Tips for outdoor workouts in a busy city

Guys and girls, what are your tips to properly do outdoor cycling workouts if you live in a crowded traffic prone city? How do you manage workouts uninterrupted or even smooth no stops Zone 2? I need to stay close to a busy CBD for my job. Thanks.

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Do you live in a big city?
How much does it take (by bicycle) to quickly go out in the nearest countryside?

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30km. I go out of the city on the weekends but weekdays I just have 1.5hrs

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I live in South London in Lewisham. Pretty built up round here but there are a couple of decent hills up to Crystal Palace and Honor Oak and some 15%+ climbs to get up them.
I can easily make a route on quietish roads that is about an hour and a half, has about 1000m of climb and isn’t just hill reps.

Any decent local hills round your neck of the woods to train on?


Find a loop or create one, ideally with all right turns ! :laughing:


Yes hill reps it has been on the weekdays. But these then exclude the 20 min efforts since none of the hills are that long. For the moment the indoor trainer it is to do those efforts. But frankly indoor cycling is a soul crushing experience!

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I gave up and started running for workouts.

I created a few loops but last summer there was so much construction everywhere it was a waste of time. Then there was traffic: my town is full of cotton-tops who like to drive 10 under the limit with long slow turns. I found myself pretty frustrated trying to pass them.

I also live in a very rolly area but no real climbs over 10 minutes. So I found on the easy days I would be going too hard and on the hard days it was tough keeping the power up with descents every few minutes.

I finally gave up. I started running but keep the weekend ride fast and fun.


I live in LA and do a couple pre work 1.5 hour workouts a week. I spend a lot of time pedaling and braking at the same time, especially if trying to stay in zone 2(on rim brakes). Thankfully in the Hollywood hills there are several 20 minute ish climbs. The only generalized advice I would have might be to ride against commuting patterns and try to leverage public transit. In the summer I can ride through Malibu, end in Santa Monica at dark and take the train home. Similarly mount baldy is too far to regularly ride except that a light rail line gets me most of the way there.

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Ok, that’s a huge city!

That’s why I use the indoor trainer for structured workouts. Depending on where I want to ride it can take up to 45 mins to get out of the city.

Not exactly what you were looking for, I guess, but IMHO it’s the best way to fill limited time with a decent workout.

Edit: Just realised this thread is a bit older. Anyway, my answer still holds true.


Not if your city is Tokyo/Sydney/London :grimacing: :laughing:


Move to a smaller city. I did that from London and don’t miss 2h a day on the tube like a sardine or on the bike in shit weather with daily near death experiences.

Just to add a few other options:
cycling track/track league - amazing workout and skills training.

Loops round a park. Richmond, Regent‘s,…

Get up really early

Running and weights are really time efficient. Swimming isn’t, but doing a mix is a great way to get through winter and maintain interest in bike riding.


Back when I lived in Houston (awful city for cycling) I’d use a park road loop. I eventually gave up on that because even there you’d get harassed by drivers and so I used the trainer. If you need to get a workout in during the work day at lunch and are on a tight schedule then nothing is better than the trainer since you can get straight to the good stuff and hop off immediately when done.

Industrial parks after 6 pm tend to be more friendly, unless you have an Amazon distribution center there. Otherwise, drag your trainer onto the back deck and prepare to sweat.

That is what velodrome were built for.

If there is none, best option is to relocate. If you really don’t want to, find a loop with no traffic light, little motorized traffic and pedrstrians, and only right turn if you are riding on the right, left otherwise. As mentionned above, industrial zones are usually well lit and deserted outside of office hours. I used to attend group rides in a local industrial zone in the winter when bicycle lights and cycling infra weren’t as good as today. It was just a big clockwise rectanglish loop with large turns and huge roundabouts made for 38t trucks that allowed you to keep pedaling when taking the turns.

just keep your heart rate pegged at all times.

Timo, I live in Munich and it’s the same story. Shortest ride out of the city where i live takes 20 minutes to get out to farm land. 45 minutes of riding directly and painfully slowly gets me on the route to the Alps.

Home trainer ftw!

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Rungis ?

Rungis wasn’t to far but no.

I raced a lot of time at Rungis however in late february early march.

Never been there. One of the main drivers of where I decide to leave is how far it is from Longchamp :smiley: