When I bought my bike, I thought that biking would be pretty similar to running. In the aspect that they’re both workouts that can be done inside or outside, yes, they’re similar.
So since I’ve had time to get a few more rides under my belt, here are some of the main similarities and differences I’ve noticed.
How Biking Is Like Running:
- You can get started relatively cheaply. You can buy a bike on Craig’s List and see if you’re going to like it or not before you throw down more cash just like you can get started running with just a pair of sneakers.
- But if you really get into it, you will convince yourself you need so much more. I started with just the bike, a (pink!) water bottle cage, a helmet, lights and a lock. Already on my short list of things to buy? Padded shorts, a bike calculator for my handlebars (I think it will be easier than looking at my Garmin while riding), bike gloves, potentially biking sunglasses.
- It’s a hobby that people get really into.
- It’s something you can do as exercise or to get from place to place.
- It’s something that can make you feel really badass.
How Biking Is Not Like Running At All:
- It’s something you can do totally leisurely and let the bike do all the work. While yes, you can do a “slow” run, it’s sort of hard to just cruise like you do on a bike.
- You can go way farther. This morning, I rode eight miles before work like it was no big deal. An eight-mile run before work? Would definitely be a big deal. (Side note: is there any sort of 1 mile running= xx miles biking? I vaguely remember my trainer, Joel, last summer talking about it but I can’t find any sort of consensus on the internets.)
- You get less sweaty. (Well, maybe I just haven’t rode that hard yet…)
- Stopping to take a picture is significantly harder. For one, you can’t ride with your phone in your hand.
- I haven’t had to do it yet, but I imagine stopping to use the bathroom would be significantly harder. I mean, when I need to stop to use the bathroom on a run, it means I really need to go. Like, ASAP. To stop on a ride, I’d have to lock my bike before I could stop…and sometimes you don’t have those extra few seconds when you really have to go, you know? To be honest, this is one of the things that makes me most nervous about riding.
- But! I do get the impression that I won’t have to worry about what I eat (as far as stomach discomfort) before I ride as much as I do before I run.
- You pass almost every single runner. I don’t know about you, but this does not happen when I run.
- It will get very expensive very quickly if you let it. That was one of my biggest reasons that it took so long for me to get into it. I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on something I might not be into.
- You have to be fairly coordinated. I can easily see myself falling in multiple situations: taking a hand off to use my Camelbak, stopping at a light, my lock getting stuck in the pedals’ arc. If you think I’m being paranoid about these things? You don’t know me very well.
- Even if you are going relatively fast on a bike, it’s still easier to take in the sights than it is on foot.
- Your ass hurts more. (Please see: need for padded shorts.)
If you are a cyclist (biker?)/runner, what differences have you noticed?