May 1 – 31, 2022

Your bike takes you places. This May, be amazed by how far you’ll go together.


Thank you to everyone who participated in MILLION MILE MAY, our virtual month-long cycling challenge.

Anywhere you ride, however you move. Go the extra mile for free bike education.

You’re part of our global celebration of cycling as a vehicle that unites, motivates, and inspires.


From May 1—31, cyclists from 17 countries and 34 states biked more than 130,000 miles as part of our free Million Mile May virtual event. Whether commuting to work, biking to your local bodega to grab a snack, or leisurely cruising around your neighborhood, this global community of more than 1,400 cyclists banded together to champion our mission of keeping bicycle education free and working towards a safer streetscape for all.


Throughout the month, you’ll have the opportunity to earn rewards by hitting mileage and fundraising benchmarks. And when we say “rewards,” we’re not just talking about the endorphins and euphoria you feel on a big descent—every mile gets you a little closer to awesome prizes we know you’re going to love. Ride solo or join a team, then watch as you climb the MMM Leaderboard whenever you opt to saddle up.

Let’s make Bike Month 2021 the ride of a lifetime.





  • Million Mile May runs from May 1–31, 2021
  • Free virtual event
  • Participate from anywhere in the world
  • All riders must have their own smartphone and email address to track their progress
  • Log miles and fundraise to compete for prizes
  • Interact with fellow riders online
  • Ride solo, with your family, or on a virtual team
  • Help us reach our 1,000,000-mile goal!
Together we ride.

How To Participate

Bonding with your bike should never feel like a chore, so we’ve worked hard to make your virtual event experience hassle-free, road-ready, and totally fun. Your May mileage mission, should you choose to accept:


  • Ride every day. Or almost every day. Make your miles part of your daily wellness routine by spending as much time on your bike as you’d like. Whether you’re pedaling a few blocks to pick up dinner or taking on a century, every session logged earns you points in pursuit of prizes.
  • Tell the world about your journey. Spend one month riding and you’ll boost Bike New York’s efforts to carry out our mission for the rest of the year. Each mile makes an impact when you turn your ride challenge into a fundraiser. We’ll provide all the tools you need to activate your supporters and get them hyped to cheer you on all month long. Top fundraisers will be awarded premium prize packs in recognition of their efforts.

In order to participate, you’ll need a smartphone with two apps installed and running: your preferred fitness tracking app (Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Health, Google Fit, or UA MapMyRide) and Kilter Rewards, i.e. your ‘home base’ app that logs the points you’ll be earning as you ride.

STEP 1: Register

Sign up for Million Mile May at this link. As a token of thanks to our community for its support through the pandemic, we are offering free entry for all registrants. While you’re signing up, you’ll have the option to make a donation and receive a limited-edition thank you gift only available during registration.


Got questions about how to sign up your family or bike buddies? Check out our FAQ page for details.

STEP 2: Download Kilter Rewards

Once you register, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Bike New York outlining the step-by-step instructions you’ll follow to get started with Kilter Rewards—a.k.a. the app we’re using to run our Leaderboard and log your points. Use these instructions to download the app, create your account, and join our Million Mile May virtual event.

STEP 3: Sync Your Apps

Once your Kilter Rewards account is up and running, connect it with your preferred fitness tracking app in three easy steps:

  • In the Kilter Rewards app, select Profile
  • Tap Connect Devices

Choose your preferred app from the options and tap Connect

STEP 4: Get Out There and Ride

Hop on that bike and log your first dose of pedal therapy!

Earn Points As You Pedal

Every mile you log is the equivalent of one point in Kilter Rewards. No minimum or maximum means you can ride your own way all through May. Watch your point score grow and see where you land on the Leaderboard in the Kilter Rewards app… and if you stick to a pedal-friendly routine, you just might win some pretty fantastic prizes for going above and beyond!

