The Best Time Of The Day To Cycle

When is the best time of the day for me to cycle? Should I cycle in the morning or the afternoon, or the evening? This is a question that hundreds of cyclers ask all the time and are usually confused about the right thing to do. 

Sometimes we get so caught up with our work or daily activities that by the time we are free to take that ride we have been looking forward to all day whether afternoon when the sun is very hot, or in the evening when the traffic is high and the sun is going down, or morning again when the road is also congested.

The truth is that there is no ‘best’ time of the day to cycle. Any day of the time works out fine as long as you know what the road will be like at that time of the day and can stay safe. You don’t need to limit yourself to a particular time, some people cycle to work in the morning and have to also ride back home in the afternoon, evening, or night, so it’s not a big issue. 

But then, for you to have the ability to choose the right time that suits you, this article will show you some of the common benefits of cycling at different times of the day.

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1. Morning Cycle

cycling early morning
Photo culled from bicycle magazine

Some people believe that the best time of the day to go cycling is in the morning because it is one of the absolute best ways to start your day. This is one of the only times when the road is free enough and the world is still asleep or waking up. It gives you that boost you need to kick-start your day and get moving. 

Another reason why morning rides are good is that it also helps with your weight loss journey. It’s already a medical fact that as soon as you wake up your body will naturally burn carbohydrates instead of burning fat.

But then just like any other time of the day it also has its downsides, one is the cold weather. For some varying factors, the cold weather might be a good thing, but then you will have to prepare yourself adequately in terms of your outfit to avoid catching a cold.

2. Afternoon Cycle

afternoon cyclcing
Photo culled from The Seattle Times

For some other groups of people, mid-day cycling is ‘it’ for them. This is because this is the best time for people who want to do intense training sessions. At this time of the day, your core temperature and breathing capacity are at their maximum which means you will be able to do high intension exercises, and your muscle strength and energy levels are also at their peak during the afternoon.

But just like the morning ride, the afternoon side also has its downside, one of which is the heavy traffic that comes with this time of the day. Cycling on the streets may be a problem since there are a lot of cars cruising around, so you need to stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Another discouraging aspect is the heat. The afternoon sunburn is so bad and might not be good for everyone’s skin. If you have to ride at this time, ensure to use your sunscreen and also carry your dark shades with you. But also ensure you can see properly behind the shades.

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3. Evening/Night Cycle

Cycling at night
Photo culled from Bikeradar

Riding at this time of the day can be very relaxing, that’s why most people love it. It also allows you to watch the sunset and ride along with it. 

The temperature at this time of the day is a bit better than the cold weather in the morning and the heat you may encounter in the afternoon ride, and also there won’t be so much traffic on the road.

But remember, safety is very important in all you do, if you decide to go on a ride in the evening make sure to bring both front and rear lights with you because you need to be visible to other traffic passengers.

Just like the other times of the day, this ride also has its cons, one of which you might stay out late, ruining the time you are meant to wake up the next morning, and also it can wake you up too much and ruin your entire sleep.

Bearing all these in mind, all you need to do is plan your schedule and ride according to it and also for your goal. Every time of day has both advantages and disadvantages, so you need to keep this in mind while choosing the time of the day you think is best for you to ride.


  1. For morning cycles, Is it good to cycle on an empty stomach?

Research has proven that cycling while fasting increases the efficiency of muscle glycogen storage. This means that riding with no food in your stomach teaches your body to make better use of the glycogen stores you already have.

2. Is it better to cycle before or after eating?

Different people have different levels of comfort regarding eating around exercise, so it is important to try what works for you.

3. What should I eat before cycling in the morning?

Go for quick and easy fueling meals like coffee, oatmeal, fruit, eggs, etc

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