking 20 miles a day is healthy, you need to determine your goals. Everyone’s goals are different.

Biking 20 Miles a Day

So for some, biking 20 miles a day may be feasible and for others it may not be — and that’s okay!

To know if biking long distances each day is right for you, then you need to know what your goals are.

Biking to Lose Weight

Trying to lose weight? According to “Cycling for weight loss is easier once you figure out your caloric needs and how many calories you need to burn every week.

That said, there is no magic number of miles.

A person weighing 130 lbs burns 36 calories per mile when cycling moderately at about 12 miles per hour. A heavier person will burn more.

To lose weight through cycling, you need to focus more on the intensity of the ride and not the number of miles.

There’s even one man who proudly attributes losing 55 pounds in 5 months to biking!

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Training for a Triathlon

If you’re biking to train for a triathlon, then your goals and needs are going to differ completely from someone who is just looking to lose weight or stay fit.

In fact, biking 20 miles a day may be the perfect way to push yourself harder.

Some people may start with biking 20 miles a day depending on where they are in their training and increase the mileage from there.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to put too much strain on your body.

So, some days you should bike less than 20 miles and others you can bike more.

Be sure to listen to what your body is telling you and give it the breaks it needs!

Biking to Stay Fit

Biking 20 Miles a Day

Are you taking up biking to help you stay fit? This was my reason!

I love hiking trails, but it can get a bit tiring and take a good amount of time.

I found that biking is the perfect way to experience the trails at a faster pace and helps me to stay fit.

Plus, it’s always fun to switch up your cardio! Let’s be real here, walking or running every day can get a little boring.

BikeTrainerWorld.Com states: “The general rule for cycling for fitness is cycling over short distances on a regular basis.

Experts recommend thirty minutes of exercise per day for an adult and sixty minutes for children.

The average cyclist rides 10 miles to 12 miles an hour (at a moderate pace).

You can, therefore, begin with about 5 miles per day—assuming you do not do any other physical activity.”

Biking to Get Outdoors

Is biking your way of getting outdoors? That’s a great idea!

If your goal with biking is to experience more nature, then you probably need not bike 20 miles a day.

While there are some trails well over that, determining whether that’s a good idea is completely up to you and where you are at in your fitness level!

If you’re heading outdoors to bike, be sure to take some water along with you and stay hydrated!

Your Current Health

Another thing to take into consideration before biking 20 miles a day is your current health situation.

Are you active? Do you exercise regularly during the week?

If so, biking 20 miles a day may be the perfect challenge for you.

If you’re someone who is more sedentary and doesn’t get much cardio in, then a long distance bike ride may not be the best idea.

Biking 20 Miles a Day

These factors and others (ex: being overweight, health issues, etc.) all play a role in whether biking 20 miles a day is healthy for you.

Before partaking in any form of exercise, it is important to consult with your physician — especially if you suffer from health issues.

How Long Have You Been Biking?

While it might sound easy in your head, you should not take biking 20 miles a day lightly. It’s definitely not like riding your bike around as a kid!

A seasoned biker will easily be able to ride 20+ miles a day, while someone who rides around leisurely may struggle.

If you’re a newbie, then start out by biking a few miles a day or by biking for a certain amount of time — 30 minutes is always a great starting point.

How Far Have You Been Riding?

Before biking 20 miles, also take into account how far you have been riding.

If you have only been biking a mile or two a few times a week, then maybe you should aim for a five mile bike ride instead.

From there, you can work your way up to meeting that goal of biking 20 miles! You might even be able to go farther than that.

On the contrary, if you have been riding 10 to 15 miles a day, then biking 20 miles may be the push you need to take your exercise to the next level.


Even for the most avid bikers, terrain can play a huge role in the distance they travel.

It’s important to take terrain into consideration before hitting a long trail.

If it is a mostly flat surface and you’ve been biking often, then biking 20 miles should be fun!

However, if you are biking a trail with high elevation, then it may be a good idea to cut the distance down some.

When I bike a trail with a high elevation, I’ve found it very helpful to take breaks.

There are even times where we only bike half of the trail because of how extreme it is.

