Hour Challenge … 🤔

How far can you bike in an hour?

Well, that depends on a lot of things. Your fitness for sure. The terrain. Is it hilly, or flat? And, the weather. Is it hot, cold, windy, or wet?

This week I watched a GCN video. The presenter built a “velodrome” in his yard by banking the corners with dirt, and raced around it on his gravel bike for an hour. I thought it was silly, but it got me thinking.

What route in these COVID-19 times when I can’t venture too far, tests both my fitness and cycling skills?

In these parts, we are encouraged to get outside, provided we maintain physical distancing of 6+ feet, and not to venture too far from our neighbourhood. The city parks are closed to vehicle traffic, and I have one just a few blocks from the house. And, it’s an excellent test of cycling skills. It’s a short course (2.64 km) that includes a steep climb (10-12% grade), and a fast decent. Half of the course is a straight climb, and the rest a windy, fast descent.

I got to thinking. If I did repeat laps of the park, how far could I travel in an hour. The goal is to travel as far as possible.

Well, I posted 21.38 km. I climbed at 12-15 kph, and descended in parts at 50+. It’s a good test with a variety of terrain.

Can I travel farther?

I think so. Today, I rode my heavier gravel bike. Next time, I’ll use the carbon steed. It was also windy, particularly on parts of the descent. So, I think I can do better.

This is a good test. It doesn’t take long, so can be scheduled easily, either as a stand-alone workout, or as a 2nd one when I want to increase daily intensity. It’s a good way to tract my fitness, and bike skills. I would expect to ride further over the course of the summer, and plan to complete this workout every week or two.

What do you think? Do you have a suitable course in your neighbourhood?

4 thoughts on “Hour Challenge … 🤔

  1. I’ve got a local loop that is 4.5 miles long, mostly rolling roads with one “climb” and one fast straight. I often use it to test my pace/power over two or more laps. It’s fast if you put the hammer down. I’ll have to see what my best “hour” distance is around it.

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