A 'Cyclist’s High': What it is and how you get it

Contrary to popular belief, endorphins are not responsible for post-exercise bliss

Happy cyclists after a climb
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The feelings of euphoria after a long ride are incredible to experience yet rare to achieve.

After hours of endurance exercise, you might be fortunate enough to feel the so-called “cyclist’s high”, which isn’t so different from the more commonly known runner’s high. Both sensations occur after periods of aerobic exercise, and they lead to relaxing, blissful mindsets. They make you feel like you could continue for miles and miles, and your pain seems to disappear. 

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Katie Burke

Katie Burke fell in love with cycling at an early age. Growing up, she biked on beautiful back roads and watched her parents train for triathlons. Outside of cycling, she loves swimming, hiking, running marathons, and drinking coffee. Her favorite week of the year is RAGBRAI: the 7-day, 450+ mile recreational ride across her home state of Iowa.