Donate Your Hustle

Every time you saddle up, you’re paying it forward. Million Mile May is more than just a personal cycling challenge—it’s a movement that brings the wonders of riding a bike to anyone who needs it, in every corner of the map. Invite your friends, family, and cycling buddies to support you as you ride to fuel Bike New York’s free education and advocacy initiatives. But this isn’t just for karma points: Each of our fundraising milestones earns you rewards, and trust us, you’re gonna love ’em.

The world looks better from behind the handlebars.

The thrill of smashing your personal Million Mile ride goal is a reward unto itself, but that won’t stop us from sweetening the deal for you. Read on to learn how you can win prizes courtesy of event sponsors Cleverhood, Trek, Primal, Vespertine NYC, and Manhattan Portage.



You’re going the distance this May, and we think that’s well worth celebrating! To keep you motivated down to the last mile, we’re celebrating your milestone accomplishments with benchmark prizes all month long. The further you ride, the more you earn!


50 miles: A digital coupon book with rider-exclusive discounts from Primal, Manhattan Portage, Cleverhood, Trek and Vespertine NYC.


100 miles: Free entry into two (2) Bike New York Local Rides


300 miles: One (1) year of Bike New York Membership


500 miles: Free entry into the 2022 Discover Hudson Valley event or the 2022 Twin Lights Ride



The milestone rewards get even better for riders who are champions of our mission and fuel the free, accessible programming that keeps children and adults thriving.


$50: A digital coupon book with rider-exclusive discounts from Trek, Primal, Manhattan Portage, Cleverhood, and Vespertine NYC, and your name in lights on our social media Wall of Fame


$100: A pair of Kryptonite bike lights (first 100 people), and free entry into two (2) Bike New York Local Rides


$300: Mystery Merch Drop (first 50 people) and one (1) year of Bike New York Membership


$500: One (1) official Bike New York Season Pass:

  • Free entry into the 2022 Discover Hudson Valley event and 2022 Twin Lights Ride for you and a friend
  • Free VIP entry into the 2022 TD Five Boro Bike Tour for you and a friend (limited to the first 5 people to reach this milestone); or
  • Free Standard entry into the 2022 TD Five Boro Bike Tour for you and a friend (next 20 people to reach this milestone)



Thanks to the generosity of our partners, the overall top 5 mileage earners and top 5 fundraisers are scoring extra special gift boxes, chock full of surprises and swag!




$300 Primal Wear Gift Card PLUS a Bike Month Prize Pack featuring gifts from Manhattan Portage, Trek, Vespertine NYC, and Cleverhood



Bike Month Prize Pack featuring gifts from Manhattan Portage, Trek, Vespertine NYC, and Cleverhood



Some restrictions apply. Click here to review our Rules & Regulations.

This is why you ride.

Million Mile May is all about making the choice to boost your mood, jumpstart your wellness routine, and connect with your community… simply put, when you ride, you feel good. But you can also let those on-bike miles do good for others when you turn your ride into a fundraiser for Bike New York’s free education and community programs.


Here’s how to easily convert your daily cruise into a powerful donation drive:



Tell the world about your Million Mile magic and watch it grow into something that really makes a difference. Share your personal reason for riding with friends, family, and bike buddies, and ask them to support your commitment to sharing the joys of cycling. Your MMM journey fuels Bike New York’s completely free, accessible-to-all education programming, empowering kids and adults to thrive as they ride. Here’s how you can get your personal fundraiser off the ground:


  • When you’re checking out the MMM Leaderboard on the Kilter Rewards app, tap the blue “Fundraise” button
  • Tap “Start Request”
  • Enter your goal for how many days you’ll aim to ride in May–although we encourage you to go for the gold and take on the whole month, your goal is completely up to you!
  • Enter a target donation amount you’d like to ask for (how about one of our fundraising milestones?), then tap “Share”
  • Start spreading the word: You’ll be given the option to send a text message to your biggest fans, or instantly share with your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn networks.
  • Watch the donations roll in!



When it comes to kickstarting your fundraising efforts or reaching that final milestone, it helps to show yourself some love. Contributing to your own donation drive not only proves to your crew that you’re serious about reaching your goal, but it’s also a simple, direct way to double down on your support for free and accessible bike education.


