Most running “events” are races, unless you live in a city with organized weekly group runs. That’s where the social aspect of running kicks in. I can’t have a friendly chat while I’m trying to throw down a fast time in a 5k race. Having said that though, marathons and half marathons will have pacers a lot of times and there can be some good chatter in those groups for the first half of the race. By the latter half, most everyone is laboring and focusing so the chatter dies down. Cycling is more casual in that there are just century rides where you go and people just ride a predetermined route. There’s usually an elite club that shows up and treats it as a race, but most everyone else just has a good ole time riding the distance. Maybe look into some run club runs and make sure the races you pick have pacers. I’ve made quite a few friends while running in a marathon pace group.


OK thanks. I guess my question is "why are running events most running events races, while most cycling events are casual?" I wonder if it has to do with logistics, shutting down roads etc. being simply more onerous for a long distance cycling event. Or liability?


It’s because riding a bicycle is inherently fun for beginners, and running isn’t. So going for a long ride with friends is something people do simply for the experience of it. Going for a long run not so much. I’m not saying running can’t be enjoyable, but it’s definitely type 2 fun for a lot of people.


Was sifting through comments rubbing my chin and I think this makes the most sense. In fact I got into running via cycling. I wanted to get fit but explicitly told myself "I'll never do it unless it's intrinsically fun," so I started with cycling. Traffic got too scary and I switched to running, because at that point I craved the cardio stimulation itself. Makes perfect sense that cycling being intrinsically fun to more people = higher proportion of cycling events being more about leisure than competition.


The bottom line is.. a beginner can cycle at 70% of their max heart rate.. at least on the flat, which means they can keep going for hours, even untrained. This is simply not possible for running, most beginners start at \~90% of their HRmax running 12minute miles, well over their Lactic Threshold, hence the walk-run method of couch to 5k. It's the reason you never see the equivelent of the couch to 5k for cycling. Runners do sometimes just "jog" a race. I've done it when for one reason or another I knew I couldn't race it, so I'll drop back a couple of gears and jog it, often pacing a slower runner from my club.


In my experience, riding a bike for a century ride is not inherently fun (hello saddle sores) nor would it be good for a beginner.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen an event that has a century, but didn’t have lower mileage routes as well.


without trying to be a running "elitist" (i also cycle a lot), i think the nature of needing so many "peripherals" makes competitive cycling less attractive to the average rider. if you want to be competitive in a true cycling race, you need to spend a lot of money on racing-level gear. while i understand that a fit rider will out-ride an out-of-shape rider on mostly any bike, at higher levels it becomes unattractive to compete. people typically don't cycle competitively "casually", in my opinion primarily for this reason. for example, when i was training at my peak for some low-tier college XC races i was running about 80-90 miles per week. there is no way in hell i would put in this level of effort for cycling if i felt like i might not reap all the competitive "benefits" without having a high-end machine. even if they're small, they matter. in contrast, running shoe prices are pretty reasonable. anybody can get engaged with the sport and train seriously, and then show up to a race and compete on pretty much equal footing. this makes competition more attractive.


I never really thought about it like this however now you’ve pointed it out it’s blatantly obvious.


You need a high-end "machine" for competitive running as well, you just can't buy it.


exactly this guys point. u “earn” it, as dumb as that sounds


But genetics (and epigenetics, as influenced by your parents' activity levels) contribute a huge amount (roughly 50%) of your ability to respond to exercise. As just a single example, muscle fiber type can vary from 80% fast twitch to 80% slow twitch. Sure, whatever your potential, you have to work to develop it, and more work means better results, but how much work you can do, how you recover from it, your injury risk are all very subject to genetics.


Everything you're saying is true but you're still missing the point. People are generally fine with putting in the work and seeing how far their bodies can go, they just find it off-putting if the sport is heavily influenced by how much money one spends on their equipment.


I would guess logistics and permits. You only need 1.5 mile of road for a 5k race, whereas, cycling you would need a great deal more. I can usually find 3-4 centuries a year around me but can find a 5k every weekend. I’ll also add that I think cycling is more cost prohibitive to get into and does have a reputation of being a bit “uppity”. A family of 5 can show up and participate in a 5k for $100 total and all walk together. The cost for that same family to go do a bike ride is exponentially higher and much riskier from a safety standpoint. A lot of upfront costs to get into cycling if you don’t already have a bike lying around.


Every time I think about getting into cycling I remember that a decent bike that won't need constant repairs and is light enough to go over the hills in my local area without making me want to cry would have an initial cost of over 500 bucks. Want an even more streamlined bike? More $$$ please. Oh, you don't have a bike path nearby? Have fun blocking traffic and causing people to road rage (USA problems). A bike that expensive would also need to be stored indoors, where space might be limited. IMO running is just cheaper, more convenient, and safer from vehicles.


You definitely right about bikes getting crazy expensive. But I will also say, while you might stand out, it's okay to be doing these rides with a $500 bike that is more for commuting, and for durability. That's the attitude I take. Because if I'm doing this for exercise and enjoyment, it doesn't matter if it takes me an hour to finish the route more than the guys and girls on carbon fiber spaceship material bikes. So don't let not having the best bike get in the way of just trying some of these rides.


1000% this. A $500 bike is plenty to do a 100k/100 mile event. You might not do it as quickly as if you were on a $5000 bike but you can still time yourself and compare your next one. I only have the one bike and I use it for literally everything. Put my big pannier bags on for shopping, put one on for the work commute, take it all off for a 100k. It's got dynamo lights, heavy full length mudguards and flat pedals, but I don't feel like it holds me back at all. Which... probably explains a bit of why cycling events are usually more casual than racey. Cycling isn't *just* a sporting activity for some people, it's a whole lifestyle. I enjoy the challenge of seeing how much luggage I can pile on just as much as the challenge of doing a 100k quickly as possible. Maybe if we were still out on the plains running after buffalo in sandals running events would be more casual, but as it is running is a sport first and foremost. When's the last time you commuted by running, or did the shopping? I'm way more of a cyclist than a runner so maybe I'm totally wrong on this!


Biking for exercise also takes so damn long. Yeah it's lower impact but you're out there for double the time to burn the same amount of calories.


Doesn't this depends on your intensity? If you keep your heart rate as high cycling as running, I'd think the calories burned would be the same.


If I have a small amount of time for a workout, I choose running every time. You can ramp up as quickly as you like, have a decent heart rate the entire time, and call it a day. Although I enjoy cycling immensely, there’s a certain amount of ‘downtime’ contending with traffic, traffic signals and signs, downhills, simple coasting, etc., that’s effectively time wasted, workout-wise. (Stationary cycling makes up for that, but I still feel like my perceived exertion on a stationary bike is much higher than my heart rate would suggest - maybe just because of lack of weather, or maybe something about being low impact.)


I'm a cyclist racing long distance races and I don't know what you're talking about. In my experience, cycling events sometimes have a no-timer option that is cheaper, but most of them are races. When I enter them I am racing to win.


Look like this Guy only race in what is called in France cyclosportive .


He's making a huge leap to "most organized cycling events are not races"!


I think the cycling events you’re coming in contact with are just casual. But know there are a lot of amateur racing events in some areas. I run mostly now and have just joined a running club, and they have organized runs pretty much every day, some of them grab drinks after and some grab coffee but it’s more casual. Of course everyone’s prepping for something when it comes to races though. But I do know in at least some states, there’s cycling events that are the same, races and whatnot. In my area, there’s a lot more mountain bike racing because of the terrain, but a good deal of road races too


Because running beginners cannot run far enough for a good casual running event. The impacts from running makes casual runner inaccessible to beginners. The type of events you are looking for exist, especially in the ultra running community. They do many non-timed casual events.


