This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Different modes, different experiences

What modes of transport do we have for travel ? - Trains, buses, cars, bicycles, motorbikes, ships,
aeroplanes, roller blades, and last but not the least 'human power - a.k.a walking or running'.

Travel has different purposes, but I am restricting this post to short distance travel (within 50 miles) for leisure or for sight seeing.

Let's consider two modes: cars vs walking. Let's say the destination is 10 miles away and you just want to travel to that point and come back. On a car, that would seem a trivial distance. No matter how beautiful the surrounding scenery is, you would be back in no time and it wouldn't seem like you spent a lot of time - unless you stop at some point in between.

Let's consider the same distance covered by walk: That's what I did today. I went to a Place called Ernie's grove by walking to that point from North Bend, WA - a round trip of 10 miles. It took me 3 hrs. And the experience was totally unlike what you would have if you were "shut-inside" a car. Here are some experiences on the walk:

- North Bend, located around 30 miles from Seattle is home to many cascade mountains - Mount Si, Little Si, RattleSnake ridge, Mailbox Peak, Mclellan Butte, Cedar's Butte, Round table mountain, etc. So when I alighted form MT 209, I could identify from that point 5 mountains in the vicinity, towering tall and presenting a majestic sight all around. Hence, you can imagine what a wonderful walk I had going to Ernie's grove 5 miles away:

- Ever seen never ending green fields full of golden yellow flowers gently caressing the foot hills of mountains?
Now Mount Si, which formed the backdrop for most of my walk is a massive mountain with an incredible slope. It's 4000 ft tall and it seems like a huge piece of rock rather than a mountain that starts somewhere and peaks elsewhere. I was essentially going around Mount Si, by walking on that road.

- Add to that rivulets which present themselves when I cross a bridge or two.

- Add to that "Llamas", animals with elongated necks:

- Add to that a glorious sunny day (kind of rare in Seattle)

- And also dogs that attempt to chase you while being within the fence.

- And the fact that it was a 3 hr long walk - I have never walked 3 hrs on a flat road before. Agreed, I have hiked for that much time or even more, but just walking and for 3 hrs? This is amazing. I mean, I can right now run for not more than 20 minutes. But walking for 3hrs? Seriously says about the yawning gap between running and walking fitness.

- Add to that the different heat and wind conditions during the walk, the tiredness towards the end, the cows staring at you all the way until you are out of sight, and the exhilration at reaching the bus stop just on time.

I am sure you wouldn't get the above experiences by taking your car out and going on a 2o minute drive from North Bend to Ernie's grove and back. Similarly, other modes yield different experiences:

Bicycling: Bicycling on a road bike on a flat stretch of road is awesome, more so when the surrounding scenery is breathtaking. Biking is also another way to combine activities and be efficient: For instance if I had my bike today, I could have biked to the end of the road and hiked a mountain nearby. But then, I wouldn't have noticed the details that I noticed during my walk. Nevertheless, biking is a more richer experience than driving a car on the same stretch of road.

Trains: Trains are again amazing. They present a different travel experience. You don't have to worry about the road, about cramped legs or fuel. You just get in, take a nap or watch the passing scenery as the train whizzes by.

Personally, I prefer a combination of biking and walking for travel to nearby places (within 50 miles). Beyond that, ofcourse I would need to use a car or I could use a train if available. Cars are also useful, when you want to conserve time because you would want to hike at the destination.
But if you have the time and want to have a wholesome experience, do a bus + bike + walk multimodal trip.
My point here is that, biking and walking provide a much richer and enjoyable travel experience than just going the same distance by car. Ofcourse, you need to put in a lot more effort physically, but the experience is worth the effort, right?


Tanvir Kazmi said...

Long time, no see. Looks like you are having a great time out there. Howz the running going?

karthik said...

Hey Tanvir... Yeah long time indeed. I am having a nice time especially since I started running 4 months back after not running for a year! I am just working on building a consistent schedule of one or two runs per week. My fitness level is really low but its picking up. Currently I am doing runs of 4km, not much but definitely better than not running at all. I also hike whenever I can.
How about you, I know you run every weekend and put in a really long run! I keep track of your blog, but haven't commented off late. I will begin commenting once my running becomes more regular :)

Tanvir Kazmi said...

great! it would soon be vdhm time here in delhi... time for fun!

Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'