A kit-clad cyclist—wind-blown helmet hair and stone-cold face—whizzes by a runner in sweat-laced polyester who is exerting massive amounts of energy to travel a mere two miles.
Who would you rather be?
The running versus cycling discussion is less a debate and more of a one-sided argument that leaves runners in a trail of road dust—because cycling is totally better than running.
Stick with us as we unabashedly ignore the wonderful mental and physical benefits of running and compel you to trade in those old running shoes for clipless pedals.
1. Coasting is Really Fun1 of 15
An oft-overlooked convenience of cycling is the fact that—if you so choose—you can stop pedaling and, yet, keep moving. Oh, the beauty of man's greatest invention: the wheel. We're not animals, after all.
Of course, you can always stop running. But that won't get you anywhere.
2. Less Impact2 of 15
Running is a high-impact activity that can cause muscle strain, inflammation and other injuries. While there remains some debate over whether running leads to joint problems, its impact does leave runners susceptible to a myriad of problems.
Do you know a low-impact exercise that still gets you outside and has similar cardiovascular benefits? Yes, it's cycling.
3. More Goodies to Put on Your Wish List3 of 15
While a pair of shoes and a smartphone armband make great presents, running gifts are limited and redundant. Cycling, on the other hand, has more, well, stuff.
Helmets, kits, socks (seriously, get a cyclist socks and he or she will love you till the day you die), water bottles, water bottle cages and too many additional accessories to list make wonderful gifts. And, let's be real, nothing trumps a bike under the Christmas tree.
4. You Can Ride to Work, But You Can't Run to Work4 of 15
That is, unless you want to be a sweaty mess and bother your poor co-workers with putrid body odor or overdone deodorant spray.
When it comes to trekking through the city, cycling remains king.
5. It's Almost Impossible to Run 100 Miles in a Single Day5 of 15
Not even Steve Prefontaine could accomplish such a feat (OK fine, he never actually tried). 26.2 miles is considered running's grand mark—a distance runners are proud enough to advertise via bumper stickers. Cyclists do 26.2 for breakfast.
Granted, runners are at a massive disadvantage when comparing distances, and that's exactly our point. Wouldn't you rather go farther?
6. We Get to Sit6 of 15
The wise and quotable Sir Winston Churchill once attributed his success in life to economy of effort: "Never stand up when you can sit down."
We presume Churchill was a fan of cycling.
7. Three Words: Tour de France7 of 15
The Boston Marathon, running's biggest event of the year, lasts a single day. Meanwhile, cycling fans get a full 21 days (23 if you count the rest day recaps) of eyes glued to the TV screen with the Tour de France.
Despite the sport taking some bumps and bruises, one cannot overstate the significance of the Tour—one of the world's largest sporting events—which attracts over 3 billion viewers each year.
8. Improve Mechanical Skills8 of 15
True, more things can go wrong in cycling. But rather than looking at this as a strike against the sport, we think of it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
There is a lot to be said for getting your hands greasy from time to time and learning the mechanics of our world's machines, and you won't learn such life lessons by testing how fast you can put one foot in front of the other.
9. There's Always Something New9 of 15
While rubber soles grant Nike and Brooks a great canvas to hone their craft, there's only so much you can do with a shoe.
Bikes, on the other hand, contain so many components that manufacturers are constantly finding new and inventive ways to make you faster. And the advancements in footwear are still there, too.
10. Group Rides Are More Social10 of 15
Have you ever attempted to converse while running? You usually get a muddled sentence out every hundred yards, but the air it takes to spit out those words will have you either mute or struggling for the remainder of the run.
Such problems do not exist on the bike, where conversations flow like the Amazon.
11. You Get Sweet Quads11 of 15
Seriously, if you want the legs of a statue crafted by Michelangelo, get on the bike.
12. Going Downhill is More Fun12 of 15
One of the greatest rewards in cycling is reaching the summit of a mountain—or small hill—and, in a moment of pure exhaustion and exhilaration, ceasing to pedal as you fly through the descent.
For runners, such exuberance is non-existent down a hill. In fact, running downhill produces muscle-damaging contractions in the quadriceps and lower legs. Makes us wonder what the fun part of running actually is.
13. You Can Actually Go Somewhere13 of 15
Want to get a cup of coffee, meet up with some buds at a bar or pick up a few groceries? Cycling is an acceptable—if not, preferred—way to get there.
Cycling, unlike running, is a great mode of transportation that efficiently gets you from Point A to Point B without looking like you just swam through a creek.
14. Bikes Are Just Cooler14 of 15