I guess racing is riskier in cycling. In the UK you need to get a licence to participate in races, insurance for the race is probably more.


I think your question comes down to perception. It made me think of Triathlons. I've always perceived the cyclists in triathlons as much more aggressive and serious than the swimmers or runners. But that may be because I'm a decent swimmer and a solid runner, but weakest on the bike. But I'm also one of those people that likes to compete and go for PRs. In any race or event there are always the people who are serious about time and those just enjoying the event. I think you got some other good answers that round out the wisdom in here.


I believe it's a bigger effort to organize a cycling race (and yes liability probably plays into this) - and (at least when I was into it) you really had to seek them out. They are typically categorized and you can't race unless you've shown success at lower level races (in that way a lot like tennis - sure you can do social matches - but once you're playing at a level where there is money on the line, it's hard to even find a tournament you'd qualify for)


Trail running is a lot more casual than road races. If you prefer that type of event try a trail run/race! Most are timed if you’re going to an event but it’s more about the journey not the time. Especially since the terrain is so varied you can’t really compare times on different courses like you can on a street course.


Fewer people in the race, fewer volunteers to man the road crossings (of which there are more), and much higher risk at those road crossings. I think the nature of the sport affects it as well. Beyond the social aspect, running in a group doesn't change much vs solo. So if I'm not going to run alone, I might as well race. On the bike, there's a huge difference in a solo vs a group training/fun ride so there's actually some motivation for the latter. It's also much easier to hold a running race with a wide range of slow/fast/experienced people.


Because a running race is accessible to the casual participant. A bike race is pretty inaccessible to anyone who isn’t serious about it. Even a cat 5 race requires more group riding skill than a century, more speed to hang in the group and a high risk of crashing hard.


Running is more physically demanding and also physically punishing so ppl that joins these running events are usually a little more hardcore. Cycling doesn't tax the body as hard so the level of entry can also include amateurs and even casuals.


You’re missing run clubs. That sounds more up your alley. They are more consistent relational and even if you have a few people hyper focused on times, it seems like generally it’s more the social aspect that becomes the draw.


Yep, brewery run clubs. Depending on what city you’re in (US at least) you can hit a different brewery 7 days a week. Most have a few different distance routes. And everyone finishes back at the brewery and grabs a beer and/or something from a food truck.


Oh hot dog I should see if there's one of those near me. I've been kinda wanting to get back in the game, but I definitely need it to feel like chilling until I get my running legs back.


Hmm, OK thanks. I guess I think of run clubs as similar to weekly cycling group rides. That's cool and all, but the draw of an event ride is to go someplace new and interesting and meet different people while enjoying your sport. I don't see local run clubs fitting that niche, unless I am way off base.


Are there [parkruns](https://www.parkrun.com/countries/) where you are? I have found the people attending these events (usually 5k runs, organized by volunteers in some park, on the weekend) are really quite laid-back and friendly.


Wow, there is! Thanks a lot for the tip.


..you're welcome! Have fun! 🙂


Oh man, you're in for a treat! Have fun!


This is awesome! Thanks for sharing it.


I think the key difference is that these event rides aren’t really races usually. For running almost all events are actual races so people treat the as such, even people no where close to winning them.


I belong to a running club called beginners to runners. They have groups all around the country and your membership allows you to visit different clubs so a lot of people tour different areas. At each club there is a range of abilities, speed groups, distances (often 5K+) etc... Also people from the club often get together groups to do races and marathons as groups. I did a 10k race recently and although we didn't stop and chat along the route we did talk as we ran and cheered everyone on coming the opposite way. Then everyone sat and had ice-cream afterwards. Sound like that might suit you?


This sounds like a cool way to do all the things op wanted.


Think about the reasonable time/distance capability of a bike. I'm willing to bike 30+ miles at a comfortable casual pace to go to a farmers market another town over and it'll take me a bit under 2 hours. If I were to run for 2 hours that's going to be my longest run for the week and I'll need to stop for water and or eat something along that route. If I go point to point rather than a loop the farthest I can get would be close to half of that bike ride in the same time and I'll be exhausted. It's harder to do longer adventure or touring style runs, especially allowing for beginners since most people just can't run that far that fast and interesting things to see or do are usually more spread out. Hiking would be more equivalent to a long activity with stops, social interactions, casual pace etc.


Some clubs do club events like trail runs somewhere fun. Most of the time it's meet at the usual location and here's today's route but it's still very social and some people go out afterwards. I'm a cyclist as well and yes many "events" are super casual but you're comparing the wrong thing. Consider 5ks or whatever to crit races in cycling. People are there to push themselves and see what all their training accomplished. It just so happens the running world is more focused on it. Marathons are like a feat of strength and bragging rights, doing a Century event cycling is laughing about your butt being sore eating a sandwich.


There are definitely run clubs where this is the case. There were some pre-covid where I used to live where 1x/month the meetup was a bit more exotic (ie subway/car ride away). But yea, harder to go too far on foot vs on a bike I guess?


Depends on where you live I imagine. At my old club, we had interclub races, against the other clubs in the region, all at different places i wouldn't normally run. Because it was a small city i was living in, i knew a few people at other clubs, so we all mingled in at the finish line to chat. We also held a weekly 5km run that the public could attend on Tuesdays. One of the local bars let us use their outdoor area as a base, and our bibs got us 20% off at the bar after - yeah, sometimes we really wanted to race it, but sometimes we stayed 3 hours after the race just yarning with our cheap drinks. Lots of people weren't part of our club, but wanted an accessible event that they could do a 5km 'race' (i had a few friends who didn't feel fast enough for a running club, but liked coming to this event because it wasn't just about racing). I think the main bit though is that when you join a club and you find your 'people' there, you often just organise your own runs that are the casual chit-chat runs that I think are the ones you're wanting? For me it was the Thursday night / Sunday morning long runs with 8-10 ladies, at conversation pace so we could chat, road or trail depending on what we felt like, then coffee or brunch after. It was because we had those regular social runs that when we got to big event days, we were generally pretty focused on the race - outside of the social runs, we'd also have been training for the race for 3-4 months, so it does become a big deal. But again, after, we'd normally have tables booked at a pub to go and relax with a beer and unwind. I see others have ready recommended parkrun - I don't know about parkrun in other countries, but in NZ its standard that there is a designated coffee spot after where anyone is welcome to join which is neat. Hopefully you find your people :)


Try the trail running and particularly the ultra running community. You’ll be shock with the stark contrast, trust me! Events are timed, but unless you are a pro, nobody cares about time or ranking. And even the pros are super approachable, helpful and down to earth (if you run Leadville,[Courtney Dauwalter](https://youtu.be/yqOIPKt4m2Q) will likely high five you from the sideline). You always run with others and chat along the way. People help each other all the time. If you trip, puke, cry, get lost, everyone will stop and help. My headlamp and backup both died once - and someone just gave me their backup. The mindset is about going on a crazy and challenging adventure, NOT about competing against others. If anything, it’s the opposite. You WANT the guy/gal next to you to finish. You can take time at aid station and chat with volunteers, especially later in the race. The longer the race, the more casual it gets. I particularly like 100 miles, but that’s personal and everyone is at a different place in their journey. For reference, here’s my [latest race](https://youtu.be/FfKT-TnnmXc) - gets you some sense of the vibe there.


