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Thread: Mountain Biking vs Running

  1. #1

    Mountain Biking vs Running

    I've been giving this a lot of thought lately. My wife is an avid runner, running several times a week and she also participates in the local races and events.

    I on the other hand am a weekly Mountain Biker. I ride the local stuff, a few local races, and also like to travel around riding trails out of town.

    So the difference is when my wife goes running, general reaction from her family and friends, and even all of MY family is - "You go girl, good job!"

    When I go biking, I'm "leaving the wife at home and goofing off with friends". I go once a week (maybe) and she runs several times a week.

    When I call my critics on this, they'll say "Running is different. It's exercise."

    Excuse me?

    What am I missing? Even when I go to the gym, which by all means is not goofing off, and I don't go with friends.... I'm not elevated to the same class as runners.

    I'm not asking for more respect nor begging for more validity for biking, I'm just trying to understand why the difference in perception. Is it because of the pain?

    Running is much more of a noble cause than Mountain Biking, why is that?

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  3. #2
    Maybe because so many people view running as such drudgery that no one in their right mind does it for anything other than a "workout" whereas mountain biking is SO MUCH FUN and it's often done with others (social) that it is viewed as recreation and therefore not "necessary."
    Good question! Horrible double standard! :-)
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~ Frost

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  5. #3
    Z-Crew Deathcricket's Avatar
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    Well Mtn Biking is more fun than running. When was the last time you saw a trip report for someone running up a hill?

    It also could be gender differences you are experiencing. Girls tend to stick together and be more sympathetic to imaginary needs. Just look at Facebook, chicks bitch about weird random stuff all day. You kinda expect it, and if guys do it you simply unfriend them because they are obviously wuss's
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  6. #4
    Zions the "s" is silent trackrunner's Avatar
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    beech you mtn biking this weekend? you go girl!

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  8. #5
    My experience has been that those who have never done it before don't understand what's involved. They picture mtn. biking as leisurely coasting downhill on a gentle dirt trail as it lazily meanders through a flower/sunshine dappled meadow, all the while some ethereal beings are singing Kumbaya off in the distance. They just plain don't understand the physicality required and that we have to actually PEDAL UPHILL before we get to Kumbaya Meadow. I can't tell you the number of times I've had family/friends/acquaintances/co-workers ask me to take them mtn. biking and, because they are runners and in-shape, they'll be really fast. They're all humbled quickly. The way me and you mtn. bike is hard, grueling, sweaty and aerobically, mentally and physically demanding.
    Are we there yet?

  9. #6
    I think it's due to the general superiority of running.

    Really, I don't know. Interesting thoughts though.

  10. #7
    Outdoor Guru DOSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallsteve View Post
    My experience has been that those who have never done it before don't understand what's involved. They picture mtn. biking as leisurely coasting downhill on a gentle dirt trail as it lazily meanders through a flower/sunshine dappled meadow, all the while some ethereal beings are singing Kumbaya off in the distance. They just plain don't understand the physicality required and that we have to actually PEDAL UPHILL before we get to Kumbaya Meadow. I can't tell you the number of times I've had family/friends/acquaintances/co-workers ask me to take them mtn. biking and, because they are runners and in-shape, they'll be really fast. They're all humbled quickly. The way me and you mtn. bike is hard, grueling, sweaty and aerobically, mentally and physically demanding.

    This is so accurate, My wife who runs marathons has finally given into peer pressure from me to start biking, I picked her up a road bike and we have done a couple short stints around town to get her used to the gears etc. Last Saturday she wanted to go for a longer ride all the time telling me how she was going to smoke my butt... needless to say if I didn't have her lead I would pull away like she was standing still (took me about 20 minutes to figure this out and wait for her ).... Its not all Kumbaya... but those downhills at 45-50 MPH sure are fun.
    Tacoma Said - If Scott he asks you to go on a hike, ask careful questions like "Is it going to be on a trail?" "What are the chances it will kill me?" etc. Maybe "Will there be sack-biting ants along the way?"

  11. #8
    That being said, the best/fastest mtn. bikers I know, cross train. For me it's yoga all year long, x-country skiing in the winter and fast-paced hiking in the summer. If it weren't for a bad back and knees, I would also run or play b-ball.
    Are we there yet?

  12. #9
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathcricket View Post
    It also could be gender differences you are experiencing. Girls tend to stick together and be more sympathetic to imaginary needs. Just look at Facebook, chicks bitch about weird random stuff all day. You kinda expect it, and if guys do it you simply unfriend them.
    This made me LOL at work... Nice job haha
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  14. #10
    Outdoor Guru REDFOX's Avatar
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    There is a lot wisdom being posted hear. I agree completely with everything posted on this. My wife says that I just look for excuses to spend money on expensive hobbies and trips. My reponse of it just being my way of exercising doesn't work any more since I have been doing physical work everyday for my job. I used to do long distance cross country running, but I became bored with it and I find more satisfaction watching mountain bike videos and trip reports.

  15. #11
    none of the above deagol's Avatar
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    I used to run in high school and hate it now. I've been MT biking since 1989 and was talked into running with my now wife a few years ago. I did well cardiovascularly on the uphill sections and she was pissed at me, saying "how come you can run faster than I do and you never run?"..
    Biking was the obvious answer. Running downhill, however, is my weak spot- knees won't hold out long for me.

    It does seem like a dumb double-standard, though...

  16. #12
    It's funny you brought this topic up. I never really put much thought into it before, but now that I think about it, you're right. I have ran a marathon and I have done a century bike ride. Whenever I tell anybody about either accomplishment, I always get more attention and approval for the marathon. You would think the 100 miles vs the 26.2 would automatically be more impressive, but running seems to have more of a reputation. Whatever anyone thinks, I can say that I felt just as dead and in pain at the end of the century ride as I did at the end of the marathon. Lol.

  17. #13
    Don't get me started on Ragnar. Respect to those runners, my wife does it every year now. But boy do I hear about it nonstop.

  18. #14
    yeah....about that bigred72's Avatar
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    I have a friend who had never been mountain biking (nor any other physical activity) and would call those who MTB **ssies. He now bikes and has since changed his opinion.

  19. #15
    I'm in agreement with the general consensus here...it's just the basic stereotyping.

    People see running as exercise and biking as fun. As kids people generally didn't just go out for a fun jog, but they would certainly hop on their bike and play around with their friends in the neighborhood.

    Running = Exercise
    Biking = Fun

    Some people just can't get past that stereotype.

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  22. #17
    yeah....about that bigred72's Avatar
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    A friend used to say when people start smiling when they run, that is when he will start running.

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  24. #18
    Maybe it's just a girl thing?

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  25. #19
    Trail Master
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    I don't run because it seems like when bigger people like me (6'-3") who run and get to my age (49) are all looking for hip and knee replacements. One of my riding buddies is a physical therapist, and he reminds me that if you come in with knee problems one of the first things they will do is put you on a bike. I've been riding for a few years now logging 5-6k miles per year. My knees haven't been this good since high school. I'm a decent rider but I've ridden with a couple of 70 somethings this year that can kick my butt on big climbs, and I find that very inspiring.

    Beech, maybe you'll get more respect on a road bike because you can roll in at home all sweaty and stinky. Good luck with that seriously rediculous double standard.

  26. #20
    I have to laugh as I think it has to do more with husband wife than running biking....and after 36 years I have yet to figure it out...however the ragnar thing. So I have had both my shoulders replaced this winter, so I am not released to ride my bike yet, but I can run. So I get up every day and run somewhere between three to five miles...do I get a Ragnar sticker? Is that not what that thing is all about?
    Running is for those that are afraid to bike!
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