Friday, 29 May 2015

Running Vs Cycling

Myself and a friend have signed up for 5K on the Major Series in Stirling a week on Saturday.  Now I am definitely not a natural runner.  I went out with the Gids last night and my flat out run (or shince to be more accurate) was a swift stroll for him, and for the first time ever - despite previous forays into running - I have shin splints.  These difficulties are not the biggest difference from running to cycling.

Pavement Slappers
The biggest thing is the lack of camaraderie. In cycling, if you see a cyclist coming the other way on the road or the path you nod acknowledgement, a civilised hello from one self propelled traveller to another and a spot of human contract.  The same if there two cyclists passed each other on a hill - there would be a few words of encouragement to the slower, or a share in commiserations  If someone happens to be standing on a corner, or at the side of the road, off their bike there is a general given you'd ask  'You ok mate?' and check out their tires or their chain - do they have a puncture or have they bonked. Now whilst certainly you'd do this on a country road - Aberdeen has the happy situation of having a high road cycling population - five minutes can still be a long time if you're stuck in the middle of no-where a mile or so from any kind of civilisation, and even if you're stuck in the middle of busy Union Street, if there was a cyclist with a flat tyre I'd like to think most other cyclists with a puncture kit would offer to help.

Not so with running.  Yesterday whilst doing my massive 2.7miles I tried a couple of nods to a few fellow pavement pounders (sounds rude) and the most I got back was an odd look from the corner of their eyes. To be fair, about a third of these folk were in their own personal hell and had my sympathies, but there was a riding in the lift-esk 'Pretend there's no one else here.'  I mentioned this to the Gids who was power walking along side me and he agreed.  Then I began to notice other things as well.  Couples running with one or both listening on their phones/music devices. Several different runners channelling their spirit animal 'The Whippet' passed us going one way, would look down at the ground when we nodded hello on the way back.

Do you think those two are ignoring each other?
Was it just us?  I have to admit we did look a bit odd, my foot slapping bounce and him in the sweaty mince of someone caught short of a loo.  But I then we don't look any less strange out on the bikes, him with his German commanders helmet and me with all the gear and only a vague idea.

Why is this?  Was this just our experience?   Is it different during an event?

Which sports do you do where the camaraderie is different to cycling?  Is the bon-homme experienced in cycling singular to cycling?


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  1. To be honest I don't find much camaraderie, either biking or running - I like to give a friendly nod, especially to people I see several hundred times a year, but mostly I just get that 'I-can't-see-you' deadpan expression. I do try to offer help if people have broken down on the bike, but I don't see much of that either.

    I'd understand if it was London, but cyclists (and runners) are fairly rare beasties here.

  2. Where are you? I can't decide if it's a Scottish thing because yours is the third or fourth comment I've had (on reddit) that cyclists are a taciturn lot though those previous comments were concerned mostly with London and the Proper South.

  3. I go running and cycling when I can, and I agree that runners aren't very social when you say hello. I think it's because they are in the zone and may not even notice someone being there. By the way I have a blog too, and would be grateful if you could link to it.
    It's ok if you don't want to.

  4. It depends on the interests and passions of you . To me, I go running and cycling for exercise. I love bọth.
    Click for more info more information.

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