Can only ride bike standing for next 4 weeks

Do to an unfortunate situation that I won’t go into detail about, I can’t ride my bike while sitting for the next 4 weeks. Instead of not riding my bike at all, I was considering trying to ride it some while only standing, either on the trainer or outside. Obviously it’s hard to stand for a long time, so on the trainer I was thinking of riding for a few minutes and doing a hard effort of some sort, getting off to take a short break, and then repeat. If riding outside, there are some short hills in my neighborhood, so I could do a hard effort up the hill, ride back around to the bottom of the hill, stop and take a break as needed to give my arms a rest, and repeat.

Anyone ever dealt with a situation like this? Any suggestions for what to do? I obviously can’t do any longer slower rides to work on aerobic endurance, but from what I understand harder anaerobic efforts can also benefit the aerobic system as well. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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Sounds painful, whatever it is! Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Outside feels risky – particularly for the first couple of weeks – as there are more factors outside of your control, which might lead to you needing to sit.

Find some climb, like Epic KOM on Zwift and do it standing up, stop every 5, or 10mins or whatever you can handle and get off your trainer for recovery period, then jump back on and repeat until you make it to the top.

Whatever you end up doing, good luck!


I have not had this problem, but my anecdote is riding long intervals out of the saddle, and I mean it is a great way to - drumroll - being able to ride out of the saddle.
When a race gets hard up a hill, i just stand up, and I feel like the effort gets easier and you sort of relax some of the burning muscles for a couple of minutes…
used to do intervalls for about 20 minutes with maybe 80% of ftp at the most…

I would probably avoid riding outside if you can’t sit down, you’re much less stable on the bike when standing and it’s more likely you’ll lose balance and need to bail, possibly causing a new injury.

Your idea on the trainer sounds like a good one though. Either TrainerRoad standing during intervals and walking off the bike during rest periods or like someone else suggested, using Zwift climbs.

Good luck with your recovery!

If you need inspiration:


My quads were on fire just watching that. I need to improve that aspect of my climbing.

I can empathize! There was a time I had a similar issue. I ended up driving to the base of a long climb and rode it, sometimes twice. Standing is a lot easier on a climb and it’s easy to stay off the saddle on the descent as well.

After a month or two of that, I got bored and wanted to do longer rides, so I ended up doing my favorite 3-hour ride, all standing! Well, mostly standing…I did sit to drink, but really total sitting time was <5m. It was on mostly rural roads with hardly any intersections.

If you’re going to try it on a flat roads, I recommend raising your handlebars, especially if you have a slammed stem. Or use a mountain bike. Hard to stand for a long time when your handlebars are really low.

And while it may sound excruciating, it actually wasn’t that bad. My earlier standing climbing probably helped. But when the choice is no riding, or riding only standing, I’ll take riding!

As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures! :wink:

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Possibly unpopular counter-suggestion…

Maybe take a month off the bike and find an alternative exercise or something else to fill your time. The mental and physical break will be good for most people and you’ll come back with energy to spare


I agree, just be sure to don’t overdo it. In my case I initially switched to running and ended up doing too much too soon and developing a stress fracture. Then I was on crutches and could only swim for two months. Probably the worst (read: most boring) two months in my athletic career. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Booooo :-1::-1::-1:… what fun is that, lol. @FeltZ4 I’d say take the standing challenge and be a more versatile rider at the end of it all. When I separated my shoulder (grade 3) I was in a sling for 3 weeks and PT for 6 weeks. I took one week off and did some hiking, then got right back into riding with one arm on the trainer. I had to make adjustments and the workouts changed, but I welcomed the challenge. @FeltZ4 You’ve inspired me to stand more in workouts. LETS ALL STAND TOGETHER!!!

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You can also work bike handling skills like track stands, hard starts etc. have fun! @FeltZ4

I have done exactly that, (weight 52 kg). It is achievable, but uncomfortable at first. My advice: Try 30 min Trainerroad intervals in the time Crunched plan. The rest phases are the hardest as you can’t sit down. Then build to 1 hour long stuff like Black. After that you should be able to do outside rides knowing you can get back home. I ended up doing a 2 day ride largely out of the saddle, with some of the climbs 2hrs in duration. Hand numbness and blisters are a problem at these durations. Taping hands seems to help.

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I agree with maybe finding a cross-training activity.
I really like inline speed skating as my off-season cross-training and feel it compliments my cycling.

If you are waiting for something to heal I’d suggest having the time off, speaking from experience. I extended my recovery period last summer after hopping back on my bike as I felt ok. After some gentle riding I thought I had gotten away with it but it came back to bite me in the next few days and my recovery was longer than it needed to be.

If you had colorectal surgery or something of that nature. Don’t rush getting back too soon. The risk is not worth it.

I was off the bike completely for six weeks earlier this year due to a colorectal surgery. Once back on it didn’t take long to get my strength back. Maybe a month or so. Good luck!