According to the experts, the closer someone is to meeting their fundraising goal, the more likely people are to donate. Add a little fuel to your fundraiser in three quick steps:


  • When you’re checking out the MMM Leaderboard on the Kilter Rewards app, tap the blue “Donate” button
  • Choose an amount and click “Next”
  • Input your credit card information and select “Donate”


Every time you get your wheels spinning in May, you’re giving kids and adults the skills and resources they need to become confident, empowered cyclists. But those points you’ll be earning from your May miles aren’t just for good karma. Click here to learn about the awesome prizes we have planned along your fundraising journey.

Pedal proudly–you’re going places.

Taking on a month-long cycling challenge is no small feat, but you’ll never go it alone. Meet Bialy, your personal cheerleader and guide to Million Mile May.

There are two things folks ask me all the time. One: What’s a bialy? (“Depending on who you ask, a bagel’s even more delicious cousin or NYC’s flyest rock dove.”) Two: How the heck does a pigeon ride a bike?! (“Riding a bike is nothing. You should see us waterski!”)


What I wish they’d ask is how they can make the world a little healthier, happier, greener, and easier to get around, because that’s even simpler: just ride a bike. But I know you know that—that’s why you’re saddling up for Million Mile May!


All month long, I’ll be sending you updates from the road as I attempt to ride across the US, raising awareness for free bike education and safe, accessible cycling infrastructure as I go. Keep an eye out for tips and tricks, fun challenges, motivational messages, and fundraising pointers sent by yours truly. And if you share your MMM snapshots by tagging @bikenewyork, I’ll help you show ’em off!


As a pigeon who prefers to pedal around the Big Apple, I’m used to courting questions from the public. So if you need help or have feedback to share during your Million Mile adventure, I’ll make like a carrier pigeon and wing your comments over to the event support team.


See you out there on May 1, #bikeflock!





















Bialy was hatched and raised in Lower Manhattan, a NYC lifer. Though he’s been known to shake a tail feather all the way up to Barney Greengrass for crumbs of his namesake treat or to say hey to those fabulous peacocks at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, he calls FiDi home. 


One of his earliest and most profound memories was peeping down at the Start line of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour with his fellow squabs, watching the streets bloom with life and color as the morning went on.

Even to a bird, this outpouring of joy was astounding, and growing up right in the center of the action changed his life. Bialy and his family made a tradition of watching the riders take off every first Sunday in May (check their cameo at the start of this Tour video).


However, one Sunday in May simply wasn’t enough joy for Bialy. Now that he had wet his beak in the cycling world, he needed more! A little bird told him about Bike New York’s free classes, so he flapped on over to the East River Playground and learned to ride alongside a flock of weekend students. Our talented instructors really can teach anyone!

But in 2020, something was different. May’s first Sunday rolled around, but the usual crowds and bikes and celebration didn’t. Things had seemingly come to a standstill, and like the thousands of riders who look forward to the nation’s biggest ride each year, Bialy was heartbroken.


Ever the schemer, he soon hatched a plan to carry that unmistakable NYC energy forward his own way: In May 2021, he will embark on a journey around the US to keep the spirit of Tour riding strong—and you’re invited to join him for a million miles of fun, wellness, and community.

Our mission: We unlock the life-changing effects of cycling through education initiatives offered to the public at no cost. Here’s just a handful of the programs you’ll sustain when you fundraise during Million Mile May.

We believe that knowledge is power.

Bike New York provides a completely free, year-round curriculum of classes for children and adults at every stage of their cycling journeys, from first rides and fundamentals to commuting and touring. We pioneered the largest free bike education program of its kind and have inspired similar programs around the country. In 2019 alone, Bike New York’s programming reached over 33,000 people.


We’re dedicated to making cycling more inclusive and accessible, and that’s why we hold free classes in all five boroughs at our Community Bike Education Centers. Students are provided with bikes, helmets, and the insights and knowledge of experienced instructors, creating an encouraging environment for building core riding skills—and having a blast while learning!

