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ET your response here truly sadden me(17 posts)

ET your response here truly sadden meRandyMH
Jul 25, 2001 2:43 PM
ET, I find it very interesting that you would actually take the time to post a message on this board as to how riding is inferior to running. Obviously running didn't work well for you because you can't do it any more. So what did you do, join the silly-looking roadies when you could no longer run. Now that's just plain silly!! Maybe if you would ride with the intensity that you ran with you could find that high again, but it seems you've already made up your mind that it doesn't exist: so no it may never come for you. Instead of riding a double century, try finding a mountain to climb for 30 minutes and I would bet you would find the same high and satisfaction at the top. I'm sure that after many miles or a steep climb those endorphins do kick to stop your thighs from feeling like they're going to explode. It is at that point that when the mind settles the upper body is still and it seems like your legs have a mind of their own. Not that I have personally experienced it yet but I'm sure that after all of that there is a high to be had. As far cycling not being pure or not a real sport try telling that to the guys and girls here who get up early to ride 50 mile before work, or those that climb long steep mountains that this is not a real sport. Oh yeah they do this in rough conditions also. Different thing motivate different people, and if running was your passion I'm really sorry that you are unable to run any more. But, don't put it on a pedestal above cycling or any other sport for that matter. I'm sure a person finishing their fist century has the same exhilaration as a person finishing their fist marathon.
P.S. I've dropped from 15.5% body fat to 13.3% body fat in just over 3 weeks of riding (without dieting) and only 219 miles on my bike, so this must have some positive physical effects.
It was only what he thought...MrCelloBoy
Jul 25, 2001 3:15 PM
but I'd agree that ET could get on a "simple" and not real expensive fixed gear bike and get high REAL quick. Either from flying over the bars because he couldn't hack it, or by developing a smooth spin!
To each their own (nm)JohnnyA
Jul 25, 2001 4:12 PM
re: ET your response here truly sadden meLone Gunman
Jul 25, 2001 5:06 PM
Lately, I've found that when I'm pumping up hill and I get to the 170+ HR I get this rush and seem to kick into another gear and go faster and it seems to happen just when the hill flattens out a bit and I look down and have the uphill speed @15mph. Getting to the 170 range really takes work for me but once I arrive, it gets better.
re: ET your response here truly sadden meLive Steam
Jul 25, 2001 5:45 PM
ET I just re-read your response to the previous post and must say I have to agree somewhat with the sentiments expressed here. You will only get out of it what you put into it. There are different "highs" to experience. As I stated I like the camaraderie, the speed, the adrenaline rush and the "stuff" - gear, bikes, and yes the silly lycra. Running is great too though I never really liked running for the sake of running. I played soccer at a junior level as well as high school and college. That is when I got a rush from running. There was a goal involved and a competitor to beat to the ball. I was always the fastest then though not in a regular foot race. I'd have to say that if you are looking to get something out of cycling, you're going to have to put something in first.
alas, you misunderstand meEThome
Jul 25, 2001 6:13 PM
I had been running with great devotion for the last eight years, and now it looks like it has ended. My thoughts are those of many injured runners who convert to cycling but are still in the transition phase, and I view this is a natural evolutionary process. I don't think there's anything wrong that I'm still at the point where I'd rather be running than cycling and speak my mind honestly on a cycling forum rather than tow the standard line. My thoughts may be or have been the thoughts of many an ex-runner here. (BTW, I wouldn't mind seeing a big thread on cycling vs. running; we all might learn something, and it sure would be more relevant than cycling vs. golf.)

I can and have achieved that inner peace on a long ride. There are some very nice things about it. I was out today for a 12-mile lunchtime ride in near 100-degree heat on a very hard hilly (but scenic!) course while the rest of my office, including a few cyclists, were staying indoors moaning about the heat. I even surprised myself with a rather nice time over that course, even though I intended not to go anywhere close to all-out due to the weather. It's just not the same as a runner's high, that's all. And the posts in that earlier thread seemed to confirm that it never will be.

