Shut up and give me twenty

February 5, 2019 § 9 Comments

Sciencey people tell us that all we have to do in order to live to be a thousand is to engage in 20 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week. Nonetheless, it is very hard to go for a bike ride when you have less than a 2-3 hour window of ride time.


First of all we’re not really convinced that short rides are worth doing. We even have a phrase, “junk miles,” to describe bike time that isn’t “any good.” This is ridiculous from a health vantage point. Five or ten junk miles are scientifically-esque proven to help you reach 1,000, much more so than a hundred miles of couch intervals watching the teevee.

But the biggest reason not to do short jaunts is that when you are a cyclist, as opposed to a normal person who simply rides a bike, getting ready for the ride takes a lot of time. In order to put on your kit, find the matching arm warmer, air up your tires, make sure you have your computer, clip on your lights, put on your shoes and clatter out the door it takes at least fifteen minutes.

If your water bottle is empty, or you have to set Strava on your phone, or you forgot your driver license, or you need some food, basically, anything, then it takes twenty minutes. If you have to ride in weather, it’s half an hour.

There is something psychological that won’t let you spend thirty minutes getting ready for a twenty-minute ride. It seems completely useless, especially when it takes another fifteen minutes back home to undress and stow things away.

I didn’t have time for a long ride today but I had time for twenty minutes. I kitted up and went out, and then because I was already on my bike, sneaked in another twenty. That gave me forty minutes of exercise. I worked up a sweat, climbed some hills, and although it didn’t feel like a “real ride,” in fact it was.

Couple more rides like that and I will be right up there with Methuselah, or maybe even Tim Gillibrand.



§ 9 Responses to Shut up and give me twenty

  • I’ve been enjoying 10 mile lunch time “blasts” for many years, and I’ve become quite efficient about it. From the time I get up from my desk until I return, it’s just about 45 minutes. That includes about 10 minutes of prep and 35 minutes of riding.

    In exchange for my efforts I get the excitement of rides that I attack like the last ten miles of an imaginary elite-level race. I enjoy the fresh air and the sights and sounds around me, and I return home physically spent and relaxed, ready to tackle the afternoon.

    Since I started doing this on a regular basis I’ve lost some weight and my annual checkups have improved. I’ve met all sorts of interesting people and contributed to the income of several bike shops.

    My blasts may be the bicycle equivalent of a “quickie”, and don’t we all enjoy one of those now and then?

  • Vlad Luskin says:

    Well, the real morning pre-ride time suck is sitting on the toilet, reading CitSB with lips moving…

  • LesB says:

    Do all the prep for a ride, then unprep. There’s your 20 minutes of exercise.

  • senna65 says:

    So true Wanker, and one of the relative “downsides” of cycling. JRA recovery rides aren’t much fun, nor are the LSD rides necessary if you want to do well in endurance races. Fastest geriatric on the planet Overend is famous for hating both. Of course you can get a great workout in 60 mins if you can get warmed up and push yourself into the pain closet for 30 mins or so…

  • dangerstu says:

    I just started walking out side as part of my post opp rehab, I’m up to walking 12 minutes 2 times a day, working on building it up 30 minutes, I still have to get dressed to go out side

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