What Is The Average Cycling Speed For A Normal Person?


New Member
Jun 5, 2015
Hi all, hopefully I can get a little help here.

Ive got a job interview for a place that is 9 miles away from me and i don't have a car and its shifts so cant get the bus and thought i could ride a bike there. i haven't rode a bike in years so probably wont be very fast, how long would it take to ride 9 miles?. im not overweight or unfit, i go to the gym but don't do much cardio
TL/DR: With so may variables it's hard to say. Brush up on bike road safety, get a helmet, and give it a dry run. It's the only way to be sure.

Long Version:

There are so many "It Depends" in that question it's really hard to fathom. What kind of bike, whose bike is it (is it adjusted to you or someone else), how the roads are between you and the interview, how the traffic is (is it urban or rural or suburban), how familiar you are with biking on the road (guessing none if you're asking this), weather, etc.

It's also unclear if you want to know how long to get to the interview, or how it would take to commute just to get an idea if you want to do this.

Given little to no traffic or stops and a fairly flat roads and a bike that isn't completely horrendous (So my wife's $200 schwinn hybrid from walmart would pass that test, for example, but her old 7 speed beach cruiser would not), just about anyone other than the highly unfit could cover the 9 miles in around a hour. My wife is REALLY unfit and she can ride 5.5 miles averaging around 8.8Mph or so and she's not overly tired afterwords.

A moderately fit person with a descent bike can do it in 45 minutes or so (12Mph average). You'd need to be pretty fit and be riding a pretty good bike (i.e. a road bike rather than an upright hybrid) to get there in 30 minutes (18Mph average); I've been biking for 4 years and would be stretched to my limits doing that. The forums are rife with beasts would could crush that time, but that's not who we're talking about.

However, the other factors could be killer. Traffic, intersections, and hills can add a LOT to your ride time.

Personally, I'd brush up on bike road safety, get a helmet, and give it a dry run. It's the only way to be sure.
It really depends on the route and the weather conditions to give an answer. Best thing to do is do a dummy run there one day and then base everything else on the time it took you.

As a sort of reference though, I was able to do 8 miles in 45 minutes. I'm not fit by any means and the entire time, with the exception of some rising and falling of the speed due to hills, I was doing just under 10mph on a calm evening with no wind.
What is a "normal person"? In all my years - I still haven't figured that one out. I will, however, give you some tips on how to do it easier.

#1) Air up the tires on your bicycle close to or at the maximum psi rating for lower rolling resistance.
#2) Make sure the saddle (seat) is at the proper height. Most new riders have the seat way too low. In the 6 O'Clock position of a pedal, with the ball of your foot on the center of the pedal, there should be a SLIGHT bend in the knee. Anything more than slight - raise the saddle.
#3) Pedal at a rate or "cadence" of 70 - 90 rpm at all times in a gear that's easy to "spin" using moderate pedal pressure. Pedaling becomes difficult - downshift. As pedaling becomes easier - up-shift. It's just that simple. Learn how & when to shift gears.
#4) Stay hydrated. Always take along a cool to cold water bottle.
#5) You may want to add a rear rack & panniers to your bicycle to carry extra clothes and or shoes.
#6) You may want to invest in a few cycling jerseys or athletic shirts that "wick away" moisture - perspiration. And a few pairs of padded cycling shorts.
4 minute miles are a fair effort for someone who has not cycled.
5 minute miles should be well within reason for most everyone.
6 minute miles is what I do with my 6 year old.
I'm 66 and two years post cardiac bypass surgery and ride most often with my wife, 62. In fairly hilly areas we average about 14.5 to 15 mph on a normal ride. But here's the thing: we are CYCLING, not simply riding a bicycle. There is a difference. I used to race in my younger years, and my wife has gradually come to love riding as well.

The previous post said this too: I think the two most important things to truly enjoying cycling are 1) to learn how to ride at a high cadence - 80-100 rpm and 2) learn how to use the wonderful gears on a modern bike to keep that cadence high both up hill and down. Riding at a high cadence reduces the strain on the knees and quadriceps - call it spinning if that makes sense - and allows you to ride many miles with ease. I have a cadence sensor for my cycle computer and that makes it easy to track. I average about 85 rpm since it is easy to "spin up" to a higher cadence or "ease up" to a slightly lower cadence without changing a gear. As the previous poster said, when you cadence drops below or goes above your personal range, it's time to shift.

