Stoplight Intervals

1 hour or less, intervals, city

Inspired by a Velonews article on getting the best workout in a limited time, remembering my old TV movie ride (spin during the movie, go hard during the commercials), and facing a rapidly setting sun tonight, I devised stoplight intervals.

The concept is to go hard between every other red stoplight or stop sign. So if you’re riding along, you’d go hard from the moment one light turned green until you got to another red light. Of course, these could be various distances apart, so your intervals will be a variety of lengths–much like a race is.

In traffic, you’ll usually hit red lights, as a given direction is stopped slightly longer than it goes on average. But if you are riding hard, start slowing for a red light, and it turns green, what do you do? You’ve got to go again, my friend, just like if you were counterattacked after a sprint. No rest for the weary…


Given an hour total ride time, I can just barely make it to roads that would actually be good for intervals and spin for five minutes before turning around, back into traffic, for a second set. Making lemonade out of lemons (though all the acid seems to end up in my legs…).