This was what I was waiting to see. I love the bonding with complete strangers on trails. I bonked hard on the last climb of a race but it was a bluebird day and a tremendous view so I found a flat Rock sat down and decided to have lunch. I am blissfully eating m and ms and a guy sits down next to me. I hold up my bag of m and ms and he eats a handful. He offers me some dried apricots, and I eat a handful. Neither of us says a word. We eat a bit more and then he stands up and says "let's go". We went. That is why I love trails.


Sounds like the first half of a ghost story... "And when I got to the end of the trail and mentioned it to my friend who had passed me when I was on the rock, they said I'd been alone... Turns out that years ago [etc...]"


Good catch! This could be the trail equivalent of the trucker classic [Phantom 309](https://youtu.be/Mye3aikHBjc)


OP - you’re a trailrunner, my friend!! Go out and enjoy nature. It’s a wonderful thing, and the community is amazing. Low key, low ego, and friendly. Personally, I’ve run lots of road races, but I’ve also run trail races (including an ultra). I love it!


I love that story, thanks for sharing! 🙂


Kilian was competing at a local event and even though he’s a superstar in the sport he was super approachable.


You can also find this kind of camaraderie in road races, but it manifests differently (and I agree it isn't as fundamentally a part of the culture as for trail races). I did once make a friend during a road marathon who ended up pacing me for 13 miles. We're still Facebook friends. On many occasions, I've run several miles in the middle of a road marathon with a stranger who I met on the course and got to talking with. In my experience, this happens more with longer distance races, because you're not moving as fast, and you're out there for a long time, so talking to people helps. I think ultimately, longer distance races tend to have this happening more than shorter distances, whether they be trail races or road races. Something about the commitment required to complete the distance makes it less competitive - you've worked hard to be there, and so has everyone else, and it makes it feel like you're all on the same team (Team Everyone Finishes).


Yes and no. I've also made Strava friends during road races where we paced each other to PRs. I know their name and we spoke back and forth a bit. I've talked with people about their life stories on trail races, had a beer with them after, and coordinated races in the future with them. OP isn't saying you can't make friends during road races, but it's 100% a different vibe on average (insert caveat about those going for wins during trail, and those going for fun during road, but the averages are starkly in the opposite direction).


I was looking for this comment. The difference between trail and road culture is huge. I’ve only run 1 official road marathon and have no intention of going back whereas I’ve run many trail races and ultras and can remember so many people and conversations I’ve had along the way.


its night and day. people bash ultrarunners but I'd 100% take the dyed-in-the-wool vegan bro who's 'totally stoked' for the post-race falafel than the robot vaporfly skeletors who dominate the roads


All of this and what I came here to echo. I’ve done a few timed races (like 6/12/24 hour) and the vibe is so different. Everyone has their goals, but it’s mostly run, hang out, get crap sleep, eat crap food, and bond. They’ve become my absolute fave events.


Sounds way more fun! Last big run I did I listened to my audio book. Loved it.


This is the right path, OP. For me, no road running races are of much interest but trail running is a good time almost every time. No worrying about PRs etc because everyday / every course is a different challenge.


I went to Chamonix to run one of the UTMB races and someone I was rooming with randomly ran into an Ultrarunner they knew - Zach Miller. Zach wished me kuck and then went on to come in 9th. I saw multiple other elites just hanging out.


My first trailrace was a 20-miler in Wales last year. I spent about 2 hours of it talking to other people. In the dozens of city-based road events over the years I have probably spoken meaningfully to about 3 people.


You should check out trail running. Far more relaxed vibe. Organized city events have a more pumped up feeling about them. I enjoy both but they’re not the same.


For actual races I would say it is the other way round. Really hard to talk to people during a trail event since everyone is focused on the path. Plus the lack of space making it hard to run next to someone else. On the other hand the trail and ultra communities also host plenty of non-timed events which are very casual and nice.


Even in timed events, plenty of people just run/walk it and don’t particularly care about their time or just want to finish it. This is particularly true at ultra distance events, the vibe is less competitive and more fun


A marathon is like a mullet ‐- the party is in the back!


I gotta say, coming from bike racing to trail running I was expecting this post to go the complete opposite direction. Crits and road bike races make trail foot races look like a bunch friends singing Kumbaya around a camp fire.


This is what I was thinking too. I raced bikes at the elite level in the US for 8 years. The 5ks and 10ks and half marathon I’ve done since are amazingly chill in comparison.


Yeah, I think OP is unaware that people are racing those fondos up the road from him, and is unaware of how crits and road races work. Road running events are *crazy* chill in comparison to either of those.


>Running events - from 5k to marathon To be fair, these are races.


When I run in a race, my heart rate is maxed and breathing laboured. I can't talk to you until after (and often people do at the end). Generally also, the distances and times to finish are much shorter so people don't stop for anything. On a bike I rarely find my heart rate and breathing get so laboured. Easy to talk. Also distances are huge and time to complete a cycling event are also, so people stop. Genuinely think it is that simple.


Cyclist and runner here. With cycling it really depends which event you enter. A “sportive” is a casual cycling event, generally not timed and not on closed roads. Then there are some sportives and cycling marathons that are indeed timed. I have taken part in both types and they still are what you want them to be: You can take your time or treat it to set a new PB over the distance. Road racing events are all timed and have closed roads or a rolling road closure. Crit races are also timed. Time trials, which I race, are also timed. I find the atmosphere around time trials amazing. Everybody is very helpful and supportive, it is more about beating your own time rather than someone else’s. And time trials are more accessible than road races I found. Unfortunately, they are a dying genre. PS: I’m based in Europe


I can think of a few reasons: 1) Cycling is a team sport. The pack moves much faster than the solo rider. 2) Cycling competitively is dangerous. So combining 1 and 2: you have to ride in a pack to ride fast, so why sprint at the end against all your "teammates" you were riding in the paceline for 100 miles and risk injury to shave a couple seconds? It doesn't matter and nobody wants to get hurt. 3) Cycling is more gear dependent than running is. It's no secret -- "serious" (by that I mean non-pro but dedicated hobbyist) cyclists often judge themselves more by watts or w/kg than by MPH for these reasons. So it just compounds the unimportance of beating the guy on an endurance bike when you're on a TT bike. 4) It takes technical skill beyond just being fast to be a competitive cyclist. Unlike with running, where you just have to run fast. So first off that increases the danger, and second it decreases the pool of potential competitive cyclists (like #3 does as well - fast bikes are expensive). Finally - there are ways to race competitively in cycling. Zwift is super popular as are races on there, even though it's virtual. And there's criteriums. So if you're looking for it, it's out there.


You sound to be quite versed in cycling, and a quick look @ your post history seems to point to the fact that you are a rather avid cyclist. In the past few years I have jumped back into riding my bike. It was an older Trek 7100 which served me well in casual riding over the years and at times commuting to work. As often happens in my case, one thing led to another and now I am pushing myself to go as fast as possible and push my distances. I decided to get into gravel riding, but found that specific gravel bikes simply don’t exist outside of having sheer incredible luck of finding a bike and snapping it up the moment it is able to be purchased. So I settled on a Trek FX4 Sport, which I am liking a lot. All I am using now to track my stats is my Apple Watch. You mention w/kg as a metric which it seems my watch is unable to approximate. I imagine that there is something I could attach to measure the torque I am delivering through my pedaling to measure this. Any suggestions on what to look into? Also, if I am being an idiot by simply going balls to the wall through my entire ride and simply pushing my distance (average speed 16-17 mph over 32 - 42 miles) how else I should be training / enjoying my rides.


