Why running is better:
1.) While uphills are tough on foot, they are BRUTAL on the bike.
2.) A light to moderate rain is irritating when running but can be dressed for, but a ride in a cold rain is miserable AND hazardous.
3.) Speaking of hazardous, I’ve been running most of my life, and I’ve never really hurt myself. It’s quite safe. Bike riding, however, is quite hazardous. Death is a realistic possibility, and road rash is downright probable.
4.) Ye Gods, the equipment. I feel like I’m getting ready to scale Everest when I prepare for a bike ride – bike, helmet, bum bag, spare tub and flat kit, special pedals and matching shoes, padded shorts, gloves, helmet, sunglasses, shoe covers if it’s cold, and on and on. It’s nuts. To run, I need shoes, a sports bra, shorts, and a T-shirt. Add rain jacket or long-sleeve shirt if it’s cold. NBD.
5.) You can really lose yourself if your thoughts when you’re running. I zone out to the point that I sometimes get lost. Just one foot in front of the other. Easy.
6.) Since you cover much shorter distances, getting lost is much less of a problem. I’m constantly getting lost on the bike.
7.) No mechanical knowledge necessary. No need to pump up tires, learn how to change a flat, or deal with chain problems. No maintenance.
8.) Less chafing when running. Enough said.
9.) Running is cheaper.
10.) Running is more social. I admit this one is debatable, but I just do not enjoy trying to converse with someone when cycling. I’m trying not to crash, and riding side by side just feels hazardous on the roads, and it’s hard to hear someone talking in front of you. Running, on the other hand, is a great time to chat.
11.) Running is way more efficient. There is pretty much no reason to train for more than 3 hours at a stretch, ever, unless you’re training for an ultramarathon. (And why would anyone want to do that?) Cyclists, on the other hand, habitually head out for 6 hour rides.
Why cycling is better:
1.) You can cover much longer distances and see the world around you. I’ve cycled all over Seattle and the Eastside and seen so many parts of the city I’d never wandered through before.
3.) Downhills on a bike are thrilling and require zero effort. Running down a hill is easier than running up, but you’re still pounding.
4.) Running is harder on your body, in my opinion. That pounding is tough. There are a lot of overuse injuries in running.
5.) There’s really no such thing as an “easy run.” An easy running pace is . . . walking. In cycling, though, you can go slowly and still be cycling. Cycling on flats is relatively easy and painless if you take your time. The same cannot necessarily be said for running.
The “why running is better” list far eclipses the cycling list, but still, I’m excited to get back into cycling this summer. It’s just fun, and all the drawbacks don’t seem to matter. If I had to give up one or the other, I’d give up cycling in a second, but fortunately, I don’t, and cycling is great cross-training.