Again, this is one of those circumstances where your experience level and overall health will play an important role in how far you go.

Health Benefits

Not only is biking a fun way to explore, it also comes with so many health benefits.

Honestly, I wasn’t aware of much other than being a killer leg workout.

But biking has improved my health – mentally and physically including:


This one probably goes without saying, but biking is a cardiovascular activity, so it strengthens your heart!

In fact, the British Medical Association reports that cycling just 20 miles a week slashes your risk of coronary heart disease in half when compared with staying sedentary.

Weight Loss

Another one that is a given is that biking is a great way to lose weight and stay fit.

In fact, biking 20 miles a day burns roughly around 1000 calories.

So, if your goal is to lose some extra pounds, then it’s time to hop on a bike and go for a ride!

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  • 16 grams of whey protein concentrate
  • Every pack is gluten free and contains 13 different vitamins

Strengthens Muscles

Do you perform all the squats and deadlifts known to man and have yet to see definition in your legs?

If so, I highly encourage you to bike a few times each week.

Biking is great for your quads, glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles.

You will seriously be amazed at how much stronger these muscles will get in a short amount of time.

Keep in mind, you’ll probably be sore after your first couple of times riding, so be sure to stretch and ice your muscles down!

Boosts Your Brain

Biking 20 Miles a Day

Believe it or not, exercises like biking that increase your heart rate also boosts your brain health.

This happens because it leads to an increase in production of nitric oxide (a potent vasodilator), neurotrophin (growth factors) and a protein known as noggin.

All of these help promote stem cell division and new brain cell formation.


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Better Mental Health

Rough week at work? Kids stressing you out?

Biking may be the fix you need because it helps boost your mental health.

In fact, depression, anxiety and stress are lower in individuals who are physically healthy.

Fresh Air and Sunshine

Biking 20 Miles a Day

One of my favorite things about biking is that it gets me outdoors and exploring.

As I stated earlier, there are so many views I’ve seen that weren’t possible by car.

Biking 20 miles a day is the perfect way to get some fresh air, sunshine and be one with nature.

Social Interaction

Believe it or not, bikers have their own little community.

It makes sense that you will connect with people who already have something in common with you!

There’s been a countless number of people I’ve met by hitting the trails or biking through my neighborhood.

Biking is a great way to experience some social interaction and meet people with the same interests as you!

Better Sleep

Who wouldn’t benefit from sleeping better at night? Your body and brain rely on sleep because you heal while you rest.

When you don’t sleep well at night, then your hormones get all bent out of shape causing you to be more likely to gain weight, have mood disorders and lower immunity levels.

A study by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found that previously sedentary insomnia sufferers who started cycling just 20 to 30 minutes every other day reduced the time to fall asleep by half and increased their total sleep time by nearly an hour!

Tips for Biking 20 Miles a Day

Stay Hydrated and Fueled

For most, biking 20 miles a day can be a lot.

You’re looking at committing 1-2 hours per day of riding, and while it may feel fun, it’s important to remember that your body is working hard!

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If riding 20 miles a day is something new for your body, make sure that you are staying hydrated and properly fueling yourself for the added exercise! 

Understand Biking Laws

This tip is specific to riders who plan on commuting or using public streets, but it is always important to be aware of your state’s biking laws.

If you’re going to commit to biking 20 miles a day, it’s important that you take the proper precautions.

You should understand both what the law’s expectations are of you and what the law’s expectations are of drivers on the road.

Even though biking it a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful and fully aware of the proper safety measures in place.

Dress Accordingly

Before you commit to biking 20 miles a day, it’s also important to do some research and know what the best items and accessories are available to you. 

Do you get sore easily? Prevent some of your discomfort with biking shorts with built-in pads.

Do you live in a colder climate?

Do some research and find some proper gloves and face coverings. The wind will definitely feel harsher on the bike.

Preparing ahead of time with properly fitted clothes and accessories will do wonders for your long-term commitment to biking 20 miles a day.

Common Mistakes 


20 miles a day can really add up!

One common mistake riders make is having a “tough it up” mentality, meaning that they ignore minor aches and pains to keep working on their goals.

While this may sound admirable, it can actually be detrimental in the long run.