We respond to the moment.

When COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill, Bike New York was forced to temporarily suspend its in-person programming. Though cycling events came to a halt, the need for bike resources swelled as a huge influx of people turned to cycling for transportation and recreation. We knew we couldn’t slow down.


To address the sudden surge in demand for accessible bike education, we pivoted from teaching in the streets to bringing our lessons to the virtual classroom. Since launching our digital education program and Virtual Bike Education Resource Hub in April, we’ve helped hundreds, if not thousands, of students build their bike skills, confidence, and knowhow—and with aspiring cyclists from across the country tuning in to our weekly classes, we’re making a difference far beyond the five boroughs.

We're keeping our neighborhoods green.

Recycle-A-Bicycle is our personal spin on a local bike shop. We’ve called Brooklyn home for well over a decade, so it’s no stretch to say we know the neighborhood.


In addition to providing New Yorkers with gear and hosting area service programs, RAB accepts donations of old, used, and broken bikes, which we completely restore, refurbish, and sell. What can’t be repaired is salvaged for parts. This means we’re not just giving thousands of well-loved bikes a second chance: In 2019, RAB reused or repurposed nearly 12 tons of material. That’s the same as saving 77.95 metric tons of CO2e!

“The look of joy on his face when he took off for the first time is something I’ll never forget. I hope every NYC parent learns about this amazing resource and the supportive staff at Bike New York.”

— Robin, parent of a Learn to Ride student

We know that learning to ride can be scary, so we do everything we can to keep things safe and fun.

Bike New York works with local communities and NYC DOT to host Bike Bonanzas, no-cost family activity days made to outfit children and their parents with all the tools they need to pedal proudly. We bring our ever-popular Learn to Ride Class for Kids, DOT’s Vision Zero helmet giveaways and fittings, and bike swaps (for kids to trade their old bikes in and upgrade to the next size) to parks and public spaces across the city. Consider it an all-ages block party with bikes.

We're making cycling accessible where it's needed most.

In July 2019, Bike New York celebrated the opening of Brooklyn’s Shirley Chisholm State Park by launching a free bike share pilot program designed to make exploring nature as easy as checking out a library book. The Bike Library hosts a fleet of 84 bikes (refurbished by graduates of Recycle-A-Bicycle’s Earn-A-Bike program) available for park visitors to “check out” for rides around the grounds in the summer and fall.


In the Library’s first three months, park-goers took 8,585 rides along 10 miles of car-free pathways by scenic Jamaica Bay. The cyclists we served came primarily from the surrounding neighborhoods, with 74% of bike share users hailing from Brooklyn. 34% of rides were taken by people under 18 years of age and, excitingly, riders reflected an even gender split. The Library reopened and expanded for the 2020 season, offering New Yorkers a meaningful way to enjoy the outdoors while social distancing and other pandemic restrictions were in place.

We go the extra mile for kids who love their bikes.

We know that one of the best ways to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and regular physical activity in children and young adults is to give them the freedom to explore on two wheels. We partner with Woodhull Hospital, Lincoln Hospital, and New York Cycle Club to produce our Kids’ Ride Club, a friendly, fun group ride program for youth cyclists in low-income neighborhoods. And to challenge kids to see what cycling life is like beyond city limits, we held our inaugural bike touring trip for teenage bike enthusiasts in 2019, a tristate adventure that pushed them out of their comfort zone to prove just what amazing things they could accomplish together.

We help our neighbors tap into their potential.


Last year, Bike New York partnered with One Community, a nonprofit dedicated to professional training and employment placement, to pilot an intensive, hands-on bike mechanic training program that helps formerly incarcerated New Yorkers continue down the path of rebuilding their lives through the power of stable employment. The program focuses on the particulars of repair and maintenance for Citi Bikes and prepares participants for a well-paying union job on Citi Bike’s mechanic team. Recycle-A-Bicycle provided 60 hours of instruction, as well as tools, materials, and support, to a cohort of students. Learn more about this program here.

