The Joy of Running with a Bike
November 05, 2014
(BUMPED FROM 2013) Cyclocross is a good way to get in a little running for those who can't run as much as they'd like to anymore, but who still like to go fast or put in a couple miles.
What you do is you blaze along on the bike, hop off smoothly and run a hundred glorious feet, say, then hurdle smoothly back onto your bike and ride some more.
Heck, even running 50 feet fast every quarter mile on a twisty little trail gives a good dose of fast running (and imitation of the overall distance running experience), but with a lot less overall joint-strain. ...Even when you're not running you're still going fast. The bike gives the speed you need.
Your heart-rate stays nice'n'high, breathing stays big'n'relaxed.
The trick is to use a very light bike so you don't notice it on your shoulder as you're running (my 19-pounder feels like a feather and impedes my running not a whit).
...And then to develop the skill to smoothly dismount and remount without slowing down.
(Skill is also needed not to jar your joints with these extra motions.)
It's really fun to keep up the speed as you change back'n'forth between biking and running. I love the accelerations. Yet you don't really slow down between them. ...You just get the total smoothness of the bike for awhile.
Sadly, in the cyclocross races I've been doing they don't have any nice running like I describe. They only have superquick on/off sections where you take, like, 4 fast strides, and they have trudges up a short steep hill -- neither give what I'd call a running feeling. So you gotta get it fo' yo'self!
And we can try to encourage organizers to include a bit o' real running. Couldn't hurt! Today's CX scene is so bike-oriented that, really, it neglects the "cross" part, which meant "cross country running," not just "biking across terrain."
For the ex-hurdlers among us, a fast, a smooth remount uses a nice, driving hurdle motion to deliver zero saddle impact.
It's wonderfully satisfying how smoothly all the motions can work together -- and at a good, fast RUNNING clip.
This isn't really running and it's not over my shoulder, but it IS fun.