Bike Commute vs Run Commute

Yesterday morning I missed my daily run due to family commitments and I knew that I had to squeeze one in somehow. I packed my running stuff in the car and headed out to work.

At the end if the day the weather was beautiful and I had a choice: drive to a trail and run, or simply run home. I work 8 miles from home and that’s not a particularly long distance for me.

So I decided to run. Some of the roads are not very pedestrian friendly but I have that issue with many of the roads out here in suburbia. Country roads with no side walks but quite heavy traffic at certain times.

I had waited until the main part of rush hour had passed and then went out. The route takes me through Valley Forge National Historical Park which is a beautiful, if hilly, route. I then have to cross a rickety wooden bridge mounted on the side of the main highway to get across the river. Then there were some tricky junctions to negotiate that have some construction going on. Once through those it was simple running with a few hills through various housing developments.

About a mile from home I saw a car hit a groundhog and startle it. It was left twitching in the middle of the road so I got a large stick and moved it gently to the edge of the road. Then 200 yards further up the road there was another one in the same condition! Groundhog Day recursion. At least it was a good chance to have a look at these Rodents Of Unusual Size (ROUS; Princess Bride reference).

I completed the 8.08 mile run with a pace of 8:04, including the rodent roadkill moves. So it was actually pretty fast. The route has over 350ft of elevation gain and feels like a slog sometimes.

So, is it easier to run or ride the route?

In my opinion, running is harder but feels slightly safer as you have more time to get people to see you when running into the traffic. Riding let’s you scoot downhill far more easily, plus the mechanical advantage is not outweighed by the hills, but people may fly past you very close and there’s no easy way to see them coming.

Today I rode to the office with my running clothes in my backpack as I have a track night tonight. Fortunately my bike fits inside my mini so I’ll be able to drive to track as it is at the top of a very big hill!

Neither of the groundhogs were where I left them so either the township cleaned then up or a fox got them. Circle of life.


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