August 23, 2011

"People ask me, why not bike instead of walk for your exercise?"

Notes Crack Skull Bob, who answers:
Fuck you, leave me alone! I don’t even know you! But that wouldn’t be an appropriate thing to say on a blog, so I won’t. What I would say to this obnoxious, intrusive person is: I can walk to the 7-11 in about an hour or so, and bonus! I come back with an armload of tasty Hostess products! To use up the same energy on a bike, I’d have to pedal to Petersburg and back. Plus I’d have to wear one of those hats that make me look like an extra in a bad SyFy series. And then there’s the screaming berserk SUV drivers who are bent on converting all bikers into little impromptu shrines by the side of the road. That isn’t about biking, of course. It’s a class war. Sure, bikers can be arrogant assholes, but come on, they’re a bunch of skinny little guys wobbling around on bikes, and you’re grinding around in a big-ass smoke-belching SUV. Around these parts, when someone makes you feel guilty, you don’t rethink your priorities, you wipe out the guilt-causer. It’s the same for climate change, it’s the same for Food, Inc., it’s the same for the widening income gap, it’s the same for the homeless. It’s what we do. It’s the American way.
He's just saying he needs some coffee, and he's got a drawing of just that. 

34 comments:

edutcher said...

Biking requires a lot more of one's knees.

The Blonde can't ride a bike any more because of multiple knee surgeries, so it's walking or swimming (which is probably best).

mariner said...

I couldn't possibly add to that rant.

Scott M said...

I did a two-week walking (30 minutes a day) to get ready for jogging/biking. Due to the nature of our neighborhood (foothills of the Himalayas) simply walking is enough of a chore and much lower impact. Plus, with the smartphone along, it's much easier to dictate a voice note if inspiration strikes.

Mark O said...

When I was running mile upon mile, I thought bike riders were pussies. Now, having ridden and watched, I think bike riders are crazy. Every one of them is in grave danger almost all the time they are on any road. In the last year 3 riders I know have been killed by cars or trucks and about a dozen have simply crashed, banging their heads and severely injuring themselves.

Crazy

Triangle Man said...

You burn approximately same amount of calories walking an hour as biking for 30 minutes. So, four miles round-trip to the 7-11 or say seven miles round-trip on a bike to Krispy Kreme. Granted it's easier to eat the donuts while walking.

Ann Althouse said...

"Biking requires a lot more of one's knees."

But President Bush switched from running to mountain biking because of his knee problem.

But he's an idiot, right?

Ann Althouse said...

"When I was running mile upon mile, I thought bike riders were pussies. Now, having ridden and watched, I think bike riders are crazy. Every one of them is in grave danger almost all the time they are on any road. In the last year 3 riders I know have been killed by cars or trucks and about a dozen have simply crashed, banging their heads and severely injuring themselves."

I think it depends on where you are biking and how aggressively.

But there is a distance to tumble.

People get killed walking all the time. Especially in their houses.

Look out.

Scott M said...

It depends on the injury. Biking is a lot lower impact than jogging, isn't it?

Dustin said...

Biking and running are both easy on knees.

It's like comparing them for drowning risk.

Biking is more dangerous and more of a hassle because of the equipment. And humans are excellent natural walkers.

I like to walk with my dog. Going cross country with a backpack is nice. I don't have to get ready to walk. I just walk.

If it takes twice the time to get the same workout, I suspect the time saved not getting into that silly outfit resolves a lot of the difference.

dbp said...

"It depends on the injury. Biking is a lot lower impact than jogging, isn't it?"

Yes, until you crash.

Mitch H. said...

I can read while walking. I've never tried that while biking.

People get regularly freaked out by the sight of me walking along with my nose in a book. What, is decent peripheral vision that uncommon in the world?

I haven't been walking nearly enough this year. I'm getting lazier as I get older.

Scott M said...

Yes, until you crash.

Well, then it depends on the speed and the density of the object you're striking. I mean, if you're rolling along at 3 mph and crash into the back of an upended feather pillow stuffing truck...

Crunchy Frog said...

Walking is cheaper - no need to lay out $1K in bike, outfit, etc.

Plus, the helmets look stupid and don't fit comfortably.

wv: sorend - that's what I get from the damn bicycle seats

traditionalguy said...

Biking is so great going down hill and not that bad level.But whoever invented climbing hills just ruined biking for me.

