4 miles is the perfect distance for a beginner to commute to work or just to cruise around & enjoy the benefits of cycling.
Having a good understanding of what it takes to bike 4 miles & what to expect can help you prepare mentally, & physically. So how long does it take to bike 4 miles?
The average time it takes to bike 4 miles is 16 minutes riding at a speed of 15 mph on a flat road. However, advanced riders riding at a pace of 25 mph can expect to ride 4 miles in 9 minutes 30 seconds.
There are a few factors that have an effect on how long it will take you to reach 4 miles. These include your fitness level, wind resistance, the type of bike you ride, & much more. So let’s dive into it!
Biking 4 Miles What To Expect
The most important metric that determines how long it takes you to reach 4 miles is your average cycling speed, this is the average number you will be able to maintain in the entire duration of your ride. Let’s take a look at some numbers for a better understanding.
Maintaining an average speed of 10 Mph = 24 minutes to bike 4 miles
Maintaining an average speed of 15 Mph = 16 minutes to bike 4 miles
Maintaining an average speed of 20 Mph = 12 minutes to bike 3 miles
Maintaining an average speed of 24 Mph = 9 minutes 36 seconds to bike 4 miles
Maintaining an average speed of 30 Mph = 8 minutes to bike 4 miles
So as you can see the higher the average speed you’re able to maintain the faster you will reach the 4-mile mark, pro’s & advanced riders can maintain a high average speed, anywhere from 30- 24 mph which allows them to finish remarkably faster than the average rider.
Maintaining a high average cycling speed consists of a few different elements, these are:
- Your Fitness level
- Wind resistance
- Your Route
- Type of Bike
Your Fitness Level
Your fitness is determined by 5 factors, these include aerobic endurance, muscular speed, strength, muscle power, & muscle endurance.
Starting off with aerobic endurance, the better your aerobic endurance the more effective your body will be in supplying oxygen and nutrients to your body. This allows you to maintain a high average speed for an extended period of time.
Muscle speed this refers to cadence, cadence is measured in revolutions per minute. In simpler words, this is the number of times you turn the cranks in one minute.
Strength is another element that affects your overall average speed. This is measured based on the amount of power you can exert while cycling, this can be worked on when doing inclined riding & gym exercises such as squats.
Muscle power refers to the amount of power you can exert in short bursts, think of intervals around15-20 seconds. This removes endurance out of the equation.
Finally Muscle Endurance, muscle endurance is different than aerobic endurance, aerobic endurance is the strength of your heart, whereas muscle endurance is dependant on how your muscles react to a long workout. A person with low muscle endurance will experience muscle fatigue quite early from faster lactic acid build-up.
Air resistance has a huge effect on your overall average cycling speed. Air resistance causes what’s known as drag, drag accounts for 70 to 90 percent of the resistance experienced when pedaling.
According to research, 75% of air resistance is directed to the rider & 25% is directed to the bike.
To reduce ar resistance directed at you, you must adopt an aero cycling position. To optimize your riding position simply bend your elbows 90 degrees while keeping your forearms horizontal & your elbows tucked in, then slightly lower your head between your shoulder blades while keeping your back flattened.
Another important factor is clothing, baggy clothing increases drag & reduces your overall average cycling speed. To reduce this effect consider wearing more fitted clothing, for a faster average speed.
Additional weight has a negative impact on your average cycling speed, weight causes gravitational resistance making it harder to pedal especially when riding on an inclined surface. This includes both your weight & the weight of the bike. An instant solution that will have a positive impact on your average speed is to simply get a lighter bike.
The route you take is another factor that has a major impact on your average speed. Some routes will be harder to ride on, due to inclined surfaces, additional wind. resistance, traffic. Preparing your route beforehand is crucial since it does affect your average speed.
Type Of Bike
Some bikes feature an aggressive riding geometry designed for speed, with aerodynamic features while weighing less, whereas others feature a more relaxed geometry designed more for comfort while weighing more.
Your average speed is the most important metric that determines how long it takes you to bike 4 miles. As we mentioned above there are different factors that can affect your overall average speed, however, the most important factor is your fitness level, a cyclist with a high fitness level can efficiently ride through harder inclined surfaces & weather conditions. A higher fitness level will make your rides more enjoyable & your commutes much easier.