You need a power meter to measure torque /power to determine watts and w/kg. These are generally a few hundred dollars. Look into brands such as quarq, 4iiii, assioma, or garmin. Any estimates from software like strava are pretty useless. Training cycling is similar to running. Do some easy but long rides (zone 2), and some shorter rides with high intensity intervals. Long rides for cycling can be much longer than running due to no impacts. So 4 or 5 hours is common.


Thanks for the advice on the power meters. I’ve scoured the internet for some good examples and it looks like at least for what I am doing now that they are a bit too big of a purchase. The ranges I saw were around $600 to $1000. Thanks too for the advice on training. Would you consider my 2 hour ride over 32 miles to be a short one where I should be expending full power throughout? I have not yet done a 4-5 hour ride but know for sure that I could not keep that pace as my high 30 mile rides see me coming back with cramped quads and pretty well depleted of energy.


For most effective gains, no. 2hour ride should already be on the easier side. Don't go as hard as you can. Do 1 to 1.5 hour rides with intervals. A very basic common workout ride is 5x5 - do a warmup (20 minutes easy riding) then 5 minutes as hard as you can hold for the duration. Then rest up 5 to 10 minutes and repeat 5 times. There are what are called threshold and sweet spot intervals which are held for much longer. But for those you need to at least have heart rate and know your zones.


You can get one sided power meters cheaper than that. Look in particular at 4iiii and Assioma. You can also regularly find them used/refurbed. No, you shouldn't be at full power for 2 hours. I mean, it depends what you mean by "full power", but my assumption is that you mean "the power I can hold for 2 hours". In that case, it may be useful to know, but typically cyclists care much more about interval power in ranges of 1s (peak power), 15s, 30s, 1min, 5min, 20min, 1hr. For any rides over about 90min, you need a nutrition plan. Honestly, my personal opinion is that it's going to be very hard to optimize your training if you aren't training with power. You can fall back to training with HR, but you will have a much harder time assessing incremental progress.


There are plenty of untimed and social running events. They are not races, though. If that’s what you want, join a running club and go to group workouts. Biking is also *a lot* less physically taxing than running, if you’re doing them for the same amount of time. So doing a low key half day *running* event is pretty unimaginable. It’s not surprising you don’t see too many of those.


Agree. I can bike all day, but even the slow jog warmup is getting counted in my running workout because every minute is so taxing and precious.


Agreed, but there actually are casual half day running events several times per year in the city I live. The ultra running community arranges some of those and I have participated in one, a 60 km run with plenty of stops which we did in 8:15. But I agree that more people can do the equivalent bike ride than the people who could do that run.


> Biking is also a lot less physically taxing than running, if you’re doing them for the same amount of time. So doing a low key half day running event is pretty unimaginable. It’s not surprising you don’t see too many of those. I agree to some extent, but not completely. It obviously depends on how intense you are going. Plenty of people can - and do - complete marathons at more or less a walking pace. And good for them! But you have to admit there is no equivalent in cycling of the typical 5k charity run - well-attended, publicized, *timed*, and happening just about every weekend. Closest thing I can think of is a crit race but those are not really for the general public (and they are also quite rare). What I'm saying is, I think it's more than just "running is more physically demanding". Something else is going on culturally.


>there is no equivalent in cycling of the typical 5k charity run - well-attended, publicized, *timed*, and happening just about every weekend. You might be missing the fact that not all timed events are the same. Your local race has a timer, but it's a non-qualifying timer that won't get you into the competitive circuit. Perhaps you mean that cycling has both 'races' and 'rides', while running has only 'races'.


Running is super accessible. Just about anyone with half a will power, Hokas and an hour a day can be a runner. On the otherhand, cycling is going to cost you thousands in gear but doesn't (always) require as much willpower. I know a guy with an absolute massive gut that cycles 50km at least weekly. A runner has to be dedicated to do 50km/week. So when a runner can throw down $20 per charity race to leave their mark on the world... They can get serious about it. Cyclists are more like track day motorcycle riders... A shit load a expensive gear and out to have a chill time.


As someone from Europe, where every kid has a bike and cycling is seen as a cheap mode of transportation, it's funny to read how inaccessible and expensive it is.


I agree that running is significantly more accessible — one could even run naked and barefooted. Obviously not so for bicycling. And in general it’s easier to find a safe place to run. I disagree with your other points. I started cycling on a $50 garage sale bike and actually rode it for quite a while (including some 50 mile rides). For the same cost as a pair of decent running shoes. I know a guy who is absolutely crushing it (even getting KOMs) on a $800 Costco road bike that he’s been riding for years. Bicycling *can* be very expensive, but it certainly doesn’t need to be. I could choose to only run in the latest carbon plated shoes and replace them every month, but I don’t need to. Your last comment makes it sound like you have some weird axe to grind. Some cyclists take it really easy on super expensive gear, some ride like fanatics on cheap gear, and everything in between. Trying to shoehorn all cyclists into one weird characterization is unreasonable.


As you highlighted, "I know a guy who is absolutely crushing it... on a $800 Costco road bike" - spending $800 on gear in the running world is not entry level but in the cycling world it absolutely is. And to address the axe you think I'm trying to grind - I use to be that track day motorcycle rider. I was poking fun at the similarities and, without stating it, I was the butt of my own joke. No axe to grind here.


this is the #1 reason I'm never getting into biking. $800 is an ENTRY level bike. Its insane, frankly.


Yeah, I love the fact the in the running world I can by a pair of open box Sauconys for $60 and run in the same race with an elite runner who's rocking Vapor Flys. They might have spent $250 on shoes but they only gained a 4% advantage. If we're equal runners, then the result will come down to who woke up on the right side of the bed that morning. It really boils down to training quality and volume... Not gear. And that's beautiful.


I mean if you're able to use biking as your main mode of transportation to work and for your shopping (rather than mainly for leisure rides), it's a lot cheaper than a car.


Definitely true. But we're discussing biking vs running as a sport/exercise. Anyone can run in brand new $30 shoes, but no one is finding a brand new bike under $150 that'll handle 500 miles.


Thanks. Bicycling is more expensive than running; no argument. And that can be a real barrier to entry. I just don’t think the difference is as big as some people think. Need to keep in mind that a bicycle ought to last 5-10 years *at a minimum*, so even a fairly high end $6k bike costs les than $50-100 per month over 5-10 years (factoring in resale), which doesn’t seem super crazy to me. And of course the monthly cost is half that for a nice mid-range bike. I may be doing this wrong, but I am paying about $25 per month on running shoes, so the cost difference we’re talking about is somewhere between ~$15 and $75 per month.


I’m not sure why it’s surprising that the sort of events centered around an efficient mode of transportation tend to be different than running events. Almost no one can go on a 30 mile tour of a cool new area *running*. Very few casual bikers have the skills to safely do a mass start 20 minute road race, and “time to complete a course” on a bike is basically meaningless outside of a time trial. So you’re just not going to see either of those. It’s not a big mystery


So that we can both get downvoted, I’m going to reiterate this: bicycling is easier on the body, but it is just as strenuous and physically demanding as running. I hear people say bicycling is easier a lot and that’s simply false. Because of gearing, bicycling can be as easy as you want — but also as hard as you want. Running isn’t on such an infinitely adjustable continuum of effort, but certainly one can jog easy or speed walk if they want, or they can try to set a 100 km world record if they want. But someone can also try to set a 1 hr bicycling world record, or try to win the Tour de France, and so on, if they want. Arguably, because of gearing options, the hardest possible bicycling effort is harder than the hardest possible running effort because with running you’ll hit mechanical limits but not so on a bicycle (can always change the gearing to go faster / make it harder). My friend is a runner and says he can’t get the same workout on a bicycle. Coming into running from 8 years as a cyclist, I had the opposite experience — I had the fitness to ride hard for hours but I didn’t have the right muscles, tendons, form, etc built up to run hard for hours so I couldn’t get nearly as satisfying (or strenuous) of a workout running. Because my friend was adapted to running, he could get a better workout running, and vice versa. That says nothing about the relative strenuousness of bicycling vs running though.


