The idiom "well worth the ride" is usually used for a journey made on horseback, bike, motorcycle, or vehicle.

But what I mean in the following example is "ride" as a journey on foot (e.g. mountain climbing) and "ride" as a metaphor for a journey/ trip / effort in general:

  • Dan: "You should try and climb this mountain. It’s hard, it will take lots of time, but it's well worth the ride."

(ride as a journey, or as an effort).

  • Sam: We will be traveling on foot.

Can " worth the ride" be used to refer to a journey on foot, mountain climbing, specifically?

Can " worth the ride" be used to refer to a way/journey/ trip/ effort in a general sense?


  • "You need to study hard, many years; it’s a long way up, but well worth the ride."
  • Idioms are rarely meant to be literal in the first place. Nobody would misunderstand the use of ride here. Jul 10, 2019 at 16:55

3 Answers 3


"well worth the ride" can be used in regard to any metaphorical journey. I have seen it used with the classic metaphor of life as a journey:

A fulfilled life is well worth the ride.

Such a use is not a mixed metaphor. (Not that there is anything wrong with a mixed metaphor when it communicates well. "To take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them" from Shakespeare's Hamlet is a mixed metaphor. One takes arms against an army, not a sea.)

When the journey is physical and on foot, not metaphorical, to refer to it as a "ride" seems a bit odd, and perhaps awkward, but if it communicates well, there is nothing wrong with it. It is at least technically a mixed metaphor, unlike the case above where the journey is non-physical. I don't find that a problem, but i asked my wife and she thinks such a use is poor writing.

  • I don't quite see how this use is not a mixed metaphor, since it's impossible to "ride" when you are "on foot". I agree it works, after a fashion, but in my opinion it would sound better if it included some kind of intentional play on words. Otherwise there are plenty of other foot-related metaphors you could use.
    – Andrew
    Jul 11, 2019 at 5:33
  • @andrew Using ride with "life's journey" is not a mixed metaphor. Using it with a hike or other foot journey is. i just don't object to a mixed metaphor, but some others do or at least object to this one. I have edited my answer to make this more explicit. Jul 11, 2019 at 13:10
  • Ok, oh. I guess I misread.
    – Andrew
    Jul 11, 2019 at 15:58

You need to study hard, many years; it’s a long way up, but well worth the ride

I think this is another idiomatic way of saying well worth your while

From collinsdictionary.com:

worth your while - If an action or activity is worth someone's while, it will be helpful, useful, or enjoyable for them if they do it, even though it requires some effort

  • Nice workaround, but I would like to use the word "ride" to refer to a trip up a hill on foot. Will "well worth the ride" do the job?
    – Tommy
    Jul 10, 2019 at 15:22

It's not unnatural to mix metaphors. It's just a questionable writing choice. For example:

If we want to get ahead we'll have to iron out the remaining bottlenecks.

This is a mix of "iron out the kinks (wrinkles)" and "work through the bottlenecks", that doesn't make literal sense, but nevertheless the intent is obvious.

It's better when deliberately done for humorous effect, for example:

I don’t think we should wait until the other shoe drops. History has already shown what is likely to happen. The ball has been down this court before and I can see already the light at the end of the tunnel.

Ryan is now at corporate where he is a little fish in a big pond. Here, I am still top dog. So which is better... being a dog, or a fish?

Again, this is about style, and certainly isn't limited to English. You get choices like this in any language. There's nothing wrong with using "worth the ride" for a trip taken on foot -- but, assuming you aren't doing it for humorous effect, do you want the reader to think about what your are saying, or be distracted by how you say it?

Some possibilities for humor:

Dan: It's a long hike up the mountain, but it's well worth the ride.
Sam: Yeah, unless your car breaks down halfway.

Dan: I know it's a long trip up to the top of the mountain, but I hear the view is well worth the ride.
Sam: We'll be going by foot.
Dan: Oh in that case it's not worth it.

  • Great answer! @Andrew, many thanks :-)i love your sense of humor! It was well worth to follow through.
    – Tommy
    Jul 10, 2019 at 22:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .