Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why Du It?

One of the main purposes of this blog is to promote duathlon'ing, from Fort Collins in particular.

In FAQ form:

Q: What do you mean by duathlon?
A: Simply, two forms of non-motorized transportation. Generally, riding a bike to a trailhead, running/hike, and riding home. In winter, though, the running/hiking part may involve skis or snowshoes, and the bike is likely to be a mountain bike instead.

Q: Why?
A: Because it's fun! Honestly, because I share a car with my wife, which leaves me without a choice. But even more honestly, the first answer was better: it's a fun combination workout.

Q: Why not just run to the trailhead?
A: Also a good option. I'm just sharing of how to navigate the 'middle ground' of being bored with trails right outside your door, and not always feeling like driving a few hours each way.

Q: What are some of the advantages?
A: More workout in a given amount of time; saving money; being nice to the environment and all that; less traffic congestion in town where we live; peace and happiness and all that; discovering new trails close to your house that you might otherwise skip.

Q: What are some of the disadvantages?
A: A bit more gear and preparation; you will ride and run slower than doing either individually; one cannot realistically ride to the coolest trails everywhere. But, one point of this blog is to show how easy and fun this can be.

Q: What about carpooling to the trailhead? Don't you drive to plenty of places on weekends anyway? Are you being judgmental?
A: All fair questions. I'm just sharing what I like to do, finding out if others are doing it, sharing tips, and looking for tips myself. This doesn't have any bearing on what you do. And, I drive plenty on weekends. I love carpooling, too. Just throwing out ideas here on what's worked for me, as I got bored with the same runs leaving from my house, but I hate driving across town on weekends to go for a run.

Q: Cycling there takes too much time.
A: Shouldn't questions end in a question mark, and answers end in periods? Actually, that's another one of the good points of this blog: for in-town runs, especially on weekends or 'rush hour', riding instead of driving often saves time. No, you don't have to run red lights, but observe this: a line of cars often gets stopped at least once every single major 1-mile intersection. Being caught in this long line means you can miss another light-timing cycle. Conversely, the bike lane is empty, meaning one can cruise right up to the front. A decently trained rider can average 20mph, while cars in tough traffic may average the same by being stopped so often. You'd be surprised at how frequently you see the same cars at every stoplight!
Added to this is the fabulous FC bike trail system, where you can cruise (nearly) stop-free across town, utilizing underpasses and traffic control lights that immediately request a yielded right-of-way to cyclists. I've found that bike-vs-car pretty much evens out for in-town trips (<10 miles) right there, but if you really want to get technical, we could talk about gas costs, insurance, car maintenance, and how long it takes to work to pay for all that (see Thoreau's Walden for an explanation of "Economy" of time and money from 160 years ago: I find the same arguments can apply well here). OK, went a little far, sorry, but the first points really are true!

Q: Who else is doing this?
Goran Kropp
Some shadowy FC folk I've talked with

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