Warm Up & Cool Down Routines?


‘Diversity’ helps make the world a beautiful place
North Hampshire
Do you just jump on your bike and ride it like you stole it? Or do you warm up before a ride and cool down after a ride? Also, if you warm up and cool down, what routines do you follow?


Tattooed Beat Messiah
No warm up or cool down. Just jump on the bike and go, or my commutes and for longer distance rides.


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
Just ride. I've a natural warm up/cool down on my commute at work as it's heavily pedestrianised, so cranking it open isn't possible for the first mile or two.

All uphill

I didn't recognise you but I knew your bike
My body dictates that I start slowly; in the evening after a long ride I will often go for a gentle stroll.


Legendary Member
Somewhere flat
Used to go hard straight from the off but tend to give it 10 mins easy now... then still go easy. No warm down but do stretch post ride as I found problems with tight hamstrings and so on, if no stretching. Occasionally leading to a pulled muscle at the start of a ride (typically in cold weather).
Start a ride in low gear. Spin easily to warm up.
On a commute, the cooldown strategy is more important.
You can ride like the clappers, stop at your destination then hang around outside for a few mins trying to catch a breeze.
Slow down and remove some clothing over the final 5 mins. The moving air will cool more efficiently. You stop, lockup and stroll inside past all the sweating guys flapping their arms.


Über Member
South Wales
Just jump on the bike and go, but most of the routes I use have a few minutes of relatively gentle riding at the start.

No cooldown either, although against, many of my routes finish with a few minutes of easier riding.

For my commute, I have a shower available in the office, so don't worry too much about arriving sweaty.


Outdoors, whether commuting or not, the landscape and road layout dictate I start easy for a few minutes. The inverse of that is that when I come home I often have a tank-emptying 'sprint' finish... usually followed by a couple of minutes' loop just to let my heart rate drop to manageable proportions!

On the turbo the only times I don't warm up are when joining an early evening Zwift race with 2 minutes to spare (looking at you, Friday 6.35pm Newbury Velo Crit!) and those are the closest I ever come to 'doing a Laura Kenny' at the end :whistle:
I used to have a commute that started and finished up steep hills with some fast downhill bits. The worst for a cold morning when I had to strip off a layer before the final big climb or end up in a sweaty mess. That is when I discovered light fleece or padded gillet worn as an outer layer over windproof.


‘Diversity’ helps make the world a beautiful place
North Hampshire
Taking it easy at the start / end of a ride is something I do but I never got into the habit of stretching exercises and I’m wondering if I’m now starting to pay the price. I had ITB syndrome earlier on in the year and I thought I’d hit it on the head but it seems to have worsened again this last couple of weeks.

I completely stopped cycling last year when the lockdowns began and started walking instead. I then resumed cycling at the start of this year but continued with the walking. I’m now finding that if I walk further than a certain distance then the ITB symptoms occur down the left leg and lower back. Just wondering if maybe the cycling is tightening the IT Band which is then resulting in the pain when I go out for a walk. Anyway, I’ve got a physiotherapist appointment in a couple of weeks so let’s hope that helps.


Legendary Member
I used to approach 50 mile rides with a full on start, right from the off.
I used to log rides and times and always found rdes would complete in more or less the same time.

Then i started doing the first 5 miles steady, perhaps 13 or 14 mph cruising, then hit it. What i found was i could finish harder, not so tired and unexpectedly, my time was more or less the same as a hard start.
Gain at one end, lose at the other i guess..
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