Slow Cycling

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
thirdcrank
Posts: 30879
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby thirdcrank » 27 May 2009, 10:14am

Si wrote:... it did come across as yet another marketing idea to flog a new type of bike. e.g. fixies and the urbanwarrior experience is so last year, this year anyone who is anyone has to have a Dutch style bike and look like a clean cut upwardly mobile bright young thing :wink: ...


What it is to be a trendsetter, rather than a slavish follower of fashion. Here's an 'in case of theft' pic of my shopper taken a dozen years ago. (Nowadays, it's even more set up for slow, comfy cycling, with a sprung Brooks saddle and a front hub brake to complement the back pedal one. Also note the BOB Yak Nutz for a trailer. No rear mudflaps - I don't get get many following my wheel :oops: ) :idea: Thinks: I'd better dump my other Cannondale ..... Road Warrior :shock: ...so very 'last year'.

With tongue now out of cheek, I'm with pigman on this one. Until I started with the angina, I've only ever ridden that bike 'hammer down' even coming up hills like Scotchman Lane with a week's shopping in the Carradice Super 'C's
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james01
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Joined: 6 Aug 2007, 4:48am

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby james01 » 27 May 2009, 10:26am

The reason often given by people who reject commuting by bike is sweating, and hence the need for specialist clothes and showers at work.
We need to remind ourselves that the speed of cycling is optional; you can average say 10mph, the equivalent of a Sunday afternoon stroll with the family. No sweat.
You can push it to 11 mph, the equivalent of a brisk walk. You begin to glow a bit.
Or you can pedal hard to average 12 mph, the equivalent of running, and you will probably sweat and need a shower.
Marginal extra cycling speeds require a disproportionate amount of additional energy. I can average 16 mph by riding fairly energetically on a regular local route. I can improve this to 16.5 mph, but this requires an enormously increased energy input, leaves me a sweaty heap, and saves around 1 minute on a 10 mile trip.
I use my bikes for most of my transport needs: fast riding, utility shopping etc, and also social visits. I wear "normal" clothes usually, and simply throttle back 5% if I'm going to a social event where it would be inappropriate to arrive overheated.
The Slow Cycling article made some valid points. Some of the comments which I hear from non-cycling friends : cycling is only for fitness fanatics/it's a specialist activity for which you need to get dressed up/it's sweaty, so you can't possibly use it as normal transport in your daily life.
Anyway, I shall continue to ride around in my grey flannel trousers tucked into my socks trying to make cycling appear normal :?

glueman
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby glueman » 27 May 2009, 10:32am

Perhaps a better indicator of Slow Cycling than wicker baskets and skirt guards is something I saw the other day, a chap pootling on a full carbon Boardman, trousers tucked in socks and a normal jacket who I'd put money on having bought via the Ride to Work scheme. Some will say what a waste, I say coool!

Fabini
Posts: 21
Joined: 15 Apr 2009, 6:12pm

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby Fabini » 27 May 2009, 11:55am

My experience of Slow Cycling is that it involves a completely different mindset: my Dutch bike is not a means of getting fit or a way of pitting myself against a tricky descent on a trail. It is an alternative to getting in the car or walking somewhere

The most important thing is that I go out of the door, get on it and ride, and I arrive as calm and cool as if I had strolled to my destination rather than having run there. When I get there, I can take the key out of the bike and leave it, locked.

There’s no need to change into different clothing or even tuck my trousers into my socks. The upright riding position and my slower speed means I have enough time to say “Good Morning” to passers-by and I can look around me, rather than having to concentrate on the twenty metres of road in front of me.

glueman
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby glueman » 27 May 2009, 12:19pm

To anyone under retirement age cycling is a reaction to car culture and riders define themselves in comparison to what a car can do. An older generation saw cycling as distinct to walking, or perhaps catching a bus, a liberating experience. If you try illustrate a different standard of measurement now many riders are affronted because it challenges their self-image and the skills and fitness they've taken time to acquire.
In the end that thrusting approach to cycling will always have a limited appeal to the population as a whole.

glueman
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Joined: 16 Mar 2007, 1:22pm

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby glueman » 27 May 2009, 12:19pm

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Last edited by glueman on 27 May 2009, 12:28pm, edited 1 time in total.

workhard

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby workhard » 27 May 2009, 12:22pm

glueman wrote:
pigman wrote:
I fear I'm missing the point of this slow cycling movement.