We're working to build the path to a safer future for all street users.

In 2019, Bike New York began a concentrated effort to actively engage in and spearhead local-level advocacy initiatives. Within its first year, projects included:

  • Providing expertise and detail to the City Council’s Streets Master Plan Bill, which passed in October of last year. It commits the city to install 50 miles of protected bike lanes per year starting in 2022, and to measure bike network connectivity.
  • Supplying a broad set of ideas for Mayor de Blasio’s “Green Wave Plan,” issued in July 2019. It raises NYC DOT’s target for protected bike lanes from 20 to 30 miles per year in 2020 and 2021. It also calls for more attention to the quality of barriers along protected bike lanes, bike-speed signal timing, and bike parking.
  • Producing a Bike Network agenda to take advantage of congestion pricing.

And in the summer of 2020, Bike New York launched its new Street Action Now! program to instruct a cohort of students in how to analyze unsafe street conditions, perform a street audit, and work with community boards to provoke real change on their blocks.

Together we ride.

What is Million Mile May?

MILLION MILE MAY, Bike New York’s latest virtual cycling challenge, is a free Bike Month event open to riders of all stripes and skill levels, no matter where or how you ride. Our goal: Let’s pedal 1,000,000 miles in 31 days to support accessible public bike education… and have a whole lot of fun along the way! 


From May 1—31, join a worldwide community of riders and make the choice to #BikeThere each day. Whether you’re commuting, running errands, working out, touring, or just exploring, you’ll be part of a virtual peloton brought together by a common love of the ride and the thrill of chasing those daily miles. To participate, all you need is a bike, a smartphone, and a healthy sense of adventure.


Throughout the month, you’ll have the opportunity to earn rewards by hitting mileage and fundraising benchmarks. And when we say “rewards,” we’re not just talking about the endorphins and euphoria you feel on a big descent—every mile gets you a little closer to awesome prizes we know you’re going to love. Ride solo or join a team, then watch as you climb the MMM Leaderboard whenever you opt to saddle up.

When and where is Million Mile May taking place?

Million Mile May runs from May 1-31. Whether you’re riding on roadways, bike paths, gravel, or trails, in the comfort of your basement or garage, all of the rides you clock during May count towards your Million Mile goal. The only limitation is that all riding must be done in compliance with all laws of the local jurisdiction in which you are riding. Be safe, ride smart, and have fun!

How does Million Mile May work?

Million Mile May was designed to help cyclists make the most of Bike Month by encouraging, motivating, and rewarding daily rides. 


After completing your registration, downloading the Kilter Rewards app, and syncing with your fitness tracker, all you have to do is get on your bike and go! Every mile you ride earns you one point with no maximum or minimum distance required. Watch your point score grow as you ride and see where you land on the Leaderboard in the Kilter Rewards app. You’ll also be invited to help power our mission by fundraising for Bike New York’s education and community work.

How do I earn points in Kilter Rewards?

Every mile you ride and log in the app counts as a point. Please note that partial miles will not be counted until the final tally at the end of the event. Click here for complete details on how to earn points.

How do I register, and how much does it cost to participate?

Click here to sign up for a month of daily rides, healthy habits, and quality time with your main ride in support of a worthy cause… and get ready to pursue some awesome prizes along the way!


To thank our community for its support through the pandemic, we are offering free entry for all registrants. While you’re signing up, you’ll have the option to make a donation and receive a limited-edition thank you gift only available during registration.

What does Million Mile May fund?

All money raised during Million Mile May will directly sustain Bike New York’s innovative free education and community programs—and as the nation experiences a bike boom in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re more important now than ever before. To learn more about Bike New York’s work and why it’s critical that bike education remains free, accessible, and open to the public, click here.

Who can participate in the event?

Any bike lover 18 years or older with a bike or indoor trainer, a mobile device, and an internet connection can participate. Minors may not officially register but are welcome to ride along with their families.