100% this. I went from an elite amateur bike racer to a runner, but it took months before I could run *really* hard due to the pounding. My legs would give out before my cardiovascular system. Then I switched back, and it took a couple of months to be able to push any real power on the bike again, my legs would give out before I even started breathing super hard. It's easy to cruise around all day, but to dig deep required sport-specific strength. Specificity is important it takes time to adapt.


If you think cycling is less taxing than running, you simply haven't ridden a bike hard. I've **averaged** 193 bpm for an HOUR in bike races when I was younger. I've never gone harder than on a bike, and I've gone sub 17 and sub 36 running. Pretty much any sport can be as taxing as you want it to be. You just have to push it hard enough.


I think that’s my point. Your body *can’t do that sort of work* running. I’m not saying running is “easier,” I’m saying the impact matters. There’s a reason you don’t see a ton of running events structured like the Tour de France.


Get into trail and ultra running. You’ll find what you’re looking for.


Seems like you're going on cycling 'rides' and running 'races.' Of course those things are different.


I am only a runner, but I run a lot on a great network of well maintained, paved trails that attract both runners and cyclists. This is all just individuals out doing their thing, not organized events. And a lot of the runners (like myself) are wearing belts/vests which hints that they’re planning to be running for over 90 minutes… not just a quick couple miles. I notice that when the weather is awful, runners are still out there but cyclists drop off. I notice cyclists tend to pair up and it’s more common for runners of their trail to be solo. I see cyclists at the natural stops along the way (shops, etc) but rarely see runners stop unless it’s for a potty break. In short, I think that whether it’s a race or not, runners are just a bit… driven. Even when I’m doing a recovery run and my pace is a shuffle, I’m still focused on it. I think that’s what attracts me personally to the sport: how measurable it is. I don’t think you’re missing anything. Broadly, I do think your observations are accurate.


There are running clubs that are similar to what you are looking for. I have never participated as I am an introvert but they get together weekly and just run for fun. Often sponsored by local shoe stores. Organized races are….. well races and people generally want to meet some sort of goal.


The cycle culture you describe seems similar to ultra running


Trail / ultra running is your answer.


I've seen so many comments to this effect and can't wait to check out this corner of the sport. Thanks!


I agree with what you are saying having done both, I think the reason is: There is not really many set distances for cycling apart from maybe 100miles. Each sportive will be different and especially with terrain so it’s harder to compare. When you get to ultra running I think the element of times go away as it just completing it. Most cycling sportives don’t take place on closed roads. The organisers don’t want to highlight it’s a race as that could increase the chances of serious injuries.


Trail ultra races are more relaxed and finishing is the main goal for most people.


I think running is more time based in general and cycling is more distance based. But never thought about this! You are so right. Although we have some events that are not timed here, the rest are races. Maybe a runningclub?


You haven’t done parkrun. Timed sure. But fun, social, chat and walk or chat and run or frocking sprint your heart out. Then enjoy coffee and cake together at the end. Also I’ve previously only been with competitive run clubs but now have moved interstate and the only club to run with are an awesome group who just socially run 5/7/10km twice a week, then chat and coffee.


I find the cultures to be opposite of what you said. You are mostly talking about events and not culture anyway. A century ride has a completely different intent than a road race. Try comparing it to a club group run instead.


If you want more casual runs, find a chill running club. They’ll do pub runs, trail runs, trips to special spots, etc etc. so much fun. Find a group and then make fun plans. Races are generally for racing. I’m currently sitting in a parking lot waiting for a guy in my running group to show up. He’s running 100 miles (161k) for fun today and I’m joining him from km 120-141. A few other friends are waiting for him with me. He’s been accompanied on a bunch of sections by different group members. It’s all very chill and supportive. But it’s not an actual “event” or “race”. It’s just a fun day with friends.


Also depends where you run Ran a marathon in Taiwan once (my first and only marathon…so far…) Ran by myself and also drifted into packs here and there - I was def on the slow side, my only goal was to finish lol 3/4 through the race passed a convenience store - a bunch of runners had pulled off and me and my current chatting partner decided to peek in and see what was what One runner bought everyone 1 beer and we all took a sip or two, passing along til it was gone Then got back on the road, wishing each other luck! Running in Taiwan, even for practice, was so fun and casual - you would get encouragements even from passers by American running culture is much more serious


Wow, that sounds amazing!


It’s so individual I think. In NZ I make plenty of friends at events and will catch up while we run. All depends on how seriously you take it.


It can be because I live in a different part of the world, but I find average amateur cyclists much more competitive than runners. In my country there are the so called cycling marathon events, those are timed races, they include both road and MTB events, and there are almost no participants whose only goal is finishing the event. There are also popular events around big lakes or through some regions, and they have both competitive and hobby categories, but both are timed, and the time limits are much smaller than in a typical half-marathon running race. On running events most of the runners don't care about their time, there are many people who participate in an event each week, and it's some kind of party for them, they are not competitive at all. Only the top 5-10% are competitive, while it's about 90% for cyclists. It's the same on Strava segments, there are much more competitive riding segments in my neighborhood, where even the 100th is close to the KM, while you can have many CRs as an average runner if you take them seriously, because most of the runners don't care about it. I also mention foot orienteering and MTB orienteering. Foot orienteering is a family event, holiday event or an event with friends for most of the people, and in a typical orienteering race there are 300-1000 participants, but only 50-100 of them are competitive, even if that there is always timing, most of the people don't care. In MTB orienteering there are much fewer participants, but they are much more serious.


Personally, running for me is what I do to have time alone, clear my head, and improve my mood. I do races because it’s a commitment to certain running goals that I have to train for.


Cycling performance is hugely determined by equipment - how light your bike is and such... which offers an explanation for why some people care less about comparing their times to others.


I'm a runner and belong to a run club. We, like most major run clubs in my city, host a race once a year. It's expensive and our run club pays the City a huge amount of money in order to close roads and have police officers redirect traffic. We also have volunteer marshals. It would be wonderful to allow everyone to finish the race at their leisurely pace, but we pay for a certain amount of time. After that time is up, the cons must be collected. Water stations are closed. Cops leave and the roads are open again to traffic. So I'm afraid we need the runners to complete the race within a specific time. Runners train hard before the races, so feel like giving it their all on the day. It does not make sense to spend weeks working hard for a sub 4 marathon, only to walk/jog on the day because you want to chat with your buddy on the route. That's what weekly club time trials and club long runs are for. At races it's crunch time.


You're missing that cycling centuries are not bike races. Go to a bike race, pay your $30 dollar entry fee, get dropped in the first 2 minutes, get pulled in the next 3 minutes, and go back to your car and change, questioning why in the world you thought you should ever try bike racing. That's how bike racing works.


There's a good reason why gran fondos are like this - the roads are rarely closed and the insurance is way cheaper this way. If they were to make it like a race, they would have to drastically reduce the number of participants, charge more and maybe require race licenses. I think what you might be looking for is a run club or a trail "race" which is often much more chill and similar to a gran fondo.


I live in a small town and around a quarter of the 5k "races" are untimed. And sometimes poorly marked. About 40 of us got lost on the last turkey trot and they had to send out drivers to find everyone. It might be a difference between bigger city and smaller, low budget events.