I fear you are. If everyone rode bicycles the average speed of cyclists would be nearer 7mph than 14-20mph. So far as I can tell the movement is about integrating cycling in to your life in a non-enthusiastic sense so that riding isn't perceived as a branch of sport or keep-fit but an entirely normal human activity everyone can do.
The wider slow movement is to do with reclaiming your life from the apparent tyrrany of deadlines and shaping it as far as possible in a way you want to live, appreciating the small things and not being duped by fast goals that are mostly illusory. We're a pretty neurotic society if you look at it and could do with a large dose of slow.


To get the point try to spend a long weekend sometime cycle touring in Slovenia, eating slow food for breakfast, lunch and dinner - you spend more time sat at a table chilling out that you do on the bike. Utterly, utterly brilliant and totally re-creation-al. Well that was my experience YMMV

brianleach
Posts: 328
Joined: 14 Jul 2007, 2:10pm
Location: Winchester, Hants

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby brianleach » 27 May 2009, 1:02pm

This is all very well but it seems to me all the pictures of slow cycling are on flat roads.

To get to the station I have a sharp descent followed by an equally sharp ascent. Coming home I have a sharp descent followed by an equally sharp ascent.

I defy anyone unless considerably fitter than me to make either journey without sweating except in the depths of winter.

Brian

Fabini
Posts: 21
Joined: 15 Apr 2009, 6:12pm

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby Fabini » 27 May 2009, 1:31pm

brianleach wrote:I defy anyone unless considerably fitter than me to make either journey without sweating except in the depths of winter.

Brian


Lower gearing perhaps? Or maybe a stop for a breather half-way up the hill?

geocycle
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby geocycle » 27 May 2009, 2:37pm

I thought that was another really interesting article. It is always good to have different things to read and different types of riding featured in the magazine. I think the key argument that to encourage greater participation from the the non-cycling majority we have to make cycling appear as normal as possible is absolutely correct.

Unfortunately, having had guilt pangs for the last few weeks that i might be putting off folks cycling because I choose to wear a helmet, I'll now have to reconsider my ronhills and hi- viz for the same reason! Why is riding a bike so politically complicated...

Romeo Whisky
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Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 2:39pm
Location: East Lothian

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby Romeo Whisky » 27 May 2009, 2:53pm

workhard wrote: Joe and Jane Hatchback are scarcely likely to be reading Cycling. ...........


They do in my workplace. I integrate my old copies into the pile of OK and Heat magazines in the coffee room. Always well read and various Joe and Janes have asked for my advice on buying and riding bikes as a result. I urge other members to do likewise, a very effective way to spread the word.

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Mick F
Spambuster
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Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby Mick F » 27 May 2009, 3:07pm

...... mine go down the health centre.
Mick F. Cornwall

random37
Posts: 1952
Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby random37 » 27 May 2009, 3:41pm

I always wear normal clothes when I ride. Certainly for touring, I think it opens up a lot of doors to me and makes me blend in a bit more. True, I don't get as far as most (my last tour about 3 weeks ago I never did more than about 50 miles in a day), but for me that's not the point! I don't plan routes much, because I like to stop and have a look around when I see something I like.
Have you noticed that in the countries where cycling is seen as a normal activity very few people wear cycling-specific clothing? I think that's what we should aspire to.

workhard

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby workhard » 27 May 2009, 3:48pm

Romeo Whisky wrote:
workhard wrote: Joe and Jane Hatchback are scarcely likely to be reading Cycling. ...........


They do in my workplace. I integrate my old copies into the pile of OK and Heat magazines in the coffee room. Always well read and various Joe and Janes have asked for my advice on buying and riding bikes as a result. I urge other members to do likewise, a very effective way to spread the word.


A genius idea.

geocycle
Posts: 1846
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: Slow Cycling

Postby geocycle » 27 May 2009, 5:34pm

Mine also go to the local surgery... but one of the GPs is a bike nut and borrows them.