There are a few other eligibility restrictions for prize winners. For a full list of rules and regulations, click here.

Are there age restrictions for participants?

Any cyclist 18 years old and up is welcome to register, earn points, fundraise, and pedal power their May! Minors may not officially register but are welcome to ride along with their families. For a full list of rules and regulations, click here.

Can my family take part in the event together?

Absolutely! Just make sure that every member of your #bikefam does the following:

  • Registers here, using their own unique email address
  • Downloads the Kilter Rewards app and links it with a fitness tracking app (Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Health, Google Fit, or UA MapMyRide)
  • Uses their own mobile device to log the miles they ride (sorry, no sharing devices!)

While bike lovers under 18 aren’t eligible for Million Mile May, we still welcome younger riders to join their families for a month of fitness and fun in the spirit of togetherness. Click here to see all Rules & Restrictions.

Can I create a team?

While there are no official teams for this event, you can keep in touch with fellow Million Milers by following them on the Kilter Rewards app. Just search the MMM Leaderboard for their name and click the blue “Follow” button to keep tabs on their May adventures.

If I'm registering for friends and family, what do I need to do?

To make sure that every member of your team logs their miles properly, note these tips:

  • Every individual must be registered at this link, and each must sign up with their own unique email address
  • Every participant will need their own mobile device to log the miles they ride—sorry, no sharing phones!

Participation requires that each rider has a fitness tracker app (Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Health, Google Fit, or UA MapMyRide) and the Kilter Rewards app for logging their points.


What is Kilter Rewards?

Kilter Rewards is the app that houses the ride activity and fundraising Leaderboard for Million Mile May (a.k.a. what you need to ride in pursuit of prizes). You can learn more about how the app powers virtual nonprofit fundraising events like Million Mile May here.


Please note that you’ll need to have both the Kilter Rewards app and a fitness activity tracking app (Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, Google Fit, Apple Health, or UA MapMyRide) installed on your mobile device in order to participate. Click here to learn more.

How do I log my miles?

It’s as simple as taking your phone along for the ride! In order to log the miles you conquer during May, you’ll need to make sure your mobile device has a fitness tracking app (like Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Health, Google Fit, or UA MapMyRide) installed. Your tracking app will then need to be connected with the Kilter Rewards app, which will convert your miles into points. Click here to read more about how to set up and link your accounts.

Is there a minimum activity mileage requirement?

As long as you ride a mile or more, you’ll earn points! Please note that partial miles will not be counted until the final tally at the end of the event.

How about taking multiple rides per day—does every session count?

You bet! There’s no minimum and no maximum number of points you can earn in a 24-hour period. Every time you saddle up, you’ll be making moves on our MMM Leaderboard.

Who can help me with technical issues regarding Kilter Rewards?

If you’re encountering issues with your Kilter Rewards account, first check the FAQ page in the Kilter Rewards app (located under your profile). If your question isn’t answered on that page, contact their support team by emailing friends@kilterrewards.com.

Can I still participate if I'm riding a Peloton or indoor trainer?

Totally! All you need to do is log your riding activity with a fitness tracking app like Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Health, Google Fit, or UA MapMyRide. If you’re interested in riding for prizes, be sure to link with your fitness tracker with the Kilter Rewards app. If you don’t have a smart trainer, you’ll need to manually enter your activity within your fitness tracking app.

Can I still participate if I'm using an e-bike?

As long as you abide by any laws or restrictions around e-bikes where you’re riding and you can track your miles, you’re welcome to participate.

Did I hear there are prizes? Tell me more!

You heard right! Thanks to the support of our wonderful sponsors, we’re able to sweeten Million Mile May with some pretty fantastic pedaling incentives. See our Prizes page here for details.

When will participant prizes be shipped out?

Participant prizes, including fundraising rewards and grand prize items, will ship after the completion of Million Mile May. We’ll email you in June with more info about when you can expect to receive your hard-earned goods.

Why should I fundraise for Bike New York?

