Let’s get straight to it - bikes are impractical in just so many ways.
From their size and difficulty to transport to all of the various bits of specialist kit (helmets, shoes, some form of mapping device) plus the omnipresent chance of a mechanical - necessitating yet more accessories and tools, not to mention the possibility of getting stranded a long way from home.
In its capacity as a tool for honing your fitness, a bike brings with it a whole other set of complications to consider. Most significant is trying to find a suitable route which doesn’t take you onto roads unpleasantly busy with cars or a shared cycle path with their own form of traffic. Then there’s the time to factor in - a quality outdoor workout can take a significant chunk of time.
With all this in mind, after a day trawling the many, many aisles of Eurobike and with another early start the next morning, it was a riverside run we crammed in before dinner - rather than a ride.
It might sound like sacrilege but the combination of simplicity and intensity means that fitting in a run is just so much easier than cycling. Especially when travelling, the space that a pair of shoes and a set of kit takes up isn’t much at all; easily fitting within the confines of airline hand luggage.
In Stefan’s case, he didn’t even need - or have - any specific running kit. With just a pair of suede shoes and a change of (non-technical) casual clothes, although less than ideal, it still didn’t prove an impediment to getting out for a loop.
Now, we’re by no means trying to suggest that running might be better overall than cycling. It’s not that our affinity for life on two wheels is diluted in any way. True love isn’t guided by what’s practical, and what’s practical is rarely the basis for true love.
But equally, the fact that after an early morning flight, a fully packed day at Eurobike, and with only a short window that evening before an even busier next day - it was a only a run that was feasible, does speak some volumes that it is worth tuning in to.
Because, having built up enough of the necessary conditioning for running, we were consequently able to get in a reasonably productive session that we otherwise wouldn't have if we weren't complementing our cycling with something different off the bike. It was an easy and straightforward way of fitting in some cardiovascular work.
Essentially, the upshot of all of this is that if you really care about your cycling, you could well gain a lot by broadening your skill base, embracing running and tapping into those practical benefits it does have to offer.
Of course, this isn’t a new or novel idea - but it is perhaps a little ironic that some cycling journalists' jam-packed business trip to an event that's all about cycling does outline this point just quite so clearly.
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