How To Train for Cycling in a City

by | May 28, 2018 | Training

If you are trying to train for cycling in a city you have likely become frustrated by traffic lights, pedestrians, lack of cycling routes, and/or lack of hills. You may have even decided that cycling indoors is the only way to keep up with your country or mountain-dwelling competitors. While the city presents challenges it is not impossible to do much of your training within the city.

These are a few of my favorite tricks for training in the city:

Bike Choice and Setup

Consider riding slower tires or bikes. I often ride my mountain bike with slow tires in the city.  This lets me use all the paths and trails and hills available and has the benefit of increasing resistance so I am not going very fast by people.

Hill repetitions

Whether you are doing hard intervals or not start climbing more and you will find your cycling improves. Wanting to climb better is very common for cyclists generally, but especially for city-dwelling-cyclists. Include a couple extra reps up the hillier parts of your ride and you will find those hilly weekend rides and races are not so hard anymore.

Small loops

Rather than looking for a 20-minute loop try looking for a one to five-minute loop to do longer steady intervals. There are often parks that allow cycling, industrial areas or developing areas that you can go to and safely do longer muscular endurance (e.g. threshold) workouts.  I have a few athletes who use grass or wood chip sections (e.g. around soccer fields) to do intervals when they can’t get out of the city, this may not always be desirable but it is worth a try, even one or two times a month if you have such a spot!


You can use tools like Strava heat map (use the ‘my routes’ function then turn ‘heat maps’ on from the left toolbar). Strava also can let you see where other people are training. Find some of the top riders in your city and download the .GPX file for their routes or just get a sense of where the best loops are. Local Crit series locations may also provide a spot to go after work hours for quiet riding.


Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a Weekly Dose of Information + Inspiration!

Related Blogs

My Top 5 Cycling Tips

My Top 5 Cycling Tips

Getting started in cycling? Here's what I really, really wish I had known when I got started—maybe...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

A FREE weekly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on all the latest in off-road cycling + endurance sport, with the latest podcasts, articles + intel.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This