Should Cyclists Run?
by David Walsh
A question I get asked a lot is: “Do you think it’s better to cycle or run?”
And my answer is always the same: “It depends.” There are pros and cons to both activities, but there really isn’t one best way. What works for me may not work for you, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons why cycling might be your best option.
Cycling Is More Efficient Than Running
There’s no denying that cycling is faster than running, but does it make sense to spend time and energy running when you could be spending those same resources doing something else?
You’re probably already thinking about how much easier it would be if you had a car instead of a bike. Well, the simple fact is that cars aren’t built with the sole purpose of being used for transportation. They’re designed to move large amounts of weight quickly around town and they do it very efficiently. That means that while you’ll likely save time compared to riding a bicycle, you won’t necessarily gain any.
The other thing to consider is that bikes don’t have gears like cars do. If you want to go fast, all you need is pedal harder (or faster) and your speed will increase. Cars, on the other hand, will accelerate at different rates depending on the gear you’re in.
When you’re driving around town, you’ll probably be in higher gears because it allows you to get up to speed more quickly. But those same gears won’t be as useful on the highway or when you need to climb a hill.
So while it’s true that riding a bike is more efficient than driving a car, it’s not as efficient as just running would be. Not to mention the fact that you can only comfortably travel so far on a bike before you’d have to stop and rest, but we’ll get to that later.
The Cost Of Bikes Is Much Lower
Alright, if you’re going to be using your vehicle for transportation on a regular basis, it only makes sense that it should be affordable and low-maintenance.
But does this mean you should own a car?
Not necessarily. While cars might be the most popular choice for getting around, they’re not the only one. Scooters, mopeds, motorcycles and even electric skateboards are all viable options for transportation. The main thing you need to consider is how far you’ll be traveling and how much gear you’ll have to carry with you. For example, electric skateboards are very fast but can only take one person and not much additional weight.
Bikes are great for carrying a passenger and have carriers on the back for transporting anything from groceries to books. Ultimately, you’ll need to find the mode of transportation that fits your needs because using your own two feet isn’t always practical.
Cycling Is A Much Safer Form Of Transportation
The main reason why people choose not to ride a bicycle or any other type of vehicle is safety. Let’s be honest here, you’re much more likely to die in a car crash than you are while riding a bike. But this is also the reason why people ride bikes in the first place.
Not only are you not putting others at risk if you’re in a traffic accident, but you’re also not putting yourself at risk when you’re out on the road.
So, is it safe to ride a bike everywhere?
Well, it certainly can be if you follow the rules of the road. Just make sure to always stay aware of your surroundings and don’t try to beat speeding traffic unless you have a clear path. And if you’re worried about law enforcement while on your bike, it’s best that you just avoid breaking any traffic laws. Things like stop signs and red lights are meant to be followed, even if you don’t agree with them.
Riding a bike is a great way to get fit and get from one place to another without using fossil fuels. Not many people seem to prefer this method of transportation but if you can stay safe while doing so, then there’s no reason you should be driving a car instead.
Now that you have the facts, go out and enjoy the experience of cycling. You’ll be glad you did and so will the environment.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Should pedal cyclists wear helmets? A comparison of head injuries sustained by pedal cyclists and motorcyclists in road traffic accidents by EA Waters – Injury, 1986 – Elsevier
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