In addition to not getting that high, I'll be honest in telling you other things I find disappointing about cycling. (Let me say right now that I'm not taking away from what serious cyclists go through, as there is no comparison to that either, and I can assure you I have enough of an appreciation for it.) I find disappointing that too many days are knocked out due to weather or darkness, that one needs far more and often unavailable time to get an equivalent workout, that fawning over bikes and equipment is too much a part of it all (which is not to say that I can't appreciate the quality and tradition, say, of a hand-made Italian bike, because I can), and I find disappointing that being the best you can be might entail risking life and limb in downhills and turns, something I'm just not willing to do, whereas in running, I could give it my all in a race and measure my time across the finish line and experience the thrill of "victory" or even the agony of defeat. I have no intentions of entering a cycling race both because I don't view it the same as running race and because I feel it is too dangerous, although my attitude may change in time. Right now I'm concentrating on getting in better cycling shape, and limit my competitive thrill to overtaking another rider on a hill if I'm able. I'm not thrilled about the increased risk due to traffic either. Running had a certain purity about it, and I miss it. I can't let go at how I, an uncoordinated Jewish guy and not naturally gifted, could somehow train hard and smart enough to reach a level to take a few 5K and 10K age-group medals in a pure speed event. I took it as a compliment when people started telling me I looked emaciated. I'm still holding on to my recent past; can't let go just yet. But that's part of being a cyclist too, and as a cyclist in transition, I thought I'd share my feelings with you.
Runners are runners, and cyclist are cyclist....DINOSAUR
Jul 25, 2001 8:12 PM
I was thinking about the differences this afternoon, which is a rest day for me. I miss running, I wish I could still do it. But that part of life is over for me. Running was great, as I could do it at any time of day, in nearly any type of weather, all I needed was a good pair of running shoes. I needed no equipment to maintain, I could run anywhere, on vacation in Mexico, Hawaii, or when I took trips necessary for work. I felt totally self sufficient. Running is the infantry of sports, it takes no special skills or training. I was in the best shape of my life, until I overtrained which lead to injury.
I went from a fat couch potato to a lean, mean running machine in a few years.

Running is more medtative. You mainly have to watch where you place each foot and you can put on the cruise control and go deep within yourself. Running is more inward. When you cycle you are a moving vehicle. You have several things to think about, steering, pedaling, traffic, changing gears, your candence, when to shift, position, balance, the list goes on. Cycling is more outward, I feel more extroverted when I cycle. I do encounter special little moments when I cycle, some are more meaningful then others. The other thing encountered in cycling is speed. You can get up to a very fast speed when descending. Even 35MPH is fast on a bike. It is exhilerating, to say the least, as one wrong move on your part and you are dead meat.
There is also a danger associated with cycling, as it does require a little devil-may-care attitude to cycle on the roads with motor vehicles.
Cycling has different levels, and you suffer through each one of them until you move on.
Runners are runners and cyclist are cyclist. Maybe a triathlete could explain it better. The difference I think is mindset, not saying that one is better than the other.
A lot of cyclist are former runners, like anything you have to go on to something else to full the void, for me it is cycling and it works,(easier on the old body also I might add)....
devil-may-care attitude of cycling...Dog
Jul 26, 2001 7:29 AM
"There is also a danger associated with cycling, as it does require a little devil-may-care attitude to cycle on the roads with motor vehicles."

You mean like this:
devil-may-care attitude of cycling...davidl
Jul 26, 2001 6:43 PM
That's great! I'll swear that's the dog-pack that chased me into Rockett, Texas - well they looked like that to me.
regarding racing...Duane Gran
Jul 26, 2001 4:29 AM
You bring up some good points, but I suggest you give racing a shot. It is a little dangerous, but that is part of the flavor. In my experience from competitive running and cycling there is no high like being involved in a breakaway from the peleton, especially if it is solo. The feeling of 80+ people jumping out of the their saddles to chase you down is a rush that I can't begin to describe. Running races are much more introverted, but bike races require you to adopt a group mentality. It is gripping and produces a very cool high.