Some really smart dude invented ski-lifts, and he should invent bike-lifts.

That would be one green job I could support. Bike lifts everywhere.

The Audiovisualist said...

I've been riding a bike 1.3 miles to work including going home for lunch for 27 years outside of snow season, and for the last three years all year round. I'm not saying it's not some effort, but it's not all that hard either.

Mike K said...

People get regularly freaked out by the sight of me walking along with my nose in a book. What, is decent peripheral vision that uncommon in the world?

Watch out for fountains.

Scott M said...

And rakes...

Mark O said...

Some folks die in bed. Think of the ways.

Sigivald said...

Around these parts, when someone makes you feel guilty, you don’t rethink your priorities, you wipe out the guilt-causer. It’s the same for climate change, it’s the same for Food, Inc., it’s the same for the widening income gap, it’s the same for the homeless.

Around my parts, when someone tries to make me feel guilty over some stupid bullshit that is either mostly in their heads, completly not my fault, or not bad outside of their precious valuations, I tell them to go do something anatomically impossible.

Well, at least figuratively.

("Widening income gap" my ass. And "Food, Inc."? Bite me, hipster/hippie.)

Michael said...

Running is not so great on the knees, biking is better for them and walking better still. Competitive swimmers have knee problems.

My 66 year old knees are holding up fine and I run on them three or four days a week, three to five miles at a time. I try to bike a couple of times a week on a road bike using modern clips. Big difference using clips! Faster biking and better exercise all around. Bit nerve wracking at first but fine after a few tries.

I rarely bike on the roads because of the fervent dislike of cyclists by rednecks . Living as I do in the sweet sunny south it is better to find the bike path that covers lots of miles and is inaccessible to redneck vehicular traffic. Over the years I have had multiple beer cans heaved at me, even while running. Rednecks are terrible shots, by the way. They are known to brag about their shooting abilities but in truth they are not very good.

Curious George said...

What I don't get is people who bike for exercise but have lightweight bikes, 400 gears, and aerodynamic clothes. Seems self defeating.

Balloon tires, one gear. More work. Less time.

Dustin said...

"Running is not so great on the knees, biking is better for them and walking better still. Competitive swimmers have knee problems.
"

I meant walking. Don't know why I typed running. Obviously running is much harder on your knees than biking, but biking and walking are both fine for knees unless you have some weird injury.

I find it hard to believe competitive swimming causes knee problems.

cacchip said...

Balloon tires, one gear. More work. Less time.

You forgot to add fixed gears so no coasting.

John said...

I rarely bike on the roads because of the fervent dislike of cyclists by rednecks .

It's not just rednecks who dislike cyclists fervently. I firmly believe that if you're going to ride your bike on the streets (which, no matter what anyone says, were purpose-built for cars, not bikes), then you need to obey the same traffic laws as cars. I've seen many close calls and even one actual accident where a cyclist decided she was just going to bypass a string of cars waiting at a stop on the right side. She failed to notice that the driver at the head of the line of cars was signalling for a right turn, and she smacked into the side of his vehicle as he was turning. She wasn't seriously injured (although she was bleeding), but the car got a big dent. I don't think she gave the driver any contact information before she rode off.

Peter said...

Well, really. Walking is usually relaxing; bicycling in non-protective spaces is not (although it will get you someplace a whole lot faster).

Bicycling mostly means watching out for opening car doors and wheel-eating storm sewers. And the occasional idiot who throws stuff out the car window at you.

Kensington said...

"And the occasional idiot who throws stuff out the car window at you."

A bicycle was my primary means of transportation in Chicago throughout the 1990s, and having things thrown at me by passing cars was not an occasional phenomenon; it was a daily occurrence.

Winding down said...

Peter said...
Well, really. Walking is usually relaxing; bicycling in non-protective spaces is not (although it will get you someplace a whole lot faster).

Bicycling mostly means watching out for opening car doors and wheel-eating storm sewers. And the occasional idiot who throws stuff out the car window at you.

Amen..Peter

Sophie, my shepard, and I like a very early morning walk.. cats and rabbits to roust. Just us and garbage trucks and bread trucks and a few good people getting to work.

Lucien said...

If you have the right place to do it, like a bike path,going hard on a bicycle for an hour is more work/exercise than walking quickly for an hour, unless you have a major hill to walk up for an hour & meet a car at the top.

grgeil said...