Be sure to check in with your body, monitor its progress, rest, stretch, and rehab accordingly.

You don’t want to ignore something and have it turn into an injury that could prevent you from riding for months. 

Not Checking the Weather

If you’re commuting or gearing up for a 20 mile ride, be sure to check the weather.

And by “check the weather,” I mean look at what it is currently, but also what they forecast throughout the duration of your ride.

So many cyclists decide to commute to work on their bike only to realize an afternoon shower will prevent them from riding home. 

Bike Upkeep

While bikes are incredibly more affordable than cars, people who are new to cycling may not realize that your bikes need tune-ups just as well.

Of course, it will not cost near as much, but it’s important to keep your bike in good shape by taking it to the bike shop occasionally.

The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of the road with a preventable issue.


Q: How many calories are burned on a 20 mile bike ride?

A: Calories burned are contingent on your weight, height, metabolism, intensity of training, and more.

Online, there are some estimators that can help you determine how many calories a 20-mile bike ride will burn, but really it is hard to guess when everyone is so different. 

If you’re in your mid-thirties and perform your 20-mile ride at an elite level, you can expect to burn around 1000 calories, but if you’re in your 60s and new to riding, you could burn as little as 400 calories.

Overall, the range in calories burned can go from 400 calories to almost 1200 depending on many factors. 

Q: How long does it take to bike 20 miles?

A: From your age, current fitness level, and experience biking to the weather and terrain, there are so many factors that go into your 20 mile time.

On average, no matter these factors, you can estimate finishing a 20 mile bike ride between 1 and 2 hours.

On Cycling Level, there is a detailed chart equipped with various ages and experience levels that can best help you estimate.

For example, if you’re in your early thirties and have intermediate experience and fitness level, you could expect to complete your ride in just under one hour and ten minutes.

But, if you’re a new rider in your mid-fifties, you could count on finishing in around one hour and forty-five minutes.

Q: Is Biking 20 miles a lot?

A: Distances are subjective. For one person, 20 miles may be a walk in the park, but for others it may be a long-term goal!

The CDC recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, and that averages to a little over 20 minutes per day.

As mentioned above, if you were to bike 20 miles as a beginner, it will take you about one and a half hours.

That means, you will work out eleven and a half hours per week, which is nine hours more than the recommendation.

By thinking of it from this perspective, yes, biking 20 miles a day is a lot. But, as stated earlier, some people surpass the base recommendation easily and frequently.

It really comes down to your current level of endurance and fitness.

Q: How hard is it to bike 20 miles?

A: Just like the other questions in this FAQ section, everything is really subjective because we are all so unique.

Biking 20 miles a day can be as hard as you want it to be. Here are some factors to consider that can make your ride easier or harder depending on what you’re looking for…

Your route bears one of the biggest weights in whether your ride is hard.

If you’re mountain biking up a giant mountain for 20 miles, that can be incredibly challenging. But if you select a 20-mile route on a flat road, then it will feel like a breeze.

Once you select the route based on how hard you want your ride to be, your level of intensity will also determine whether it is hard.

If you simply ride at a leisurely pace, it will be a nice, moderate workout, but if you incorporate HIIT and increase your speed, it will definitely be more difficult. 

Fitness Level
One thing that isn’t in your control at first when determining whether biking 20 miles a day is hard is your fitness level.

If you’ve never ridden 20 miles before, then it’s probably going to be more difficult for you.

If you regularly do 100 mile fun-rides on the weekend, then it won’t feel as difficult. 

The final factor that will determine whether riding 20 miles is hard is the frequency in which you do it.

If you’re biking 20 miles a day for a month, your body is probably going to get tired.

Because of that, your rides may feel more difficult if you’re not resting adequately.

Q: Is it okay to bike every day?

A: In short, yes! Riding a bike every day is actually great for you and has amazing benefits.

As with anything, however, it’s important that you listen to your body, take care of yourself, and make sure your doctor approves of any workout plan before putting it in place! 

Photo of author

Gabrielle McNair

I am obsessed with all things related to fitness and personal health. Outside of that, I enjoy spending time with my husband, being outdoors and traveling.

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