A High-Intensity Ride to Nowhere

Get your sweat and your groove on with this kick-ass ride!

On those days when you want to get your groove on and kick your own butt, a solo high-intensity interval ride may be just what your inner trainer ordered. This ride fits the bill: Part high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and part old-fashioned intervals, you’re guaranteed to work in the upper zone of your maximum heart rate (very hard!), with lighter bouts and a couple of mild hills (with pace changes) thrown in for good measure.

Expect to sweat buckets during the ride and feel euphoric afterwards. First, fill a large water bottle to keep you well hydrated during the workout and grab a towel. Then, put together your playlist, give yourself a pep talk, and hop onto the saddle.

Song:  Start Me Up, Rolling Stones  

What to Do: Warm up. With your hands at the back of the handlebars, sit and pedal steadily against light resistance for 2 minutes. Transfer the work to your right leg for 30 seconds, then your left leg for 30 seconds. Engage both legs again for 30 seconds.

Duration: 3½ minutes           Speed (RPM): 80-100          Difficulty (RPE):  4-5

Song:  Lisztomania, Phoenix

What to Do: Add moderate resistance and bring yourself up to a standing jog (with hands at the back of the handlebar) for 90 seconds. Bring your hands out to position 3, and pick up your pace for 30 seconds. Repeat the pattern. 

Duration: 4 minutes              Speed (RPM): 60-80                         Difficulty (RPE):  5-6

Song:  Learn to Fly, Foo Fighters 

What to Do: Add moderately heavy resistance and pedal while seated for 30 seconds. Turn up the resistance, stand, place your hands in position 3, and pick up your pace for 30 seconds. Return to the saddle and pedal for 30 seconds; add a bit more resistance and ride in a standing position (hands in position 3) for 30 seconds.

Repeat the sequence ‘til the end of the song.

Duration: 4 minutes  Speed (RPM): 50+    Difficulty (RPE):  7-9

Song: Bailando, Enrique Iglesias

What to Do: With light to moderate resistance on the bike, find a quick baseline pace (80-90 RPMs) and pedal steadily for 1 minute; add 10 RPMs to your pace for 30 seconds. Repeat the pattern throughout the song. 

Duration: 4 minutes             Speed (RPM):  80/110           Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: L.E.S. Artistes, Santigold

What to Do: With light to moderate resistance on the bike, find a quick baseline pace (70-80 RPMs) and pedal steadily for 45 seconds. Pick up your pace by 10 RPMs for 15 seconds; add another 10 RPMs for the next 15 seconds, then pedal between 100 and 110 RPMs for 30 seconds. Return to your baseline pass and repeat the pattern. 

Duration: 3½ minutes           Speed (RPM):  70/100          Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: Take Me to Church, Power Music Workout

What to Do: Against light to moderate resistance, find a quick baseline pace (70-80 RPMs) and pedal steadily for 20 seconds; do a 20-second speed surge (RPMs of 100).

Return to the baseline pace for 20 seconds and repeat the pattern throughout the song. 

Duration: 4 minutes             Speed (RPM):  70/100           Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: Come Get It Bae, Pharrell Williams

What to Do: Add medium-heavy resistance and sit and pedal for 45 seconds. Add resistance, bring it up to a heavy standing climb (hands in position 3) for 45 seconds; rev up your pace by 10 RPMs for 30 seconds. Return to the saddle and maintain your fast pace (and heavy resistance) for 30 seconds. Bring yourself to a flat road and slow down for the rest of the song.

Duration: 3¼ minutes           Speed (RPM):  50+   Difficulty (RPE):  8-9

Song: The Wolf, Mumford & Sons

What to Do: With moderate resistance on the bike, maintain a steady pace (between 70 and 80 RPMs) for 30 seconds; add a little resistance and pedal steadily for the next 30 seconds. Increase your pace by 10 RPMs (80 to 90 RPMs) for the next 30 seconds; then, add a bit of resistance and maintain this pace for 30 seconds. Next, increase your pace to 90 to 100 RPMs for 30 seconds, then add a little resistance and stay steady (90-100) for 30 seconds. After that, drop a gear and drop 10 RPMs for the rest of the song.  

Duration: 3¾ minutes           Speed (RPM):  70-100          Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: Turn Around, Pt. 2, Flo Rida & Pitbull   

What to Do: Add moderate resistance and pedal while seated for 30 seconds. Add a little resistance, stand and bring your hands out to position 3, and pick up your pace for 30 seconds. Shift to an upright standing jog with hands in position 2 for 30 seconds. Return to the saddle, and repeat the sequence.

Duration: 4 minutes              Speed (RPM): 60-80                         Difficulty (RPE):  5-6

Song: Controversy, Prince 

What to Do: With moderate resistance on the bike, maintain a steady pace (70 to 80 RPMs) for 30 seconds; add some resistance and keep your pace steady for 30 seconds. Then, increase your pace by 10 RPMs (80 to 90 RPMs) for the next 30 seconds; add a little resistance and maintain 80-90 RPMs for 30 seconds. Next, increase your pace by another 10 RPMs (to 90 to 100 RPMs) for 30 seconds; drop 10 RPMs from your pace (80-90) for 30 seconds, then drop to 70-80 RPMs for 30 seconds. Add a gear and repeat the sequence. 

Duration: 7¼ minutes           Speed (RPM):  70-100          Difficulty (RPE):  7-8

Song: What the Water Gave Me, Florence + The Machine

What to Do: Cool down. While seated, pedal steadily against light resistance for 3 minutes. For the last 2 minutes, sit up tall in the saddle, take some deep breaths, and do a series of upper body stretches.

Duration: 5 minutes              Speed (RPM):  50      Difficulty (RPE):  2-3

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