I walk in all seasons. My bicycle is just for nice weather.
RANT 1: Why are most walkers/joggers in the right lane with their backs to traffic instead of facing oncoming traffic on the left side of the road? I won't hit you with my car, but I can't say the same for the distracted driver behind me.
RANT 2: You don't need an expensive, streamlined helmet nor a spandex top to pedal through the neighborhood at 8 miles per hour. Pretending you are covered in advertisements just makes you look stupid.

Skippy said...

I've ridden for many years. Had drivers come too close; had one car's passenger slap me on the backside (a long time ago) as the driver pulled close to me. Five years ago I was hit by a car by a guy who made a left turn into me and said he didn't see me. I got tossed up on the windshield and ruined the bike, but my helmet saved my head. I stopped riding on streets, mostly. A month ago, I was on the local bike trail at 6:45 a.m., head down and riding quickly, when I looked up and saw that the local government agency had stretched a chain across the road at about thigh-level to prevent people from entering the bike path's nature preserve during "maintenance." (I was riding from the opposite direction, where no such chains or warnings were in place and no maintenance was being performed.) Hit the chain, sliced open my leg on a steel warning sign attached to it -- facing opposite direction, of course. Helmet saved the head, again. A 911 call and an ambulance ride plus many stitches capped off the morning. When I saw Althouse's film of the trip through the train tunnel, I cringed. Not so sure I want to get on my bike again very soon.

CachorroQuente said...

Bicycling either with or without a helmet is not dangerous. Riding a bicycle for 30 minutes without a helmet probably affects your life expectancy about as much as eating a Big Mac. About 700 people die each year in bicycle accidents (including poorly supervised children, morons, and drunks). Big Mac poisoning probably kills in excess of 100,000.

You don't need an expensive bicycle nor do you need expensive bicycling clothes. You can get yourself a decent used bicycle for about what you'd spend on a couple pairs of shoes and as long as you're not riding over 20 miles (or so) at a time, padded bicycle shorts and special bicycling shoes are really not necessary.

If you want to engage in aerobic exercise that you can sustain for moderately long periods of time (1 to 2 hours) and you're an average American specimen, there is nothing that can compare to bicycling. Riding a bicycle for 2 hours at 12 to 15 mph is much better exercise than walking for 2 hours at 4 mph and not many typical Americans can walk at 4 mph for 2 hours. Military marching, which is not easy for extended periods, is less than 3.5 mph (120 30" steps/minute).

About the knees: if bicycle riding hurts your knees, you're probably riding a bicycle which is poorly adjusted for you (like Althouse's). Raise the seat a bit so that your knees are more extended at the bottom of the stroke. For a "rule of thumb", if you place your heel on the pedal at the bottom of the stroke it should be fully extended, or a cm or two more.

HT said...

To get equal exercise on a bike, I'm finding, you gotta ride a lot more. Walking the 1.5 miles that I do to foggy bottom is better exercise than biking it. Aerobically speaking. But biking it sure is damn quick. Especially when there's an earthquake.

Steve Koch said...

I got a mountain bike from Walmart for less than $100, fully assembled. It is steel so it is strong but heavy (which is fine with me). I ride this thing on the trails through the woods where I live. My planned community calls itself the livable forest and has 70 miles of paved hike and bike trails (the community population is about 70,000). Because of the hike and bike trails, I am almost never on a road that I share with cars.

We also have a bunch of unimproved trails through the abundant woods.
Mountain bikes are nice because you can take the bike off the pavement into the woods. The mountain bike tires are designed to go off road. The gears permit you to go very slowly (nice on a rough trail) off pavement and to easily climb hills. It has shock absorbers for the front wheel and a shock absorber for the seat and rear wheel. I have frequently surprised deer and got quite close to them before they noticed me.

Riding a bike is much easier on my knees than walking and I also enjoy it a lot. I don't wear any special clothing to ride. You cover a lot more territory with a bike.

To work out, I use my elliptical machine daily and swim daily but the biking is a nice break for working out. Biking is also more social.

Foobarista said...

Once in China, I saw a bicyclist fall over on ice and roll under a bigrig. Fortunately, traffic was stopped and he managed to get out, but it convinced me that walking will be the way I get exercise.