Lunch Break Ride for those 9-5 Corporate Folks

Ok so we’re headed back to the office soon and wanted to get the community’s thoughts on trying to get a ride in during lunch.

It’s expected that lunch is an hour and we’re not clocking in so it’s ok if we’re not in our seat several minutes later. Just can’t be like…2 hours.

Curious if anyone else has tried to make this process as efficient as possible. Things i have to do (or can do):

  1. Change - ~5 min
  2. Shower (building has gym/locker) - ~10min
  3. Take bike out from garage (structure located beside building) and walking to it ~5 min

Things I’m concerned about:

  1. Not able to cool down after a quick shower (1hr ride would be intense?)
  2. Running over on the times above or ride

Seems like i have most of this thought out but would like to hear from those that have experience trying to get an outside ride in! Any ideas welcome!

I’ve done this once or twice a week with colleagues for quite a while - we did pacelines, 3 to 6 of us, adapting to the differences in capabilities of each by keeping the stronger ones in the front longer. We’d ride 40-50 mins, pretty solid pace.

The work environment is relaxed enough not to care too much if we went over on time a little. We’d just make sure we did our day’s worth of work. Are part of my lunch before while working, the balance after. The bit about not cooling down - yeah, that was a problem on the warmest days. My method was to go back to work still in my cycling gear, and wait 15-30mins before going to the shower (anyway there was always too many people waiting for the showers at the end of lunchtime). Doesn’t work if you have a meeting right after lunchtime…


Yup…everything that @rocourteau said. If the work place is relaxed enough for you to sit at your desk in your kit and cool down, do that. I’ve been able to do that at offices with 100’s of people to my current office of <20.

I’ve also never had a shower in my offices….so do the “trailer park shower” at the bathroom sink.

The best was way back in the day when I worked in the bike industry….the lunch time ride was pretty much a requirement. :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses:


For me, the biggest thing is cooling down. I think my sole purpose on this planet is to just exist and sweat, so I need a solid 20+mins sitting outside cooling off. So I’d take that time into consideration and eat at my desk.

Perhaps can you set expectations with your boss/manager? Along the lines of “you know we get our work done, on these days we will be going for a lunch ride, so I will start bit earlier and finish tad later to accomodate a ~1.5hr ride”.


When I did lunchtime rides, it would usually be high intensity, low volume workouts like sprints or 1’ all-outs. High TSS in under an hour of ride time.

To be honest, I find the stress of doing all the additional things (getting changed twice, getting the bike, finding a route to train on, etc) too much for the training benefit of maybe half an hour’s ride. I would instead shorten the lunch break and either come in later or leave earlier and have a longer commute instead. Or, if you have a gym on-site, do a TR workout indoors. Obviously if you are somewhere in the countryside with amazing mtb trails or a great mountain road to climb, that might be a different case. Or if you are in an industrial estate and have colleagues that all fancy a mini-crit smash up over lunch.


Took the words right out of my mouth - this would be my preference, but, OP, I appreciate this is not always allowed.

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My biggest thing was knowing exactly what I wanted to do in the lunch break. I always knew the route, which hill I was going to tackle if I was doing repeats, what time I had to leave to be back in the office etc. Expectations are the biggest barrier, a short session can be really worthwhile but can very quickly descend into disappointment if you have your mind set on something else.


Plus one for the at-the-desk cookdown. Our bike racks were actually inside the main part of the office. I would hang my bike up, leave my shoes and helmet sitting beside it and head to my desk. Then I’d check slack, email, see if my code had finished running, etc etc before changing. (Similar story after a lunch run). I’d get some looks but nobody really cared. I also had a standing desk which helped a lot.

I guess in this situation it’s all about office culture. Laid back? Or do they expect everyone at their desks wearing a shirt and tie?


We encourage employees doing sports - we have a breach volleyball court and access to a soccer pitch, and there are a number of runners and cyclists. So sweaty people at their desks early in the afternoon waiting to cool down (and for the showers rush hour to pass) are part of the culture. Well - were, pre-pandemic.


These are all great responses! Thank you!

I was actually curious of the stress of the quick changing, cool down, etc. It does seem like there are a lot of factors that can throw you off. I used to run with a group at work. From a time perspective it was more efficient and could cool down easier.

I’m finally starting to get a group to ride with me and was curious of the community’s experience with it. Sometimes we can’t fit in a long ride during week or weekend so was trying to ambitiously fit it in the lunch break! :grin:

Unfortunately don’t have the option of sitting in kit to cool down but do have some time flexibility. Unfortunately that means the longer the break, the less frequent the rides will be, which means the trouble to get a ride in might not ever happen.

Will try out myself and see if I can get it in.

I wouldn’t do such a short ride unless I was noodling around easy. Hit the gym if you want to get the HR up or go for a run. Most office rides are after work in my experience

I did lunch rides for years and it was great. But, I had flexibility to some in early or stay late and then take 1.5 hours for lunch.

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I did it for a while. The ride itself was very nice, but indeed the cooling is a problem. Also consider that you still sweat when you are back. Also try to find a place without desks or people to store your cycle wear afterwards as they tend to smell.

In the end I decided to replace my lunch rides with morning commutes on very hot days because of the cool down and sweat problem. In the winter I still often do lunch rides.

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I have only had 30 minutes anywhere I have been, except one unit I was stationed at (before I was into fitness).

One place I worked I would do a short, hard run. Only got about a 2 mile run, but it was good for some intensity pared with my 2 hour bike commute in the morning, hour ish home (rode the train) and long runs on the weekends.

I mostly nap during my lunch break now, or try to in the 100° mechanical room I call my home

Our rides were typically 5-10 mins warmup, then 30-40mins paceline, and the last 5 mins easy cooldown. The paceline part was pretty much at threshold, over when in front, under when behind. Great workouts.

I’ve tried it, but I hated going into meetings and constantly wiping the sweat off my brow/feeling like my undershirt was soaked. I just couldn’t cool down fast enough. I do live in very high humidity and in an office that expects a collared shirt though. I much prefer early morning or after work workouts.

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Same experience here. A cold shower wasn’t enough to cool me down. I then started to ride early in the morning before work and used lunch time to do strength training (in the building’s gym) instead, which doesn’t get me nearly as warm.