I read a post, written by a guy who I’ve been following for quite a while now who is quite fast – a good twelve mile pace for him is around 7:30… I can’t hold that for more than four. That said, he had a tough run a while back and wrote that he always has a tough time finding motivation after a tough run – and I could relate, been through it at least twenty times in the decade that I ran exclusively, before cycling.
I’ve been cycling for a little over two years – three seasons now. I’ve had one ride that I might be able to call a bad ride. One. I’ve ridden in pouring rain, snow, sleet and oppressive heat – over 780 different rides and I had one bad one…and that one was “bad” because I bonked – but that was my own dumb fault for not eating enough and I rode with the wind on the way out.
On one hand, this is why I ride (and now run in the winter to stay fit for riding).
On the other I am not foolish enough to believe that this would be the same for everyone, it’s quite obvious that cycling is simply my thing“. There are several reasons I prefer cycling over any other kind of cardio-fitness activities.
First would be, without a doubt, recovery time. I can ride a century and be back to something that resembles normal the very next day. Anything shy of a metric century and I’m in good shape after a nap and some dinner. Try running even a half marathon and you’re out of commission for at least a day or even two. There were some weeks where I’d have a tough time chasing around after my kids in the back yard because I was recovering from a run… That simply wasn’t okay with me.
I’d have to put the speed of cycling at second. I love going fast, and there’s no arguing the fact that cycling feeds the speed demon better than running. Even going around a simple corner at speed provides a level of excitement that simply can’t be had with running, or (God forbid) walking.
The camaraderie would be on my short list but you get that in running as well so I’d probably call that square. I do get along well with the cycling community though. Nice folks, both sports.
Next is the bikes themselves. I love the bikes themselves. Mountain bikes, road bikes, they’re all good. Before I picked up cycling 2-1/2 years ago, the only bike that I had real miles on was an ’80’s suspension-less Murray 10-speed mountain bike – that I quit riding when I got my driver’s license in ’86… I think my Venge weighs less than the Murray’s wheels did (of course the Venge cost about 30 times more too, but please don’t misunderstand my pointing this out as a complaint). The things they do with the composite bike frames are simply amazing – and the way the newer bikes handle and the way the components work is nothing short of spectacular in comparison.
Heck while we’re at it, I like the shorts and bright jerseys too…and the jackets, gloves, leg warmers, arm warmers…
In a nutshell, I pretty much like every aspect of cycling. Given an afternoon, a day off, a weekend or a vacation, I can’t think of much I’d rather do than go for a ride.