Of course, the optimum cadence is a bit different for everyone - but that's my comfort zone.
In April I weighed 228# and started riding a comfort bike for exercise.
I was doing about 4 miles at first and averaging about 8.2mph.
Gradually made it up to 10 miles a day (weather permitting) averaging 10.2mph.
Yesterday on a borrowed road bike, I did 20 miles in 1:39 which is over 12mph..
So if you are a lot younger, and not as fat you should be able to do your 9 miles in
less than an hour after a very short time, I should think.
An old Guy said:
This being Friday, you might use the weekend to bike there and back.

I would not hire anyone who isn't even sure they can make the commute and doesn't have the motivation or forethought to try before the interview.
I have a carbon road bike which is very light and I race on it A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!! So when I do a 30,40 mile training ride I can do the first 11 miles which is very hilly in 35-40minutes but that is obviously above average, as most people these days don't even do 2 hours of exercise a week but for you as long as u can actually make it there alive you should be able to do it in 50. Maybe 60 mins at the most :)
If you want to get to work without sweating, your looking at about 60 minutes, otherwise you can pull 9 miles in around 40-45 with moderate effort. May need to wear a light top on the journey and change once at work if you want to get there any faster.
This can't be answered without age, health, and other demographic info. This "normal" you refer to is a moving target defined differently by almost everyone.
I haven't met many "normal people" lately so I am not qualified ti answer the question.
maydog said:

I would not hire anyone who isn't even sure they can make the commute and doesn't have the motivation or forethought to try before the interview.
Holy **** you took this question from 0 to 60...which are both numbers that you won't be riding at when you take that trip this weekend. :D
I think it depends where they're cycling, I think it's about 50 to 60 on wide roads and 5 to 15 on really small places.
Jcycle said:
This can't be answered without age, health, and other demographic info. This "normal" you refer to is a moving target defined differently by almost everyone.
I am not really a cyclist and I am more comfortable being called a biker. Anyway, I used to bike at 30 kilometers per hour as crusing speed although I can't be sure of the number because moving atop a bike is much different than riding inside a car. But now that I am past 50, my speed, perhaps, had gone down drastically. I normally use my bike now for strolling and not for racing by myself anymore. Besides, I rarely go out of our village since traffic is always heavy in the main road and I don't want to put a risk on myself.
FWIW: I am in shape and have a nice road bike. I average 17-18 mph for either 16 miles or 30 miles (depending what route I take). This is my experience from my commute as well as wathcing others commute by bike with varying levels of fitness and types of bikes.

1. How long would it take to go by car anyway? In San Antonio, if I left by car at 8 AM it could take 30 to 60 minutes depending on traffic. My 16 mile route gets me there in 50/55 minutes. Plus....I already got some cardio in for the day! So it actually saves time. If I drove and the biked later there is wasted time.

2. Is it more uphill one way or another or do they even out?

3. Do you have a plan in case of a breakdown? Have you thought about budgeting in time to change out a tube or do an emergencey chain repair? Since I have been commuting I have a flat about every 4 months or so.

4. What is your plan for rainy days? Do you have a back up

I am glad you are seeking employment,....but remember you have a responsibility to your employer and fellow employees as well.

If you are relatively healthy you can get in shape real quick by cycling and your commute time could be down to 30-35 minutes.

Don't forget to factor in changing or showering if needed.
The speed at which you cycle completely depends on you. There are roads which are crowded and so riding a bicycle there at high speeds is not possible. I must tell that you can know your cycling speed on a nicely built track with less or no traffic.

Your speed also depends on your physical fitness and Age. For me it is about 40-50 kilometeres per hour. ;)
According to STRAVA's massive database of all riders, 15.6 MPH for males and 13.4 MPH for females. I would guess STRAVA riders to be 'above average' when compared to 'all' riders.
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