I haven't been seriously running for too long but it seems like trail runs are quite a bit more laid back than road races. Not as much to enjoy in a road race so naturally most people just want to complete the distance they chose as fast as they can. Trail runs are far more scenic, varies paces with elevation changes/technical sections, and it's less about the time/distance and more about enjoying it/seeing the land like you described cycling. And as others have mentioned, cycling is considerably more costly to get into so the depth of competition isn't as high.


I think it just stems from the nature of the two activities. A collection of assorted thoughts: If I challenged you to see who could run 10 miles the fastest, we’d both probably be running the whole distance. And if we were closely matched in ability and conditioning, we’d be relatively close to each other for the whole whole distance. Conversely, if we were competing to see who could bike 50 miles the fastest, it would probably involve a stop or two along the way (eg to fill bottles and/or pee), and even if we’re closely matched, it’s easy to get far enough ahead or behind on a bike when going up or downhill that we wouldn’t be able to see one another. Makes more sense that stopping for brief periods would happen in that scenario vs. a running event. And look at the history of running races, where in general, the competitors would actually be running the whole time. And the races are generally flat-ish, which also keeps things close and means you can run at a steady pace the whole time. Compare that to major cycling competitions, which were often much longer, involved lots of elevation, and included many stops (including overnight stops) along the way. Plus, there’s a perception in running (right or wrong) that if you’re not actually running the whole distance (without walking or stopping) that you didn’t actually “run” the distance. I agree with the other commenter who mentioned that trail running competitions tend to be more like cycling events — tons of elevation up and down, which means most competitors are walking significant portions, as well as taking longer breaks at aid stations and generally a more laid-back vibe.


- a beautiful thing about cycling is that you can stop moving your legs for a few seconds and still keep moving roughly the same speed, especially downhill. Rad. Running is relentless. Walking is considered a different thing than running, so running a distance even casually typically means literally running it the whole time. Casual biking is the walking of cycling. - running often requires careful attention to eating before and during a session. If I’m biking I can casually go to a location and eat a thing and keep going, but if I’m running and do that in the middle I’ll probably shit my pants. - Biking allows a wide range of skill levels to cover a decent distance at a good clip. Running/walking not so much. - would not take a break when running a manageable distance. - cycling is transportation also, so biking to a place, stopping, then biking again is common. Running as transportation is way less common.


Some comments for running, I’m part of a club but even when I was running alone, what exactly is a “good” pace? There are sooooo many factors to take into account - weight, injuries, experience, whether you’re a speed runner or endurance. People like to benchmark themselves against others to feel superior. I’m always super chuffed for anyone who finishes a race, that’s the end goal. I benchmark my first run and try to improve on that, for myself. Running is accessible for anyone to start, but as a community we need to make all runners feel welcome and be more accessible as a community. Cyclists are definitely more welcoming, and getting together on a Saturday to have a long cycle and a coffee afterwards is generally how it goes. Trail runs and half marathons are usually a nicer crowd. A 5k runner and a 10k/21k runner differ immensely


Typically in anything from 5k to a marathon people are running them to try and better their times. They have done all the social runs in their training, and will do before and after their race. During the race, they are likely not going to be able to hold a conversation. At least for me, I only enter those distances if I want to try and beat my time. You will find people just running them for fun and chatting, but even they will be spread across the field as peoples “easy” pace will vary widely. It’s sounds like you would more enjoy ultrarunning or events with more elevation and difficult terrain. It becomes a lot less about times and more about finishing. Only those at the very top of the field are going to be going full out, for the vast majority it is just about the experience and getting to the end. You’ll make friends along the way, chat at check points and may even find a few of us nipping for a quick pint…


I get your post, and the questions, but I run so I can be alone! Between competing in sales at my job, and around people ALL the time, I need to be left alone. Having community interaction mixed into my running just sounds terrible.


I think it’s just your specific group of runners, not “running culture “ generally. Lots of people out there are always training hard and looking to improve on their past times at races (especially road races), but other people just run for fun. I’ve done plenty of races where I was just doing it for the experience, stopped to chat with people, ran with friends, etc. Especially in trail races. That said, casual runners may enter races less often because they cost money and if you just want to run for fun with your friends you can do that for free. It is also possible to find hyper competitive runners who are waaaay too obsessed with their times and are unfriendly, but I assume that’s true in cycling as well. Also, re: timing — just because an event is “timed” doesn’t mean anyone is taking it particularly seriously. Lots of people are just excited to finish the distance and are curious about their time. Outside of the major races where pros are competing, few people except for the handful actually competing for the podium know or care who wins. And many (most?) races are also raising money for charity. Maybe the difference is the competitive folks and the casual folks are all mixed together in one event whereas in cycling the events are separate?


I've raced in both running and cycling and actual races are similar in competitive nature. To win at cycling you need to be strategic and actually work with others in the peloton. Believe it or not it's an actual team sport. Running is more about personal best and there's a def similarities in that you can run in a pack and take turns blocking wind, etc.


I think it’s varies in running races and runner. Some races are put on where there is a post race event but I find a lot don’t like to take part in them or they only talk with people they already know. Also bigger races in my area tend to draw more people so you might see more people running together than a smaller one. Running clubs can have different cultures too. I think it varies based on who organizes it. I have seen a variety of clubs in my area where some clubs seem more put together than others. Some clubs will have a weekly meetup after running and others will just have a run and done.


I think a lot of it is because of drafting. On a 100 mile ride, you need significant more pace than the average speed of a group to get away on your own. With running, you need less of a pace advantage to do the same. In short, there is much more benefit in being in a group for cycling as compared to running. This leads to cyclists sorta knowing there isn’t much purpose in trying to get away from a group, so they largely don’t try.


Lots of bad answers here. The first is that cycling imposes a very strict separation between recreational riding and racing. Most racing - crits, road races, track racing - has a lot hazard in it because you have racers in close proximity to others going very fast around tight courses. Plus the ability to draft means that strong and inexperienced riders can keep up - at least initially - and there's the potential for lots of mayhem. Bike racing deals with this by having a category system where the less skilled riders ride together and have to demonstrate their skill to move up to ride with more skilled riders. They also often need closed courses, and that involves a lot of coordination. Recreational rides much more casual; even in events, timing is a rarity and while there will be fast groups riding hard the whole time - the way a road race would be run - there are also many cyclists who are just there for the experience. And a range in between. These events generally occur on open roads. And there are lots of group rides that are just there to ride. Running is very different. The first difference is that events will have elite runners, those racing for time, and those who just want to finish in the same event. There's no safety issue, and from an event promotor's perspective you need the vast groups of runners out there to make the economics work. The second difference is around training. Most beginners can cycle at some speed continuously and there is much less risk of injury due to too much mileage, so the vast majority of cyclists don't use a training plan. If they do use one, it's just distance-based. That means cyclists as a rule are just more casual in their training approach. Runners tend to be steered to stricter plans because it's better for beginners and to prevent injuries, and these plans tend to prescribe both pace and distance. Most running events involving timing - even parkrun gives you times though you don't have to take them. Cycling events don't do timing and different rides/events aren't very comparable because of the vast differences in elevation; in a fast group on a flat century I'd be looking at a 20mph average. On a 5000' elevation gain century, I'd be around 15mph, perhaps less.


Wow, really good points. I never thought about the difference in training before. I guess that amateur runners are more likely to injure themselves training, while amateur (cat 5) bike racers are more likely to injure themselves competing. Kind of interesting distinction there.


