How long does it take to bike 2 miles

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Written By David Girones

Engineer in love of Data and passionate about cycling, running and triathlon

There are many elements that affect how long does it take to bike 2 miles however everything I will mention here is related with the key factor for calculating riding time and it is biking speed.

To provide a good answer to the question of how long does it take to ride 2 miles by bike is important to understand the intent of the person asking the question. When the question is about the time to cycle two miles or three miles or other short mileages, it is quite common that someone is thinking about cycling to work or start riding a bike on the daily commute.

However, when the question ask specifically about the time to bike a mile or how long does it take to cover long distances then the intent can be broader.

It can be a complete newbie question of a first time rider or someone trying to calculate average speeds for their first cycling event or triathlon.

I will list below the top factors that affect biking speed and also some guidance to calculate an average 2 miles bike ride.

Factors affecting how long takes to bike 2 miles

How the type of bike can affect the time it takes to bike two miles

The type of bike is a very important element that affects average bike speed. It is much faster to ride two miles using a road bike than using a folding bike or a mountain bike. The reason of the difference is mostly based on 4 factors:

  • Riding position of the biker
  • Weight of the bicycle
  • Size of the wheels
  • Friction of the tires with the floor.

Another bike that have a clear advantage in terms of average biking speed is an eBike or Electric bike because the energy of the cyclist will be enhanced with an electric powered engine up to certain speed (usually 20 miles per hour).

Road bikes

Road bikes are the fastest type of bike because everything on the bike is planned to go fast. Aero position due to the low handlebar, light compared with other types of bikes due to the thiner frames and big diameter and thin wheels that have the lowest friction with the ground.

Riding 2 miles on a road bike

For most of the people, when we imagine a professional cyclist we will imagine them on top of a road bike cycling long distances around France during a hot day of July.

For my classification I will include Touring Bikes on the same category as road bikes. Touring bikes are not as fast as Road Bikes because a Touring Bike is built with the goal to increase comfort and stability but as a bicycle they share common features and geometry and on a standard commute the possible average speed will be similar.

However a road bike or touring bike will not be always the best option:

  • If the terrain is uneven or bumpy, a Mountain Bike (MTB) or a Cyclocross bike will be a better option.
  • For a hybrid commute where the bike is not the only mean of transportation a folding bike will be a much better option.
  • For a newbie cyclist it will be more comfortable to use any other type of bike instead. The position of the biker on a road bike is not the best to start riding and learn cycling on the streets.

Folding Bikes

A folding bike is a great option to be used on a commute or for cycling short distances on a city. The main feature of a folding bike it can be clearly spotted on the name of the bike type. Folding bikes are foldable and consequently easy to carry when not cycling and also easier to keep safe near the desk or a locker during work.

Folding bikes are ideal for a cycling commute

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes are the most common bike used for commute in the US and many times the chosen option as first bike. There are many types of mountain bikes however all of them share the goal of being suitable for off-road cycling.

Mountain bikes (aka. MTB) are great for regular commutes and also as an all-terrain bicycle because most of the features that make the bike ready for off-road cycling are also great features to provide a comfortable ride.

Mountain Bike Scott

MTBs usually have wide tyres designed to handle rocks and roots along the way, lower gear ratios for climbing steep grades and front or full suspension to deal with any type of bump comfortably.

eBikes

The last bike category I will speak about are eBikes or electric bikes. The minutes to cover a mile or any other short distance with an eBike will be faster due to the help of an engine to keep a specific speed.

Most eBikes engines are limited to only support pedaling enhancement up to certain speed. In many countries and states the speed of an eBike is regulated and limited to 20 miles per hour.

How the terrain and weather conditions affect how long does it take to bike two miles

The terrain is one of the key factors that affect the minutes to bike a certain distance, as an example the cycling surface (road, cobbles, off-road…) will impact speed and also the profile of the route (going downhill, flat or uphill) will impact the biking speed. The other important factor that affects how long it will take to a biker to cycle certain distance is the weather and by importance I will mention wind, rain and temperature as the most relevant climate conditions affecting the average time above the bike.

The terrain affects the cyclist speed

Cycling on a road well asphalted with low traffic is normally the fastest terrain to cycle due to the low friction and the small need to brake. Any element that adds friction (sand, mud, stones…) or increases the need to brake (curves, obstacles, trees…) will always slow down the biking speed and increase the minutes to bike a mile.

Downhill? Uphill? Flat? Any bike speed will be always influenced by the elevation profile of the route, independently if the ride is one mile, two miles or more. Going uphill will always slow down the rider speed compared with a flat surface.

The other scenario, going downhill is different; gravity will always increase the top speed however the need of constant braking in case of curves or simply braking due to the high speed will cause the average bike speed to don’t improve as much as an uphill will negatively affect speed.

Weather conditions influencing biking speed

The average time it will take to bike a specific distance can be heavily affected by a climate condition: the wind. It is incredible how wind strength and wind direction will influence how long it takes to cycle a specific distance.

For a short distance riding with extreme hot or cold conditions does not affect much the average time of a biking route. On the other hand, the rain can affect the time it will take to bike certain distance depending the terrain and traffic. Biking speed on wet conditions can be similar to dry conditions, however rain makes the route more dangerous and in many occasions forces to slow down a break more often.

How long it takes to ride 2 miles with a bicycle

To properly answer the question of the article find below the time to cover 2 miles by bike for several average speed.

Entry Level Biker

For an Average Biking Speed of 5 miles per hour (5 mph) the time to ride 2 miles will be 24 minutes. The time to cover a mile will be 12 minutes. I consider 5 mph an entry level average speed to cover 2 miles without pushing it very hard. I am pretty sure that after few rides biking at 5 miles per hour the speed will slowly progress.

Modest Fitness and Low Experience

In the case to bike 10 miles per hour (10 mph) the time to ride 2 miles will be 12 minutes. I consider 10 mph an easy pace for a rider with modest fitness and low cycling experience. The time to bike a mile will be 6 minutes.

Decent Fitness and Cycling Experience

With an average biking speed of 17 miles per hour (17 mph) it will take a little bit above 7 minutes to bike a 2 miles distance. I consider the speed of 17 mph a standard commute average for a cyclist with decent fitness and some cycling experience. As an anecdote it was my average during 2 years that I was commuting daily to work on a 5 miles ride.

eBike Regulated MPH

For an Average of 20 miles per hour (20 mph) it will take 6 minutes to cover the distance. I have included the 20 mph reference because it is a quite common eBike limit and consequently an easy to achieve pace using an Electric Bicycle.

Tour de France winner

In the case to bike 25 miles per hour (25 mph) the time to ride 2 miles will be below 5 minutes. 25 miles per hour is the speed of Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia Professional Cyclist) to win 2021 edition of Tour de France and complete the 2121 miles biking of last edition of “Le Tour”.

Tour de France Speed

Professional speed in a short TDF Stage

For an Average Bike Speed of 33 miles per hour (33 mph) the time to cover 2 miles will be 3 minutes 36 seconds. The average speed of 33 mph is the pace of Fabian Cancellara (Former Swiss Professional Cyclist) to win Stage 1 of Tour de France 2012. The stage was a 4 miles Individual Time Trial. The speed of 33 mph is only possible with great fitness and almost unachievable for a non professional cyclist on a long.

Photos by Rex Lovic, Bannon Morrissy, Patrick Hendry, Árni Svanur Daníelsson, micheile dot com on Unsplash

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