The sun is shining; the air is crisp—an absolutely perfect day to be outside. A sea of runners trot leisurely along a bustling shared-use path in the park, occasionally dodging a dog or errant child, but otherwise unimpeded thanks to the inherent versatility and modest rate of speed that accompanies the act of running.
Meanwhile, of course, as we runners cruise along, enjoying our playlists and podcasts, we all share a similar thought: “It must really suck to try to navigate all of this on a bike.”
The runner versus cyclist debate is a non-starter. One is convenient, the other is not. One is expensive, the other is not. One is annoying. The other? Well, you see where this is going.
Are there benefits to cycling? Sure. Do road races look kind of rad? Absolutely. But we’re about to ignore all of the positive aspects of the sport in a (tongue-in-cheek) effort to make running look vastly superior.
So, lace up—or, um, clip in.
1. Coasting is cheating.1 of 16
Cyclists call it an "energy saver." If you want to save energy, take a nap. Every step of every mile counts for a runner—which is far more than a cyclist can say.
2. You can run to work.2 of 16
Contrary to popular belief, runners can commute to work. Sure, we may be a little sweaty upon arrival, but a nearby gym with this modern marvel called a shower solves that problem with relative ease. Oh, and as an added bonus…
3. Runners don't have to worry about toting around a bike.3 of 16
Cyclists say commuting is a benefit of riding a bike, but we'd beg to differ. When runners arrive at their destination, they have completed the journey. Not so for a cyclist, what with the bike and the helmet and all of the accessories. For them, finding a secure and appropriate place to store all of that jazz is a crucial final stage.
4. Location is everything.4 of 16
If a runner wants to go for a run, we tie our shoes, step outside our front door, and kazaam—like magic, we're running. We don't need 30 miles of roadway; our neighborhood will do just fine. And if we want to hit the trail, we needn't worry whether or not it's "runner friendly."
5. Sitting is cheating.5 of 16
Newsflash cyclists: We can sit, too, if we'd like—on the ground, a park bench, a curb, or on our couch for that matter. Sitting isn't a sport. Sitting is sitting.
6. Two words: Boston Marathon.6 of 16
Yes, we know you love the Tour de France, but how many cyclists can qualify for that? Whatever your answer, subtract performance enhancing drugs and divide by two. Meanwhile, the Boston Marathon is a seemingly attainable carrot to which all runners may aspire. Yep, 20,000 runners gathering to compete on Patriots Day in Boston—it doesn't get any better than that.
7. Cars don't hate us.7 of 16
We run on the left side of the road, towards traffic, with the ability to simply step onto the curb if we're met by a vehicle. When a driver honks at a runner, they're honking to wave all five fingers—not just one.
8. Your tan lines look ridiculous.8 of 16
Let's keep this brief. Your cycling jersey and shorts are doing you no favors. Meanwhile, we can run shirtless when it's warm out and really perfect our beach bods.
9. Running in the cold doesn't suck.9 of 16
A cyclist sees 30 degree temperatures and shudders at the thought of slicing through that air on a bike. A runner, on the other hand, celebrates the opportunity to wear all of their sweet cold weather gear and run comfortably without breaking a sweat.
10. Running burns more calories.10 of 16
Fun fact: According to Dr. Edward Coyle of the University of Texas, a cyclist would need to ride 20 miles at 15 miles per hour to burn the same number of calories (620) that a runner can burn by running 5.63 miles at any pace.
11. Running shoes > cycling cleats.11 of 16
From a pure fashion standpoint, cycling cleats are, at best, the third most stylish cleat behind soccer and football—and there's an argument to be made on behalf of golf and baseball, as well. Running shoes are not only more comfortable and more aesthetically pleasing, they're also infinitely more functional—with versatility that allows us to wear them virtually anywhere.
12. Group runs are more social.12 of 16
Cyclists will claim their group rides are the bee's knees, but let's be honest: You're not making much friendly conversation while cutting through the wind in a single file line on the shoulder of the road. Runners are moving at a conversational rate of speed, through neighborhoods and parks, where we can actually, you know, be social.
13. "Baby Got Back"13 of 16
Sick quads bro. Runners have it where it counts, though. Pounding the pavement for several miles at a time—as opposed to, you know, coasting and sitting—is good for the quads and the mid-section, sure, but it works wonders on the glutes.
14. Running is cheaper.14 of 16
For the cost of your bike alone, a runner could buy, like, 50 pairs of running shoes—not to mention the helmet, the bike repair items, the computer, and on and on it goes. Meanwhile, a runner's biggest concern is, "Do I have any clean socks?"
15. We can bring our dogs.15 of 16
Every time a cyclist leaves the house for one of their fancy group rides, Fido gets left at home—staring longingly out the window as his owner deserts him. Poor Fido. If he belonged to a runner, he could've joined in the fun.