Ride Off Thursday's Turkey!

Today’s the busiest travel day of the year, but tomorrow’s the toughest on waistbands and belts. With the average American scarfing down 4500 calories of turkey, stuffing, and all the fixin's on Thanksgiving, it’s a great weekend to get out for a ride and undo some of that damage. But just how far will you have to pedal to outpace that feast?

There’s some competing claims on the web, but 4500 calories seems to be the widely-accepted standard for a Thanksgiving’s worth of dinner, snacks, and drinks. That’s more than twice the average daily intake in one meal, but that means you’ll be powered up to ride something epic!

Figuring out how many calories you burn on the bike is a bit trickier. A lot comes down to you and how you’re riding. Livestrong breaks it down by rider weight and speed, but it’s unclear whether their numbers assume you’re doping. Bicycling has a handy calculator you can use based on weight, speed, and time, and MapMyRide adds distance to the equation in case you make a few stops along the way and accidentally leave the clock running.

I crunched the numbers for myself (male rider, 150 pounds) based on my typical riding speeds for all of our bikes and here’s the verdict:

To Burn 4500 Turkey-Day-Calories





Pure City Cruiser

17 hours

170 miles


Pure City Classic or Step-Through

8 hours, 8 min

110 miles


Pure Fix Original or Premium

6 hours, 15 min

100 miles


Pure Fix Track

4 hours, 15 min

85 miles



At a cruisey pace, you’re doing less work – so it’ll take a long time to burn off that turkey. If you’re hustling, you can knock the calories out with a post-feast century or a couple training rides! Either way, it’s no excuse not to eat, just plan some saddle time this weekend – you’ll have the fuel to burn!