Bike New York’s programs were designed to unlock the powerful, positive, life-changing effects of bicycling, offered to the public at no cost. Having seen the huge impact our programs create in our neighbors and communities, we want to do everything in our power to keep cycling education free, accessible, and thriving. To see a sample of what we do and get a feel for the critical services we provide, take a look at the Your Impact page.

How do Million Mile May supporters make their donations?

Donations can be collected in two ways: by clicking “Donate” and “Fundraise” in the Kilter Rewards phone app, or via your personal fundraising page link. To get your personal link, click on “Fundraise” in the app and reach out to your network of friends, family, and colleagues to help achieve your fundraising goal.


At this time, pledges may only be made by credit card.

Are the donations pledged during Million Mile May tax deductible?

Yes, all donations made during the virtual event are tax deductible.

What is the deadline for registering?

Registration for Million Mile May will remain open until late May. Whether you’ll have wheels on the ground bright and early on May 1 or can only join for a few days at the end of the event, we’d love to have you on board to help us reach our 1,000,000-mile goal!

21-Day Training Plan

Need a little push to get you back in the saddle? We’ve teamed up with Heather Milton, Sports Health expert at our official Healthcare partner, NYU Langone, to create a 21-day training plan you can use for any bike challenge you might be taking on. Made for cyclists of all skill levels and perfect for riders looking to kickstart their fitness routines after an extended period of lower activity.


Want to learn more about the Sports Health services at NYU Langone? Click here to receive concierge access.

Get ready, get set… get cycling!


But first, let’s talk through some key pre-ride prep that’ll get your body and mind to roll.

Step 1: Start to slowly build mileage. 

The old standby of a 10% increase in training per week is a safe and conservative way to gradually increase your fitness routine, which will keep you from hitting the wall during competition–whether you’ve got plans to take on a century or a month-long daily ride competition (hint, hint).

If you’re joining us for Million Mile May, don’t forget that you’ll be rewarded with bonus points when you ride 5 days in a row (with a little extra boost for your Wednesday rides), so be sure to factor that info into your training plan. The chart below demonstrates a good progression to follow while you’re ramping up your routine. Let’s say you currently average two 60-minute rides a week. With a little work, you can modify your routine to score those extra points while also gradually increasing your total on-bike time each week. 



Keep in mind that you don’t want to change workout frequency, duration and/or intensity all at the same time. Try to keep your intensity as consistent as you can throughout the ramp-up period and focus on individually increasing just the frequency or duration, as the chart above shows.

If you’re starting your routine with less total time per week than you’d like, don’t stress! With plenty of rewards to motivate you, your Million Mile May is an ideal opportunity to set and achieve new fitness goals.

Step 2: Balance your body. 

Getting your body ride-ready isn’t just something you do while you’re pedaling! There are all kinds of exercises you can do off your bike to help keep you fit and ready for long rides.  While cycling, the body tends to hold a similar position over an extended time, so some muscles remain in a shortened and tight position while others are in a lengthened or weakened position. Over time, imbalanced muscles can contribute to compensation patterns and overuse injuries.


To keep everything balanced and working to its full ability–or to even increase that ability!– add some mobility drills to the beginning of your workout to ensure you are getting both a good warm up and getting the range of motion your body needs to move at its best. Check out our recommendations in the gallery below.

Try 10 repetitions of the following before each workout!

Walking Lunge:

  • Start with feet together. 
  • Step one foot out far in front of you, and bend the back knee down towards the floor as you raise the arms up to the ceiling. 
  • Push off the back leg and swing the back in up and in front of you. 
  • Repeat with the other leg. This is one repetition.

Cat + Cow:

  • Get on your hands and knees with wrists under your shoulders and knees in line with hips.
  • Arch your low back as shown in the left image.
  • Then round your back as shown in right image.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Glute Bridge:


  • Begin lying on your back, belly button pulled in towards spine and feet flat, heels pulled in towards hips. 
  • Exhale and squeeze the gluteal (butt muscles) to lift the hips just until the thighs, hips and shoulders are all in one straight line.
  • Hold for a count of 3 seconds.
  • Progress to single leg bridges when this becomes too easy.