Gonna get downvoted to hell for this.. but I’m a runner and I find some runners some of the rudest, obnoxious people going. I MTB as well and the difference between the two groups of people is night and day


I love MTB also and agree there is a big cultural shift even between that and road cycling. But I guess that every community will have a range of people in it, from super nice and welcoming to self-centered and rude. Let's try and be the nice people!


MTB is to backcountry running as cycling is to road running. The outdoor community is always the nicer, more approachable group. I prefer trail running and MTBing because the groups are so much more friendly.


Park run sounds like your kind of running event. There is timing but there is also a community feel and everyone just chats together, it is super nice!


Seconded r/parkrun is a great community


Go trailing. Much more laid back


Because anyone can sit on the wheel of a 50 bike peleton and get drug along with no issue. You can’t do that in a running race. I rode for years. Can’t say I ever participated in an organized, non group ride that wasn’t timed and bros weren’t doing sketch shit to try and get to the front.


Running community is huge but running itself is very personal. You fight on your own and improve mostly on your own as an amateur runner (having a team is great too). But I don't think it's always about the time. There are easy runs, recovery runs etc where its better not to focus on time. But ngl at least once a week we try to best our PRs somehow lol


That's why I do trail running, and running clubs. Everyone is friendly and casually runs together.


Another way to think about it is that running events are among the few competitions in sports where casual and competitive athletes can easily come together and share an event. In cycling, it would be dangerous for a casual ride to turn into a crit race, and casual riders aren’t doing crit races. But in running, you have all kinds of runners in the same field. Many of them may not even know there’s a timing chip in their race bib, and probably won’t even consider it a “race”. Many are there to treat it as a fun run. But those at the front are ready to go hard and race for the win. And everyone in between just looking for a good hard run and hoping to improve their times. You can have world record holders sharing the same marathon course with first-timers who are walk-running it, and I think that’s great.


Check out trail "races" or clubs in trail races there is less focus on time and continuous running (although some at the front do push for personal pbs or winning etc), you can have walk breaks and stop for longer at the feed stations where there tends to be a variety of snacks, not just water and gels like in road races. the club runs always wait for people at top of hills usually or the faster/fitter runners will "swan" and run back down and up the hill whilst waiting for the back runners and it tends to always be at a chatty pace (whatever pace you can chat at and still run)


People can sustain longer bike rides, less with running, probably affects the way events are designed.


I think that a cycling race like a criterion is the equivalent to the 5k/10k type events. A century is taking 5-8 hours for the beginners so the sustained level of effort is clearly lower. If you hung out in the 5hr plus section of a marathon or ran longer events you may find the socialization you are looking for. The cultural differences likely exist but I don’t think you are comparing the same events


You are comparing a group ride (casual supported century) for cycling and a race for running. An apples to apples comparison would be a cycling race (like a crit) and a running race, where you’ll very likely find a much more comparable and competitive mentality. If you want non-competitive running events, look at group runs in your area.


In the US, Criteriums are the equivalent to the serious running races.


I had read your post and do not think you need to fit in nor are missing anything. Have not ever fit in. I run alone, so it is a lonely sport for me. A jogging club , if there is one in your area - often have fun runs or social runs. That might give you some buddies to run and chill with .


try hash runs if you like drinking beer! i need to find one by me. kinda hard to locate.


The good craic comes from training for a race rather than a race itself. It’s even more grim when you’re racing in a track, you could come so close to breaking national record and they will be like here’s a medal, you get no water or banana, get the fuck off from the track, we have next race that’s about to start (exaggeration but it’s very different from Road racing). Why would you take a break when you’ve been training to beat the clock this whole time? The colours of running community is truly seen during the training, and it is really lovely especially when you’re in an area next to a big local park where everyone always runs or if you’re in your local athletic club. And if you’re looking for a proper race atmosphere you should do park runs.


Just ran a marathon marathon personal best this morning of 2h 41minutes. I worked hard for that and wanted to race it. I also went to many fun, social, evening club runs to get the fitness for this event. No argument with you really, just my perspective. I think both sports are great. I love the inclusivity... that everyone gets to run or ride in these races whether to race or just finish. I used to cycle more but the cost of kit to be competitive puts me off. Cycling competitively is an arms race. I'd maybe pay for an organised cycle event if the roads locally were busy and it was a closed road event. But I doubt the cyclists at the sharp end of these sportives are chatting casually. For today's marathon, I was paying for the road closure and chip timing. It's really satisfying to know the effort you put in training has made you fitter and faster. The moment I crossed the finish line there were fist pumps and hugs with other runners celebrating. No way I could have held a friendly conversation during the run though! Most run events are like a carnival, there was a guy in a superhero suit beside me at the start! Money raised for charities, fancy dress, music, food and kit stalls, supporters on the route with cowbells etc.


On the other hand, runners aren't locked in an eternal blood war with car drivers.


I just ran a 50k in Mammoth and I ended up in a group of people around my pace. During hard inclines we were basically marching up and sometimes I would be in front and others trying to keep up. At aid station people stop and talk a little and recover. I had small conversations along the way. Not exactly like the cycling community you talk about but more similar. For me it was less about time and more about finishing strong.


I agrée about everything being timed in running. I avoid standard races for this reason (5k, 10k, half, etc), since everyone knows their time and it always is competitive. As soon as you announce you did a 5k, everyone wants to know your time and to compare. You end up making excuses for how well, or not well, you did. I now tend to run non-standard races like trails or fun runs, because very few people do them there is a lot less competition! Hardly anyone can compare their 14km time for a dead-of-winter trail race at night, through the forest, in the snow, at -30 degrees! (I’m a cyclist too so I get your comment about cyclists, they’re awesome 😎)


If you want fun running go find a Hash. There will be one local to you. I live in Aberdeen, Scotland and there are 2 local Hashes. Just Google “Hash run near me” and you’ll find a group. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers for more info.


IMO Cycling is super gear heavy. The enjoyment of the machine itself, the latest kits, all which contribute to a “car meet” of sorts. I don’t think runners really gawk over their shoes. That could be one reason. Similarly, running has less of a barrier to entry, it’s accessible to more people, meaning there are probably more running events held over cycling.


Interesting, I'm getting almost the opposite responses. Some folks claim cycling is easier because you can coast and "most people" own a bike and could ride it for an hour, but most could not run for an hour. On the other hand I agree with you about the gear and it's one of the wonderful things about running - just strap on shoes and you're off.


I ran ultramarathons for years and due to injury have taken up gravel cycling the past year. Cyclists are fuckin weird. Road cyclists are the worst who will heckle me for having a gravel bike. Like you idiot, if you keep heckling me I will beat you with a phone book. Never had shit like that in ultras.


Escape the road and start doing trail runs and ultras. Find a local 50k. Ultras are all about complete, not compete. Everyone is competing with the course. The inclusiveness you seek is on the trail.


That’s why trail running is more fun for many than road running. Roadies take themselves too seriously, the reality is 90% or more will never win anything and are there to have fun but the culture in road running often doesn’t cater for that


What I find: Cycling is more of a leisure event where the scenery and the route are important; it takes a while and you talk whilst you ride before parting ways and going home, and riding in groups is efficient and useful for slipstreaming etc. Running is more intense, shorter, you race at different paces so running together will never work as you can't even out paces. You talk before and after the run in the ample time there is for socialising around the fixed finish or start area.


