To Bike or Run?

Both.  That is my answer.

I  enjoy running/hiking as much as biking and backpacking as much as bike touring. There are definitely differences, pros and cons of each. 

I love to climb, regardless of the activity.  And thanks to our time touring around Wales, climbing on a bike continues to be a joy. 

Looking ahead to the ridgeline below bald peak- this picture definitley doesn’t do the hill justice.

This weekend I completed a Bald Peak loop that took me 28.5 miles with 3000 foot elevation gain, most of which was in the first 10 miles.  I went alone and loved the solitude and peacefulness that a climb can provide.  I only saw one other rider on the climb.  Part of the joy of climbing is the exhilaration of descent. I chose to descend by one of the steepest, paved routes – Laurelwood road which boasts an 18% grade.  The last time I rode Laurelwood was in the opposite direction- up!  I think this will be my new go to hill ride.

Top of Laurelwood

On Sunday, Jazzy and I headed down to Champoeg park for a tranquil Sunday morning six mile run along the Willamette River. My goal was distance not time as I have not done any long or hard runs since January.  My time in the saddle and core workouts certainly paid off.  I

Jazzy cooling off in the Willamette

felt more comfortable running uphill and noticed that I was more upright and confident in my stride. I took as many trail off shoots up and down as I could, just to mix it up.  The best part of the run was descending down to the river and jumping in with Jazzy. There is nothing better than a brisk dip in a stream, river, lake or ocean to rejuvenate one’s soul (even if it is the Willamette). 

Jazzy, also not having run any length in a while, did fantastic. She bounded up the trail with puppy like energy. She loves to be out on the trails with me.

My time exercising outdoors is crucial to my health, wellness and state of mind. My time exercising indoors allows me to take off outdoors whenever I feel the need.  Lately, I have increased my focus on strengthening my core and upper body as both are crucial elements of any outdoor activity. I would like to improve my endurance and strength for both bicycling and trail running.  Someday I would like to be able to pace my friend Sarah in her Ultramarathon races…. that would be fun!

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