Foam Rolling:


As the name suggests, this technique involves rolling the muscles of the thigh, back of leg, hips, and lower leg over a hard foam roll. 

  • Begin at the start of a muscle rather than the belly (i.e. for the hamstring, start just above the knee or just under the buttocks, rather than in the middle of the back of your leg).
  • Roll slowly over the muscle from beginning to end, but not over the knee joint.
  • Remember to breathe!

Step 3: Crosstrain.

It may seem counterintuitive, but stepping out of the clips can actually help you perform better while you’re in ’em. Since just 30 minutes of cycling time per day gets you Challenge points, we recommend also working in some resistance training 2-3 days per week, if you can. Resistance training is a great way to build muscular efficiency, improve metabolism, and help you conquer those climbs.


Below are some examples of exercises that have a nice carry over to cycling performance. Start with just 1-2 sets per exercise if you have less experience with resistance training, then build as you get stronger.

Single Leg Squat with Trunk Rotation:


  • Stand on one leg. 
  • Engage the lower abdominals and keep your pelvis level.
  • While maintaining a level pelvis, perform a shallow squat. 
  • Slightly rotate your shoulders toward your stance side at the same time you perform the squat.
  • Return to the start position.
  • Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.



  • Start with your right foot on a step 4-6 inches high.
  • Hold dumbbells at shoulder height.
  • As you step up on the right leg, drive the left knee up and press the weight up to the sky.
  • Next, rotate your body 90 degrees to the left. To step down. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.

Lateral Band Walks:

  • Begin by tying a resistance band around your thighs. 
  •  Perform a mini-squat, keeping your knees in line with your 2nd toe. 
  •  Hold the mini squat position as you step out to the right side with your right foot.
  • Be sure to keep your toes facing forward, and push to the right side with your heel, not the toe. 
  • Bring your left foot to meet the right, this is one repetition.
  • Do 10 repetitions.
  • Advanced version: Make the band tighter and put it around your ankles.

Bird Dog:

  • Start on your hands and knees, placing your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. 
  • Draw your belly button up towards your spine and extend your opposite arm and leg out as pictured.
  • Return to the start position.
  • Repeat, but this time with the alternate leg and arm.
  • This is considered one repetition. Repeat 10 times.

Prone Superman with Shoulder External Rotation:

  • Lay on your stomach with your shoulders and elbows at 90-degree angles and your thumbs pointing up towards the ceiling.
  • Keeping your pelvis and legs on the ground, lift your chest off the ground while maintaining your arms aligned with your trunk.
  • Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Plank with Hip Extension:

  • Start in a plank position with your shoulders directly over the elbows and hands, draw your belly button in towards your spine, and maintain a flat back. 
  • Continue checking each cue listed in the above bullet (like shifting eyes from mirror to rearview mirror and back while driving).
  • Lift one leg slowly while you maintain abdominal contraction. Repeat on each leg 5 times.


One of the simplest and most efficient ways you can improve your cycling life is to integrate targeted stretching into your routine. In this video, NYU Langone Health’s Heather Milton demonstrates key exercises you can easily practice at home to keep your on-bike time running smoothly.



At NYU Langone, our Sports Health team has the combined multi-specialty expertise to help you reach peak performance–no matter what your ride or race looks like. We are dedicated to providing world-class care to athletes at all levels and believe the best way to care for your unique needs is to bring together experts from a wide range of specialties who understand your priorities. Our Sports Health experts collaborate to customize diagnostic, treatment, rehabilitation, and performance plans to fit your lifestyle and help you attain your athletic goals.


Watch our video to learn more about our services, and visit nyulangone.org/bikeny so we can create a plan to help you start and finish any race at your personal best. 

Developed by Heather Milton, MS, RCEP, CSCS, Exercise Physiologist Supervisor and Sports Health expert at NYU Langone.