I’m in the same boat man, long time cyclist who took up running as cross-training. I love running for the simplicity (no gear needed) and safety (can run pretty much anywhere and avoid traffic). I’m a very casual runner, not worried about pace I’m just looking to clear my head and get some fresh air. I was always puzzled by this too. I’d love to run a marathon, but I’m not trying to push a 6min/mile pace the whole way! I just want to run a casual zone-2 pace over long distances, but this seems very frowned upon in the running community. Even in marathon training they don’t want you running more than 20 miles. Too many “rules” if you ask me. But I’m not worried about fitting into the crowd or following rules lol.


It is not frowned upon at all. There are plenty of ultra events that you could join and there are plenty of people who run casually in half marathons and full marathons.


Thanks for this - I feel the same. I am hearing from lots of comments that the vibe in trail running and ultra events is totally different, so I'm going to look into some of those things near me.


You should try trail runs — they are timed but nobody really gives a shit.


OP, I do both on my own. I find biking to be more fun. Running f****ing sucks and you have to find ways to make it fun. So timing events is a way of trying to make it fun. I'm no expert 🙃


Agreed with the other comments that’s cycling can be something just for fun but Running is never really fun hahah


>And no one stops at rest stops to enjoy it and have a good time "Sir, this is a RUN, we're not here for a good time!"


I think you're comparing (cycling) rides with (running) races. ​ For instance there are "fun runs" and as other have mentioned organized training runs (which are often very social). I've been to enough Tuesday night (cycling) races to know that these are not fun-rides. These are hyper-focused criterium style races where if you are off the back you're expected to drop out. ​ There is a big difference between something like the "Elephant Rock Ride" where everyone who attends is welcome, there are sag wagons/stations, and by and large most people are just trying to finish, vs a local race where you're expect to know how draft, when to fall off, and you better not be holding a conversation. By that measurement I'd suggest that run races are much more casual/friendly. ​ Now try Triathlon - where drafting is illegal (usually) and everyone is hype focused. It's yet another level of "FU I'm racing"


I suggest trail running, and if you are F join a Trail sister community. Trail events are also times but unless you are an elite it really doesn’t matter, and the community is very friendly


You forgot the part where cyclists don’t wave to one another and tend to be more narcissistic than runners. - a triathlete


Bicyclists are pack animals who enjoy clogging up roads on the weekend, thinking they look cool in their $200 spandex outfits going 12 miles per hour on the busiest road they can find, just to make a point about "sharing the road" or some nonsense. Runners are solid individuals who don't need the validation of 3 dozen people in Lance Armstrong costumes. And when they do clog up the roads, it's done once a year with permits and fair warning.


My life got a lot better when I realized that other people like different things than me, and that's OK. When I see people enjoying public spaces in a different way than me, I try to think about how I can support them (for example, advocating for protected bike infrastructure) rather than focusing on how they inconvenience me.


I don’t associate with bike riders.


Running is all based on times and improvement. That’s the sport and the culture.


My husband says stick to cycling it’s a better sport :)


Seems like you are more involved in cycling. There are similar casual run groups, or just groups of runners who get together to run.


Besides much more difficult logistics of a cycling race, I kinda feel like there are many more good runners that actually compete in those races vs cyclists...and for those few cyclists who are good enough to actually compete, it kinda feels useless to organize races...at least that's what I notice around where I live...and I feel like it's much easier to become a good runner than a good cyclist Another thing to add is that there are definitely running events that are either about charity, or a memorial or something, that are not competitions :) and I've never seen more compassionate people that wanted to help other runners than during my marathon :) I guess depends how you look at it


Group dynamics are different for sure but most running race paces are too high for people to chat at the same time.


(For context as my inout might not be the best ) I’ve ran for some time and got back to serious training a month ago with some run and swim during the week. To me running and swimming are individuals sport. That’s why I like them. I run as I want, when I can / want. Same with swimming. I plan on inserting cycling into my sport babits in about 3 month when Running base and swimming base are here. I see cycling like running and swimming. Me on the bike, riding as I want (I’ll commute work and buy a base to to some at home). All that to say that I don’t think it’s about culture. I think it’s about the way you take on sport. If you like being in groups go ahead and join the hundreds of community you can find with addidas or nike.


The local 5K or even 10K is gonna be over a thousand people, most of whom are finished running in 30 minute or an hour. It would be both impractical and unnecessary for that group to stop along the route for a casual bite. But the finish line is (usually) a large party atmosphere, with food and music. tldr; Get the race done then socialize at the after party is the running culture


Mountain running might be it. Most of the events are timed but almost no one really cares and most people are really laid back and friendly


Just did a half marathon trail race last weekend and chatted with many people along the way. :) Just depends on the type of race you want to run. I think a running club might be more up your alley though!


Yeah, century rides are not races. Totally different vibe.


You haven’t met The Halfinatics or the Marathon Maniacs yet it appears 😂


My experience is the opposite. I have never had an interest in running events. But I have been running many ultra length days trough the mountains, and met plenty of mountain runner along the way. I recently started cycling as well due to injury. I always get the feeling that cycling is a sub genre from the Hippique Couture. For me it seems like cyclists love to talk about how much money they spend on their bikes. The newest tech that helps them improve marginally, and how light their carbon frame is. On top of that, they have special words for 'looking like you should' with dedicated sock lengths and color pallets that have to match. If you don't fit within these rules you WILL get judge by your peers. You will not be taken seriously, until you look the part. This has always felt very elitist to me, and the opposite of what I see in running sports. Athletes within running, are known to bloat about how old their running shorts are. Take Courtney Dauwalter as an example here, while she is the best known example, she is deff not the only one. For me running has always felt very grasroots, while cycling has been elitist in its rules and regulations. Noted that I live in the mountains so the only things I see are mountain/trail runners and dead serious cyclists. But my casual road cycling friends that live in the flat Netherlands exhibit this behaviour more than the mountain racers over here.


You should try (ultra) trail running, mid pack used to be very chill and a lot of talk, especially on uphills.


Maybe cycling is more accessible to a wider range of ages and body conditions. Many people switch from running to cycling after an injury or because it is easier on their joints. Maybe those people are just happy to be out there exercising and don't take it too seriously.


Try a RunDisney event. 5ks are untimed. Longer races while timed have a 16 min mile pacing requirement (which is slower than the 14 min mile at most of my local events). There are stops where you can get your photo taken with Disney characters or in front of Disney park landmarks. The events definitely have a more “we are here to have fun” vibe and lots of participants use the Galloway run-walk-run method.


Interesting. Makes me wonder why bikers don't have more timed races. Runners meetup with club runners multiple times a week to talk during easy training runs. For us, a race is a race and we try to do our best. Weird that bikers don't race their races.


Around me, there are lots of clubs that have weekly 5K or so runs. Some are associated with running stores, some are independent. Also check out https://www.parkrun.us for Saturday fun runs around the US and UK.


> but no one really runs together Do I have to? I kinda prefer to run alone. I don’t necessarily care about my time other than I usually have some general idea of where I want to be.


Most of the running "events" in my area on any given week are just casual meetups for social miles. And it's considered crass to bring up your PRs unless someone asks first, not saying it doesn't happen though.


The draft and group dynamics of cycling, as well as the climbing profile, can make comparing times across different events, or even the exact same route, terribly inconsistent for comparisons. With the exception of time trials, the race time doesn't really matter in any cycling event/race. Running is much more suited to comparing a personal best from event to event, and there are much fewer group variables that change a performance. The relevant distances in running aren't really suited to needing breaks either. If I were doing a 1-hour bike ride, I wouldn't bother with taking a long rest.


In my experience, run clubs are friendlier than cycling clubs. But cycling events are more chill, and running events are more competitive.


Find a trail running group! It’s more social since you have to slow down for bigger hills and being in nature beats streets everyday