That is the plus side, but I think the discussion is more about training than racing. I'll concede that training for running produces more of that endorphin high than training for cycling. If we could only bottle this stuff up we would be millionaires.

I'm planning this winter (or maybe next year) to do running on the off-season. It has been years since I did running in competition, so I'll be sure to come back to the forum if anything changes in my view.
regarding racing...capnjim01
Jul 26, 2001 5:12 AM
lots of good points. if you don't like the idea of racing in a pack then try a time trial. just you and your bike pushing your self as the seconds tick by. you cross the finish line gasping for air, muscle burning, and glad its finanly over but knowing that after you swore this is the last one that you will be back to punish your self again.
confessions of an ex-runnerbianchi boy
Jul 26, 2001 4:42 AM
I, too, used to be a big runner and cycling was my second or third choice (after swimming). I still miss certain aspects of running. It's much easier and quicker to get a hard workout. The equipment needs are minimal and much less expensive than cycling. (All you need is a good pair of running shoes and a few jerseys and shorts.) You can almost always find a good place to run, even in bad weather or unfamiliar locations. However, the downside to running is very significant and gets more important with age. Namely, the injuries. Most people just cannot sustain the injuries to knees, shins, ankles, and other joints that inevitably develop from running over the years. I ran in one marathon when I was about 28 and felt so beat-up afterwards that I never wanted to do that again. I had to quit running when I was about 35 and it was a rough transition because I had thought it was something I would do for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, my feet got so messed from running that it was making it difficult to even walk at times. I then turned more to swimming, only to injury my shoulders.

Now, I mostly cycle for fitness and I have a newfound appreciation for the sport. Cycling has to be about the most low-impact form of aerobic fitness. I have never developed any injuries due to cycling aside from some numbness problems in my hands that are probably mostly due to a poor fitting frame. Although it's possible to get injured from cycling -- particularly if you crash -- it doesn't cause the wear and tear on your body that running does. I am cycling more now than I ever have and am approaching the level of fitness I achieved when I used to run 5 days a week.

As far as the runner's high goes, I only experienced that a few times while running. However, I get the same post-workout high from cycling that I used to get from running. That is, my body and mind feel mellowed out for hours after I ride my bike. What I like about riding is that I can ride a metric century on Sunday and still get on my bike on Monday and ride 20 miles. I can ride my bike for 7 or 10 days straight and suffer no ill effects from over-training, as long as I include some recovery rides. I like the rush you get from flying down a hill at 35-40 mph or sprinting on a long flat. I like the challenge of spinning up a long, sustained climb. I like the sense of adventure you get from going on long rides on country roads, going through small towns you've never seen before, seeing new landscapes. I like the comraderie of participating on group rides and keeping a faster pace by drafting. I like the equipment aspect of cycling -- although it is an expensive sport -- and I'm continually amazed at what incredible machines bicyles are.

What I don't like about cycling is the nagging fear in the back of my mind that I might someday get hit by a car, blow out a tire on a steep downhill, or get caught in a pile-up from a paceline. I don't like how expensive cycling is, with a seemingly continual need to spend money on tires, clothing or parts. I don't like that I sometimes can't ride (or do so safely) due to the weather, lack of daylight, etc. I don't like the fact that I can't commute to work on my bicycle because the traffic where I live is too dangerous and there are no bike routes. I don't like that it takes up a lot of free time on days and weeks when I don't have a lot of time to spare.

In balance, all of these sports have their plusses and minuses. However, as you get older, it seems to me that cycling is a much more sustainable sport -- at least in my case. It's also much more affordable as you get older, as most people can more readily afford the equipment at age 40 that when they're 20 or 25.
Bianchi boy, you said it well.railer
Jul 26, 2001 9:47 AM
Sure, bikes are expensive. However, its dirt cheap compared to racing motorcycles. Motorcycles are dirt cheap compared to auto racing. Every sport has its equipment, cycling isnt that bad. Running is probably one of the cheapest. I think cycling is worth its cost. We all do.

