Outdoor endurance and intersections/lights

I am keen to extend my endurance rides gradually and cannot face anything north of 1.5 hours on the turbo so i’ll be taking them outside. I need to be careful with gearing on hills I know but how about the inevitable stops/downhills etc that are a feature of most landscapes in the UK? I seem to recall the team talking about a gas station/cafe stop in an endurance ride as essentially ‘splitting’ the ride into two but how about smaller stops? Are 1 minute traffic light stops or 10/15 second junction stops going to negate some of the benefits?

I figure i’ll load a 1.45 hour TR outside ride and do more like 2.15 by the time i’m out of the city which I hope offsets the various stops and will try to keep things as smooth as possible.

Do your best to pick routes without too many interruptions and then forget about it. The benefits from actually doing and enjoying longer rides outside waaaaaay outweighs any tiny loss of quality from the occasional stop.

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Don’t worry about it and just ride.


I try to pick a route without to many interruptions and the bumps round here (East of England/ South Midlands) aren’t long enough to lose a significant amount on them (although some times, when it comes up lap to continue I wait until I am on the flat to press it). However, on my default route at the moment there are temporary traffic lights (one way working over a decent length. Whilst not ideal, there I’m pressing the stop button (careful of not touching the touchscreen ‘Save’) and restarting on Green. I do tend to sprint through them however to beat the green for the other direction which inevitably means I’m over target on some workouts! 10-15s stops however are unlikely to have a significant effect. On the one regular set of traffic lights I go through they are VA and its usually in my warm up/ cool down so I don’t bother pressing stop.

Thanks all for thoughtful responses – seems like I should just chalk this up to a little overthinking and as Cartsmann says – just enjoy the ride.

Endurance rides are ok, but I struggle to find a good, quiet route for longer sweet spot intervals (also in East of England) that I can do without interruption, e.g. upwards of about 8 minutes.
I love all the (usually US-based) YouTube videos that start with “to do your intervals, just find a hill that takes about 20 minutes to climb”. For me that would mean first getting in the car and driving for about 4 hours :wink:


I wouldn’t worry about it , and in fact there’s even some evidence that those stops will increase your time at maximal stroke volume for the win.


Just make sure not to set off in a sprint or chase average power targets after a stop or a downhill where you dropped into Z1. Keep it easy for loop you are doing. I’m UK as well.

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If you can find a stretch of road that is undulating or flat without any big rises or falls or junctions then you can keep it in Sweetspot for that kind of time interval. I use one near me for low cadence Sweetspot intervals of 10 mins. I turn round and go the opposite way when I’m doing multiples like 6 x 10 mins with 5 mins easy between. Let’s say your Sweetspot speed on the flat / lightly rolling is 23 mph, then you are looking for a road about 4 miles long without interruption.