Dont forget about the awesome amount of ground you can cover on a bike. I love the fact that me and a few buddies can take off and in an hour be far, far away. As opposed to running around the neighborhood.

Running pounds you. Its brutal. Cylcing is smooooooooooth. You can go for hours. Everyday.

Your not limited on a bike to a single speed transmission, you have gears to make your effort more efficient. Running feels like your stuck on the 23.

The wind. The efficiency.

Downhills are fun on a bike.

The high is still alive and strong on a bike. Why would endorphins be released only in running? Doesnt make sense. Does the pounding release them? Just listen and feel. ITs there.

Anyway, Ive gotta start my running soon. Cyclocross season is nigh!!!
ET - Try heroinLeroy L
Jul 26, 2001 6:22 AM
I understand there's no better high - and it alleviates most self-pity
endorphins..dotkaye
Jul 26, 2001 10:23 AM
I don't have the citation, but I recollect a study was done on this, measuring endorphins in competitive runners and cyclists. Both groups were measured during rides, and during runs. At a similar effort level, the cyclists on the ride, runners on the run, had similar endorphin levels. But the runners on the ride, and cyclists on the run, at the same effort level, had much reduced endorphin levels. So getting the 'high' depends on what you like to do, not what you do.. It remains to be seen if a runner can be converted to a cyclist..

As another ex-runner, I've not had the same pure joy from cycling as I had from running. On the other hand, I can't run much anymore either, and cycling is way better than couch potatoing. I like the concept of a bicycle at least as much as the cycling itself, it's minimalist and highly efficient: get a kind of philosophical satisfaction as well as the physical pleasures of riding.

Triathlon is what I do now. It lets me race a bike without having to go through learning how to race in a group, which frankly terrifies me. If swimming is a problem, duathlons are also fun. I find the riding plus a little bit of running lets me stay reasonably fit, without the endless injuries that running alone would inflict.
Good points...Mabero
Jul 26, 2001 6:30 AM
I used to be runner but couldn't run after I broke my left ankle and tore everything. Finding the bike was the biggest lift in my life and didn't replace running but it redefined me atheletically...I wish I found cycling when I was younger...

Now I look back and am thankful that my running brought me to where I am at (I just wish it brought without braking me) cause it is much more satisfying for me.

I truly believe if you aren't getting a high riding then why do you ride?

I love the feeling of coming to the top of a mountain looking around, alone, sweating and out of breath and realizing what you just accomplished. And even though someone might do it faster or better, that doesn't matter cause you just did it, and no one can take that away from you...I am not a climber, but I love to climb.

Just some of my thoughts...I found my mecca of sport...hopefully everyone will...
Running vs cycling.Len J
Jul 26, 2001 9:12 AM
When I was a teenager (late 60's/early 70's) running was the only thing I had that was truly mine. I threw myself into it with an abandon that I didn't know was in me. And for the first time in my life I was actually very good at something physical. I ran the Boston Marathon as a junior in H/S, my personal best Marathon was 2:25 I was damn good for my age. I used to get out on these 12 mile runs, late at night where I was so alive, where I was so still inside that I swear I could feel each individual muscle contract. It was the most physically peaceful feeling.

At the age of 18, I found that I had this low grade constant pain from my hips. It got so I couldn't sleep for the pain. MD told me that 4 years of 15 to 20 mile days in bad shoes had worn the lining of my hip to the point where if I didn't quit, I might not be able to walk when I'm 40. Scared the s**t out of me, both because of the physical risk and because I didn't want to give up something I loved so much.

Then I discovered (or rediscovered) Cycling. Yes it required more equipment, yes it's harder to do when your traveling, yes there's more physical risk, but it still allowed me to find that same feeling of connection between my mind & body.

There is that time in almost every ride, after I am completely warmed up, when I find I'm in just the right gear, my heart is at just the right effort level, I'm totally relaxed & I'm moving along at a good speed & it's effortless. I'm one with the bike, and the road & the world around me. Time disappears. My mind clears. And for that brief time, nothing else is important.

Call it a high, call it a mirage, call it delirium, I don't care what you call it. It's what I ride for.